Monday, January 7, 2019

New Year’s Resolutions


We rang in the New Year Aussie style in Brunswick Georgia. What does that mean? We were a little apprehensive making it until the clock struck the New Year. In the past few years we have celebrated Eastern Time New Years. This was the easiest for us as we have been in the Pacific or Mountain time zone while doing it. This meant we only had to stay up until 10:00 at the latest. This year however we were in the Eastern Time Zone and for those of you who know us, this was going to be a problem. We go to bed well before midnight. How were we ever going to make it!?!? We found our answer the morning of December 31st when we turned on the national news. What was on T.V.? Fireworks in Australia celebrating New Years! Although it was 16 hours early, we rang in the New Year Aussie style!
Speaking of New Years, I am a little nervous, for the first time in a long time Barb has made a  resolution. We usually don’t bother with resolutions, instead we set goals for the year. I am not sure what made her change her mind this year, maybe she wants 2019 to be a year of great change!
While in Brunswick we stayed at Golden Isles RV Park. With a Passport America rate of $22/night with full hook up and free Wi-Fi, it was hard to beat and suited our purposes just fine. We were not there for the amenities, we were there to visit Jekyll and St. Simon’s Islands.
These two barrier islands are famous for their incredible scenery and they certainly did not disappoint. This was another area that we were glad we visited during the off season. What we liked about this area is that it had a nice mix of touristy stuff and natural areas. Although it was tourist trap in some areas, they were quaint and if you got tired of that, you could find yourself in a natural area within minutes.
St. Simons Island is probably best known for its golf courses but since we don't golf we went to tour the lighthouse. We have seen several lighthouses on our east coast tour but this is the first one that was open for tours so we paid our $12 each and walked up the 129 stairs to the top. Well not actually the top, the last 10 or so stairs to the actual light are blocked off. We did however get to walk around the catwalk near the top. 

Headed up!

Selfie from the top!
 This is actually the second lighthouse constructed in this location. The first was destroyed in 1861 during the Civil War. The current lighthouse was built in 1872 and features a Fresnel lens.

A peek at the lens
While on Jekyll Island we walked the beaches where Barb found several intact Sand Dollars. They weren't very big but will make a nice addition to our collection. 
Barb and her sand dollars!
Once again we had the beach to ourselves

This gull found a treasure too!
We then headed back to the inland to see some of the historic sights on the island.  Back in the 1730’s when the first buildings were constructed they used what material they had on hand. In this case it mean using oyster and seashells as mortar. Very interesting to see walls made of these materials. 
The Horton House built in 1736

You can see the oyster and seashells in the walls

A closer look
Random squirrel picture...
In the late 1880’s the entire island was purchased to become an exclusive winter retreat. The “Club” was opened in 1888 while the “Annex” was opened in 1901. Beautiful buildings.
The Club

The Annex
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center is located in the same area. Tours are $12/person, there is really not too much to see on the inside. They had one small live turtle in an aquarium and you can see them working on rescue turtles behind the glass. Worth $12 each? Well, it went to a good cause.

One of their patients, it had a split shell
After visiting the islands it was time to pack up and move a couple hours south to the Okefenokee Swamp. We spent 2 nights at Griffis Fish Camp just up the road from the refuge and Stephen Foster State Park.  Griffis does not have a lot going for it, well, the price. The $20/night rate (full hookups) is about 1/2 the price of the State Park just down the road and for our purposes it was just okay.

We were the only ones in the entire campground!
Having never spent any time in the swamp we were interested in what it looked like and what type of wildlife we would see in the area. Right within the campground we saw deer, turkeys, owls, coyote and a variety of waterfowl.


There is water everywhere! The campground is on high ground surrounded on 3 sides by water. There were mosquitoes during this cooler weather, I would not want to be here during peak mosquito season!

We spent most of our time at the State Park walking the trails and boardwalks.... trying to dodge the rain. But we did manage to see some wildlife between the raindrops.
They had a really nice boardwalk over the water


This is the largest gator we have ever seen

Can you identify this snake?

