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We wanted to avoid the heat of a late summer day and find something interesting to do in an indoor, air-conditioned place that was not a shopping mall. The Charleston Museum seemed to fill the bill. We could have walked, but with high humidity and the temperature hovering around 90 (F.) we decided to save our energy for visiting the museum, and took The Dash, Charleston’s free bus. There are three overlapping routes around the downtown area, and in September it still runs four times each hour from early morning until about 8 pm.

The Charleston Museum has a little of everything. Fossils, animals, history and culture. I saw some of my favorite extinct birds, carefully mounted and displayed together.

There were artifacts from everyday life long ago recovered during local excavations. Every time construction begins in Charleston, material used to fill in the coast or level building lots reveals what people threw away, lost, or that blew away in past hurricanes.

In front of the museum is a full size replica of the H. L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine used in the Civil War. The sub disappeared after it sank one of the Union ships blockading Charleston Harbor in 1864. A search for the Hunley was spearheaded by author Clive Cussler, who used the sub in one of his novels. His group was successful in finding the Hunley in 1995, over 100 years after it disappeared.

The museum collection of this and that made an interesting visit on a day that was too hot outdoors for most humans.