Savannah-Ogeechee Canal

I wrote the other day about Fort McAllister on the Ogeechee River protecting the back door to Savannah. Today we visited the canal that connected that river to the Savannah River. This canal was what made it possible for goods to move to and from the Ogeechee River into Savannah.

The Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Society is trying to revive the canal area starting with a small museum and nature center at the Ogeechee River end of the canal.


The area has been declared a historical site.


The woman on duty at the museum gave us a private tour of the canal by driving us in their golf cart down the old tow path. It was a bumpy ride but it let me see the area in a way I would not have been able to do otherwise. The first two pictures below are taken from a new footbridge across the canal and the third one is as close as we got to the river end since mud from recent rains made traveling any further a risky venture.

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Today’s rain chased us back down the path and into the museum where we found a model of a “rice trunk.” That’s a channel through a dyke that’s lets a farmer control the water level in a rice paddy.

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Among other artifacts on the grounds are this Columbus No. 16 Sugar Cane Grinder.


According to one of the museum’s handouts, a wagon full of sugar cane is fed into this grinder where the juice is squeezed into tubs covered with cheesecloth. The juice is then boiled into the proper thickness and bottled. While the juice is cooking candy forms on the rim of the kettle and is scraped off onto peelings from the stalk and eaten like suckers by the children. Sounds good; doesn’t it? Makes my teeth hurt to think how sweet that must be, though. Please, pass me something salty-crunchy now, OK?

We are camped for a few nights at Skidaway Island State Park. This is another one with mostly pull-though sites but the one lane roads are two-way so it must be interesting to try coming here when it’s busy. The are fully booked for Memorial Day Weekend so we need to move on Friday. I wonder where we will wind up?

I know we are not going to see all the sights here we hoped to see. It’s been raining day and night so we are staying in and staying dry more than we intended.

The challenge with that has been our internet setup. It appears our router is dying. So we’ve been taking turns passing our aircard back and forth between our two computers. It’s Dave’s turn again as soon as I get this posted. We are friends again now but for awhile there the “discussion” about what to do about our poor internet got fairly heated. It’s a good thing we have no close neighbors in this park. Dave wants me to try a new system that hasn’t been proven yet. Why me? Because it uses a cell phone to connect and he just bought a new iPhone. My phone, however, is five years old so my contract is now just month to month so can be cancelled anytime without penalty. He could use my new phone to connect to the internet instead of me having to do it but then do I get to just unplug him when when I get a call? More discussion to come but I don’t think the next round will be heated. Stay tuned for updates as they happen.

Speaking of neighbors, we almost met some the other night. An RV the same brand as ours pulled into a site across the road from us. We’ve been taught not to go introduce ourselves while people are still setting up because it can mess up their routine. So we waited a bit. Then we decided they were probably having supper since they pulled in about six o’clock. So we waited a bit more. Then it started to rain again. Then it got dark. In the morning I looked out the window when I first got up and they were breaking camp. When are you supposed to go introduce yourselves to neighbors, anyway?

While driving around the Savannah area I saw a couple of signs some of you might like. One was a church sign that said, “Exposure to ‘Son’ may prevent burning.” The other was place advertising Angus burgers that had put a “D” in front of “angus!” Any of you remember Roger Miller’s son Dang Me?  How many of you besides me are going to have that in your heads for the next few hours?

Dave just showed me a weather map for Memorial Day. It pretty much doesn’t matter what part of the U.S. you are in–plan for rain. Sorry about that.



Driving Through Georgia


Jekyll Island was, once upon a time, a fairy tale place. The beach getaway of the very rich. People named Pulitzer, McCormick, Rockefeller, and J.P. Morgan. They and others bought this island, built a clubhouse here, then built their own cottages. Cottages so big one of them had 17 bathrooms. They and their families spent their summers here away from the heat of the city. Until they moved on. Now it still has its historic district and a museum with exhibits of those days and tours of the island. We saw the film at the museum and the exhibits there but we did not take the tour. The tram did not have enough leg room for us to ride it comfortably. As you all know by now, I am big on comfort.

