Beaufort-bound Augustans might see stars this summer

  • Follow Rob Pavey

It’s been said that Beaufort and Fripp Island sometimes have as many Augustans as Augusta – so if you’re headed that way this summer, you might spot some famous faces.

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Dream Coast Films announced Friday the popular fishing and vacation venue will also be ground zero for a new movie, Route 65 Nashville, with stars including Eric Roberts, Naomi Judd, Johnny Messner, Rachel Hunter, Daryl Hannah, Janine Turner and plenty of others.

Most of the action for the country music-themed flick will take place in and around Beaufort during August and September, with a second movie, My Brother, Your Outlaw: the Waylon Jennings Story, being filmed beginning next January.

If you don’t see any movie stars, remember you can always catch a few redfish and flounder instead.

BIG DAM PARTY: I’ve been to all kinds of receptions, ceremonies, parties and picnics at the lake over many years, but I can’t recall anything close to the crowd that gathered Thursday to watch the opening of Thurmond Dam’s spillway gates.

Despite being a weekday afternoon, with scattered showers and downpours, at least 1,000 people jammed U.S. 221, clogging traffic on both sides of the dam and especially near the access road to the Below Dam, S.C., recreation area.

By the time I got there, road shoulders were filled with parked cars, so my colleague Mark Albertin and I parked near the Visitors Center and walked the winding road down to the observation area below.

Seeing the floodgates open with water cascading hundreds of feet from 22 steel openings at the top of the dam was well worth the walk. It showed the devices are in working condition, should the Corps of Engineers need to evacuate huge volumes of water from the 70,000-acre lake.

It was also interesting to me that the gates were opened just one to two feet, releasing millions of gallons instantly.

Their design capacity, however, allows those gates to open as much as 22 feet – so the water everyone got to see and enjoy was just a tenth to one-twentieth of the amount that could be released, if necessary.

Of course we hope that would never be necessary.

AMATEURS OUTDOORS: Planning a hike at a National Park sometime soon? Better get in shape.

That’s what the National Park Service says in its 2012 National Search and Rescue Report report that breaks down the array of search and rescue efforts last year that cost almost $5.2 million.

In all, there were 2,876 rescues performed last year, with a third of them occurring on weekends.

Poor physical condition and fatigue were cited in 892 incidents, with errors in judgment or inadequate information involved in 735 rescues. Coming in third, with 524 incidents, was lack of proper clothing, equipment or experience.

The annual report, detailed in “National Park Traveler,” also said that men were far more likely to get themselves in trouble than women; and that day hiking accounted for the most incidents – 43 percent of the total.


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