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Holiday Lights with James Parker


S U L L I VA N ’ S I S L A N D




(843) 856-1949



DEPARTMENTS 05 | Calendar of Events 06 | Destination

FEATURES 08 | Fly Fishing


11 | Bike Charleston 18 | Tailgaiting

14 | Holiday Traditions

19 | Adventure Girl

26 | Gear

21 | Food Guide

28 | Book Review


29 | Redfishville Shoot-out













The crew of the James Parker and Pleasant Landscapes, Ellin Stebbins, Lowcountry Business Network, SC Chamber of Commerce.










Published by Charleston SC Outdoors, LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent from the publisher. Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Charleston SC Outdoors. Charleston SC Outdoors magazine does not endorse or guarantee any product, service, or vendor mentioned or pictured in this magazine in editorial or advertising space.



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22 NOVEMBER 12-JANUARY 2: Holiday Festival of Lights, James Island County Park,


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NOVEMBER 13: Pajama Run, Saturday @ 10AM, Benefits MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, Joseph P. Riley Stadium, 360 Fishburne St., NOVEMBER 14: Charleston CROP Hunger Walk, Sunday @ 1PM. Help end hunger & poverty! Hampton Park, 30 Mary Murray Blvd. (843) 276-3179, NOVEMBER 20: Run With the Warriors 5k, Saturday @ 9AM, Wando High School, 1000 Warrior Way Rd., NOVEMBER 25: Turkey Trot, Thursday @ 8AM, 1 Mile walk or 1-3 Mile run on the beach. Night Heron Park, 4000 Sea Forest Dr., (843) 768-6001 NOVEMBER 25: Family Sand Sculpting , Thursday from 1PM2:30PM, Kiawah Resort, Kiawah Island, (843) 768-6001,




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NOW-DECEMBER 19: Charleston Farmers Market Saturdays 8AM-2PM, Marion Square, Calhoun & King Sts., (843) 724-3746, DECEMBER 9: Festival of Wreaths, Thursday @ 6PM. American Society of Interior Designers creates holiday wreaths for auction to benefit MUSC Children’s Hospital, Charleston Place, 130 Market St., (843) 937-9142, DECEMBER 12: Folly Beach Christmas Parade, Saturday from 10AM-5PM.

JANUARY 1: Dunleavy’s Pub Annual Polar Bear Plunge, Friday @ 2PM, 2213 A Middle St., Sullivan’s Island, (843) 795-5316, JANUARY 23: Taste of Folly Saturday, Local restaurants and merchants. Great for kids!



Sullivan’s Island

by Linda Mooney

“Originally “O’Sullivan’s,” after one of the first captains to land his fleet in the area in the late 17th century and who became the lighthouse keeper, Sullivan’s Island is largely recognized for its pristine beaches and rich history.”


Located across the Intracoastal Waterway from Mount Pleasant, south of Isle of Palms and north of the Charleston Harbor mouth, this approximately 3-mile-long island called Sullivan’s sits just 15 minutes by car from downtown Charleston. With about 2,000 local residents, it is best known for being quiet and residential, but its main drag, Middle Street, which runs two blocks parallel to the beach, is where hungry and thirsty beachgoers congregate. Clustered within a roughly five-block radius along Middle Street, you can find everything from upscale restaurants such as Atlanticville and High Thyme to breakfast-dessert corners like Café Medley and late-night music spots such as HomeTeam BBQ. Fish tacos and hushpuppies can be had at Seel’s on Sullivan and burgers, Guinness and free popcorn are offered next door at Dunleavy’s Pub. One of the most popular spots, however, is Poe’s Tavern, the long-standing burger joint which pays homage to Edgar Allen Poe, who was stationed locally at Fort Moultrie from 1827 to 1828, where he wrote his short story “The Gold Bug”. The town library, in a refurbished military battery, is also named after the poet as are Raven and Gold Bug Drives. Originally “O’Sullivan’s,” after one of the first captains to land his fleet in the area in the late 17th century and who became the lighthouse keeper, Sullivan’s Island is largely recognized for its pristine beaches and rich history. Once the largest slave port in North America—with nearly half of all African Americans’ ancestors having passed through Sullivan’s—it’s not surprising that the island became the target of a major bombardment from British battalions led by Cornwallis during the American Revolution in 1776. The epicenter of the barrage, Fort Moultrie, a makeshift log fort on Sullivan’s south-western shore, earned notoriety for overcoming the attack by amazingly deflecting the cannon balls with its spongy

tree exterior. It is said, this is how the Palmetto tree came to be South Carolina’s state flag center piece. The fort, named after Colonel William Moultrie, served as the defense command center for Charleston until its closure in the 1940s. Today it is a museum. Equally interesting are the many off-shore shipwrecks discovered in the 1960s and 70s by longtime resident and underwater archaeologist Lee Spence. Among them are many Civil War blockage runners and the Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship, which was found 3.5 miles offshore and is now housed at the Hunley Museum in downtown Charleston. From clean, uncrowded beaches to a cozy commercial zone, tennis and basketball courts and the 140-foot-tall elevator lighthouse, Sullivan’s Island has something for—well, almost—everyone. Free of motels and hotels, Sullivan’s Island likes its peace and quiet. Not only was it the first municipality in South Carolina to ban smoking in all public places in 2006, but the Town Council also recently approved an ordinance that bans whistling, singing and hollering on public streets after 11pm and until 7 am. So, if it’s a crazy late-night revelry you’re after, consider heading elsewhere.

Fly Fishing in

Charleston by Ken Bergmann


As the sun barely peeks over the horizon, my kayak slides through the creek and the smell of salt water and pluff mud fill my nose. I make my way quietly down the edge of the sound and turn into the spartina grass. It is thick at first, but his is a flood tide and I slip though easily. The thick grass gives way to shorter grass and I see the flooded flat before me. A light mist is slowly burning off as the first rays of sunlight hit it for the day. As quietly as possible I get out of my kayak. My feet sink just a little into the mud, the ripples from me moving work away from me. As I look around I see why I do this. A big redfish tail pops up about 20 yards away as he feeds, oblivious to me. I lean down and my hand closes around the well worn and familiar cork of my fly rod. I lift it from its cradle and start stripping line. I move just a few feet away from the kayak and start my cast, one... two... three I let the line shoot and the fly, a crab pattern, heads away and plops down about 4 feet in front of the redfish. The tail stops for a second as I mend my line and then it’s on. The charging redfish pushes a big wake as he charges the fly, I see the gills flare and my fly line starts moving away. A quick strip set and he is hooked. Line flies off my reel and the drag scrams that beautiful song…“Lowcountry Redfish on the Fly”; it’s hard to get better.

“matching the hatch” is a very important first step and Charleston is no different. Right now in the fall I like to have shrimp and crab patterns readily available. The bait is thick and the redfish are feasting on fiddler crabs and shrimp, so of course, you want to use flies that imitate the normal food source in size, color and profile. We have a pattern called “Mad Mikes Copperhead Crab” and this fly is deadly on fall redfish. Capt. Mike Benson created it and has shown me how to tie it and I am here to tell ya, this is one coppery taste of redfish whoopin’ action. I also make sure my fly box has a few Merkin-style crab patterns, some ginger shrimp, a few smaller grass shrimp patterns and, of course the ever versatile Clouser in several colors.

If you read the last bit and can visualize that scene, you know why I am a fly-fishing addict. I love Charleston, I love to fly fish and when you have a place like Charleston, you are in heaven. In the local area we have countless creeks, flats and other places redfish like to hang out. I am still just scratching the surface of where they all are, but I enjoy the knowledge that I doubt I will find them all in my lifetime. I work at the Charleston Angler as a fly-fishing specialist and the number one part of my dream job is to educate people on fly fishing. I do classes, one-on-one instruction and also teach fly tying. I love it. I love to teach. The biggest question I usually get is, “How do I catch a redfish with a fly rod?” This question gets my blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing just thinking about it. After teaching people how to cast a fly rod, they usually hit a local pond for bream and bass to learn how to cast, but a few daring souls dive right into saltwater fly fishing. With fly fishing, fly selection of CHARLESTONSCOUTDOORS.COM //|09

Fly Fishing


Fiv Do e Do n’t ’s a s Fis of nd hin Fly g

1. Just get out and do it. Don’t worry about catching a fish. That’s why it’s called fishing, not catching. 2. Try to “match the hatch” if there are baitfish swimming all over. A crab pattern might work but a minnow type pattern will probably work best. 3. HYDRATE! The biggest problem I have guiding people is them getting dehydrated and then being miserable. Drink water and plenty of it, even in the winter. 4. Eat something before and take a break while fishing. The calories will help you to move around more and not worry about the growling in your tummy spooking fish. 5. Listen to your guide/fishin’ buddy/the old timer at the bait store. Especially if you are not familiar with the water and the fish, they might have some info that will make your day end with photos of you smiling and holding up that big ol’ redfish.

DON’T: 1. Never high stick a redfish to set the hook. Low sweep to the side to make sure he is stuck. THEN move to a high position to keep pressure on him 2 . When you are using a crab pattern, DO NOT MOVE IT. Crabs rely on camouflage, not speed, to avoid predators. A moving crab will sometimes spook a fish. 3. Don’t try and walk in tall spartina grass... trust me on this one. 4. Pluff mud is proportionately as deep as you are tall.…If you see a big expanse of “pluff mud,” it’s better to stay in the grass and avoid the Pluff Mud Swim. 5. Never, I mean never, ever, never, challenge Worse. As soon as you think “it can’t get worse,”… it will. Enjoy the scenery, the smells and the time you are spending outdoors in Charleston.


by Linda Mooney Last Spring, we brought you “Bike the Chuck,” a research-driven feature emphasizing the many reasons you should ditch your car and dust off your bicycle for daily commutes to help the environment, your pocketbook, everyone’s quality of life and particularly, your health. But August came and so did the 90s and sometimes 100-degree weather. Perhaps you uttered curse words at us as sweat dripped into your eyes and you grew tired of lugging a change of clothes. Maybe you began to wonder if your counter-culture decision wasn’t pure martyrdom and lost your resolve. That’s why we’re back, to keep you on track and continue to encourage your two-wheeled spontaneity. This time, it’s late Fall, the weather couldn’t be more bike-friendly and we have the ear of local expert Steve Merz, manager and sixth-generation family member to run the 25-year-old Bicycle Shoppe downtown, a prominent sales/rentals storefront on Meeting Street, south of Calhoun, that earned the title of “one of the top 100 bike shops in the country.”

Merz himself knows the scene like the back of his hand. Following his helpful advice, we created a winding trail of information that should get you on your bike and keep you there.

2. 1.

Buy the right Bike

It all starts with the proper fit. If you don’t love your bike, you’re less likely to use it. The Bicycle Shoppe is a great starting point if you’re in the market for something new. Their salespeople can point you to the right designs. First, they’ll ask what type of riding you foresee yourself doing 90% of the time and what your needs are. “We try to give a spectrum of options, combining two or three aspects that the bike can accomplish,” says Merz. Since most people are looking for simple transportation, getting from points A to B, he often recommends comfort-driven bikes for on-road commuting including hybrids, commuters and even fixed-gear (single-speed) bikes that are low maintenance and sufficiently effective for the area’s flat terrain. Added bonus: Bikes from The Bicycle Shoppe come with one year of free tune-ups.

Care for your cycle

The Holy City Bike Coop ( provides community workshops and advocates safety, repair and knowledge while promoting bikes as viable transportation. They meet every Tuesday. Learn what you need to fix a flat tire: a tire lever, replacement tube (the right size and valve, of course), a mini-pump or faster-working CO2 inflator and the appropriate Allen wrench (most new bikes are metric)—unless you have quick-release wheels, which require no tools but extra vigilance in locking them up. Other tools to carry for longer trips: a small screwdriver, chain tool and good lube with Teflon grease (not WD-40). You should also check your crank bolts every month. Sound like a hassle? Take it to The Bicycle Shoppe. They can repair flats in minutes, provide tune-ups, overhauls and brake adjustments and even “true a wheel.”



Explore by Bike

With a downtown slightly too large to fully and comfortably explore by foot, and with parking downtown being hard to come by, it’s not surprising that a growing number of outof-towners are now browsing the city by bike. Merz says that this year alone he has seen a notable increase in visitors renting bicycles. With tourism being one of Charleston’s primary industries and with the regular influx of large crowds that flow in, this is great news for locals. It not only frees up traffic congestion and parking, but the more people we see pedaling around, the more motivated we are to do it ourselves. Most streets downtown are relatively bike-friendly, even if there are no specified lanes. Keep pace with the 35 mph traffic and stay to the right while watching for car doors and you’ll be alright. Avoid upper Meeting and East Bay Streets (unless on the sidewalk) and try to skip Calhoun if you can.


Bike Lanes, to come!

Charleston has been slow to build all the infrastructure needed for full bike-friendly status, but it’s certainly making strides. Since arriving in Charleston almost six years ago, Merz says that, for the first time, he finally feels a real sense of urgency coming from all sides of the decision-making process. Since the tragic death of Mr. Gardner who was hit off Lockwood Drive, Mayor Riley has became increasingly supportive of bike initiatives, taking a hard look at urban and rural areas that need improvement. Local government is now pressuring the SCDOT to put shoulders or bike lanes on Maybank Highway. Small steps have also been made, such as the creation of ramps, cleaning up sidewalks and completing the upper East Bay sidewalk, though it still abruptly ends at Church Street. Nonetheless, Charleston was recently awarded the bronze medal for bike-friendly status by the League of American Bicyclists, and engineering studies by Clemson University are looking into next steps to achieve silver and gold status. “Once we get to that level, we may see more federal funding,” says Merz.



Know the Laws

While riding your bike on sidewalks was a no-no last year, an ordinance passed earlier this summer, according to Merz, that allows riders on the sidewalks if a road’s speed limit is 35 mph or faster. So, if you’re on a beach cruiser and don’t want to keep up with traffic, jump on the sidewalk but be respectful to those walking. For more information on bike laws and safety, check out the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, a nonprofit educational organization at


Shop in Style

Charleston Cycle Chic ( is a playful local movement that was started by Kristin Walker to get more women on bikes in their everyday clothes, reminding us that biking isn’t all about Spandex and sweating. It’s a great way to see and access places you might otherwise drive by because parking is too much of a hassle. Walker also initiated Pedal to Properties, a real estate company where agents show houses by bike.

8. 7. Cruise to the Beach

One project does sound promising. Called the Battery2Beach Route (, this proposed 24-mile bike lane would connect Isle of Palms through downtown Charleston and onto Folly Beach. Since five sections of designated bike lanes are already in place, it’s just a matter of attaching them and, well, retrofitting the James Island Connector, which would be a difficult and expensive task. An initiative of Charleston Moves, this project accepts donations through their website to help accomplish this goal.

Off-Road Trails

If it’s off-road riding you’re after, you probably want to head to one of the “big three” in the area, according to Merz. The first trail is Marrington Plantation in Goose Creek, about 20 minutes by car, and has several well-marked trails, mostly flat but with some short climbs, sharp curves and marsh views. This is “home base” for the Fat Tire Freaks ( About equal distance from Charleston is the Tuxbury Horse Trail in the Francis Marion National Forest in Awendaw. Altogether 14 miles long, this series of connecting, flat trails lead off of an old rail bed through varying habitats but is prone to flooding. You also have to share the trail with horses and motorcycles, but there is space for camping. Lastly, Merz recommends Poinsett State Park in Sumter, 90 miles from Charleston. With its mix of steep hills and bluffs, mixed ecosystems and camping options, this trail might appeal most to true mountain bikers. For links to trail maps and some of the best riding within two hours of Charleston, which out

“With a downtown slightly too large to fully and comfortably explore by foot, and with parking downtown being hard to come by, it’s not surprising that a growing number of out-of-towners are now browsing the city by bike. Merz says that this year alone he has seen a notable increase in visitors renting bicycles. “


Get Involved

BikeCharleston ( is a community events page, compiling all bike-related events from every group in town, from Folly Beach rides to On2Wheels lectures, including maps of bike-friendly neighborhoods and businesses. Coastal Cyclists ( is also a recreational club, since 1972, that publishes local bike routes, meeting places and times for weekly group rides.


Stay Active

Charleston Moves is a nonprofit organization promoting bicycling, walking, running and public transportation for a healthy community and lifestyle. They sponsor programs such as the Charleston Cycle Fest, Tour de Sprawl, Bike and Walk to School Day, Bike to Work Day, On the Radio and Bike Rodeos. For more motivation, visit CHARLESTONSCOUTDOORS.COM //|13



Holiday Traditions by James Parker


Christmas Day was not always everyone’s favorite holiday in the United States. During the mid 1600’s, the Puritans disapproved \because it was believed to be a heathen holiday. After the American Revolutions, Christmas was no longer approved of by Americans as a celebration. It was viewed as an “English Custom” and the people of the United States wanted no part of it. The first Christmas under the new constitution wasn’t until 1789. As children, we learn about Thanksgiving as a gathering that first occurred in the early 1600’s. But America’s other beloved holiday, Thanksgiving, was not officially declared a holiday until President Lincoln did so in 1863. This was thanks to a 40-year campaign by magazine editor Sarah Hale. By 1941, Thanksgiving finally became a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. In 1851, America was introduced to the Christmas tree market by farmers who hauled evergreens into New York City to make money. By the start of the 1900’s, one in five families in America would decorate a Christmas tree each year. Today, families decorate with oversized trees, fake trees and even colored ones. Charleston is known as the Holy City and is the oldest city in South Carolina. It became known as the Holy City because of the significant number of churches located in the

Cover Story city and its low-rise skyline. Charleston is also known as one of the first cities to permit Jewish people to practice their faith without any restriction. It may not be a white Christmas in Charleston every year but it has happened. After Hurricane Hugo in 1989, Charleston experienced its first snowfall at Christmas time. Historic Charleston is even the birthplace of the Poinsettia. Back in 1832, a Charleston native, Joel Poinsett, found the plant growing wild in Mexico and brought it back to his greenhouse in Charleston, SC. Today, Poinsettia plants are a traditional Christmas decoration all over the world. Everyone enjoys working in freezing temperatures and climbing tall ladders perched on icy sidewalks. Then you get to the roof and the lights are tangled and the center bulb is burned out. Well this year, the Grinch doesn’t have to steal Christmas! We have finally found professionals that will take all the hassle out holiday decorating, FOREVER. Christmas Décor of South Carolina can alleviate the hassle of preparing for the holidays. The company is located locally here in South Carolina and offers a variety of lighting techniques. Some of the most common ones are roof and ridge lighting. Outlining your home with this type of lighting is becoming very popular and gives an elegant, festive look. Modern day lighting has grown into some very


dynamic roof and palm lighting, along with animated and musical shows. Kids love the animated lighting. We can now watch falling snow, a flying sleigh or even watch Santa Claus climb down the chimney. Either way, Santa’s reindeer plan to park that sleigh on the roof for over a month and nobody wants to see a wind storm move them into the driveway! Safety is always the top priority. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 13,000 people each year are treated in the E.R. for injuries caused by holiday decorating. These injuries are nothing less than falls, cuts, electrical shocks, and burns. Maybe that radiant roof lighting should be left to the professionals. Christmas Décor of South Carolina specializes in safety equipment and techniques that are particular to this line of work. These are the professional installers that will design your display, put it up, maintain it the entire season, take it all down, AND store it at their facility so you don’t ever have to think about an extension cord again. Remember being a kid and driving around the neighborhood to look at a single lit-up Santa Claus and Frosty? Now, some residents have gone beyond what we could have imagined, but there is a good chance they have called in the professionals to help. You can usually identify a professional job by the polished look. There is always that keen eye for detail and the lighting design is breathtaking. Dreaming of a “green” Christmas? The future of holiday décor has become Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Technology. LED Lights add energy efficiency and flexibility while cutting down on environmental concerns. These lights are similar to the traditional Christmas incandescent bulbs except they do not have a filament inside that can burn out

and take the entire string of bulbs with it. According the U.S. Department of Energy, if consumers replaced their conventional holiday lights with eco-friendly LEDs, at least 2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity could be saved each month. That’s enough to power 200,000 homes for a year! These lights not only add to your energy savings, they add a little extra to your display. These lights do not get hot, so they offer a lowered fire risk. They have a lifetime of about 50,000 hours compared to about 2,000 hours from conventional bulbs. By the Clean Energy Act of 2007, incandescent bulbs will soon no longer be available and only LED, low-wattage ones will be made available for consumers. Therefore the holiday lighting business itself is moving forward into the LED trends. As the production of the LED products increases, the cost of these products will soon decrease. Why does hiring a professional holiday decorator make sense? “Although holiday decorating can be a fun, festive activity, it can also be quite hazardous and has resulted in numerous injuries,” said James Parker, President of Christmas Décor of South Carolina. “People should enjoy this time of year, not spend it in the hospital being treated for a devastating fall or burn.” Also on the safety note, it is important to ask your holiday decorator (including yourself) if they are knowledgeable on electrical loads and breakers. This aspect of holiday decorating is incredibly important and often overlooked by the nonprofessionals. “The great thing about Christmas Décor is that we’re trained specifically in the area of the electrical load calculation. We will not install anything that will be hazardous to you and your family”.

Whether you go at it alone or hire a professional, please abide by these tips to ensure that you are able to enjoy your lights safely and keep laughing with your loved ones throughout the holidays! Use Certified Products -- use only lights that have been tested for safety. Check for Defects -- be sure to look for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Flick the off switch -- Before you go to bed, be sure to turn off all holiday lights inside and outside of your home. Use proper climbing equipment – 82% of consumers reported climbing on chairs, counters, shelves and other pieces of furniture when decorating for the holidays. Invest in a sturdy and reliable ladder that can adapt to different heights according to your needs. Practice safe techniques -- Secure ladders on even ground, don’t stand on the top two steps of the ladder, and don’t reach farther than you should when decorating the windows. Aluminum and electricity don’t mix -- 32% of consumers admit to stringing lights while they are plugged in. If your ladder is aluminum, it will conduct electricity and an error can cause electrocution. For more information on professional holiday decorating, please contact James Parker at Christmas Décor of South Carolina at (877) 900-9314 or visit their website online at You can email James directly at, or call him at (843) 886-9314, and feel free to visit their website at Christmas Décor is also sponsoring a disadvantaged family for a free display. Please nominate someone you know or vote on the site for the most heartwarming story. Sunset Cruises Excellent Shopping Custom Fishing Trips

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If Heaven Had a Scent...


It’s well into that time of year again here in the Lowcountry, and the aroma is in the air. It’s the true scent of fall, and the one that means that someone somewhere is grilling something mouth-watering. It is, by far, one of THE most definitive icons of tailgating. You don’t even have to be at the game to smell the excitement. It demands your recognition as you go for your run, drive down the road, or, hopefully, as you’re walking to the game. It’s completely and utterly indescribable, but everyone knows the smell. It’s some sort of combination of smoke, charcoal, lighter fluid, and anticipation. It’s absolutely addicting and inviting, and it screams victory. Once you’re even near the vicinity of the game, you know you are there. Not only does that scent saunter its way into the vents of your car, but you are surrounded by feverish fans who have drenched themselves in school spirit. As you look for a spot to park, you see nothing but a sea of school colors: azure and white, maroon and black, purple and orange. No matter which Lowcountry game you grace your presence with, you are guaranteed to be in good company as fanfare flourishes.

by Sally Remington

with excitement and invites. “Take our picture! Take our picture!” the seniors roared. Their seersucker pants and bow ties screamed “Southern” tradition, so I eagerly obliged. The next thing I know, I’m being invited to drink a Bud Light Wheat and grab a plate of wings. While the kids were more interested in hammin’ it up for me, the parents were more interested in making me feel welcome, consequently shedding light on their true southern hospitality. Mrs. Watkins stood by me, engaging me with a warm smile and conversation about her son and their tailgating traditions, while Mr. Watkins, the grill master, grinned with founded pride over his jambalaya. They were everything I expected to find at a true Southern tailgate: the scent of heaven and, more importantly, the feeling that I, a complete stranger, was accepted and welcomed without hesitation. At the end of the day, I ended up with emails, phone numbers, and an invite to Parents’ Weekend! Then, of course, when I emailed the Watkins, thanking them for such warmth, I received a response that was filled with no less heart as they delved further into their tailgating history and extended the invite to Parents’ Weekend one more time.

After you pay for parking, which will undoubtedly make you feel cheated in some manner, you brush your shoulders off and get ready to become part of the sea. You look around and immediately fall in line with strangers that feel like home. As you march your way towards the designated tailgating area, the crowd defibrillates your excitement and you are instantaneously reminded of why you came in the first place. Forget the parking fee, attune your senses, and prepare yourself for indulgence in every sense of the word. Here, in the South, food is practically a family member, and it is no different at football games. What can you expect as your nostrils go into overdrive and you’re ADD kicks in? You will, of course, see the usual: hotdogs, brats, burgers, the typical all-American grub. Then, the staples of the South infiltrate your secondary, and your willpower to stave off the sins of Southern cooking have nearly vanished. Soon, your mouth begins salivating like a Pavlovian dog’s, and you find yourself staring at the people behind the grills, trying to figure out what it is that smells so amazing. For a second, you wonder if they notice your staring. You look up, and your eyes connect. You’ve been caught. However, the thing you must realize, and already know if you’re a native, is that things are different in the Lowcountry. In true Southern form, the person you were staring at invites you for a bite. That is how it is, though. It’s how it’s always been here. Take Susan and Harry Watkins, for instance. Their son is a senior at The Citadel, and as I was walking by, camera in hand, their tailgating posse nearly tackled me CHARLESTONSCOUTDOORS.COM //|18

Needless to say, tailgating here in the Lowcountry is an experience everyone should have at one point or another. Whether you’re a local and are nodding along with everything I’ve written because you know just how true it is or you’re a transplant who thinks it’s all the same, let me tell you, I am from Big Ten Country, and it is not. There are, of course, those common ties that without them tailgating just wouldn’t be the same: the smell, the food, the beer, and, if you can manage, the game. However, there is something significantly different here in Charleston. It could be the culture, the people, the weather, or some combination of the three; but whatever it is, it deserves praise and adoration. It deserves to be experienced. It deserves a memory in your heart. Can I get an Amen?!

Adventure Girl TAKES AIM

by Meredith H. Siemens


A quiet murmur of “you’ll shoot your eye out” and images of Red Ryder BB guns ran through my mind as I pulled into the ATP Gun Shop & Range in Summerville, South Carolina. Thus far, my adventure girl escapades have had me finding my legs in stand up paddle boarding or casting a reel in the Edisto Billfish Tournament, nothing too inherently perilous. Myself, firearms and an aversion to loud noises, however, could be a different story. Air Force retiree turned shooting instructor, Pat “Snap-tite” Murry greeted me as I entered the shop, and, yes, he was packing heat. Pat bolstered my confidence out of the gate by letting me in on a little known secret -- women tend to be better beginner shooters than men. This is widely attributed to our ability to listen and focus on the task rather than the adrenaline rush. I would really like to not be the exception to this rule. We quickly retreated to the classroom for the 30-minute instruction portion of my lesson. Pat was patient to explain everything from the very basic. Perhaps after I asked how similar it was to Duck Hunt (a game with which, not to toot my own horn, I was extremely gifted), he believed it was necessary. Contrary to my overall trepidation of guns, Pat reminded me that they can only do damage if you are not in control and thinking about your actions. As he put it well, “the best safety is the one between your ears.”

After conversation of safe handling and how not to fire, I learned the logistics of actually taking the shot. Once the trigger is pulled, the firing pin strikes the primer, primer ignites the powder charge, a gas is formed, and this gas expands and propels the bullet.

I am a logical girl who enjoys fact and this seemed straightforward enough. Just as that ease set in, I was reminded that the big question is how do we put the bullet where we want it? There in lies the rub, Pat. After a tutorial that was far more technical than I shall depict, I determined that aiming is a bit like seeing the hidden image in Magic Eye pictures. You simply focus on the front sight, line up the back sight in your periphery and let the rest fade away. This knowledge in hand, or shall I say holster, we headed out with the intent to “stop the threat.” Today, my threat is a 4x2 ft. sheet of paper. If I planned to take out all my rage on this, I determined my paper target figure at least deserved a name. So, for this exercise, I will be putting some caps in “Conceal & Carry Carl.”



Just as this became old hat, Pat unholstered his 40 Smith & Wesson and let me try that on for size. I squared up, planted my feet and fired, getting a kick back and fireworks that made my last piece seem like a squirt gun. I have to say, though, I liked it. In hindsight, perhaps mentioning “go big or go home” during my first time at the gun range was a bit out of my league. That little crack got me introduced to the AR 15, a derivative of the M16 series assault rifles. I was given fair warning as I dug the butt of the gun into my right shoulder and braced myself to be blown back into Charleston.

I suited up with double ear plugs, protective glasses and the knowledge that I was a shooting machine with my eyes set on the “center of mass” or, as years of Hollywood movies have taught me, the kill zone. When we entered the range, I tried to keep my jumping and shudder to a minimum, but I can only compare the volume level to sticking your head inside the bass drum during a Led Zeppelin concert.

I had a strange ease with it though. Once I learned how the gun worked, it was just a bit different for each model, but quickly ready for action. I think I will continue building my arsenal of shoes rather than weapons, but I am certainly ready to give Ladies Night at the ATP Gun Shop and Range a spot on my calendar. Happy shooting!

Make your own adventure!

ATP Gunshop & Range 1340 College Park Road, Summerville SC, 29483 (843) 873-2250

I picked up my pink 22 caliber and wrapped each “sunset vixen” red polished finger around the grip and set my sights on Carl. I remembered the instructions of a slow trigger pull, keeping my arms strong and not losing the focus on my target. A loud, but far less threatening than anticipated, ping sounded from my weapon, the quiver ran from my hands through my arms and I watched Carl’s frame wave with one shot straight to the kill zone. Shockingly, this propulsion of bullet from gun left my hands, eyes and mind in tact. The lesson continued with a series of tweaks and modifications, but a growing comfort in my ability to handle this gun and myself.


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Lowcountry | food guide | by Sally Remington

View from Above The city of Charleston is gorgeous on its own. However, from above, it’s even better. Take in the hustle and bustle of the day or the soft glow from the lights at night at Vendue Inn’s Rooftop Bar & Restaurant ( near Waterfront Park. Their menu has all of the charm of Charleston without the cost. Perhaps even more charming is the fact that you can still enjoy the fresh air even if it’s drizzling. Wait it out under the covered bar and gaze at the amazing architecture of the Cooper River Bridge or let the history of Fort Sumter heighten the already misty mood. If you’re looking for something closer to The Market, try The Pavilion Bar atop Grill 225 ( Make a reservation to enjoy your own private table.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game Okay, so maybe it’s not baseball season, but who says it has to be to enjoy a good hot dog? There are a couple of places that will make you feel like you just watched McCann bring it home for the Braves. Jack’s Cosmic Dog in Mt. Pleasant, and its fairly new location on Folly, will deliver all of the nostalgia and flavor you crave. Whether you consume your dog outside or in, the experience will leave you with a lasting impression. Their weirdly perfect Sweet Potato Mustard coupled with the fact that a hotdog is unarguably an all-American favorite makes Jack’s a baseball addict’s haven. One drop of the sweet and smooth, yet tangy, nationally famous condiment (it was featured on the Food Network!), and you’ll be twitching for it each time you pass by (! If you’re not in either of those particular areas but still yearn for the fresh breeze of a ballgame, stop by Perfectly Frank’s in Summerville. Although you won’t get to feast on a dog drenched in sweet potato perfection, you will get to choose from other bizarrely perfect combinations. You can top off a dog with their specialty coleslaw or even Dr. Pepper Barbeque Sauce! If you’re still not satisfied and can’t get the sweet scent of sweet potatoes out of your head, then order your dog with a side of sweet potato fries! Find out more about this hotdog haven at Themed Throughout These gems are the exception to our ‘heated patio’ fetish. Although they have a quaint space reserved for the hardcore, the décor will undoubtedly lure you inside. Queen Anne’s Revenge on Daniel Island not only offers the best pecan-encrusted chicken you will ever have, but they also have one of THE largest collections of genuine pirate paraphernalia. With armor and weaponry galore, not to mention the gaslight fixtures, you’ll feel the spirit of Blackbeard more than you’d like (! Now, fast-forward approximately 100 years to 1827. Okay, well, that’s still in the past, but when you walk up the steps to Poe’s Tavern on Sullivan’s Island, you’ll feel transported. Whether you order the aptly named Pit & Pendulum or the Amontillado (both burgers, which can be substituted with a chicken breast), you’ll be sure to feel the spirit of Edgar. If you don’t, on your way home, swing by Fort Moultrie where he spent some time serving our country. If neither of those places captures the eeriness he exudes, nothing will (! CHARLESTONSCOUTDOORS.COM //|22

Firefly Fixins It’s no surprise that, here in the Lowcountry, you can find Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka almost anywhere. However, there are a few places that beg you to sip it on their patio all year long. Water’s Edge Cabana Bar on Shem Creek, for instance, will have you thirsty for sweet tea even during the holidays! You can snuggle up under their awning (as the entirety of it is lined with space heaters!) and pretend it’s summer all winter long (! Not into the briskness of the harbor but want to stay true to Firefly form by sipping on the water? The Atlantic Room at The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island gives you panoramic ocean views without the goose bumps. If you want to live life on the edge, step out onto the veranda where the fireplaces are sure to keep you toasty. Aren’t looking for the fine dining experience? Then, swing over to the Ryder Cup Bar and choose Firefly along with a variety of mixers to make your Mojito truly unique (!

Crabby Pâté With the economy spiraling downward, it’s a small wonder that one can still find a restaurant willing to pack their crab cakes with hearty chunks of crab meat. The Charleston Crab House serves sizeable crab cakes either as an entrée or in sandwich form complimented with, what has to be considered, the world’s most perfect kiaser roll. Eat on the waterfront on James Island, the rooftop downtown or the patio in Mt. Pleasant. Regardless, you can’t go wrong (! Looking for a place with more variety? The Southend Brewery in downtown Charleston has food for even the pickiest eaters! From their wood-fired pizzas to their baby back ribs, everything is made better by the warm glow emanating from the kitchen and the bustle from East Bay. Plus, let’s not forget about their oversized crab cakes and creamy stone-ground grits. Top that off with the beer sampler, and you won’t be disappointed (! Free Samples Who says nothing is free these days? Ms. Kim Elizabeth Whitley, who has been working at River Street Sweets on Market Street for 11 years, will sing you a different song, literally! Take a walk on the Market, sans tourists, and not only will you hear Ms. Whitley offering up “Freeeeee Samples!” but the enticing scent of warm pralines will have you on your twinkle toes floating toward the scent of heaven, visible vapors entering your nose, Fred Flintstone style. Once you try this amazing sweet, you won’t hesitate dropping a few bucks for the real deal. Hands down, no one can compete with this recipe (www.! If you’re not in the mood for pralines (in which case your sanity must be questioned), you’ll want to wander up the road to the corner of East Bay and Market. There, you will find Charleston’s Candy Kitchen as well as a vast array of free samples! You can try anything, from every flavor of fudge imaginable to the extraordinary variety of ice cream flavors. Regardless, you will undoubtedly be tempted to purchase a treat to take along on your stroll (

