Fun Friday Part I—Awendaw Passage and Birds of Prey

When last Friday came around, Good Friday to be exact, I figured it was time I owed  my husband a fun day. You can only garden, do yard work, build projects, help keep a house clean with two dogs, and general errands for so long before you gotta just get out! So I emailed him our itinerary a few days before and it was booked.

If anyone still remembers Good Friday, it poured rain! Poured cats and dogs kinda rain! Not that it changed our plans one bit. We piled up our bikes into the car with a change of clothes and headed down to Awendaw for a morning trail ride. A few diversions here and there that morning set us back a little on time, but we got there within an hour of our scheduled arrival. We pulled into the Buck Hall Recreation Area off of Hwy 17 N and directly on the Intracoastal,which allows ample parking and restrooms at the trail head for a small $5/car fee.

This is basically the sea portion of the Palmetto Trail’s Mountains to the Sea tagline. This is where it begins or ends based on your direction. Here’s an overview of the entire Trail of which we will now be completing leg by leg:
We left in a slight drizzle planning on an 1.5—2 hr out and back loop on the Awendaw Passage (minus the crossing Hwy 17 in the rain for .5 mile leg of this part). Not 20 minutes in the skies let loose and it poured. And it was awesome! It brought back all the pleasant memories of the mud run the weekend before—minus the yelling and the mud and more the playing like a kid outside in any element part. We made it to the last of 5 bridges which was just over 4 miles and were running out of time to do the last mile or so. But here are some great shots I could get on my iPhone as the rain gave us a few breaks.

Soaking wet and thankful we packed a dry change of clothes, we changed at Buck Hall and headed to a nice hot lunch at Sewee while the monsoon continued. Next on our list—Awendaw Birds of Prey.

Let me just say now, if you’ve never been, get yourself some tickets now. Absolutely amazing place. I’ve always heard about it and knew all about their operation but just had no idea how awesome a tour and demonstration would be.

Again, because of the weather and the holiday, we were the only people to arrive for the 2:00 pm tour. About halfway through our tour a family of four joined in late. And because of the rain, the birds won’t fly for the flight demonstration—but we gladly traded that for our upclose and personal encounters with some owls behind the scenes.

The tour started going from barn to barn (the most beautiful bird barns I’ve ever seen) all with unique custom habitats catered to each birds’ needs. Just about every bird that’s in captivity there and available to meet on the tour was injured in some capacity to where it can’t re-enter the wild. Whether shot accidentally, hit by a car while eating on the side of the road, you name it. So some only have one wing, some were “cared for” by “caring people” when found as a baby instead of being put right back in their nest and are now imprinted by people. The sweet little imprinted owl doesn’t even have his hoot right just yet because he’s been with people all his life instead of other owls in the wild to nail it. But he’s learning:)

The most beautiful birds are there and all so close and observable—numerous species of owls, falcons of all types, vultures, crows, hawks, bald eagles. It’s just awesome. And because we couldn’t see them fly in the rain, we got to meet this gorgeous guy behind the scenes. If I have my name correct, he’s an Asian Barred Owl—looks like a little monkey! And this precious 6 week old owl. Hope you all make it to to Birds of Prey—phenomenal facility and service! And I’m working on adding some live video of the birds to my vodpod player but it’s being funky right now. Later today hopefully. Now we’re off for a day of salt-water fishing with a blog to come on this past Friday’s Fun—Edisto Treehouses!

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