Foggy Day on Hilton Head Island

In a stunning admission of the obvious, I have come to accept that when one deposits one’s carcass on an Island for three months there are bound to be moments of tranquillity and serene inactivity.  Today we are muffled in a thick fog.  Visibility is confined to 100 yards no more.  The turbulent sea is more apparent by what one hears than by what one sees.

It isn’t however the weather that tranquillizes us.  It’s the overwhelming lack of necessity. The once inconsequential occupation of adding items to the shopping list is now something I do with gusto.  Inevitably I shall be moved to squander an hour on my bicycle whatever the atmospheric conditions; it’s not as though a bit of rain will ruin me.  My future is otherwise utterly devoid of either prescription or demand unless one ascribes imposition to the mere pleasure of living.

Whatever its exigencies I am determined to accommodate this indescribable luxury.  It requires both pluck and creativity to direct one’s mind to the absorption of white sand, sea pines, palm trees and the sea.  They are after all commonplace metaphors and mere springboards to artistic insight and philosophical depth.  It would be far too superficial to assign to these indicia only post-card significance.  What propels one in this invention is that it borders on the surreal to imagine that the remaining days of one’s life are to be spent wallowing in such lavishness.  One must first recall that the flowery paths of today will be succeeded by the sear and yellow leaf of old age.  The inspiration is to relish the present, a timeless and universally encouraged ambition.


The best laid plans…

By nine o’clock this morning we were itching to get on our bikes.  The repeated exercise has become a drug without which we are at the very least anxious.  In view of the weather we contemplated no more than a reasonable jaunt to Beach Club where we would investigate the state of the beach and decide where to go from there.  Once there it was evident that the roiling waters of the Ocean prohibited cycling on the beach.  We therefore determined to go to Coligny Park along the paved paths.

Our regular cycling has clearly fitted us for wider horizons than the prospect of Coligny Park.  We proposed a new route at the end of William Hilton Parkway.  The journey to the end of the Parkway was uneventful.  By examining the maps which the Municipality thoughtfully erected for tourists we conceived a detour from the Parkway across the Island on Marshland Road.  There we discovered not only that a good deal of the Island’s infrastructure is buried in the north end of the Island but also the more “real” side of the Island, a smattering of modest homes which looked as though people actually lived in them throughout the year.

When we gained the end of Marshland Road we found that we were blocked from further westerly progress by the Cross Island Parkway (a toll road leading from Hilton Head Island across the causeway to the mainland).  The only  possible way to circumvent the Cross Island Parkway was to venture further along the bicycle path in a northerly direction in the hopes that it would somehow go under the Parkway to the other side.  While this may not sound to be much of a deterrent, it is worth mentioning that by this time we had been bicycling for 4 1/2 hours.  I was also sensing that my rear bicycle tyre was not what it should be.

Luckily for us the winding road did indeed take us in the desired direction though not without an effort.  After some tortuous turns we found ourselves bordering the other side of the Cross Island Parkway ascending the causeway high above Broad Creek.  Here we stopped to take a “selfie” as proof of our accomplishment.  I recall thinking to myself at this point, “Mount Everest? Pshaw! Marshland Road? Hurrah!”  It accentuated my sense of victory that I had been reduced to walking my bicycle up the causeway.  It was not long thereafter that I questioned my traveling companion about the state of my rear tyre and we at last agreed that it was flat which nicely explained my diminishing strength.

The final leg of our outing was essentially tedious.  My rear bike tyre was now certifiably flat.  We decided to exchange bikes.  This however did little to improve our progress but at last we arrived at the bicycle shop only to find it closed for the remainder of the afternoon.  We left the disabled bike there and made the tactical decision for me to cycle home to collect the car and return to collect my companion.

It was approaching 4:00 p.m. before we arrived back at the apartment.  Oddly we never pined for either food or drink during our six hour adventure.  I suspect however that we’ll enjoy the filets, sweet potatoes and asparagus spears.