Saturday, April 21, 2012

Savannah, GA

Our site at Skidaway Island State Park
Fiddler crabs
We spent the last week at Skidaway Island State Park on the coastal edge of Savannah.  The park's northern edge is the Atlantic inter-coastal waterway.  We enjoyed walking the various trails which criss-crossed through areas that were subject to tidal water rise and fall.  We went during different levels of tide to see how it looked, and how wildlife behaved, at different water levels.  It was fascinating to see the crabs at work scavenging in the mud as the tide went out and watching tiny minnows seemingly pushing the water inland as it slowly moved forward to cover the mud left from the previous tide.  We walked along a stream that flows in both directions and is dry (well mud) for a brief time in-between.  Very cool stuff for us "in-landers".  The more high and dry part of the trails provided a different kind of woods than you find elsewhere also.
Edge of clearing on trail
Confederate earth works
A mix of wild palms, pines and oaks all growing together and often heavily shrouded in Spanish moss. Then you throw in some confederate earth works where they hunkered down waiting for Union attacks and a couple of moonshine stills from the days of Prohibition and you have some very interesting walks.

First Girl Scout headquarters 
We checked out the historic area of Savannah and enjoyed that too.  Ann was excited to see the first Girl Scout headquarters and home of Juliette Gordon Low.  We took one of the trolley tours around and then went back and walked around some of the "squares" to get a closer look at the old homes and buildings.  We ate dinner at the Pirates House and it was excellent. This restaurant is in the oldest building in Savannah which was for a long time a haven for Pirates.  The story is interesting and fun but too long for this so I shall provide a link so you can read at your leisure.

Cool old building

The Pirates House 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

St. Augustine, FL

Original city gate
Old wood school house-1750
We had a wonderful day walking around historic St. Augustine, FL yesterday.  We were hoping it would be special, and it was.  The town was established in 1565 so is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States.  There are a lot of buildings still standing circa 1760's that are well maintained.  There is a cemetery that began use in 1783. The Catholic parish was founded in 1565 and has the country's oldest parish records.  The building that is now called St. Francis Barracks and home to the Florida National Guard, was initially built in 1600 and has been used for numerous purposes ever since.  It has burnt several times but the walls made of "coquina" which is a rare form of limestone (seemed like compressed seashells) quarried nearby, survived the fires.  Construction of the fort (Castillo de San Marcos) began in 1672 and was continuously occupied by various nations, and thus maintained and enhanced, until turned over to the National Park Service.  The fort is also made of coquina which has microscopic air bubbles so it would just absorb cannon balls rather than cracking or being demolished (like shooting a BB into Styrofoam).  Lots of fascinating things learned.
St. George Street

Castillo de San Marcos
Today we drove to a state park near Savannah Georgia so that we can check out historic Savannah.  This state park (Skidaway Island) is great so we should have a nice week here.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Frozen Four

I find it necessary to say a few words and post a couple of pictures from this year's Frozen Four in Tampa.  It was incredible that Ferris State not only made it to the Frozen Four but actually got into the Championship game.  It was awesome.  They didn't win that last game but they are definite winners as they made school history.  This year's success will no doubt help the hockey program for the future.  Three cheers to the Bulldogs!  May we see them in the Frozen Four many more times.

Mural on side of arena
Bulldogs on the ice
 We drove to Jacksonville today (the day after the big game).  It was time to get back on the road and follow the warm weather north.  We'll be moving along now so come back often for new posts.