Visiting Angel Oak in South Carolina

One of the perks of getting to travel around the United States to compete in bass tournaments is that we get to visit many different parts of the country. All of the travel and time away from home is not glamorous at times, but we always try to enjoy ourselves and take in as much as we can wherever we are.

We are in the midst of a three tournament swing over four weeks, with two events having already taken place in South Carolina. We had this past week off before another event in Alabama this coming week, so my wife Shelby and I spent some time in Charleston, South Carolina, not far from where we fished last week.
We spent a few days in Charleston last year and loved it so we decided since we were close by, that we would go back and enjoy the downtime. It’s a unique city with a lot of history and some of the best restaurants we’ve experienced. There is a lot to do, especially outdoors, with numerous parks and beaches to walk. We also spent a couple of days walking around downtown, visiting some cool shops and seeing some of the old homes and buildings.

One of the tourist stops that several people told us to check out was the Angel Oak tree, located just on the outskirts of the city. It is one of the oldest living trees east of the Mississippi River, estimated to be around 500 years old. It’s a massive tree that has been maintained and protected in recent years. Many people visit the site every day to see the beautiful tree. It has survived numerous hurricanes, floods and earthquakes. It was well worth the stop.

After seeing the Angel Oak, we learned a lot more about these live oak trees that are common along the South Carolina coast. They don’t grow tall as much as they grow in width, creating a canopy and plenty of shade. It gets hot down here in the summer so they are a great tree for blocking out the sunlight. These trees are quite common and most have Spanish moss hanging from them, a grey plant that grows on the higher branches of these oaks and other larger trees. It doesn’t harm the trees and the moss provides habitat for a number of birds and animals. It also adds to the beauty of the trees.

We probably don’t notice the beauty of the different trees and vegetation as much as we should when we travel. Where we’re at this week in Alabama, most of the trees are different than what we have at home, but everything is very green and lush. When you go for a walk, there’s a great aroma from all of the flowers.

Travelling also gives me more appreciation for the great trees we have in northwestern Ontario, especially the big red and white pines that are common around many of our lakes. Our oak trees are unique as well in that many of them are hundreds of years old and grow on many of the beautiful points on our lakes, where Indigenous people likely camped. They are some of my favourite trees.

If you ever visit Charleston, the Angel Oak is worth checking out. When you go on your next trip, take some time to admire the different trees wherever you are.