Saturday, June 3, 2017

Along the coast to Savannah

May 8. We said goodbye to the Fowlers and mounted up for the drive north. My plan was to work our way up the East coast and put a few more states on our map on the way back to Ohio. The first overnight stop would be Savannah, Georgia. Before we got there, we detoured to Cumberland Island National Seashore just over the border from Florida.
The Visitors Center for the Seashore, located in the town of St. Marys, is fairly small and gives a history of the island. The true beauty is only revealed by taking the ferry to Cumberland Island and exploring it by foot or bicycle. The ferry wasn't running the day we stopped so we settled for a stamp in our book and lunch across the street from the VC. I wanted to visit the submarine museum but it is closed on Mondays. We had to pass the gates to the Kingston Submarine base going to and from St. Marys. I learned we missed a photo opportunity with a half buried submarine by the gate. Alas, we will have to go back.

The rig!
 We ate in the restaurant, the building to the left, and tried to go to the sub museum, on the right. 
 A few shots of the St. Mary's riverside park.

I'll add a few pictures of Cumberland Island and a brief history. The original island was inhabited by Native Americans and after the Revolutionary War, hero Nathanael Greene was granted land on the island where they cut down many of the live oaks to build ships for the Continental Navy. He and his wife built a mansion named Dungeness. Greene died and his wife Catherine ran a successful plantation operation.
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Later, Thomas Carnegie, brother to steel magnet Andrew Carnegie, and a steel titan in his own right, purchased land on the island and built on the site of the former mansion, Dungeness. The remains you see in the above photo after it burnt in 1959.
The Carnegies and their children eventually owned most of Cumberland Island and built other houses including this one: Plum Orchard.
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 In 1971, the Carnegies donated the island to the National Park Foundation and in 1972 Congress created the Cumberland Island National Seashore.
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We left St. Marys, drove north to Savannah and set up camp at Skidway Island State Park. The sites are packed sand over gravel and were easy to negotiate. They had special areas for tents at each site. While the campground was beautiful, the showers were cold and their version of a handicap shower had a bench seat in a roll in shower but in loo of a hand shower used two shower heads, one high and the other low. Neither one hit anywhere near where I needed them. It sucked.

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