It has been yet another month of km’s, reunions and amazing places. We have been following the Atlantic Coast and a chain of stunning jewels – Barrier Island after island. Most of our month has been laid back beach towns with Charleston and Savannah as our only big city adventures.
OBX (the Outer Banks, North Carolina) and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, provided images reminiscent of our Caribbean adventures with endless white sand beaches and seashore. We wandered the fitting and grandiose monument at Kitty Hawk, the birth place of aviation, where the Wright Brothers ended the impossible; toured yet more lighthouses and lifesaving stations; and enjoyed beach combing at low tides. Pea Island, Ocracoke, the Crystal Coast including Carolina and Kure beaches and Cape Fear continued our love affair with the sea.
From the peace and quiet to the chaos and development at Myrtle Beach – wow – it was a little overwhelming. And then, in Charleston we had a fantastic visit with David and Libby. Love the sounds, smells and tastes of the south. We did some great adventuring and sampling of southern hospitality….loving those rich and delicious tasty treats – “she crab soup, po’boys, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes Benne wafers and even a cheesy southern take on mac ‘n cheese! YUM!
Another beach break as we explore the Beaufort, Port Royal and Hilton Head areas. Evidence of Hurricane Matthew’s damage is everywhere as folks clean up, more trees come down and parks make repairs to facilities.
Historic Savannah on the waterfront is another southern gem that gets a two thumbs up. We then decide on an inland stop to do some chilling and planning. Perhaps there isn’t much sympathy out there but it does become a little exhausting with the day to day planning – picking routes, destinations, tour highlights, finding reasonable campgrounds etc etc. And so with a great State Park not far away we head to Altamaha State Park for four days where we plan, sort, clean and take part in a Park Clean Up day too.
After a brief recharge we head back to coastal area of Brunswick and the islands…. St Simon`s, where Roo stumbles into a PGA event as we try and find the Àvenue of 190 year oaks` we are gently guided back out of the area! Jekyll Island, a previously privately owned island developed as an exclusive `hunting club`by the likes of the Goodyear, JP Morgan, Pulitzer and Rockefeller. The island was sold in 1947 to the state of Georgia for use as a state park. While wandering and chatting with locals` they insist that `Driftwood Beach` on the northern tip of the island is a `must see.. and wow, was it! Cumberland Island National Seashore, our next stop proves to be equally stunning with wild horses, old ruins and endless beach. The coastal perimeter of Georgia is short (perhaps little over 120 miles) so onto….
We make a brief stop in Jacksonville in order to hook up with Dave and Alex. We spend a great afternoon and evening of fun as they celebrate being back on the water again. With Thanksgiving coming up it becomes challenging to find a campground so we once more head inland to Osceola National Forest where we find a hidden gem with a lake, great trails and a beautiful park. I find some great trail runs but feel a little leary what with hunting season, alligators and snakes… don`t think my bear spray works for any of those.
St. Augustine, the oldest city in Florida has amazing history, charm and incredible Christmas spirit. We are also lucky enough to make yet more cruiser reunions with Paula & Scott and Kathy!! What fun!
Daytona Beach and Cocoa Beach provide more days of fun in the sun. The weather is remarkably hot and sunny – just as we are hearing tales of cold spells and snow back in Canada….ahhhhh. And the beauty of social media, we find out another great friend, Ann is in the area so we are able to spend an afternoon catching up with her and Roxy (missing Darrell though).
And currently we are at Titusville , a mere 8 km from the Kennedy Space Centre where we anxiously await the evening launch. Apparently we can take our chairs to the pier at the campground and will have a great show from there. Tomorrow we will actually tour the Centre. We have heard it is an amazing facility with days worth of adventuring possible. But we will try and sneak it into one.
From here we are heading over to the gulf coast and hope to see PEI friends Willie and Bev before heading to Atlanta for Christmas and Reid & Kath`s arrival! Woo hoo!