Numbers 6: 24-26

The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sea Turtles and Squirrels

We spent some time at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. It is located in the Historical District along with the shops and houses to tour. The Center tells of the travels of the sea turtle and notes how Jekyll is still a prime nesting area for turtles.

There are 'turtle patrols' this time of year. We saw them go by on the beach a few times. They go out in their dune buggys and look for the turtle tracks to see if the turtle mommas have come in to lay eggs. There was only one nest they were aware of while we were there. During the peak season, the turtle patrol is active 24/7 to watch for moms and subsequently the babies running for the water. It would be an awesome site to see some day.

Okay, so I digress...There is a building behind the information center that houses different types of rescue turtles. And a Guide that gives a talk about the housed turtles 2 to 3 times a day.

The effort is made to rehab them and release back into the ocean and if that can't happen to find a zoo home for them. The ones they have now will all be released soon except for 2 that lost back flippers to boat motors or are paralyzed. Those 2 will go to a zoo.

So on that afternoon's bike ride we saw a raccoon digging in the grass and...wait for it...

a turtle! Ha!

Wow, here's an unusual critter! We saw him (her?) on our longest ride around the island...along with several friends. They have perfected the art of begging! Who can resist those eyes? Bob poured out the crumbs from his granola bar onto the table and this one wasted no time in consuming them. :) He wasn't interested in sharing either.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A little more history and bike paths...

"The Jekyll Island Club Hotel is one of history and hospitality. Founded in 1886, the Club was once the private winter retreat of America's wealthiest families with such members as Morgan, Rockefeller, Pulitzer and Vanderbilt.The Victorian clubhouse with its famed turret, along with a collection of adjacent structures, have been splendidly restored and are the centerpiece of Jekyll Island's renowned National Historic Landmark District." Taken from a Jekyll Island brochure.

Now that is out of the way, here is the reason for it. Bob and I brought our bikes with us on this trip.

We are familiar enough with Jekyll to know the lay of the land is mostly one level and that there are bike trails around the entire island.

The first bike ride we rode about 5 miles.

The second ride the next day we rode 10 miles.

The third ride (after skipping a day to rest our sitters) was just short of 18 miles.

We made it around the whole island. The trails are fabulous, well kept, innovative, fun, and very easy compared to anything with hills.

If we lived here I believe I would actually buy a real, decent bike with a cushy seat and do this almost daily when weather permitted.

We didn't take pictures of the path along the beach for some reason. It was very hot and all I could think of was 'get back to the trees, get back to the trees!'

There were several boardwalks to take us across swamps, sand, and all the wet areas.

About 1/3 of the ride is across or near houses or through the famed Historical District. It's all so pretty, one really doesn't care!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Jekyll Elite Cottages

Jekyll Island Hotel

 In the early 1900's Jekyll was in its 'hey day' period. The Goodyear family, Rockefeller, oil tycoons, railroad execs, etc. came in to spend their winters in style and seclusion. Some brought families and others came just to 'get away.'

duBignon Cottage

Through the years several of the beautiful mansions they built have been passed on to other generations and eventually back to the state. The Jekyll Island Authority is the controller now of these "cottages" and some still have tours through them and some are used for commercial purposes such as an art gallery.

Goodyear Cottage

Still others are simply closed. We never got the story on the closed ones...are they being renovated or just to expensive to keep open for now.

Indian Mound Cottage

They are all located in the immediate area by the Jekyll Island Hotel, creating what is called the Historical District.

Mistletoe Cottage

This mansion was unusual in the fact that it was covered top to bottom with cedar shake shingles. The maintenance must still be prohibitive even today!

 Moss Cottage

Oslo Villa
I've never heard of most of the families that originally built them so giving the history here is a moot point! The most interesting idea of the entire group is that these were called Cottages and considered the "3 months out of the year winter homes." I could be jealous...or appreciate the fact that I don't have to be worried about the upkeep and details associated with such wealth. Yes, I choose the later!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fun Things You Can See On The Beach

1. A Wedding! When we were riding out of the park to take our first ride we saw a bride in a white, full length dress and veil and groom in his tux at a large RV. We thought they were just getting in for their honeymoon but NO! Later as we walked and rode along the beach, there, among the driftwood and rip rap was the bride and groom with a minister (or some official) and two people taking pictures of them.

2. A guy flying what he called a drone with a Go-Pro camera attached. He was waiting for guests of the wedding party to arrive and was going to take pictures of the wedding from above. It was very cool!

That little speck in the sky is the drone. Below it is the wedding party.

3. Beach campers. Who knew? People secure their hammocks in the tree and were talking and laughing up there like no one else was around. I stepped up to them, said smile, and snapped this picture :) There were 2 guys and 2 gals. They were young and much more adventuresome then we would be!

4. Wonderful critters...I came across a few sand dollars that were still alive so I threw them back in the water. We saw 2 small fish that were on the sand but when they saw us they crawled to the water and swam under a log. Really? Bob swears they weren't tadpoles so we're not sure what they were. It was fun to see. They were far too fast to get pictures of though.

5. A gazillion crabs of all sizes; and

6. This sea anemone (I think that's what it was) with barnacles and sea shells to the side. Pretty cool group of beach goers, from the larger variety to the tiny!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Jekyll Island Georgia

45 years ago on May 24 (1969) Bob and I were married. We spent our honeymoon on Jekyll Island and this area has always held a special place in our hearts. We decided to spend this trip in Jekyll but at the campground, somewhere we have never been!

