#82: The Angel Oak

It’s been over a year since I’ve marked something off The List of Things to Do Before I Die. But when my best friend and I took a brief trip down to Charleston to see one of our favorite bands, Fitz & the Tantrums, play a show, I took the opportunity to visit the Angel Oak, a really old, massive tree out on John’s Island.

The first view of the tree once you enter the property.

The view of the tree once you enter the property.

The tree was apparently damaged during Hurricane Hugo in 1989 (but, honestly, very little on the coast of SC wasn’t damaged during Hugo). So the tree is braced with wooden posts and wires that criss-cross through the canopy, ensuring that it doesn’t collapse under it’s own weight.

No one is really sure how old the tree is, but it’s at least 400 years old. It’s not the oldest tree in the Eastern US, not even close really, but it’s quite the spectacle nonetheless. I think my favorite part about the tree is that the branches that are spread across the ground are as big as trees themselves. It’s just a really neat little place, down this rough dirt road. For being on an island, it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere.

Proof that I actually visited the tree and didn't just Google images.

Proof that I actually visited the tree and didn’t just Google images. Look how tiny I am (comparatively)!

That morning, before visiting the Angel Oak, my friend and I also visited Fort Sumter, the site where the Civil War began. I’d been once when I was very young, and she had never been. I love military sites, and it was definitely worth taking the half-hour ferry ride to the island to explore.

Approaching the island.

Approaching the island.

Crumbling brickwork where the cannons were once housed.

Crumbling brickwork where the cannons were once housed.

We also enjoyed lunch at Poe’s Tavern on Sullivan’s Island and then visited the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site because we’re working on getting stamps in our passports to the National Park Service. The Pinckney Historic Site is a lovely farmhouse near Mount Pleasant, so all in all, we ended up traveling all around the Charleston area in a 36-hour span. Pretty great.

Snee Farm at the Pinckney National Historic Site

Snee Farm at the Pinckney National Historic Site

So there it is–an item off The List (plus other historic adventures!). Now, to figure out what item to do next!

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