July 9, 2013 by Last Star blog
Cumberland Island, GA
First stop in Georgia was well, just magnificent, but as it is July is was AFRICA HOT. I don’t even know where to begin. Cumberland Island is a national park now and they have beautiful camp grounds for hiking-in kind of camping. You can only get to the Island by boat/ferry so you can only bring in what you can carry. There is a ferry from St. Mary’s, Ga. The majestic oak trees with the southern hand-print of Spanish moss hanging from what seems like every limb, covers you with dappled sun light and a peacefulness seldom discovered. You can hear yourself think here. You want to walk quietly and enjoy the view.
As you pass through the oaks you see deer and wild horses. Neither seems to be too skittish about your presence, but approaching them they just meander along, like you have a disease but are not a real threat.
The beach was wide like a Houston freeway, 18 lanes of flat-flat-flat sand between the marching waves and the protective dunes. It was basically deserted but for a few couples walking or sitting on the beach. Perhaps it seemed deserted as the beach is immense and seems to go on forever. The sand is not white nor is the water particularly blue, but it is full of nutrients and the shrimp here are some of the best around. Ying and yang.
There was a fort here sometime in the mid-1500’s but nothing is left of that. In 1783 Nathanael Green and widow built a four-story tabby home called Dungeness. In 1884 Thomas & Lucy Carnegie (a brother/partner to Andrew) built a winter home (read mansion) on the foundation of the Dungeness home. The estate was amazing. The mansion, the rec house (swimming, tennis, etc), the stables…all of it so incredible, built for just a few months out of every year to escape the cold northern winters. Ah, to be a Carnegie. Of course, we heard rumors they only bought Cumberland Island because they were not allowed to build on Jekyll Island as they were shunned from membership. Politics! We walked through the area and took some photos of the ruins and the wild houses. This is one of the most impressive National Parks we have been in; it is well worth a trip to Georgia just to visit it.