Saturday, April 30, 2016

St. Simons Island

We had a beautiful camping site at Crooked Island State Park, so we were reluctant to move on down the road to a private park further north on the Georgia Coast. But we had more islands to explore, and a move to the Golden Isles RV park was a great stepping off point to do that. Another Passport America park, we could get half-price camping for up to three nights. We were gone all day to explore this area, so we didn't even notice that we were parked side-to-side in an open campground.

One of the places we explored was only 3 miles down the road at Bryce Island County Park. Here we found another great bicycle trail, winding through the palmettos and live oaks.

Around seven miles through the thick forest, it was a great bike ride. We have really put our bikes to hard use lately, enjoying the flat and shaded trails of the coastal region.

Another interesting fact about this new (to us) area of the Georgia coast line is that the port at Brunswick is famous for its role in shipping new vehicles across the world. When we crossed the bridge closest to the port, we could see brand new cars parked as far as the eye could see. They were waiting their turn for the next leg of their journey to future owners.

But the real reason to be camped near Brunswick, is the group of islands off the southern Georgia coast known as the Golden Isles. The Golden Isles are made up of four barrier islands, and we were planning to visit two in the two days we were staying in this area. Our first day we drove the 15 miles to St. Simons Island. Because of Denisa's weakness for lighthouses, that was our first stop of the morning.

The weather forecast showed an 80% chance of rain today, but we wouldn't suspect that from the blue skies of the morning.

We walked on the pier as the morning fishermen were trying their luck. We talked to the couple fishing for blue crab using a metal basket with chicken pieces tied into the trap. When the crab grabs onto the easy chicken meal, they are caught.

So far they had trapped three crabs that morning.

Another woman was using a net to fish from the pier. It spread into a big circle as she threw it into the Atlantic.

We also saw another accomplished fish-catcher on the pier. We love to watch pelicans soar through the air and then plunge head-first into the water for fish.

But this lazy pelican was actually flying to the pier to stake out his spot next to the fish cleaning station. He was hoping for fish scraps this morning,

and didn't mind posing for our camera.

St. Simons is another island covered with live oak trees with branches that bend down to the ground. A tree shaped like that is too much for a tree climber to pass up.

We also drove to the "Avenue of Oaks" that were planted in 1826 as an entry lane for carriages going to a prosperous cotton plantation of the time. The trees made a perfect canopy, and we could just see the pinpoint of light at the end of the tunnel.

Our next stop on St. Simons Island was Fort Frederica. Built in 1736 by General Oglethorpe (who we keep hearing about in southern Georgia history), this is the remains of the the fort overlooking the river.

Now a national monument, we watched the background film at the park office. Then we meandered the grounds listening as the audio headsets described what we were seeing. This was once the thriving town of Frederica and we learned about its role in the wars in coastal Georgia.

As we travel further east, the history we find is older and older. We are finding more things that were built in the 1700's and 1800's. Built in 1884, Christ Church is largely unchanged since that time both on its outside . . .

and inside.

With all the low-hanging limbs and vines, we are glad to be driving the car instead of the motor home on this island field trip. We don't remember seeing height signs attached to trees before. We saw one as low as 10'9" that would have peeled the top two feet right off of our motor home.

We didn't spend as much time on the beach today. Our first stop at Massengale Park Beach was at high tide, and there was almost no sand to walk on.

A few blocks north at Coastguard beach gave us plenty of sand for a stroll on the beach. Is it crazy that a couple of travelers from Oklahoma have been to so many beaches lately that we didn't take any pictures? A predicted late afternoon thunderstorm sent us home from St. Simons Island earlier than usual. We are also learning that these Atlantic islands have their own weather patterns that don't always follow the forecast on the mainland. But we needed to get home to get rested for another big day tomorrow with more adventures.

No comments:

Post a Comment