Early the first morning on St. Simons Island, we headed for the dock in St. Mary where we would board a ferry (not the kind with cars, but just lots of people) to visit Cumberland Island. Unbelievably, we met a couple from our neck of the woods - they live just a few miles north of us. We had a great visit with them and their friends from Florida. We even ran into them on St. Simons the next day (we had told them how beautiful the island was and they modified their plans to come and visit). It truly is a small world!
I love this picture, which I shot as we waited for our departure time.
Cumberland Island has been designated as a national park, so there is no commercialization or residency there. The first stop was supposed to be the museum, but unfortunately, there were at least 1/2 million junior high kids and 50,000 folks on a field trip from an Elderhostel for us to want to get into that line. So we headed straight out for the self-guided tour. The island was occupied after the Civil War by wealthy northerners who came down to live. At this time, 250 wild horses live there - we were advised to give them right-of-way if we came across them on the path! Fortunately, they were too busy grazing for their meal to pay any attention to us:
The ruins of a gigantic mansion are still there - it belonged to the Carnegie family (younger brother of financier Andrew Carnegie). You can tell by the other buildings around the ruins that they led quite the high rolling lifestyle in the 1800s after the war.
We soon reached the sand dunes made up of the most beautiful, soft white sand I have ever seen. It was hard walking, but just gorgeous. It was quite a hike down to the sea, but worth every hot moment.
The beach walk was about 2 miles long and delightful. I have never seen so many shells on shore as I found there. I had fun picking them up for the kiddoes.
The trip back up to the ferry was lovely as well. This path covered by live oaks meeting in the middle was so beautiful.
Can you spot the armadillo?
We had an amusing experience on the way home that evening as we stopped for a shrimip and steak special at a local, seemingly popular, restarant. We found out when we got inside that not only was the special of the evening a very good deal, but that we all 4 qualified for the 10% senior discount. when we checked out, the young woman gave us 40% off! She added the four of us together, 10% for each of us, instead of 10% off the total bill. We tried to convince her that she was making a big mistake, but she refused to believe it - said she'd gotten into trouble once before for doing it the other way. I hope the place stays in business long enough for her to learn some basic math!
The next stop was Savannah - I already shared the picture of my SIL and me in front of Paula Deen's restaurant. There are many beautiful squares in the city, and often there are monuments commemorating historical heros. I was happy to see John Wesley's statue in the square closest to Christ Church (same name as the small church on St. Simons). The previous day, at Fort Frederica, we had seen the spot where John and Charles spent a few months, and where John had preached his first sermon in the US. The doctor's wife in that village hated Charles for some reason and actually tried to kill him by biting him, tearing his clothes in the process. Quite the entertaining story! John preached at this beautiful church for a year, followed by George Whitefield.
We had to get back to Athens, because my SIL was in charge of a week-end event, called "Sermon on the Mount'" It was an amazing experience to watch Lew Sterrett take a totally untrained horse and get it to follow directions in front of our eyes. He likened every move in the process to our spiritual journey. Fascinating. See the brochure below:
There are many more pictures and stories, but I think I'd better end this saga for now.
NEXT UP: A Story of Deliverance, Part VIII