We camped last night at the Jeykll Island State Park. A cold front came through, it rained really hard, and the temperature dropped. So this morning it was dark and cool and we slept until almost 9:30.  

Today is a good day for ducks. I like duck. Roasted duck. Someday I’d like to try turducken. That’s where they stuff a boneless duck with a boneless chicken then put that into a boneless turkey and roast the whole thing. Sounds good to me.

As I’ve said before, I like small museums. Except for their unreliability. The website for the Maritime Museum at the Historic Coast Guard Station on St. Simons Island, Georgia, say they are open seven days a week. They aren’t. We tried on two different days. They say they’ll teach you what is was like for the guys stationed here in the 1940s. Maybe if we could get in they would. But we can’t get in. If any of you succeed, please don’t tell me it was wonderful.

We didn’t get into the Geechee Kunda Cultural Arts Center & Museum in Riceboro, Georgia, either. But, they never said they’d be open for us. They had a BIG event there April 18th. Maybe they haven’t recovered yet.

Late afternoon we arrived at Fort McAllister State Park. This is the first fort we’ve visited that was a Civil War fort. It had a great museum but my photos from there didn’t turn out well. Dave’s photos of the fort are much better so I’ll include them shortly. This fort was built along the Ogeechee River which was important to the shipping and receiving of supplies of Savannah, Georgia, during the Civil War. What I want to tell you about this fort is that its claim to fame isn’t so much the battles it won as how it did that. The fort was built of dirt. So when the Union ships fired on it the ammunition just sunk into the mud walls. Every night, the Confederate soldiers piled the dislodged dirt back onto the walls so the next day the Union ships were starting from the same place they’d started the day before. In the meantime the Rebs were shooting heated cannonballs into the Yankee ships setting them on fire. it wasn’t until the U.S.S. Montauk came with it’s iron cladding that a ship withstood the cannon fire. That battle was called a draw. Finally, the Union attacked from the land side with a ratio of 25 soldiers to one. That did it for this fort.

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So now we are parked in the campground at Fort McAllister State Park.  This might be a good park for those us you who drive up and down I-95.  It has water and electric hookups for $24 a night plus $3 admission to the park and most of the sites are pull-through. It also has a dump and several trails in addition to the museum and fort.  Plus, there’s a boat dock and ramp in the campground for salt water fishing with a license.  Our cell phones both had good reception but our Sprint aircard did not.  We do not have a satellite dish but did park in the trees.  I don’t know if there are more clear spots down by the river.

Tomorrow we will enter Savannah to see what there is to see there.



Fort Frederica

Another day; another fort. That seems to be what we visit most lately. I guess that’s what happens when you search out history sites along a country’s coastline. But this fort is different. OK, the fort itself is not but the surroundings are.

We started, as usual, in the visitor center. The movie was already playing for other visitors so we were invited to enjoy the exhibits while we waited. I enjoyed the games on display. They had written instructions for you to play them. This one is called Bagatelle and I’ve read in books about people playing it  but I had no idea it was so much like pinball or pachinko. In this one you use a wooden rod to push the not-very-round balls up the channel on the right. I had Dave quickly calculate my score because the movie was starting again. We think I got 225 but are not sure of that.

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Then we went exploring. This time I got to go too because this park provides golf carts to their visitors who want them.


So, I drove carefully across the bridge over the first moat into the town.  

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There  are only foundations left of that colony but they give us an idea of how small the houses were.

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James Eward Ogelthorp invited people with myriad skills to come to his new colony. Archaeologists have been busy here studying many documents to figure out who lived and worked where. Most of the colonists had a business as part of their house. Here’s a sample of them.

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Then we crossed another moat and came to the fort itself.

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So, another day; another fort. And we haven’t even started on the Civil War ones yet.



Brunswick, Georgia

As we approached Brunswick, Georgia, our transmission once again developed hiccups. This is usually a precursor to the loss of our turbo. Today the turbo kept working but the incidence of hiccups is increasing. One of these days we are going to wind up in an automobile repair shop again. Hopefully, this time the system will generate a code that lets them fix whatever is going wrong.