Santa’s Choice The Lowcountry may not get the snow you seek, but it can capture the spirit of the holidays all the same. For a low-key night on Folly Beach, cozy up next to your other half near the outdoor woodburning fireplace at Surf Bar. The colorful Christmas lights and servers, one of which whose actual name is Jesus, will certainly get you in the mood! Find more information on upcoming entertainment at Would you rather stay inland? If so, try Triangle Char & Bar in Avondale. Although they don’t have a server named Jesus, they do have the colorful lights and warmth associated with the holidays. They’ve recently transformed their once stationary façade into garage doors that allow for the cool breeze to remind you that winter is here ( Still looking for something with a little more clout? Mt. Pleasant’s Red Drum offers the upscale feel of downtown Charleston without actually having to endure the parking. The scent of the wood grill, warmth of the outdoor fireplace and coziness of the couches will bring you back to the reality that it is the holiday season. CHARLESTONSCOUTDOORS.COM //|24

Musical Chairs As we all know, the Lowcountry is teaming with starving artists and, consequently, every type of musical venue known to mankind. However, there are few that stand out among the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. If you are the Kurt Cobain type and are looking for an unconventional sense of Nirvana, then join the other free spirits at the Tin Roof in West Ashley. Walk in and to your left you will find an enclosed area, which is partially covered by, you’ll never guess, a tin roof! There, one can smoke to his rapidly degenerating lung’s content without fully freezing in the midst of winter. Walk back in, and you can enjoy the sound of musical freedom in the heated indoors where it’s so dark you might wonder if you’re holding the right person’s hand! No fear though, they have an abundance of black lights accompanied by glow-in-the-dark stickers, which will ultimately calm your nerves as this place instantly brings back memories of your rebellious teenage years. Offering an eclectic mix of artists, not to mention hotdogs that will give Cosmic a run for its money, you can rock out to original bands such as Youngster and Modern Skirts ( An oldie but a goodie, the Windjammer on Isle of the Palms is a local favorite. Not only does the venue offer a gorgeous view of the Atlantic, but they also offer a multitude of opportunities to witness some of the most talented, original bands in the Charleston area. You can expect to find nearly every genre of music within a two-week span, from the island vibe of Heritage to the blue-grass feel of The Stragglers. Known for its original music, The Jammer doesn’t neglect the die-hard 80’s fans. From cover bands such as The Pop Machine to Playlist, this unique island joint has something for everyone! Join them between 8:00p.m. – 11:00p.m. Sunday through Thursday and receive 50% off the food menu, just make sure you ask (www.! If you’re looking for something a bit more low-key than the afore mentioned, try d.d. pecker’s on Savannah Highway in West Ashley. True to its motto, “A fun neighborhood joint,” pecker’s caters to the needs of those looking for a reprieve from their daily routine. With flat screen tv’s abound, live music on the deck Wednesdays and Fridays, beer you’ve never heard of and Hoisin Honey wings, you’ll be sure to get the fix you’ve been searching for. Are you more of a night owl? Friday’s musical fusion continues inside at 10:00p.m., usually with the acoustic melodies of Matt Jordan and Fred Haile. With tunes ranging from Johnny Cash to Marvin Gaye, these voices will please even the most fickle. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get Matt to play one of the Trickknee originals! No matter what, you’ll be glad you stopped by (!


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Book Review

by Evans Craddock

“Expect to learn basic surfing terminology, surf traditions and even how to paddle out when you take the board for the first time.” For most of us, we have our dads to thank for teaching us how to do things like check our oil or throw a baseball, but for Jonah, the son of author Joseph Tomarchio, he can thank his dad for teaching him how to surf, and writing a book about it. The idea for the children’s book My Daddy Taught Me to Surf came to Charleston resident Joseph when he was talking with his close friend and artist, Shane Lasby, about looking forward to teaching their own children to surf one day. Says Joseph, “I mentioned the idea to Shane and we said, ‘hey, let’s write a book about this’.” With 29 years of surfing under his belt, Tomarchio teamed up with Lasby to create a story that follows a father and son duo, as the son learns the ropes about surfing. Expect to learn basic surfing terminology, surf traditions and even how to paddle out when you take the board for the first time. “From camaraderie to respect and love for the ocean to self-awareness, there’s so much more that surfing gives back to us,” explains Tomarchio.

As for future plans in the works? Look for a follow-up, My Mommy Taught Me To Surf , which is still in the works. For more information, visit

Located in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre off Hungryneck Blvd. 843.606.9900 CHARLESTONSCOUTDOORS.COM //|28

Redfishville The 2nd Annual

Shoot-Out O

October is a great month for targeting Redfish. The water starts to clear, the fish start to school up and the weather turns nice enough to fish all day. Every October there is an event held in Charleston that means a lot to a lot of people. The Redfishville Shoot-Out. This is a kayak fishing tournament held every October to raise awareness and funds for the South Carolina Chapter of Heroes on the Water or HOW. HOW is an organization that takes injured war vets kayak fishing to assist in their recovery and therapy. Our Motto is “Paddle. Fish. Heal.” Through donations of companies, local like The Charleston Angler, The Dog and Duck and Time Out Sports, to national companies like March Brown fly rods, Yak Attack and Stearns, we are able to take our Heroes fishing with zero cost to them. Once a Hero is identified to us and he or she wants to fish, we take care of all the cost they would incur such as travel, equipment, licenses and meals. The Redfishville Shoot-Out refills our coffers every year and allows us to continue to help our Heroes recover. The night before the tourney is the Captains meeting. All the anglers participating met up at West Ashley’s The Charleston Angler and we ate, drank a little and went over the rules and procedures for the tourney. The Tournament is a classic “CPR” Tourney. The is Catch Photo and Release. Each angler catches their fish, photographs the fish with a special identifier then releases the fish. Well most do but a few people do enjoy eating a fish or two. It is a one-day event and the main goal is to raise awareness for HOW, raise some needed funds and to get as many kayak anglers together to enjoy fishing and teach some of the new guys a trick or two. The Dog and Duck in Park West provided the wings and food and The Pampered Palate provided our drinks for the meeting and the tourney

