Since our bear quest ended in the Smoky Mountains, we've been working our way south to warmer climes. First came Lake Oconee in central Georgia and then a campground just outside Charleston, South Carolina. Now we're working our way down the coast, so we've crossed the border back into Georgia again to hang out 40 minutes south of Savannah. We're staying on Savage Island in Fort McAllister State Historic Park. We toured the fort, which was a confederate stronghold during the Civil War until it fell to Union general William T. Sherman and his army, but the park also contains 1,725 acres of salt marsh, the Ogeechee River and a forest full of beautiful giant live oaks covered in Spanish moss.
Our campground in Savage Island is connected to the mainland by a long causeway across the salt march. This area lost a lot of trees and suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Matthew. In fact, the park only opened a week ago, after a month of clean up with the help of a teams of volunteers, and there are still fallen trees and mounds of tree debris everywhere you drive around here. When we tried to visit Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina earlier this week on the recommendation of friends, it was still shut because of hurricane damage and the campground there is not expected to reopen until next May. Instead, we visited Coligny Beach Park that day on Hilton Head, South Carolina, where the picture of both of us on the beach at sunset was taken and where we saw a pod of dolphins close to the shore.
Although our campground has definitely lost a lot of trees and undergrowth, our spot on the island is still amazingly beautiful. This and our federal campground in the Smoky Mountains have been so much nicer than any of the private camp sites we've stayed in so far. There have been forest fires burning for a couple of weeks in the northern part of Georgia, but we have been completely unaffected in the south. There are hardly any other campers around, we are surrounded by mature trees draped in Spanish moss and all we can hear are the sounds of woodpeckers above.
Sonny loves it here as it is a super quiet place for him to explore outside and watch squirrels–a first for him– scampering about everywhere. A short walk away is Redbird Creek, where you can go sea kayaking (as long as you don't mind the alligators), begin a number of hiking trails and take in panoramic views of the salt marshes, which are also home to four different species of egrets and six different species of herons, pelicans and cranes, among hundreds of other birds. This was also where we saw the super moon, but let's come clean here, our photos were crap, so we won't post any of those.
We'll write about our stops in Charleston and Savannah in another post soon, but in the meantime, if you'd like to see more photos from our trip, we're posting some every few days to our @nycnomads Instagram account. Hope to see you over there too!
Kathryn Tully and Shane Sesta are a married couple, one American and one Brit, who are spending a year traveling across America and writing about their discoveries. Sonny is their rescue cat and fried chicken aficionado.