Day 42, November 21, 1997: Vero Beach, FL to Savannah, GA

Label today "Escape From Stalag Florida". There was only one thing on my mind and I awoke without prompting at an unusually early hour to start. I was actually packed, fed, fueled, and on the road by 7:00, an impossible time for me. Actually getting out of that, to my mind at least, accursed state only took four hours.

"Georgia on my mind" is the motto on their license plates. On my mind it may be but I will be able to spend only a few hours actually touring here. My first visit was to Jekyll Island which lies just north of the border and just off shore. In 1886 prominent East Coast millionaires, including Goodyear, the Goulds, J.P. Morgan, Pulitzer and a Rockefeller bought the island for $125,000. Naming themselves the Jekyll Island Club, they built a large clubhouse and elaborate "cottages," for use as a hunting preserve and family getaway. Now the island is a state park and beach.

The "cottages" that were built early in the island's history are, for the most part, still standing. Most have been converted into galleries and museums. The outbuildings such as servant's quarters (and there must have been a bunch of servants from the looks of it) house shops and the like. I'll include a couple of the cottages as today's pictures.

I also visited another island - St. Simons, which was an important early settling place and a bone of contention between the British and the Spanish in the 1700s. One of the remnants of this conflicts is Fort Frederica and the surrounding town. Remnants is the key phrase here since they were built in the 1720s and have since decayed to little more than foundations. The largest remaining bits are part of the masonry fort and the entry gate of the barracks. The Park Service has done a great job of relating the stories of the area and it was quite enjoyable. The setting is also lovely with giant live oaks hung with Spanish moss all around. Mosquitos are still hungry though...

This will be the last entry into my journal. The first reason is that, since leaving Key West I have deviated entirely from the intent of the trip. The second is that, with time growing short and winter threatening I will have to really fly if I'm going to try to make my northern visits and still get to Mom's house before Thanksgiving. I'd like to thank all of you for allowing me to annoy you with my missives over the past six weeks and hope that at least some of the pictures were entertaining. Perhaps if I decide to pick up the tour at some later time I'll start the journal again and annoy those of you who don't hide well enough.

I failed to complete the 1997 trip but I did finally go back and finish it in 2003 driving the same 1991 Miata. The trip continues in "On Edge Redux".


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