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Wheeler Gorge Campground – Ojai, CA – Our 2013 Thanksgiving Destination

 

One of our family’s favorite fall traditions is to enjoy Thanksgiving in our trailer. The tradition started back in 2013 when we decided to try something new for the holiday. We had so much fun that we’ve camped every year (sans 2015 since we had just completed our three- month temporary housing in the trailer) since. For 2016, we selected the beautiful Dreher Island State Park, located about 2 1/2 hours from Charleston; just northwest of Columbia, South Carolina.

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Site 65 – Dreher Island State Park – Prosperity, SC

 

On Thanksgiving Day, we quickly packed and were on the road by 1 PM.  With little traffic, we gratefully made good time getting there.  We stopped only to register and pick up firewood at the camp office before heading to Site 65 located on the Islanders Camp Circle.  All I could say was wow! The campground was aglow with the soothing golds and reds of autumn.  It was such a welcome surprise.

Note: Dreher Island offers two campground loops.  The Anglers Loop seems to be a little tighter and better suited for small RV’s while the Islanders Camp Circle seems better equipped to accommodate larger rigs.

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A Boy & His Dog – Dreher Island State Park – Prosperity, SC

 

As the boys got the trailer set up outside, I got the turkey breast into the oven.  Due to my prep-work at home, that was the only job for awhile so I headed outside to soak in the beautiful Lake Murray views from our campsite. Lilly Rose joined us for this trip and was happily enjoying her bit of freedom while the kids were out on their toys scouting out some new camp friends to play with. THIS is the reason why we enjoy camping on Thanksgiving – so relaxing!

Tip:  I always brine my turkey breast overnight to allow for some forgiveness in cooking in the trailer oven which can be inconsistent with heat and/or cooking times.

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Brined Turkey Breast is Ready – Dreher Island State Park – Prosperity, SC

 

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Ready for our Thanksgiving Feast – Dreher Island State Park – Prosperity, SC

 

Soon enough, it was time to get back inside to start in earnest the dinner preparations. I enlisted Mia to help peel potatoes and other small chores as we finished up the last minute items.

Finally! Our 2016 Thanksgiving dinner was on the table. This was the first year that we celebrated in our Jayco and the turkey came out absolutely perfect. All of us were stuffed so we headed out for a family walk around the campground before we indulged on pumpkin pie. It was an evening of sharing what we are thankful for, stories and jokes. What an enjoyable stress-free day!

When I opened my eyes Friday morning, there was a strong stream of sunlight cutting through the trailer window. I quickly dressed, grabbed the dog, and enjoyed the rising sun over the lake. I was a little late to fully enjoy the experience so vowed to get up earlier the following day.

After breakfast, I grabbed my beach chair and a book and walked to the lakes edge. The kids tried to fish, however, the line kept getting caught in the rocks close to shore so they quickly ditched their poles for other activities and left me to some alone time. The weather was truly glorious and sitting there with the sun on my face and the sound of small waves lapping the shore was true bliss!

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Little Gap Trail – Dreher Island State Park – Prosperity, SC

 

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Enjoying the Hike – Dreher Island State Park – Prosperity, SC

 

Later in the day, the kids and I went for a walk on the Little Gap Trail, located just outside the campground loop entrance. The weather was perfect which left us surprised that we didn’t see many people on the trail.  This 2.1 mile trail had us meandering up and down small hills through the colorful hardwood forest.  We made it to the end of the peninsula where we had lovely views of Lake Murray.  We dawdled, we took funny photos, we collected leaf specimens and threw leaves.  These moments with my kids, unplugged and present, are what I live for.  So special!

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Sunrise over Lake Murray – Dreher Island State Park – Prosperity, SC

 

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Lilly Rose on our Sunrise Walk – Dreher Island State Park – Prosperity, SC

 

Saturday morning dawned and the temperature was certainly cooler than the day before. I quietly got dressed, grabbed Lilly Rose and we headed to the lake shore.  I was able to capture a few beautiful sunrise photos even though Lilly Rose was more interested in pulling me along!

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Island Villas for Rent at Dreher Island State Park – Prosperity, SC

 

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Beautiful Day for a Hike – Dreher Island State Park – Prosperity, SC

 

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Sunset over Lake Murray – Dreher Island State Park – Prosperity, SC

 

I embraced our last day as one of relaxation and rejuvenation. Much time was spent reading, hanging out, playing games and taking walks in the glorious woods. Mia and I even took a walk to check out the Island Villas. If you don’t have an RV, these Villas would be an excellent option to enjoy the park. They are right on the lake and offer all the conveniences of home.

Too soon it was time to head back home and to the hectic schedule of the holidays. It also signified the end of another camping year for our family. We were blessed to enjoy several fun camping trips close to Charleston, as well as our grand RV Adventure 2016 where we traveled through the states of Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.  Now the question is… Where will 2017 take us?

Got ideas for our next journey?  We are open to suggestions so leave a comment!