Lake Marion/Blount's Landing/Eclipse 2017

In August of 2017, I went camping along Lake Marion in South Carolina. I stayed at a campsite called Blount's Landing in Eutawville.
They had wonderful views of Lake Marion. This is the lake at sunrise.
Blount's Landing had a restaurant which served breakfast on the weekends located in a house on the lake.

The rest of Blount's Landing was set up as a trailer park. Stereotypical of what you would expect of a trailer park in the south.
Knowing that I was going camping on Lake Marion, I bought myself a cheap inflatable kayak from Academy to go exploring. The original plan was to bring a canoe, but there were transport issues so the inflatable kayak was the second best option. Going into open water in an inflatable boat was a bit scary, but the Intex Explorer K2 did a wonderful job of getting around the lake. It did about twelve miles on this trip, and has done many more miles since. It's not the fastest kayak, but is super stable and is super easy to inflate.
The kayak was our transportation to many of the islands in the lake where swimming happened.

Geocaching happened on these islands as well. I found my first two Geocaches that could only be accessed by boat on this trip.
One of the reasons for having the kayak was to find the ghost town of Ferguson. From what I could gather about the town's history, Ferguson was here before Lake Marion. The Santee River was dammed for hydroelectric power. The buildings which remain from Ferguson were the high parts of the town. The majority of what is visible is from a lumber mill. This is the lumber kiln.

Another nearby island was called Church Island. There are the ruins of the Epiphany Episcopal Church and Old Rocks Cemetery here. Only the foundation of the church remains, but the old gravestones are still maintained.

All of that was a bonus to the actual reason for the trip. On my birthday, August 21, there was a total solar eclipse and Lake Marion was right in the path of totality. This was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Blount's Landing was overrun with people from all over the world who were camping out to watch the eclipse. There were amateur astronomers/science teachers with all sorts of telescopes. Totally unexpected at a South Carolina trailer park, but it made the whole experience cooler.

Here's the video from my adventure: