Friday, April 11, 2014

Geocaching on Jekyll

What a glorious day for a bike ride but we decided to make it more interesting and do some geocaching along the way.  We have a new Garmin GPS specifically for this purpose.  This one can be used in forests or cloud cover and doesn't lose satellites.  Before heading out you download the coordinates from the Geocaching website on your computer onto the GPS.  This makes it so much easier since clues and all the needed information are right on your device.  John has a mount for it on his bike so you are hands free and can watch your progress while cycling.  

 We were not entirely successful at first.  We headed out on Driftwood beach and soon realized the cache we were looking for had to be more inland.  But the ride was amazing since the tide was low.  We saw lots of jelly fish.  

 We turned back onto the marsh trail after Driftwood beach.  With the help of the clue "hanging skeleton" provided  for this cache...look what we found!  We did not climb the tree to get this one down.  We were just happy to have found it. 

 We continued south on the east side of the Island and soon had to turn into the centre since the GPS was indicating a cache in this direction.  We narrowed it down to a spot near this interior fresh water pond.  We have not been to this pond before, at least not from this angle.  How beautiful!  We tramped around in the bushes being careful of snakes, bugs, alligators etc. but did not find the cache.  No worries, we found the pond and that's good enough.  

Now onward to the Historic District where several caches were beckoning.  After  a couple of misses, a tour through Goodyear House Art Gallery and the shops, we ended up here at "the hydrant eating tree." I have been to this tree many times but had never noticed the hydrant.  Look up about 8 ft. and you will see the tiny cache or at least what's left of it in a wee hole.  It needs to be repaired but at least we found it!  Some cache masters have become diabolical.  We had a couple of clues that were very complex requiring mathematical calculations to take you to another coordinate.  We did not have a calculator or patience for those today.  Also, some were so deep in the woods or marsh that we were afraid to go after them!  

 As we headed toward home, now on the west side of the Island we were diverted by the possibility of another cache down another road we had never taken.  We came across this gateway to the Amphitheatre, something we didn't know even existed and we have been coming here for years.  Once again we didn't find the cache but finding this Amphitheatre in the woods was treasure enough.  Azaleas bloomed in the forest.  Apparently this was used for theatrical productions in the 90's but fell out of use and into disrepair.  I have to do more research to find out when it was built,   but it was definitely post Club Era.  I now know there is a movement to revitalize the Amphitheatre but other projects are taking priority on Jekyll at the moment.  

We continued along the bike path toward the campground stopping along the way to look for a couple more caches.  No luck with one but then we did find the canister in a palm tree making us feel competent once again.

We thought we would head home to watch the Masters but got side tracked by the possibility of another cache!  This is addicting.  We headed toward the centre of the Island once again on a path we have never travelled and look what we came across.  A silo made out of tabby, and the cache nearby.  I have since looked up the history of this silo and it was part of the "Club Era" farm.  From the late 1800's until the 1940's Jekyll was a hunt and recreation club for powerful millionaires who came here in the winter months with their families.  This silo was attached to a dairy barn at one time.  The silo is amazingly intact.  During the Club Era all their food was grown or raised on the Island. 

We figured we would be out for a couple of hours but we were over 4 hours having got wrapped up in finding  caches and other treasures we have never seen on Jekyll.  What a great way to explore and take the path less travelled!  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Jekyll Images













LIVE OAKS AT THE CAMPGROUND:  they are a beautiful part of this Island but they produce pollen, constantly falling leaves and other by products that cover everything!  

Friday, April 4, 2014

South Carolina

(March 23 - 30)
South Carolina has taken us in reverse in terms of spring.  No worries, it is spring here but it’s not as advanced as it was in Florida or Georgia for that matter.  So a little taste of cooler weather is going to get us ready for going home??  The azaleas are just coming out, the trees are budding, the red bud is out, and even flowers are springing.  But it has been cool since Monday.  Tomorrow it should heat up again.


Camp Lake Jasper is at Hardeeville SC and is central for touring Hilton Head, Beaufort, Savannah and of course Callawassie Island which is where good friends are currently renting a house for a month. This campground is less than a year old so the office, washrooms, laundry facility etc. all are housed in new and quaint looking buildings.  There is a pool too and a lovely lake that provides a great view from our back window.  The roads are paved but the sites are not and the grounds could use more grass but I would hope that is in the plan for the future.  There are some lovely little landscaped gardens around the buildings.  It is a comfortable park where we feel safe and the people working here are helpful and friendly.  So when we left the RV to go and visit G and G for a few days we felt quite comfortable about it.  It’s not the kind of park where we would stay long term; too cold to winter in SC for one thing but it is a great jumping off point for touring this area short term.  


Callawassie is a beautiful little Island that gives you a peaceful easy feeling as soon as you get past the guard gate.  We couldn’t have gotten on the Island without an invite by a resident or a  renter.  G and G are renting from people who own a “cottage” in Callawassie but live in Rhode Island.  There’s a variety of beautiful  homes ranging in size from large to huge. It’s lovely to bike or walk around on the paved roads but I think I saw lots of trails too.  Docks going out in the marsh are accessible for anyone in some areas.  The golf course has 3 nines and is private but you can get on as a guest.   I couldn’t believe how many gators we saw!  Felt like we were back in Florida.  Live oaks, magnolias and palmettos abound.  The marshes that we have come to love on this coast are all around of course.  When we left the Island to do some touring we had to drive over many bridges and causeways making it difficult to know exactly where you are.  You would have to spend some time here to get acquainted with the terrain.  We visited Beaufort, an historical town with gorgeous mansions.  Lunch in Port Royal at Fat Patties was excellent. 


Spring Island is accessible from Callawassie and a drive around there gave us a sense of how another world lives.  Talk about large lots!  These homes are so far apart and hidden in the forest you could hardly see them.  We found a monument of Francis of Assisi in an amazing setting.  Follow the live oak Avenue with huge old trees and arrive at the ruins of a tabby mansion  overlooking the marsh.  This Island has some history but is untouched by thoughtless development.  Any building we saw blended perfectly with the natural surroundings.  There’s a beautiful golf course which is out of our league.  There was fire near the road as we drove by.  This was a "controlled burn" to clear the undergrowth but it was scary nonetheless. 

When leaving Spring Island I felt like I was coming out of another world and entering the normal.  Even Callawassie with all it’s beauty and beautiful homes seemed ordinary.  It’s all relative.


We’ve been to Savannah several times but couldn’t resist another visit although a quick one.  We were going to Camping World to pick up some RV supplies anyway so continued a couple more miles to Savannah.  Lunch at Ellis Square at an outdoor patio in the sun was enjoyable, not only the food but people watching.  Then we went to the River Front for a walk.  What a vibrant and fun town.  I never get tired of it.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Crooked River State Park - Now we’re camping!

Yeah!  We are being pestered relentlessly by “no see ‘em’s” and everything is coated in pollen.  You can’t open your windows because it all comes in.  The truck is now a lovely shade of lime green and we busted out the “swamp buddy” which is famous for keeping the gnats off.

Crooked River State Park at St. Mary’s/Kingsland Georgia is full of oaks, huge pines and palmettos.  There are about 60 sites, most big rig friendly, a tenting area which I think is closed right now and cabins.  You can’t hear any traffic at night.  No sewer but you get water, electric and cable.  Of course the park is looking over the Crooked River and the Marsh but we took a sheltered sight in the trees to stay away from the gnats which are worse by the river and marsh as we know from previous experience.  But the pollen is horrendous here in the trees making Florida pollen seem wimpy.  So just put on your old clothes and get down and dirty! 

The park filled up today (Thursday) and will be full for the weekend.  People come here to kayak, fish, hike, bike, bird and commune with nature or go to Cumberland.  St. Mary’s is a very small town which would likely get no traffic at all if it weren’t for the Cumberland Island National Park ferry and marina.  It is one of only 2 ways to get to Cumberland and the most likely route.  There are a couple of neat restaurants in St. Mary’s, a lovely town park, a couple of off the beaten track boutique stores and the Blue Goose Cafe which let’s you use their wi-fi while drinking gourmet coffee or boutique wines.   Looks like a good place to eat too.  There is a sea shore museum and several strange antique and book shops in town.  The cemetery is amazing for Civil War history.  There is wi-fi available at the camp office here at Crooked River thank goodness so we can make or change plans with the internet there.  Kingsland is home of one the biggest naval bases on this coast.  

Tonight we will have a much looked forward to campfire with wood that looks punky.  The smoke should help with the gnats.  But at least it won’t go in the RV since we won’t be opening any windows! The park is out of fire wood for heaven’s sake despite knowing they were full.  We bought some at a rather run down looking campground across the road but once we got past the main office it actually looks better.  Maybe another time.  

Laurel Links Golf course is nearby and of course that is a big attraction for us to come here.  It is beautiful!  We went to the range today and marveled at the budding azaleas and other flowering trees and gorgeous landscaping.  We will play it tomorrow.  

We are leaving a day early to arrive at Hardeeville South Carolina Saturday instead of Sunday.  Grant and Gisele are renting a house at nearby Calawassie Island and the weather is coming in cold on Monday so we want to golf with them Sunday.  We may need a break from nature by then.  Not!  It is wonderful to be “really” camping. 

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