Our campsite is one of many but nice. It is a corner site and if it were full, we would have close neighbors behind us and on one side, but it's not full so we don't! We really wanted to spend our anniversary here, but, alas, it falls over Memorial Day weekend and they were packed out. Actually, this week turned out to be not crowded and very quiet and pleasant.

Our camper is called a truck slide in camper. The side of our camper has what is called a 'slide' and it is in when traveling or stored but out to camp. It allows for double the space in the kitchen area which is vital for such a small space! And yes, this unit fits on the back of our truck.

First day we arrived and unloaded the camper and went for a bike ride. If anyone had seen us unloading they would think we were a clown circus act. I had 2 sets of golf clubs in our tiny bathroom, a blown up pool float on the bed and 2 bikes along the walkway with the 'slide-in' jammed up keeping them in place while driving.

With the set up complete we decided to take a nice bike ride out to the beach. This ride wound up to be about 6 miles long (yes we took one really long wrong turn) but was still fun and we saw a part of the island we haven't seen before. This beach is called driftwood beach. The ocean is encroaching on the beach area and has killed several huge trees along this stretch. They are all quite beautiful and photogenic.

This pier and several beach shots were taken with the sun setting slowly in the background. We actually rode down the bike path along the road from the camp ground and road back all the way up the beach to the end.

We got back to the camp site and I fixed tacos for dinner while Bob started a fire in the fire pit.

Roasting marshmallows rounded out the evening and in order to discourage the mosquitoes that braved our smokey fire, we retreated inside to relax and go to bed.

Friday, May 16, 2014


I'm not typing that out again. Look at Day 1- Continued...

Knowing that we had no desire to walk in the woods again, at least not in those woods, we decided to jump in the truck and explore Lake City, Ocean Pond RV Park and Olustee State Park. I won't bore you with pictures of Lake City, it is like any smaller city one would drive through. It does have a Publix and a mall so it ranks up there in brownie points.

On the 15 minute trip to and from Lake City there were some awesome wild flower displays. This area almost pales in comparison to others we passed but it gives you an idea of how prolific the flowers were due to all the rain.

Ocean Pond RV Park was another we would probably like to visit in the future. The lake is huge, thus the name I guess, and it was clean and well kept. These little skinks, male and female, have obviously staked a claim to the laundry area. She was very pregnant so I expect we'll see many more of these critters next time we pass by.

"Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park commemorates the site of Florida's largest Civil War battle, which took place February 20, 1864. More than 10,000 cavalry, infantry and artillery troops fought a five-hour battle in a pine forest near Olustee. The battle ended with 2,807 casualties and the retreat of Union troops to Jacksonville until the war's end just 14 months later. Olustee Battlefield has a visitor center with historical information and artifacts. A reenactment is held every February and a Civil War Expo takes place in late summer. Scenes for Civil War movies, including the 1989 movie Glory, have been filmed during the reenactments." (Taken from the Olustee website). Why rewrite what they state so well!

It provided a pleasant walk as there is a figure 8 walking trail without tree coverage (no ticks or mosquitos) and it even has a number of historical fact markers to read along the walk. The visitor center is small but contains a continuous movie full of facts and pictures of the battle. And we found if we kept walking in circles, the one mile walk turned into three. Ha!

On the way back to the campground we concurred that our time would be better served if we left when we got back rather than spending another night at SFFCCSP :) Soo, we packed up the camper and drove home. Next trip will be posted in about a week!

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day 1 Continued In SFFCCS Park

The above is Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. Seriously, could the state have chosen a longer name??

We fully intended to hike this day, so we packed up our packs with food and water and headed out to find the Canoe Ramp and Suwanne River trail. What we found was water way over the banks of the river, the launch ramp barricaded off and no place to walk.

So after taking a few pictures, we walked back, yes disappointed, to the museum and checked it out. If you look closely here, to my left (your right) is the rinse off shower for when you get out of the river. Also, showing is the top portion only of a bench to sit on and watch the river go by. Hmm, not today. The trails go off side to side away from me and were completely under water. Let's see, alligators and snakes and mosquitoes, oh my!!

The park really is worth visiting but we were disappointed, the weather has been so wet and has caused all the flooding. Ah well, looks like we'll return to visit in a drier time :)

Isn't this little guy cute? This is a pine lizard. They grow them big in 'the swamp!'

The museum is a pretty building filled with dioramas of more of Stephen Foster's songs. It also contains musical instruments, mostly pianos that he used. For a man to never have stepped foot in Florida or really anywhere south, he has quite a reputation and following!

Here is the front of the museum.

Here are the 2 main end rooms. The pictures in the center of each room also depict an imagined scene from a Stephen Foster song.

Here is another diorama for "Way Down Upon de Swanee Ribber." I promise, that is how it is spelled.


Here is the rear of the building. Since the park goes out around the back, the four sides of the building are cemetrical and well kept.

 After finishing the museum and having explored everything we could find to do, even nabbing a geocache, we  headed back to the camper. Ahh, but not straight back. That is sooo boring! So I meandered in the woods behind the rv area knowing that the path would lead, eventually, back to our very own campsite. We walked through mosquito infested swamp areas (with a deet spray on it wasn't that bad) and did find a path we could use to duck out onto the pavement after about 15 minutes. We arrived at our back door a few minutes later and realized we had picked up about 20 baby ticks on this little detour.

Wow, another reason not to come back in the spring/summer! We found all but one apparently and made our way inside. After a few minutes, Bob felt one more crawling up his neck. I never thought about ticks being fast critters, but they are miniature speed demons. That one was tossed out the back door to join its cousins and we both grabbed our shower gear and fresh clothes and went to get cleaned up for dinner. We did sleep good that night, and I remembered to post a note to myself...Remember the hair dryer for the next trip!