"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

June 6, 2011

June 5 - Cumberland Island, GA

Day 91 - Wild Houses
Cumberland Island National Seashore - Anchorage

Right after breakfast we loaded our bikes on the dinghy and went ashore. Cumberland Island is beautiful. The island is covered with saltwater marshes, forests and beaches, and is home to bands of feral horses. Within the first thirty minutes on the island we had seen deer, turkeys and horses. Our first destination was the beach on the south end of the island. To get to the beach we had to cross some of the biggest sand dunes I've even seen. The beaches here are very wide; I guess the seven foot tide swing is the reason. We found a few nice shells and some sand dollars. Our next stop was the ruins of the Dungeness mansion.

Here's a little history of this part of the island: Revolutionary General Nathanael Greene purchased land on Cumberland in 1783 and his wife had a 4-story tabby (tabby is a type of concrete made from oyster sells, lime and sand) home built that she named Dungeness. In 1884, Thomas Carnegie (brother of Andrew Carnegie) and his wife Lucy built a home on Dungeness’s foundations and also called their home Dungeness. It was a grand place where tycoons, senators and statesmen gathered for all kinds of events. However after Lucy’s death in 1916 and with the onslaught of the great depression, the home was abandoned and fell into ruin. In the 1970’s the ruins and land were donated to the National Park Foundation and it became Cumberland Island National Seashore. Even in ruins you can imagine what a grand place this once was, with every need met from one of the 300 people the Carnegie's employed. We really enjoyed watching the horses in this area. We went through a small museum near the ferry dock that gave a little history of the island and the people who have called it home for the past 400 years.

We went back to the boat for lunch and then to the beach near the Sea Camp dock. This area is used for camping and is amazingly pretty. Large oak trees and palmetto everywhere. Our big find this afternoon were three starfish. By five o'clock we were exhausted from riding our bikes on the soft sand roads and walking on the beach. We are definitely in better shape now than we were three months ago. We both agreed this is one of the best parks we have been to.

One of the roads on the island
Sites on the way to the beach
 Boardwalk over the dunes
 Huge dunes on the Atlantic side of the island
 The Beach
 The entrance to Dungeness
 Ruins of the main house
 Horses around the grounds of the mansion
 Turkeys on the grounds of the mansion
 Our new bikes (Sun Drifter 3)

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