Blog Entry #2 September 25th 2015 – St. Simons Island and Starke, FL

We spent the first part of Friday, September 25th on St. Simons Island halfway between Savannah, GA and Jacksonville, FL.  St. Simons is one of the stereotypical up-scale island communities that works at striking a balance between posh accommodations, comfortable residential life, nature preservation, and historical relevance.  Anyway – they do a pretty good job of each, if one just tries to focus one of those objectives at a time.  We began our visit with a stop at the regional Visitors Center where we were provided an overview of the points of interest by a very well acquainted host.

9-25-15 Visitors Center St. Simons Island, GA

At the Chamber of Commerce representative’s suggestion, and with maps and brochures in hand, we headed off to our first stop – the St. Simons Lighthouse and museum.  Those of you familiar with my hesitance to trust the integrity of any elevated structure (natural or man-made) would be proud of the way Jean and I assaulted the spiral staircase and leapt onto the veranda of the lighthouse’s 100 ft. structure whose construction materials have been subjected to the natural stresses and corrosive effects of the coital environment for the past 143 years – what is the predicted life of cast iron buttresses anyway??  Anyway, the entire complex was meticulously maintained – so I did not have to worry about soiling by clothes (the outer ones anyway) had I plummeted to my death with the collapsing lighthouse.

9-25-15 Light House & Museum, St. Simon Island, GA

9-25-15 Jean at Maritime Museum, St. Simons Islands, GA

Next was our ritual stop at the local beach for our lunch of – you guessed it – naturally ground peanut butter and clover honey on coarse-milled whole wheat bread.  We had forgotten (notice how I say “we” when we mess up, and “I” when we have an achievement) to bring a spreading utensil for the peanut butter.  No worries – Dan’s tool kit to the rescue.  I keep an old – very old- gasket scraper in my tool box just in case we have to replace a water pump or other similarly attached component on the Jeep.  After a couple of swipes with a paper towel to reduce the level of toxic residue, it was off to the races.  It is surprising how well the peanut butter cleaned the surface of the scraper.

9-25-15 Jean at lunch on beach, St. Simons Island, GA

9-25-15 Peanut butter spreading tool St. Simons Island, GA

Just in case we might have ingested some slow-acting fatal compound while spreading our peanut butter with the scraper, our next stop was Christ Episcopal Church; constructed on the island in the late 1800’s, for some Divine assistance .  I was particularly impressed with the joinery on the internal trusses.  The craftsmen used a combination of dovetail and lap techniques at each joint – and wooden pegs to secure the joining system.

9-25-15 Christ Church, St. Simons Island, GA

At about 2pm on the 25th we decided it was time to make some southward progress toward our Key West destination; selecting Starke, FL about 135 miles south and probably an achievable destination before dark.  After some lodging misadventures, we settled in for the night in Starke – a somewhat isolated outpost located in northeastern Florida.  Remember the “chick magnet” qualities of the Jeep (some say it is my personal charm – those who don’t know me well)?  Anyway, early evening we get a knock on our motel room door.  I open the door to find a middle-aged lady (I can use the term “middle-aged” now that I am “end-aged”) standing there in her night attire saying – yes you guessed it – I love your Jeep”.  I quickly slipped outside closing the door behind me to spend a few moments awkwardly discussing the merits of the car before she headed off back across the parking lot to her room.

Blog Entry #1 September 23rd to 24th 2015 - Cary, NC to Darien, GA
Blog Post #3 September 26th 2015 - Eating Kids and Taking Stock