Wednesday, April 13, 2016

RVing in Georgia

We are working our way back home from Jacksonville for the grandbaby number four gender-reveal party on April 23, but taking our time to enjoy a few stops in Georgia.

First stop - Brunswick, GA.  We have been in the area before by boat at St. Mary's, Jekyll Island, and Darien but never actually spent any time in Brunswick.  We checked in at Golden Isles RV Park for 4 days, got me a new outdoor "garage" for the bike, and managed to get 3 good rides in, including a trip up to check out our old homestead in Richmond Hill (south of Savannah) and back.

Just don't forget to duck!

We are still, shall we say "curious" about the some of the signs at RV parks.  These were in the ladies restroom. Rhonda says it is bathroom humor since RVers deal more closely with "those gems" than boaters do.

We made a couple of trips out to St. Simons Island and East Beach, very nice, with about a quarter- mile of beach when the tide is out, with lots of tidal pools for wading.

Fascinating how nature forms the ripples in the sand.

No idea on this one, a tribute or memorial of some kind.

We toured Ft. Frederica which was a British settlement before the Revolutionary war.  Enough supplies were shipped with the settlers to last one year, then they were on their own. The settlement lasted about 5 years and then it appears that they all just left.  I'm thinking they didn't like the sand gnats.  Based on historic records, they have been able to map out the entire town with the exact locations of roads, homes, and assorted establishments like the bakery, tavern, carpenter shop, etc..  Foundation remnants are all that remain of those buildings, and a few artifacts from each of the locations are on display at each one.  The Christ Episcopal Church Mission was established on St. Simons in 1736 but was destroyed in the War Between The States and had to be rebuilt in 1884 (below).  John Wesley had a big influence there.

The grounds at the church and the fort are beautiful.

Not much of the fort is still standing today, but it was strategically positioned at a bend in the Frederica River with cannons pointed in both directions which could fire a 12 pound cannon ball a distance of one mile.

I expect the settlers' interest in the local turtle population back then was as a food source.  Today, the access roads to and from the island have "passes" cut in the medians to allow the turtles a better chance at a safe crossing from one side of the road to the other.  Good luck dodging the 4 lanes of traffic though!

We had a great seafood dinner at Marshside Restaurant and caught a group of kayakers returning from a trip through the marshland with its many winding waterways and tributaries.

We just can't seem to get the boating thing out of our systems and made stops at the very popular Brunswick City Dock and the marina at Jekyll Island where we stopped for 3 days on our Loop trip in 2013.  We visited with an interesting couple from Sweden, now US citizens, and one gold looper from Vermont who finished the trip in 2010, just running the Atlantic Coast now.

Any trip to Jekyll requires a stop at Driftwood Beach - looked just like it did when we rode our bikes there in 2013, but the ride out there sure seemed much shorter in the truck!

Our evening venture was a return trip to Darien, GA.  Here's "Help Me Rhonda" docked there in 2013.  

Darien has a 3-day celebration every year of their shrimping industry including a "Blessing Of The Fleet" which we missed by just a few days previously.  This was the weekend for it though in 2016 so we made an evening of it there on Saturday - lots of food, vendors, and great music.  I am confident all but about 5 or 6 of the Darien residents were there and it was a big social affair for them.  This young man was very entertaining and played along with the bands.  Occasionally he would hang the guitar on the pocket of his shirt by one of the tuning pegs and really ham it up dancing with the music.

One of the shrimp boats ready for the "Blessing" on Sunday.

And when in Georgia, do as the Georgians do - instead of riding a bull, they ride bulldogs!

We attended Blythe Island Baptist Church on Sunday morning.  Wow - it was so good that it made you want to go find a realtor and buy a house just so you could live and attend church there!  And speaking of church, we visited some dear church friends of ours from Corinth Baptist Church from when we lived in Richmond Hill in the mid-1980s, about 70 miles north of Brunswick.  Doug and Bonnie Tyson, wonderful folks, have also moved from Richmond Hill and now have their own 32-acre spread in Metter, GA.  They RV also, have 2 of their own and full hookups for more, so we just pulled up in their back yard and spent the night there!  Their son, Ty, and our older son, Adam, played together as kids and Ty came by to say hello as well.  Doug had his own heavy equipment business and I will always remember when he just showed up one day with about a 6-yard dump truck full of Georgia sand and dumped it in our back yard for Adam to play on (Scott was a newborn at the time). Speaking of Scott though, Doug also influenced his first word - "dudoze."  Scott was fascinated with trucks and heavy equipment, but the best he could come up with on "bulldozers" was "dudoze." And to him, every truck, tractor, and lawnmower for that matter was a "dudoze."  Anyhow, we reminisced for hours and went out for a low country shrimp boil to finish the day.  If you are not familiar with a low country shrimp boil, it's a traditional meal for coastal Georgia, comprised of shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob, and smoked sausage - delicious.  Thanks for a great time, Doug and Bonnie!

We left Metter for the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Dahlonega, GA and a beautiful mountain setting for RVs at "R-Ranch In The Mountains."  When you are traveling through the country, opportunities for lunch stops can be slim sometimes, and the conditions might not be quite as picturesque as RV promotional materials.  In our case today, we were lucky to find some parking space alongside an old abandoned factory of some sort, but it works and you do what you have to do!

Here's our setup at R-Ranch, gonna be here for a few days and I'll cover more of that later.  Oh yeh, there are no sand gnats here, a wonderful thing.

Just finished a 248-mile bike ride today which included 2 runs of the "Tail Of The Dragon" ride in the vicinity of Deals Gap in the Appalachian Mountains, known for its popularity with motorcyclists and sports car drivers.  There are 318 curves in the 11-mile stretch, part of which is in Tennessee and the other part in North Carolina. I guess I did OK - I didn't pass anyone and no one passed me. Another possibility is that it was senior citizens day and we were all tooling along at about the same pace! Lots of fun and even got a T-shirt.  The Dragon below.

The Tail Of The Dragon

Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort

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