Thursday, October 18, 2012

Anniversary Time and Cumberland Island


Twenty years really flies by.  At times.




Today is our anniversary.  Wow, we were young.  To celebrate, we went to the beach last weekend.  We took a day trip to Cumberland Island and rode bikes.  




I never seem to get either of us in my photos - but I promise we were there.  Have you heard of Cumberland Island?  It is an island off the coast of Georgia that is larger than the island of Manhattan but is not accessible by roads to the mainland.  The majority of the island is now owned by the National Park Service.




Here is a map, for those of you who are like me and just like to know where things are....



To get there, you can take a private boat - or you can take the ferry from St. Mary's.  We have done both, but took the ferry this time.  It is a pretty ride....







Here is a little history:
James Oglethorpe (founder of Georgia) had a hunting cabin on the island (back in the early 1700's) and had two forts built on the island.  He named his cabin Dungeness.  (Everything south of this island was/is Florida and was controlled by the Spanish at this time).  William Bartram visited the island in the late 1700s and noted that it was pretty much uninhabited.  Catherine and Nathaniel Greene owned the island after the Revolution, but they did not live there.  After Gen. Greene died, she remarried and built a "home" there (just a small place, I am sure) in 1803.  They named the home Dungeness.   The British occupied Dungeness during the war of 1812.  Catherine Greene died in 1814 and Robert E. Lee's father, Lighthorse Harry Lee, was sailing past the island in 1818 and was ill.  He died on the island while staying at Dungeness.   The Greene house burned in 1866.  One of the Carnegies bought most of the island in 1880 and built the new Dungeness in the same spot as the Greene's dungeness and also built several winter homes there.  Here is a photo of the Carnengie's Dungeness.  It burned in 1959.  I am glad they left the ruins....




I took that photo - here is one I did not take....



And here is a photo of the Carnegie home 'back in the day'....




Wild horses roam Cumberland and we saw lots of wild turkey.  This is one of those places that can be a little surreal - like, you see turkey AND wild horses AND a deer all at the same time, and then notice someone on a bike after not seeing a human for 30 minutes.  After hours of 'island time' your brain suddenly has to process a whole lot all at once.  Here are some photos of the wild turkey and wild horses I took with my iphone.  Not the best photos...






We rode bikes for about an hour and popped out at a beach.  We stayed there for at least 45 minutes and never saw any people in either direction.  




The beach was sort of like a graveyard - back near the sand dunes.  Lots of dead fish, shells, etc.





Most of Cumberland is a National Park, however there are still some privately held homes on the island.  They have managed to keep the big developers away, so most of the island is very natural.  The Carnegies had a few mansions on the island.  Here is one we saw - it is currently privately owned...




I would like to tour this one owned by the Park Service next time....



and maybe stay at this one....





And another thing for the future visit 'to-do" list - We did not make it up to the north end of the island to the small church where JFK Jr. and Caroline Bessette were married in 1996....



(17 miles on a dirt road on a bike is a LONG way, and then you have to bike back!)  

Our rule for family vacations:  Always leave something to do for the next visit, then you have an excuse to go back. ("But, we didn't go to the top of the Washington Monument", "We forgot to visit Pointe Du Hoc!", "We never saw a whale!", "I can't believe they cancelled the Changing of the Guard!", etc.)

Here is the National Park Service information about Cumberland Island.  We had a great day and were VERY THANKFUL we took extra bug spray.  As a Georgian, may I suggest you visit in the fall or winter or spring.  Given the bug population and the south Georgia heat, summer may not make the best memories.

Have a great day!








Pin It!

2 comments:

Jenny said...

LOL!! We were there in August. Oh.my.word! The beach made it worth it all. But Thank GOD I brought 2 bottles of bug spray and we had about 2 gallons of water. With 4 kids ages 2,4,9 and 11 it made for an interesting trip. We hike a lot, so we were somewhat prepared. There was a group from the midwest(2 women and a younger girl) and they had no bugspray, one water bottle each and wound up getting lost. When we found them on the beach they said "we should have just stuck with you guys". My hubs said "No because you would have used all our bugspray and drank all our water!" HAHAHA it was still beautiful and fun. But definitely going back in the cold(er) season! Thanks for sharing :)

SouthMainMuse said...

I have never made it there but all the sea creatures sound great. I had forgotten the picture of the Kennedys. It has to be one of the best wedding photographs ever. Other than the one of you and Rob of course.

 
01 09 10