Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Tybee Beach, Georgia

May 15, 2018

We drove over the beautiful Moon River, for which Johnny Mercer wrote the song for the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in 1961. Mercer grew up here. 

We drove over to Tybee Island to explore. A nice lady at the Visitor’s Center told us where to go to look at pretty beach homes. Then we walked along the beach a bit. It’s a bit like Virginia Beach 55 years ago, which is surprising with it so close to Savannah. On the other hand, Georgia has so much water front on so many rivers and islands. 

Our nice lady neighbors across from us had a flat tire on their trailer, and asked for some help, since they broke their ratchet wrench trying to remove the tire. I was glad I had a big torque wrench, which made easy work of it.

We went for one more seafood dinner before heading back tomorrow. Our neighbor told us about Pearl’s Saltwater Grill, so we went. I had “Shrimp Three Ways” while Martha had tuna. It was all excellent, and the view fabulous.

Got back just in time to make sure Brynn Cartelli made it through on “The Voice”

Savannah Trolly Tour

May 14, 2018

As we were driving out, a Barred owl flew across the road and landed in a tree. We managed to get a few pictures before it took off again. 

Taking the OldTown Trolly tour of the historic district of Savannah, we agreed to stay on the tour if we had a good guide. We stayed on, because Lilly Belle was great – the perfect tour guide. It was interesting to see the lovely old houses and many parks and squares. There was the bench where Forest Gump sat while saying “Life is like a box of chocolates”. We passed the Six Pence Pub where Julia Roberts saw her husband with another woman in “Something to Talk About”. Lots of other movies have been filmed here.

On our second trip around, we got off at Brighter Day Natural Foods Market for lunch and some groceries. Then we visited the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. An entertaining man gave a nice history of the church, and what a gorgeous church it is. We had to have ice cream at Leupold’s, voted one of the best ice creams in the world and in business since 1919. We could not disagree! Then we went into the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. A man gave a short history of the church and how it was built. It is quite beautiful.

We stopped at Bonaventure Cemetery, listed as one of the top 10 things to do in Savannah. It was very pretty with big, old trees and sitting on a bluff along the Wilmington River. We found Noble Jones’ grave, who was on the first ship to the settlement. He built Wormsloe Plantation.

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

May 13, 2018

Martha went for a kayak trip on the Skidaway River for about an hour and a half. She had two porpoises swim beside her for a bit.

We then went to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. It was a hot day at 91 degrees at its peak. The sun was very intense, and with the humidity at 87%, it’s oppressive. There is a fabulous 4-mile drive through the refuge. Originally rice plantations, where gates flooded the rice fields. There are no more rice fields, but it is planted with a variety of wildlife foods. There was a huge variety of birds, and we saw a number of alligators. This is a very cool place, with the Savannah loading docks in plain view. I could have shot pictures all day. 

sa·van·na, noun: savanna

a grassy plain in tropical and subtropical regions, with few trees.

We got the bikes out and rode the Little Back River Trail for about an hour. There is a lot to explore here with hiking trails and biking trails, viewing blinds and a driving tour. There are 31,551 acres of wetlands. 

Skidaway Island State Park

May 12, 2018

We rode our bikes to the watchtower that overlooks the Skidaway River and the Isle of Hope. There are the remains of a still from the 1930’s and mounds where the South tried to defend Savannah in the Civil War. 

After a quick shower, we went to Driftaway Cafe for a great lunch of fish tacos and I had the best fish sandwich I have ever had. Then we cruised around The Isle of Hope, finding some beautiful, big houses along the river. 

We visited Wormsloe State Historic Site for some Colonial Georgia history.

Beaufort, South Carolina and Hunting Island State Park

We took a long walk north on the beach at low tide. It’s amazing how flat this beach is, and thus how far the tide goes out. There are lots of shells, sea snails, starfish and little crabs. This makes great feeding for hundreds of birds.

