Long Myrtle Beach

We visited north Myrtle Beach, which was windy and cool — better for a beach walk than sunning or swimming. There was one determined group who’d obviously come for a beach vacation and was going to have it, even if that meant sitting in low chairs wrapped in sweaters and towels. Art told me that you can walk out for a couple of hundred feet and still remain in relatively shallow water, which makes this an attractive spot for family vacations. The beach is also very wide, with clean white sand.

The main drag in this older part of the tourist section reminded me of a cross between the more working class sections of the Jersey shore and old Las Vegas — with the exception of the vape shops, which are new.

This is an area prone to hurricanes, and I gather the dunes offer only partial protection against surging seas and wind. Phyllis and Art live about 20 minutes from the beach, but one of their friends — a guest at the book reading — was talking about Hurricane Matthew and the damage to her shade garden, which was inundated with swirling water and debris. She’s still cleaning out.

My longtime hometown Rochester had wicked snow and ice storms, and not infrequent blizzards. The Pacific Northwest lives in fear of The Big Earthquake. The Carolinas have hurricanes, and the heartland of America gets tornadoes.

When you choose a place to live, you get to pick.

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