Thursday, March 20, 2014

Crooked River State Park Georgia

    And a Perfect Day On Cumberland Island



 It is day two in a lovely state park near St Marys Georgia.  Rivers here drain the Okefenokee Swamp  and offshore is Georgia's largest and most natural barrier island Cumberland Island NS.

But the weather is routinely cold and dreary and the ferry to the island either closed or booked solid.  The visitation to the Island is limited to 300 per day.  We prowl around disconsolately, visiting the beautiful trees of St Mary's and their attendant churches, learning procedures for getting a standby ferry passage.

Then today, day three....foggy morning ...WAIT FOR IT...we load our packs... appear promptly to sign in for standby..."come back in 30 minutes" 

....SUN BREAKS THROUGH, A WHOLE BUS CANCELS and we are on board a half filled ferry for the start of a perfect day. 


 Sun is shining, a slight breeze,  bugs seem to have forgotten about us. Our ranger guide is Rene No, who has lived on island for 32 years, since the first days of the National Seashore.
  Her "little talk" was as thorough and richly detailed as any we have ever heard. We all wanted to give a standing O, but we were already standing and walking all over the Dungeness end of the Island.

We did the day visitors crawl -- down to the ruins of Dungeness, picnic under the live oaks, walk over the dunes and a mile down the shore toward the Seacamp dock where the late afternoon ferry will hustle us back to St Marys.  There really isn't time to do more unless we choose to camp under the enchanted tangle of wind twisted oaks of the island campground.

Norman and Sheila have been coming south to camp here for thirteen years.  We watched as their provisions for a week and essential camping gear were carted aboard and enjoyed hearing of their experiences. Later we found them "at home";  we talked until we had to force march across the island to make the ferry connection home.  Only then did we appreciate how far they were required to cart their gear.  We wished we were going to enjoy the quiet evening with them and the sight of the full moon glowing through the Spanish Moss.

We both admitted being tired on the ride back on the Cumberland Queen.  The sun was sinking slowly across the marsh while we quaffed lager at Lang's Seafood and downed some lightly breaded flounder.  It was a Perfect day, well worth waiting for.

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