Then we headed off to Beaufort for lunch at Momma Lou’s Gullah cooking (African style from the lowlands). Another Airstreamer told us they liked to walk the old historic houses of Beaufort, so we followed their advice. According to Wikipedia, “The city has been featured in the New York Times, and named “Best Small Southern Town” by Southern Living, a “Top 25 Small City Arts Destination” by American Style, and a “Top 50 Adventure Town” by National Geographic Adventure.[6] “

The Lowcountry region had been subject to numerous European explorations and failed attempts at colonization before the British founded the city in 1711. The city initially grew slowly, subject to numerous attacks from Native American tribes and threats of Spanish invasion. It flourished first as a center for shipbuilding and later, when the colony was established as a slave society, as the elite center for the Lowcountry planters through the Civil War.

Several months after hostilities began between the states, Beaufort was occupied by Union forces following the Battle of Port Royal. Due in part to its early occupation, the city attracted escaping slaves. The Union declared the slaves emancipated and initiated efforts at education and preparation for full independence. The Freedmen’s Bureau worked with local blacks during Reconstruction.

After the war, the city relied on phosphate mining before a devastating hurricane in 1893 and a fire in 1907 brought extensive destruction and economic turmoil. Their effects slowed growth of the city for nearly half a century.

In the latter half of the twentieth century, the community became a destination for tourists. It also benefited by the growth of military installations in the area and related employment. Local groups have worked to preserve Beaufort’s historic character and significant architecture.

In addition to the Beaufort Historic District, The Anchorage, William Barnwell House, Barnwell-Gough House, Beaufort National Cemetery, John A. Cuthbert House, Fort Lyttelton Site, Hunting Island State Park Lighthouse, Laurel Bay Plantation, Marshlands, Seacoast Packing Company, Seaside Plantation, Robert Smalls House, Tabby Manse, and John Mark Verdier House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaufort,_South_Carolina

As the sun began to set, we walked the beach north through “The Boneyard”, where two hurricanes took possession of a lot of the island, thus littering the beach with fallen trees, chunks of pavement and about 80 campsites. There is a cool tidal pool where herons stalked their prey.

Hunting Island Day 3

At low tide I took my camera up the beach for some pictures. This is such a cool beach Where wildlife manages to survive among humans. 

We then took a bike ride on Magnolia Trail and Lagoon Trail, then back on Maritime  Trail. I went for a swim in the ocean to cool off after that. It was just the right temperature to cool me off. A father and his teenage kids were having fun surfing the waves.  

Hunting Island Day 1

Monday, May 7, 2018

It’s always fun arriving at a new place, anxious to explore and see what is here. We walked out the long boardwalk into a huge marsh. It was low tide and they haven’t had rain for 12 days, so the only water was in the creeks. I was disappointed not to find birds, but it gave us an opportunity to see all the animals that provide food. One inch crabs were everywhere. They live in little holes with mounds of dirt making hills from their tunneling. There were abundant Periwinkle snails and mussels. A raccoon was feasting through the grass, barely looking up to see if we were a threat. 

Then we visited the little nature center where two volunteers gave us some great lessons about the park and where Martha could kayak. We headed over to the lighthouse for the 187 steps to the top. It wasn’t bad, and it provided a beautiful view of the park. 

Tuesday

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We photographed lots of birds gathered in a small pond beside the road. We would stop at the next pond north the following day, only to get caught by a very nice park ranger. I noticed the sign said not to approach the birds because they were nesting. Especially the wood storks can be scared off and never return to the nest. In an odd quirk of nature, the birds like this pond because it has alligators. Lots of animals like to eat bird eggs, particularly raccoons, but alligators like to eat raccoons.

Brookgreen Gardens

After walking out the concrete drive from Atalaya Castle, viewing the wildlife, we hiked the trail to the north end of the beach, then walked back in the surf. We saw our nice neighbors, Jim and Karen, at a wildlife overlook. They come to Huntington Beach State Park often, and always had great recommendations of things to see and places to go. 

After a little rest, we drove over to Brookgreen Gardens not knowing anything about it. You get a 5-day pass, and it would take five days to see it. 

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brookgreen_Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens is a sculpture garden and wildlife preserve, located just south of Murrells Inlet, in South Carolina. The 9,100-acre (37 km2) property includes several themed gardens with American figurative sculptures placed in them, the Lowcountry Zoo, and trails through several ecosystems in nature reserves on the property. It was founded by Archer Milton Huntington, stepson of railroad magnate Collis Potter Huntington, and his wife Anna Hyatt Huntington to feature sculptures by Anna and her sister Harriet Randolph Hyatt Mayor along with other American sculptors. Brookgreen Gardens was opened in 1932, and is built on four former rice plantations, taking its name from the former Brookgreen Plantation.[3]

Originally, what is now Brookgreen Gardens was four rice plantations. The plantations from south to north were The Oaks, Brookgreen, Springfield, and Laurel Hill. The current gardens and surrounding facilities lie completely on the former Brookgreen Plantation, which was owned by Joshua John Ward

The Huntingtons[edit]

It is the creation of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington of Connecticut, who purchased four plantations to open the garden to showcase her sculptures. Situated on Waccamaw Neck in Georgetown County, South Carolina, between the Waccamaw River and the Atlantic coast, it is the country’s first public sculpture garden and has the largest collection of figurative sculpture by American artists in an outdoor setting in the world. It is also a nature and historical preserve with a small zoo and a nature exhibition center.

Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington first visited the property in 1929. Because they were captivated by the beauty of it, they purchased nearly 9,100 acres (37 km2) of forest, swamp, rice fields and beachfront. They intended to establish a winter home on the coast, but Anna saw the potential of the property and they quickly began to develop her vision of making it the showcase for her sculptures. Archer, son of philanthropists Arabella Worsham Huntington and stepson of Collis Huntington, and Anna have donated property and contributed much to U.S. arts and culture in a number of states. Her sculpture of Joan of Arc is a feature of New York City‘s Riverside Park.

Sculpture gardens[edit]

About 1445 works of American figurative sculpture are displayed at the Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington Sculpture Garden. Many of the works are creations of sculptress Hyatt Huntington, but other artists are also featured. Walkways and garden paths link the sculptures in their distinctive garden, fountain, or landscape settings, with vistas of the scenery surrounding them.

220px-Brookgreen_Gardens_Sculpture38.jpg

Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture38

A 1,600-acre (650 ha) area of Brookgreen Gardens was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[1] The sculpture garden portion, 551 acres (223 ha), of Brookgreen Gardens was included in the designation of Atalaya and Brookgreen Gardens as a National Historic Landmark in 1984.[5][6] Atalaya Castle is just across U.S. 17 which cuts through the former combined Huntington property.

The sculpture gardens includes works by:

[7]

Martha fixed a nice dinner of Vermillion Snapper, potatoes and beets.

Huntington Beach State Park

May 5, 2018

We walked down to the beach with a nice lady from Chapel Hill, exchanged good ideas for travel. She said we would love Hunting Island. Her father was a Navy pilot for 20 years, but Jimmy Keith’s name didn’t ring a bell. We walked this beautiful beach for 40 minutes.

DSC_1772IMG_1884

Met Jim to my left cutting firewood. What a nice guy. Said it just kills him to buy firewood, so he drove up the road and found plenty.

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington_Beach_State_Park

The park, originally property of Anna Hyatt Huntington and Archer M. Huntington, was leased after his death and takes its name from him The 2500 acre (10 km2) tract was leased to the state in 1960 for use as a state park. Mrs. Huntington died in 1973. Atalaya was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, and was included in the designation of Atalaya and Brookgreen Gardens as a National Historic Landmark in 1984.

Atalaya and Brookgreen

He and his wife’s winter home, Atalaya Castle, is located in the park. Built during the Great Depression by only local workers, the residence was designed to withstand hurricanes.

The studio of his wife, the noted 20th-century American sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, was part of the compound. Many of her significant sculptures are in nearby Brookgreen Gardens, an extension of the former Huntington estate, now a public sculpture garden.

Pinehurst, North Carolina

May 4, 2018

We enjoyed a day visiting Pinehurst, NC, a beautiful little village with pretty houses, cute shops and good restaurants. We found some nice gifts in Le Feme Chateau. Deborah Myatt, the owner, is wonderful. Beautiful Italian handbags, handmade scarves, and many other items are designed by her. As she said, “not to be found on Amazon”. She has a website at www.LFCcollection.com. 

We had a nice lunch at the Holly Inn. It’s hard to beat shrimp and grits. Then we walked around town, gawking at the beautiful houses. On our way out, we drove up to the famous golf club. 

We stayed two nights at Badin Lake Campground in the Uwharrie National Forest. This is a great place for boating, off-road 4-wheeling, horseback riding and hiking.