Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 4 June 2007

Wild Horses and Love Bugs

Crooked River State Park, Georgia – June 3, 2007

It's 4,995 miles from Tampa to Fairbanks, Alaska. At an average of 150 miles a day, we should be there about the 4th of July...Minnesota, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, the Yukon Territories...places we've never been.

Tropical storm Barry followed us from Tampa to Georgia. The wind and rain cooled things off and suppressed the bugs, making camping pleasant for this time of year. As it is, the rain brings much need replenishment for parched lawns, reservoirs and crops. Also, the black clouds of shamelessly copulating Love Bugs should be down in the grass instead of plastered in pairs on the front of the RV. They are nearly impossible to remove after they dry for ten hours.

We’re camped on the banks of Crooked River in South Georgia. There’s a huge submarine base nearby. Our campground overlooks the river, which is a typical Georgia coastal river winding though wide expanses of savannah-like grasslands.

We take the ferry over to Cumberland Island for a swim and picnic. The ferry takes you (but not your bike) to a pristine National Seashore on Cumberland Island. Wild horses roam the beach there. The horses are not all that healthy and have adapted to drinking brackish water and eating sea oats. They have a high salt content and their ribs show. Naturalists want them gone to avoid damage to sea oats. Animal rights groups want them rounded up and treated by vets. Tourists love them.

The ruins of the Dungeness mansion sit in the woods. The mansion was built by Lucy Carnegie. Feral descendents of the Carnegies are said to roam the woods at night. The word Dungeness has a French origin. It means “dangerous nose”. The UK has a Dungeness in Kent. Lucy Carnegie bought up most of this 18 mile long island and then tied it up in her will until the last of her children died in 1963.

In 1959, the Dungeness groundskeeper shot a poacher in the leg. The poacher’s relatives returned and burned the mansion and family yacht. You don’t mess with Georgia boys over a crummy deer, Carnegie or not.

There is a small one-room church for freed slaves here. It has no electricity. For some reason, JFK, Jr. elected to be married in the church. This is one of three National Seashores we have visited on the East coast. One is down in Florida by Cape Canaveral. Another is the Outer Banks up in North Carolina.

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