Hunting Island, SC

Friday, April 4, 2014

Yesterday we made the 75 mile drive from Tybee Island, Ga to Hunting Island, SC. It is east of Beaufort, SC near Paris Island. This area is called the Sea Islands. We crossed over three or four islands to get to the end of the road atHunting Island Stste Park. And the 5,000 acre park is right on the Atlantic Ocean and includes a large campground, a light house, nature areas and lots of trails.
And the beach, a vary shallow sloped beach with sand bars just off shore. When the tide goes out a very wide, flat beach is left.
Looking south

And north. The beach is very easy to walk on, damp hard sand and also easy to bike on, lots of fun.

The campground is quite nice, huge pine trees, live oaks and palm trees. Most of the spaces are fairly generous. They have a 30 nights for half price deal hear for snow birds. Looks very nice. We checked out several sites. The one we are in is pretty nice. Some sun, some shade.

We rode our bikes to the light house about a mile and a half away.  We rode on the paved road, sort of busy and no shoulder.  The light house is made of cast iron sections bolted together. Twenty four years after it was erected it was disassembled and moved forther inland since the beach was eroding. Since the light house was originally built more than 1000′ of beach has been eroded.
For $2 you could climb to the top. Some did. About 135’ up.

The beach at this part of the islnd shows the effects of erosion.

We rode back on a forest trail. Long pine needles, pine cones and palm fronds covered the path which was hilly and had a lot of big roots.

We walked our bikes on some parts of the trail.

After our ride we spent a few hours in the afternoon sun on the beach. I got on my bike and rode on the beach south towards the light house. The damp sand was very firm, easy to ride on and the beach goes on for miles. There are whole trees tipped over where the erosion has moved the beach into the forest.

Very dramatic.

A selfie right on the beach riding my bike.  

Saturday we depart for Charleston. We really wish we had more time here but it is very hard to get into on short notice.  Most people we talked to make reservations at least 6 months in advance. The campground host told me if we want a specific site for next winter then we should make reservations now.  Maybe we will.
We are looking forward to our visit to Charleston.
Roger and Susan

Tybee Island and Savannah, End of March, 2014

Tybee Island

Tybee Island is actually an island. It is about 20 miles east of Savannah at the opening of the Savannah River into the Atlantic Ocean. Our campground is called the River’s End Campground.  It was family owned for about 40 years until the city of Tybee Island bought it several years ago and now runs it. It has over150 site plus a pretty big area for tents.  It seems to have been pretty close to full while we have been here.

The town on Tybee Island is only a mile or so long.  There is a beach on the river side, the north side and the ocean side.  The ocean side beach seem to be where all of the vacationers congregate.  There is a big pier down there and shops all over selling everything for the beach.  Sort of ugly.

The old light house is now a museum. The north end is dominated by an old military battery from around 1900. We enjoyed the north beach. Not too many folks. Upper 70’s.

We were entertained by this little girl in her colorful outfit.  Skipping, dancing, twirling, splashing.  A perfect day at the beach.

We spent a day in Savannah. What a lovely city. There are 24 squares throughout the city. Some are about one block square, one is several blocks wide and a half mile long. The streets run into the squares and then around the squares. This makes everything slow down. The streets are lined with moss covered Spanish Moss. Some are divided with trees right down the middle.

It turns out that Spanish Moss is neither Spanish nor moss. It is an air plant that feeds on dust and moisture in the air.  It is also the home of chiggers, bugs that bite and burrow into your skin. Henry Ford stuffed the seat cushions of early Model Ts with this bug infested plant. His marketing slogan about “Itching to get a Ford” backfired.
The squares have everything from statues to fountains.

There were giant Live Oaks.  Some had people living in them. Kind of sad.


There were some pretty amazing homes. Think of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

This is it! There are lots more homes to see but I’ll save room for other stuff.

Savannah is the #4 port on the eastern seaboard.  It is a major container and car carrier port as well as LNG (liquid natural gas).  They have a pretty neat stayed cable bridge.

Back at Tybee we checked out Fort Pulaski, a masonry fort built after the War of 1812 to protect ports along the US coast. The walls are 5-8 ft thick mortar and bricks, several million of them and was considered impervious to artillery. It was built over three years under the command of Robert E Lee, right out of West Point. When Georgia seceded from the Union they took over the fort. Union troops set up artillery on Tybee Island more than a mile away. They had conventional round ball cannon and 15“ mortars. They also had new, untried rifled cannon that shot bullet shaped shells.  

The Confederates had hundreds of cannon that shot through openings in the walls and up on the ramparts. The battle commenced early one morning with the conventional cannon and mortars.  There was little damage to the fort.  The following morning three batteries of the new rifled cannon oppened fire concentrating on one corner of the fort. The walls were breeched within hours and when the powder magazine was hit (without exploding) the Confederates surrendured.  There are still rifled shells embedded in the wall.

The days of the round ball cannon and the brick and mortar forts were over after a 30 hour battle. Amazingly only one Union soldier was killed and two Confederates were wounded.

They had cannons on display and at noon they fired a rifled cannon of the type used in the battle (1/2 powder charge, no shell). The big black one.

I used the Burst Mode App on my iPhone to take these pictures about 1/20 second apart, 2 of 100 taken in less than 5 seconds. Aim, get ready …


Today we went to the “Mighty 8th Airforce” Museum.  The Mighty 8th started in Savannah as WWII began. It was the main Army Airforce stationed in England flying into western Europe.  There were the Memphis Belle flyers, more than 350,000 in all, air crews and ground crews.  They flew missions for three years.  About 75,000 air crew members were killed or missing in action, taken prisoner or injured.   25 missions was a tour of duty.  Only 1 of three air crew lived to complete a tour of duty.  This museum looked small from the outside but was huge with detailed information, films, dioramas and displays.

A geniune cast iron british phone box. A trainer, a P 51 fighter escort and a B 17 being restored.

There were displays about the Girl Scouts contibution to the war effort, the sacrifices made by the folks at home, the role of women pilots (WASPs) who ferried aircraft all over the country and machines and equipment used in the war effort.  I liked this one for making up to 1000 sets of dog tags in an 8 hour shift.

That’s a lot for one post, I need to do them more often.
We are leaving in the morning on another hard day of driving, 75 miles, up the coast to South Carolina to Hunting Island State Park for a couple days then on to Charleston.  We want to see what Hunting Island looks like.  They have 1/2 price camping, full hook ups, 50 amps for Dec, Jan and Feb.  You can stay for a month.  Feb 2014 high temps averaged mid 60s with average lows in the upper 40s. 
Check back for more.
Roger and Susan.