|st. Mary's ga
and Cumberland Island
|Click above, there is a lot of information on St. Mary's
|The last weekend in May we took off for St Mary’s Georgia, excited to get away again, as we only get to ride every
other week, due to our jobs. We were looking forward to this trip, because of all the history in St Mary’s.
We jumped on 301, and headed towards Baldwin, and Everybody’s Restaurant, as we have mentioned before this
restaurant is a great place to eat. We arrived in St Mary’s in the afternoon, and checked into the hotel.
|The Riverview Hotel would be our home for the next two days. It’s not a bad place to stay very historical, with lots of character. Our
room was on the second floor, which made it easy to enjoy the balcony, the view of the town was beautiful, and looking towards the
waterfront and across the river you can see Fernandina. There is a rumor that there may be a ferry form St Mary’s to Fernandina.
|Just a little history of the
town and the hotel. The hotel
was built in 1916 and was ran
by the Brandon sisters, Miss
Sallie, Semora and Ethel.
They say the hotel is
operated in the same tradition
as when it was first opened.
St Mary’s was established in
1784, but it was first settled
by the French in 1562. It is
told that Jean Ribault sailed
into St Mary’s River and
called it “River May” for the
month of entrance, later it
was changed to Mary. St
Mary’s is considered the 2nd
oldest city in the US.
|As soon as we got back from getting some snacks from the grocery store we started exploring the town, but first we stopped for a
beer at Trolleys on the waterfront. Next stop was Oak Grove cemetery. You could spend a few days here. We did find two graves of
revolutionary war soldiers. As we found out there is an incredible amount of history here, so check out the links on the page for some
interesting reading. Later that day we made our reservations for the ferry to Cumberland Island, our trip for the next day. If you are
planning a trip to the Island, make sure you make reservations as the boat fills up quickly. You make your reservations at the Langs
seafood company office on the riverfront, but you pay for it at the park ranger office at the ferry landing. That night we ate at Langs
kicking back with a good glass of wine.kicking back with a good glass of wine.
|The next day we left dock on the ferry at around 1145 for Cumberland Island. Some “must”, bring cold drinks including water, some
snacks or, a small picnic, sun screen, insect spray, and good walking shoes, and #1 bring something to take your trash in. You may not
leave any trash on the island. Once again, LOTS of history here. (see the icon on the page for more info on the island). I was so taken by
the island I bought the book “Strong Women Wild Horses” that gives you a complete history of the island. We decided to do the self
guided tour, which we started at the Dungeness dock. First thing we spotted as we got off the ferry was the wild horses. I was so excited,
we found that the horses were everywhere.
|Moving along we headed for the Dungeness ruins, how magnificent this mansion must have been in its heyday, it was huge and it
amazed me the amount of out buildings all around it. The recreation house, the carriage house, with its rusted out cars all set in a row.
Later as I read the book I purchased, I learned all the history of the island. Leaving the mansion we headed towards the beach,
stopping off at one of the two cemeteries. This one is where General “light horse” Harry Lee, father of General Robert E Lee was
buried. Later he was disinterred by his son in 1890 to Virginia.
|The beach is beautiful, but the trek getting there was a challenge especially with our footwear, (wear good walking shoes) heading north up
the beach we made it to the next board walk that leads to Sea Camp docks where we will board the ferry for the trip back. We kicked back
at the ranger’s station, had some well deserved drinks, lounged in the rockers and enjoyed the nice breeze. As we were boarding the ferry
we saw some of the campers coming on. They say that the camping is great, but bringing back ALL your trash must be a little challenging.
As we were motoring back we noticed the smoke trail of the space shuttle that had just launched.
|The pictures above are of Cumberland Island. The path from the beach is canopied by the most interesting trees, the limbs are long reaching
the ground and then bending upwards again, definitely different from anything we have ever seen. There is the ranger station with those
comfortable rocking chairs.
|Orange Hall had many purpose throughout its history. As usual were jonsing for some coffee and spotted a shop named “Once Upon A Time
book store” that advertised “coffee”, we were ready and they were open. Can’t remember the store owners name, but she was most friendly
and shared her knowledge of the local history. She mentioned the tidal waves in the 1800’s, and this is where the first pecan tree in the
Georgia was planted. Okay back to the coffee, thinking it’s late the coffee will be old, nope it was fresh, and folks it was GOOD. We made our
way back the hotel and after eating we spent some more time on the balcony with a good glass of wine.
Ah………….Sunday morning again, and the ride back home. We ate breakfast at the dining room at the hotel, noticed that they had two bars
one on either side of the hotel, we’ll have to check these out next time. Leaving St Mary’s on 17 we just turned on 108 and decided to turn
around and go back to Kings Bay Sub Station to see if we could get a tour. Michel is a tugboat captain and has docked many subs at the port.
It was a no go for the tour, never hurts to ask, but we got some great shots of the sub coming out of the ground. Turning home again we got
back on 108, which is a very nice road. It runs through Kingsland Ga. Soon we were back on 301, and as we reached Lawtey, Florida we took a
different route home. (click on map icon). This was a great trip, all though we didn’t do a lot of riding, but definitely a “do again”. Remember to
check out the icons on the page for the additional trip information. As usual we are working on our next trip; in fact I am sending maps and
information to Michel while he is at work. Our next destination is Monticello Fl, Thomasville Ga area. Heard there are some great tree canopied
roads in those parts of the country. Steve and Jill will be with us on the trip. Stay tuned and until next time ride SAFE…but JUST GET OUT
AND RIDE. Marcia
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