Full Solar Ecplipse

Heat in the forest

Aug 18, 2017

The destination of this trip was the coastal part of South Carolina. In order to get there, it required us to drive 730 miles / 1175 km, the distance we overcame almost non-stop. For several reasons we have chosen Francis Marion National Forest. First of all, there are no paved roads, secondly it is legal to camp in the woods there; third, it is near the historic Charleston where we could spend time during a day, and the most importantly, we were inside the path of the totality of solar eclipse that was about to happen in next three days.

We constantly monitored the weather forecast, hoping for a clear sky on the eclipse day. So far, the sky was blue.

Road in Francis Marion National Forest::Santee, South Carolina, USA::
Road in Francis Marion National Forest
St. James Episcopal Church::Santee, South Carolina, USA::
St. James Episcopal Church

Before setting up a camp, we stopped for a few moments by St. James Episcopal Church in the remote portion of Francis Marion National Forest. This is the original building erected in 1768 in Georgian architectural style. The church doors were closed, but it was not difficult to peek inside to see original, the eighteenth-century box pews and pulpit all made of wood. Most windows were open to provide ventilation during hot and humid summer.

Hot Night in the Forest::Francis Marion National Forest, South Carolina, USA::
Hot Night in the Forest
The sky is blue::Francis Marion National Forest, South Carolina, USA::
The sky is blue

It was like a Scandinavian sauna! Imagine, even when you are in the shade, your entire body is cover with sweat. All of our clothing and underwear were drenched. When you are in direct sun, it is like resting in the kitchen oven. Shade, we needed shade, but it was not helping us much. The hot air stood still. At night, while sleeping in our rooftop tent we sweated tremendously too, because the air temperature did not drop below 85ºF / 30ºC at unchanged high humidity. All the time, the air was heavy and dense, so that each breath burned you from the inside.

© 2017 Maciej Swulinski