27 Mar, Sun: King George RV Resort, Woodbine, GA
There's a sign-up sheet in the office for those wanting to have Easter dinner at Aunt B's Buffet in Kingsland, and we're on the list. We're to meet in front of the office at 1 p.m., but dark clouds indicated the forecasted rain was imminent so we made a hasty entrance to our Honda and were at the ready! Good thing as seconds later the skies opened up and torrential rain was upon us. Our little procession drove slowly as visibility was diminished by the frog strangler. By the time we were ready to disembark at Aunt B's, the rain had stopped completely. 'Aunt B' had a couple of tables for our party of 13; all items on the bounteous buffet were truly delicious, and our Easter dinner and fellowship were enjoyed by all.
28 Mar, Mon, to 5 Apr, Tue: Fort Clinch State Park Campground, Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, FL
Our two weeks at King George RVR are up and we must say we're ready to move on. Slogging in the mud and water needs to be replaced with another setting - how about a beach?
What a gorgeous spot we have here in the Fort Clinch Campground. There are 21 sites and we were very lucky that Site #8 opened up and was available just when we were ready for a perfect spot. The sun is shining brightly and we're sure the ferocious wind will die down eventually. We can see the ocean over the sand dunes-that's all there is between us and the Atlantic.
Our space is beside the boardwalk which leads to the beach and then we're between two jetties. We've walked many a happy mile this week. When turning south, we pass under the 4,000-foot fishing pier which parallels a jetty twice the pier's length. The northerly trek on the beach takes us close to a marked channel and ultimately to St. Mary's River entrance. We walked almost to Fort Clinch where we visited a week ago.
We've been surprised by the amount of boat traffic: fishing boats of all sizes, sailing vessels, including a two-masted ship similar to a windjammer, a container ship, tugs and barges. Sunday we had a good opportunity to photograph a submarine underway to the Naval Station up the coast.
On Tuesday, the 5th, we drove back up to St. Mary's in Georgia to meet Pete and Ellie and introduce them to Aunt B's Buffet where we enjoyed Easter dinner; they'll be off to Alaska this summer. When we returned to Amelia Island, we turned south so we could see more of this beautiful Island. Many of the 17 miles are lined with homes; but five beaches are available to the public for swimming, and fishing from all beaches is very popular. It may be a small island, but every conceivable commercial enterprise is available here.
Fort Clinch State Park has been placed on our list of "Top Ten Campgrounds", and we declare it has the best beach we've seen yet. It's not easy to leave, but move on we must.
6 Apr, Wed., to 9 Apr, Saturday: Golden Isles RV Park, Brunswick, GA
This park is nothing special, but it's on the Passport America list so at half price is acceptable; and its redeeming feature is the excellent restaurant on the premises. We've enjoyed breakfast, a couple of lunch buffets, and a Friday night seafood buffet, all of which has been a treat for the cook.
The "Golden Isles" include four barrier islands: St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons, Sea Island and Jekyll Island. We visited Jekyll four years ago so decided to skip it this time but have enjoyed two days on St. Simons. The F J Torras Causeway makes for a picturesque and enjoyable ride over the expansive marshes to St. Simons Island. We were immediately struck by the grand homes with beautiful gardens. We browsed in some interesting shops in the village (Cal found a hardware store), walked to the pier and around the lighthouse/museum area.
This first trip was just to get the lay of the land, and a heavy storm is forecasted for the afternoon. Sure enough, while returning over the Causeway, the rain began and soon was torrential and continued with some lightning and thunder added, but no tornadoes. We were very content to spend the afternoon listening to the rain in our cozy coach.
Tuesday we returned to St. Simons with the idea of taking the Trolley Tour around the Island; that wasn't to be; however, as the trolley filled up quickly. Not a problem, we conducted our own tour. We checked out the beach, admired the residential areas, and then visited Fort Frederica on the northern end of the Island.
"Lost to time and a wandering river, Frederica today barely resembles the extensive military town that once flourished here. Between 1736 and 1749 the fort and its regimental garrison were the hub of British military operations along the Georgia frontier."
This now is a National Monument and considerable excavations have been conducted which reveal the foundations of the thoroughly English town. The town was fortified with an earthern rampart, a moat six to eight feet deep, and a cedar palisade ten feet high. A tabby fort guarded the twisting water approach. Tabby is a concrete looking mix made with equal parts of sand, lime, sea shells and water. Sections of the fort are still intact.
No shots were fired here, but forces from the Fort defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Bloody Marsh a few miles south on St. Simons Island.
10-13 Apr, Sun - Wed: Riverside RVP, Riceboro, GA
After 39 miles on the road today, we're settled into this beautiful park with a river view and think we'd better stay a couple of days to get rested!
Sunday afternoon we drove to the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, a nice driving tour through the woods; a few ponds were loaded with water birds. We realized that under the single-lane, reasonably-new, paved road there lay, hidden by weeds and bushes, evidence of wide, straight sections of pavement! This looks like an abandoned airport! Later, over on the eastside, we found remnants of building foundations, and then when we ventured out the exit, there was the foundation of a guard shack foundation.
This had to be a WWII training base or part of the coastal defense system. Interesting. It probably costs more tax dollars to maintain this place in its present state than it did to run the whole base in the 1940's.
Cal relayed that description to his friend Stan who answered with this information:
"Good sleuthing. Right you are about the airfield. Uncle internet says:
'... the advent of World War II, when the U.S. Government condemned the property for use as an air base. Twelve hundred acres were converted into a triangular landing strip for use as a training facility by the War Department.
After World War II, the property was given to McIntosh County for guardianship and use as a municipal airport. Clearly this project never got off the ground and it's now a National Wildlife Refuge.'"
Monday: Pete and Ellie stopped in here at Riverview for an overnight, and with suggestions from some neighbors at the park, we found a decent family restaurant down the road.
On the way back from lunch we checked out the smallest church in the US. It's on route 17 just across the river from the park. It seats 12. There was a sermon dated for today and open on the pulpit so Pete became the acting preacher while the rest of us listened intently.
Originally the plan was to stop here for two nights but questionable weather was showing on the radar so we decided to stay two more days and let it pass. Tuesday we seized the opportunity to go stock up on groceries.
So, you see, our homeward journey continues to be very leisurely. We'll be there by the first of May.
Cal and Connie