March 6th - 7th
Sunny sky and warmer weather was in store for us as we headed out of Myrtle Beach and traveled south to Georgia. Stopping off at the post office to mail postcards and a package for Jessy was first on the agenda, and then southbound on Route 17 it was.
Route 17 was OK, but not for us pulling the camper. Traffic was pretty heavy, and construction was everywhere. Charleston was the farthest we went on this road before turning onto I26 and then I95. We did however, see some ladies selling straw baskets along the road as we entered Charleston. Apparently, the city fathers don't mind squatters along the roadway.
I26 was a unique experience. There were two enormous bridges with trucker lanes on the right as we traveled up the incline (very steep). John said we're gonna see more of these as we travel west into the mountains. We missed our exit to I95 due to talking on the CB radio with some truckers and had to turn around after about 10 miles.
I95 was great and we made good time heading into Georgia. We stopped off at the first Visitor Welcome Center and got directions to the Blythe Island Regional Campground because we decided not to stop in Savannah. We figured it would be better to go all the way to Brunswick and set up camp near St. Simons and Jekyll Islands for 2 days and nights.
We didn't know it when checking in but Bethyl Island is Sand Nat country. Sand Nats don't like the cold and they don't like the heat. They only like the kind of weather we had; sunny, warm and beautiful. Go figure. It was a hurry up time to get the trailer unhooked and set up, but John did it in record time. A quick ride on the bike around the park to get the breeze going, we took some quick pics before dinner and retiring for the night.
Eggs, bacon and toast for breakfast (Sissy's creation) and then we were off to Hofwyl Plantation the next morning on the bike. The plantation is located north of Brunswick off Route 17 and we found it without any problems. Hofwyl used to be a rice producer and then a dairy in centuries past, but now it belongs to the State of Georgia. Mariane and Ophelia Dent (sisters) willed it to the state for preservation, and Georgia has done an outstanding job. We had a nice time walking the grounds and taking the tour.
Planning to ride the bike all day, we headed to St. Simons Island next to visit our friend Gene. We didn't know there was a tollbooth on the bridge and John went to the exact change lane. After causing a minor traffic jam because Sissy had to get off the bike and run to the tollbooth for change, we went through and over the bridge. Gene wasn't home yet so we ate lunch at Brogen's and then we rode to Fort Frederica. British settlers to protect the waterways of the Savannah River from the Spanish had built the fort. This National Park was well maintained with all the amenities; video presentation, museum and walking tour.
Back to Gene's we went and he was home. It was great talking about old times with him for a couple hours. He recently underwent open heart surgery, but he looked great; full of energy and a little lighter than the last time we visited (5 years ago). We made dinner plans for 1900 at the Red Barn, John repaired the right side footpeg on the bike (it came loose) and off we went to the historic district of St. Simons Island.
We stopped at the lighthouse and museum for pics and rode the strip for a while. There wasn't anything spectacular downtown; only tourist trap type stores and a pier that was crawling with rug rats (kids) so we headed back to the campground to freshen up and get the truck before dark.
Dinner was very enjoyable. We had eaten at the Red Barn during our last visit and the food was great again. The restaurant is a rustic old barn with any kind of food you desire. John had rib eye, Sissy had fillet and Gene had the seafood platter. John had to take half of his steak back to the trailer with him because it was just too much to eat in one setting.
After dropping Gene back home and saying our goodbyes, we headed back to Blythe Island. On the way we refueled the truck and gave it a bath. The next morning we headed out southbound to Daytona Beach, so we wanted to get an early start.
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