Weekend in the Country

We recently spent a weekend at a super secret hideaway we go to several times a year. I can’t tell you exactly where it is because then it wouldn’t be a secret!

During my quiet morning walks I wandered along the edge of the woods and beside a creek I felt like I was miles away from civilization. I was constantly on the lookout for bunnies, white tailed deer, wild turkeys, and other wildlife. There were a few deer and wild turkey sightings but sadly I didn’t have my camera handy when I spotted them.

One of the things we we like to do when we are there is to go four wheeling through the woods. One afternoon a friend came by on his four wheeler to take us on some new to us trails. Our adventure was all on beautiful, undeveloped private property. Our friend started off the tour by crossing a creek into land we had never seen before. For most of the ride we were surrounded by a dense pine and hardwood forest with many old trees.

We came out of the woods and passed by fields of corn before stopping for an up close look at a sunflower field.

On our return trip we parked the Ranger in the middle of the creek, turned off the engine, and enjoyed the peaceful sound of the water running over the rocks.

Another day we took a drive to Milledgeville to explore the abandoned buildings of Central State Hospital. Founded in 1842, the hospital was originally known as the Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot, and Epileptic Asylum. At one time there were over 12,000 patients in the facility making it the largest mental institution in the United States and possibly in the world. They were housed in numerous buildings spread out over about 2,000 acres. Today, most of the buildings are abandoned and neglected.

We took a self guided driving tour around the grounds. Our first stop was the Powell Building which once housed some of the patients and later was an administrative building. The buildings are all closed to the public but visitors can walk around for a closer look. A security guard was patrolling the property and advised us to stay away from dangerous areas which are in need of repairs.

Vines creep up the front of the building. I could just imagine the patients in those rooms, peering out their windows at the outside world. I noticed that some windows had curtains while some had blinds. I wondered if the patients were allowed to decorate their own rooms.

We followed behind the security guard’s car to the Cedar Grove Cemetery where there are over 25,000 graves.

Today part of the hospital is a maximum secure Forensics facility which provides care for around 300 people who are referred by Georgia State Corrections.

We explored on our own on a Sunday afternoon. On certain days trolley tours of the hospital campus are offered.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – A Glimpse into my World

Welcome to my world along the Georgia coast where I am surrounded by salt water creeks and rivers, salt marsh and a beach on the Atlantic Ocean is only a five minute drive away. Please join me for a glimpse of some of the natural beauty that is in my world.

Birds and Wildlife of Coastal Georgia:

Salt Marsh, Beaches, and Waterways

Sunrises and Sunsets

Flowers and critters in the garden

Wild Georgia Shrimp and Georgia Blue Crabs fresh from the sea.

Many thanks to guest host Sheetal for this week’s Lens Artists photo challenge #135: a Glimpse of my World.

Driftwood Beach Sunrise, a Historic Island, and a Capsized Cargo Ship

The morning after our anniversary celebration, Henry slept in while I got up early to watch the sunrise at Driftwood Beach.

Sunrise at Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA
Sunrise at Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA

A Brief History of Jekyll Island and the Jekyll Island Club:

  • 1886 – The island was purchased for $125,000 by wealthy American industrialists to create a hunting retreat, the Jekyll Island Club.
  • 1888 – The Jekyll Island Club opened.
  • 1896 – The San Soucie (meaning ‘Without Care’) was built with six units. It is one of the earliest condominium buildings in the United States. William Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan were two of the owners.
  • 1910 – A plan was made for the Federal Reserve Banking System during a secret meeting of the Jekyll Island Club.
  • 1915 – The first transcontinental call was made by one of the club members.
  • 1947 – The State of Georgia purchased Jekyll Island for $675,000 and the island became a state park.
  • 1972 – The Jekyll Island Club was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1985 – 1986 – The Jekyll Island Club was completely restored and opened in 1986 as the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.
  • Today, Jekyll Island is a popular beach destination on Georgia’s coast with several hotels, a campground, easy access to miles of beach, and many activities to enjoy.

Here are a few images from around today’s Jekyll Island Club Resort. Click on an image for a closer look.

We took some scenic drives around the 7 1/2 mile long and 1 1/2 mile wide island. At the fishing pier on the north end of the island we had a great view of the Sydney Lanier Bridge and the Golden Ray cargo ship.

Sydney Lanier Bridge

We came across some birds as we wandered around the island.

Osprey on nest, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Tri-colored heron on Jekyll Island near Driftwood Beach

On September 8, 2019 the Korean cargo ship the Golden Ray left the port of Brunswick loaded with cars shortly before it ran aground in the St. Simons sound. The ship caught fire and thankfully, all of the 24 crew members were rescued. Since then, a special response team has been working to remove the ship. Recently, the team has put the efforts on hold because of COVID-19 and hurricane season. For more information go to St. Simons Sound Response.