Well, the Geezers ain’t done right with our blogging, but we’re fixin’ ta make it up ta y’all. Ok, maybe we have been south too long, but we are in the process of fixing that also.
On Friday, March 26th, the winds were whipping the bay up to a fair froth, so we decided to forgo a paddle in favor of a visit to Jekyll Island, GA, about 30 miles north of the campground. Interesting place, surrounded by water (Yes, it IS an island – DUH!) with tidal marshes on one side and wide, white sand beaches on the Atlantic Ocean side. Another interesting thing is that the land is all part of a state park, but there is a thriving community of homes, hotels and shops who must pay lease to the state.
Entrance to Jekyll Island and bridge to Brunswick, GA
We stopped at the Wayfarer Memorial, a monument to a ship intercepted in the late 1850’s with 487 slaves captured from Africa aboard – even though the practice of importing slaves had been outlawed for nearly 50 years.
That night, we again met up with FOG (Friend of Geezers - remember?) Andy Lundberg, who gave us use of one of his kayaks for a few weeks while the Geezerettes were visiting. We made a return visit to Lucky Dawgs pub for more good beer, good food, good music and good conversation – what more could a Geezer ask for? Well sated, we headed back to the Crooked River campground to set up Andy’s hammock/tent on our site and retired to the camper for a wee dram of bourbon and planning the next day’s adventures.
Saturday dawned bright and early – though we didn’t. Andy had never paddled in the Okefenokee Swamp, so, being right neighborly hosts, we headed the 45 minutes west and launched at the Folkston side of the 700 square mile National Wildlife Refuge. We paddled about 10 miles visiting with other paddlers and the occasional ‘gator. It was beautiful. You really had a feeling of isolation out there with the call of the Sandhill Cranes and whistle of the winds to keep you company. Since there is no solid ground, the refuge has occasional platforms for kayakers & canoeists to get out and stretch, eat or take a potty break. Geezer Mike really appreciated getting out of the kayak now and then to try and regain feeling in his legs!
Cedar Hammock Shelter at Okefenokee
A new honorary Geezer - Andy
Mike shows Geezer-in-training Andy how to take a "Whelan"
The gators showed little interest - they know that Geezers are tough eating
After loading the boats back on the Geezermobile, we said goodbye to Andy who had a 3 hour return trip to Tallahassee. He was a lot of fun to hang with and hope we cross paths again – he was even adapting his hard-charging manner to working on Geezer Standard time! Andy headed south and the Geezers headed east into the little town of Folkston where we spotted the Okefenokee Restaurant and the parking lot was full – always a sign of good things to come. The buffet contained delicious southern fried chicken, catfish, ham hocks, yams, corn, stewed tomatoes, bean cooked in ham fat, fried okra, Swiss steak in onion gravy and Georgia peaches and lots more ALL FOR $8.00! We got our money’s worth! ‘Nuff said about that!
Sunday is a travel day. We broke camp by about 9:30 or 10:00 and started north to our next stop, Myrtle Beach ,SC. Unfortunately, the highlight of the day’s travel was eating gas station “roller dogs” enroute to Myrtle. Nothing compares to the goodness of a cheap hot dog slow-cooked by six hours on heated rollers! YUM! Hopefully tonight we can make up for the insult to our bellies!
Roller dog - down the hatch