White Ibis

I cannot imagine what it would be like to build those boardwalks. The snakes, spiders and other creepy crawly things....no thanks!

That wraps up our time in Georgia, an interesting and diverse state. Next up is Florida! 

Oh wait! So what was Barb's New years resolution and why am I nervous? Her resolution is to "eliminate" the frustration in her life. The look she gave me while saying it gave me an uneasy feeling and am now sleeping with one eye open!


24 comments:

  1. sleeping with one eye open is good practice for a new spotting scope, once she buys you one that is! Safe travels my friends, miss you guys around Custer.

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    1. Good point! We will be back the first part of March, we will have to meet up at the Hitchrail for dinner.

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  2. Well then my boy you, had better not be one of Barb's frustrations lol What an enormous snake. Yuk. That wildlife seemed a little too close for my taste. Glad you are having fun. We celebrated New York New Years ... all over at 9pm :)

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    1. That's our typical New Years but being out east made it a little more challenging....

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  3. That does sound like a warning sign. Yikes. If you get to St. Augustine Florida, they have a lighthouse that you can climb and it is also haunted. Ghost hunters did a show from there. Also, do you know how to tell the size of a gator? The distance from his eyes to his nostrils in inches relates to the size of the gator in feet. So if it is 10 inches from eyes to snout you have a 10 foot gator. Tricky part is to have them hold still while you use the tape measure on them.

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    1. Did not know that’s how you measure a gater, I will bring a tape next time so Barb can measure it.

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  4. My snake guess is a rattler ?? Good work on the stair master lighthouse! I always wanted to try gator fishin if I was in swamp country. That looked like a monster in that pic. "Choot em junior!" (from Swamp People) Good luck not being "frustrating" all year. Lol.

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    1. I felt like a wimp but I have to admit my legs were burning by the time we got to the top!

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  5. You’ve brought back some fond memories of our visit to some of those areas. Those swamps are really cool but you never know what’s lurking around. Sometimes it’s a gator resting on the boardwalk. Good luck with your resolution Barb!
    Safe travels!

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    1. We only saw the one gater, the others days we went out it was a little chilly so I think they were hiding.

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  6. Nice visit to the Georgia Parks. Not certain about the Snake but Water Moccasins are native to the area. Poisonous! If it's a Python which is an invasive species stay away. Their venom paralyzes their prey then they swallow it Whole. They are good swimmers as well.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your tour through Florida.

    It's about time.

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    1. I looked up pictures of a Water Moccasin, I think you might be right!

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  7. That one photo of the Water Moccasin with its mouth open is really scary. We did a canoe trip in Big Cypress and the water moccasins were curled all over the trees along the way. Sure made you extra careful to stay dry. I would be worried if I were you, Jim!! Maybe give up sleeping all together...just saying:) Good luck!

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    1. Thank goodness, that was the one and only snake we ever saw. We did see a few scary spiders however!

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  8. You are a brave man to walk that boardwalk after Barb made that resolution, Jim.

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    1. That's why she was trying to sneak around behind me when I was leaning over to take a picture of the water moccasin!

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  9. Amazing wildlife pics! Where in FL are you going? We’re hosting at Topsail State Park!

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    1. Thanks! We are spending the next month in the Yankeetown area and then are headed deeper into Florida.

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  10. LOL, maybe she just wants to keep you on your toes. We'll be staying at the Stephen Foster in March on our way out of FL. We'll keep an eye out for you guys when we're traveling FL. Looking forward to paddling in the swamp. Looks like you're having a good time despite Barb's resolution.

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    1. You will enjoy that park, make sure you walk the boardwalk!

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  11. Nice shot of the water moccasin. We really enjoyed the boat tour while we were in Okefenokee.

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    1. We thought about pulling out the kayak and getting out on the water but the weather just would not cooperate.

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  12. My guess is they used prisoners to build those trails and boardwalks. I can't imagine volunteers, paid or otherwise.
    Hope you enjoy Florida. We sure did.
    Stay safe! (in all sense of the phrase! :-))

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    1. You may be right there Dave! We are just pretty much starting our Florida adventure, looking forward to the next 6 weeks!

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