We are camping at Blythe Regional Park for five nights. There’s so much to see and do around here. Plus we need to do housekeeping chores like laundry again and catch up with this blog. Plus we like to stay parked for the weekends since camping spots are getting harder to come by as part-timers decide camping season is here again.

The former Hamilton Plantation on Saint Simons Island is now Epworth by the Sea, an historic site for the Methodist Church. Located near there are two tabby slave cabins that are supposedly open on Wednesdays from 10 to 1. We rearranged our stops to be there during that time but they were not open. I would like to see what furnishings they had in these cabins but that doesn’t appear to be going to happen.

We bought grocereis at Winn-Dixie. I know there’s a story about a girl growing up at Winn-Dixie or some such thing but I don’t know the details of it.

More transmission hiccups.

We finally succeeded in buying my replacement cane tips. Rainbow Drug did indeed have them. They don’t anymore, though, as we bought their entire supply. Which was only enough to replace my three and have one spare.

And we finally got the oil for our engine. Dave was not happy with me because I pressured him to go into a Dodge dealer that doesn’t sell Sprinters. He figured they wouldn’t have the oil we need since they don’t service vehicles with our type of engine. I figured we had better odds there than at all the auto parts stores we’ve been trying with no luck. I won.

So now I’m sitting here in the park writing blogs and Dave is over at the main building doing laundry. This is not a vacation we are on here.




Today is a dampened day. Do you remember taking a soda pop bottle, filling it with water, putting a special top on it, and using it to dampen clothes to make it easier to iron them? Maybe today is getting ready to help get the wrinkles out of our travels.

Reading another RVer’s blog found this quote, “Spontaneous travel takes a lot of preparation.” This person understands me spending so many hours online researching spots and sites ahead of us so we can spontaneously decide each day which things to do that day. Our daughter says my research is worth charging people to share it with them. But, I feel it is so special to our own tastes and interests that most other people wouldn’t find my lists useful. So, I just randomly put the public camping parts of my lists on my blog. I hope people are finding that useful.

Today we chose Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge as our site. We explored their visitor center and saw a great film there.

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Check out this display that is overhead so you see things as if from the bottom of the swamp.

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Then we drove down Swamp Island Drive. Some of this looked a lot like the Everglades but some was very different.

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Dave took a hike down the Homestead trail and brought back these pictures of the Chesser Island Homestead. Notice there is no growth in the yard. That’s to reduce fire danger and increase visibility of snakes.

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The Chessers were a typical family eating what they could grow, catch, or hunt. For cash they grew corn or sugar cane and tapped trees for turpentine. Work and play often came together such as at at hog butchering and syrup grinding time. Life was hard but it could be fun, too. The Chessers were fond of four-note, or sacred harp, singing. Chesser descendants continue to sing the primitive, a capella, harmonies today.

Dave’s next hike was down the Swamp Walk Trail. This is the boardwalk that runs the 3/4 mile length of this trail. It is smooth and level enough to be wheelchair accessible. I could have ridden my Segway down it if I’d been willing to risk more bug bites. But, since I still look like I have chicken pox, I decided not to do so.


This is one of the carnivourous plants that grow here.


This is a gator hole–the place where a gator digs himself in to keep cool or warm depending on what the weather is doing. His digging helps keep ponds open for the use of other wildlife as well. This one is supposed to be a good place to watch for turtles if you have enough time and patience.


This is a transition from pond to forest. The pond is slowly filling with vegetation that may eventually support large trees.


These are dead cypress trees. They were killed by wildfire back in the 1950s. They are now favorite scratching posts for the 400 or so bears who live here.


This is a view of a prairie and a deep pond. Alligators nest near here. They lay 30-50 eggs on peat mounds. The heat of the decaying vegetation incubates the eggs.


This is the Owl’s Roost Tower located a the end of the boardwalk and the views from it.

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I hope you enjoyed our visit to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.