by Ken Bergmann the next day. The meeting ended with everyone headed off to rig up poles, select flies and get their last-minute preparations together. Saturday morning the dawn was met with fog and a slight breeze, much warmer than last year. As the light slowly came up the anglers started to launch. One by one they disappeared into the fog. The sun finally peeked over the horizon and the fishing was on. Within 30 minutes I got a text message of the first redfish of the day caught. A respectable 25” from Tommy “Too Busy” Samuels. As I paddled out to see if I could find a few fish and take some photos, I heard rumors of a 31” that was caught and I could hear people laughing and yelling back sizes of fish, “I got a 24 and a half!!” “Cool, I got a 27”, the banter back and forth was spooky at first as only voices could be heard and no one could be seen. I guess it is fitting for an October tournament. The sun crept higher and the fog lifted to reveal a beautifully lit-up marsh bathed in golden light with pelicans and swallows flying around. Kayakers could be seen at every point of the compass. The sun burned off all the fog and revealed a beautiful day on the water. Bluebird skies and a slight breeze. We couldn’t have asked for better. The day wore on and people started checking in their fish. All in all about 50 Redfish were caught. All in all we had 30 kayak anglers fishing this tournament. I might add that was more than double the IFA tournament in Georgetown a few weekends ago. Our 1st Place winner was Phil Lowery with a 29.5” red who took home a 6’6” Med action HOW/TFO Casting Rod with reel Our 2nd Place winner was John Chapman with a 28.5” red who took home a Shimano Scimitar rod and reel combo

Resfishville Shoot-out

Our 3rd Place winner was Dave Jaskiewicz with a 28” red and he won the Z-Man Prize pack full of some new soft plastic baits and ChatterBaits. For our Fly Fishing division, 1st Place went to Justin Carter with a 21” red and he took home a Custom Made 8wt fly rod as the only person to turn in a scoreable Redfish on the fly. I did just find out that in addition to the above prizes, worth $200, Phil will also receive a 2011 BassPass Elite, worth $200 and a $75 gift card to the Kayak Bass Fishing Shop, John will also receive a BassPass Premium worth $150 and Dave will receive a BassPass Standard worth $100, so they will be able to freely compete in the online challenges of A BIG Thank You goes to the Founder and Head Dude in Charge of KBF, Chad Hoover, for throwing those in for our guys!!!  Our Splooshers Cup, which was won by Tim Jones who turned in the last of 5 skunks for the day. Tim wins the coveted Splooshers Cup which contains some new tackle and a free 4-hour guided kayak fishing trip, from so he can learn some pointers about catching Redfish from a kayak. CONGRATULATIONS to all our Winners! This year’s tournament is in the books, a great time was had by all and the preparations for next year’s tourney are in the works. A few changes to the format and location but I think we’ll have even more fun and hopefully a few more anglers and sponsors! Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming Heroes on the Water events and hopefully a Springtime tourney. Thanks again to all our sponsors and partners who made this event a resounding success!


In Our Next Issue...

Meet Capt. tucker blythe Captain Tucker Blythe was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. His love of fishing began at an early age learning how to fool mountain trout with a fly rod. As a teenager he began fishing the North Carolina and South Carolina coastline and found a new passion. The Salt. After graduating the College of Charleston with a Biology degree he traveled around the country learning new and exciting fisheries. He now resides in James Island, SC and pursues many of the different species along the South Carolina coast. Among these species, his favorites are the redfish, speckled trout, sheepshead, spadefish, bonnet head shark, tarpon, spanish mackeral and cobia. He is constantly trying to figure out new and old tricks to put fish in the boat.

Meet Grey ghost The Grey Ghost is an 18 foot Ranger Ghost equipped with a 150 HPDI Yamaha engine, minnkota trolling motor, poling platform, casting platform, power pole, jack plate, and sony radio/cd/ipod player. Tackle includes shimano reels, star rods, sage rods, nautilus reels, power pro braided line, and proven artificial lures for the particular conditions.

*At grey ghost charters, we include digital photo’s of your trip, to view some of our recent photos, view our website::*


Targeted Species Redfish Speckled Trout Spanish Mackerel Cobia Amberjack False Albacore Spadefish


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Wildlife Habitat

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In 2003, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. became the first automotive assembly plant to be designated as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SIA's 800+ acres serves as a home for various wildlife including: whitetail deer, rabbits, Canadian Geese, Mallard Ducks, squirrels, beavers, coyote, snapping turtles, frogs, red-tail hawks, blue heron, and the Bald Eagle.

Subaru recognizes that clean vehicles are just one part of a clean environment. In 2004, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. became the first automotive assembly plant to be 'Zero-Landfill'. SIA achieved this outstanding accomplishment in May and has remained zero landfill. To commit to the zero-landfill program, everything is reused and recycled. Each year SIA actively recycles 99.3% of excess/leftover steel, plastic, wood, paper, glass, and other materials. The remaining 0.7% is shipped to the city of Indianapolis and incinerated to help generate steam. In 2006, SIA recycled 11,411 tons of scrap steel, 1,537 tons of cardboard and paper, and 963 tons of wood. That's equal to conserving 31,040 mature trees, 31,572 cubic yards of landfill space, 711,631 gallons of oil, and 10,759,000 gallons of water. So the next time you take out your trash at home for collection, you're sending more trash to landfills than the entire Subaru manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Indiana (SIA) does in a year.

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Charleston Outdoor Magazine, Lowcountry Active Living  

Our November, December, January 2010-2011 Issue!