Sunday, November 26, 2006

Christmas in the Panhandle

This is Chipley Park which surrounds Lake Defuniak in DeFuniak Springs, for the Reflections Celebration they decorate the park with over 4 1/2 million lights. It was a one mile walk around the lake but since it was 70 degrees we really didn't mind it that much. These are just a few of the displays and the pictures really can't do it justice.
Click on a picture to enlarge

The Garden of Ghost
This is the Poinsettia Garden

Santa’s Work Shop

Reflection from across the lake
Palm trees and Pink Flamingos

One of the homes around the lake

Cat sleeping in front of the fireplace

Another flower garden

Leaping fish

View from across the lake

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Down the coast

Guess I’m getting lazy, since our last entry we traveled to the Outer Banks area, Morehead City, Beaufort and Emerald Isle. Cathy finally got a good fish dinner at one of the restaurants down on the wharf in Morehead City. We set aside one day to visit the N. Carolina Aquarium; we could have set aside 20 minutes. They just reopened it after a two year, 25 million dollar make over, they have a lot of nice exhibits but they got rid of a lot more nice ones then they put in. As usual there were about 20 school busses there with a ton of kids just running around.

The next day was much better we when to Fort Macon, a quick History:
Construction of the fort began in 1826, it is a five-sided structure of brick and stone with twenty-six vaulted casements (rooms) with outer walls that are 4.5 feet thick, it was part of the chain of coastal fortifications for national defense. Its purpose was to guard Beaufort Harbor, North Carolina's only deepwater ocean port. It was named after state senator Nathaniel Macon, who procured the funds to build the facility. During its history it has seen Robert E Lee as an Army engineer, seized by the N. Carolina militia, retaken by Union forces to be used as a coal fueling station for the navy, a federal prison, closed in 1903, sold to the state of North Carolina to be used as a state park, restored by the Civilian Conservation Corps and then leased back to the military to be used during World War II.

This is one of the best preserved Civil War Forts we’ve been to thanks to the CCC, it was a very hot sunny day and the most comfortable spot was on top of the citadel walls, from where you can look out and watch the ocean waves breaking into the inlet.

When we left here to head south we drove past Camp Lejeune, for about four miles the road was lined with huge home made signs welcoming home the different soldiers and units, was really kind of neat.
We stayed in Myrtle Beach for a week and did a drive north along the coast to Southport, while we were in the area we followed a few signs and found the Ghost of Brunswick Town, located on the banks of the Cape Fear River it was a British colony started in 1726. It was a major shipping port for the British until the colonist rebelled against the Crowns authority of tax stamps; this was eight years before they did it in Boston with the Boston Tea Party. In 1776 the British raided the town and burnt it to the ground. All that is left now are the foundations of about 50 different homes and buildings and the walls of the St. Phillips Anglican Church. Some of the town in on Army property (Sunny Point Army Base) and not assessable.
This is also the site of Fort Anderson built by the C.S.A. 1861 to defend the city of Wilmington; the fort was a large sand fortification with ten cannons. Today only the outer mounds of the fort remain.

This year we decided to by pass Charleston and spend a week in Savannah, we found a campground that was only ten minutes drive from downtown Savannah by the back roads. While we were there we did a few roads trips out to Beaufort, Port Royal and Bluffton doing the tourist type things.

We did spend a day at Wormsloe Plantation; this was built by Noble Jones who came over from England with Oglethorpe in 1733. The main entrance leads you down mile long lane that’s completely covered with Live Oaks, there were a few living history actors there and showed us around the plantation.

Descendants of the original family still reside at this site and are actively involved in heritage preservation at Wormsloe. There is a ton of history here but way too much to go into.

Onward to St Mary’s Georgia right on the Florida boarder were we had a ton of things planned to do, that is until I twisted my back, so this week ended up being Chiropractors, pain pills and rest.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Right now we are in Unadilla, south-central Georgia, this is our home park and we get to stay here free for a week.
Veterans Day evening we went over to Andersonville NHP, this is the home of the National Museum for POW’s and MIA’s, Andersonville was the location of the Confederate Civil War prison where in a 14 month period more then 13000 prisoners died either from disease or treatment from the guards.
This year was their First Annual Memorial Illumination Drive; the plan was to have 13000 candles spread across the old prison grounds to represent the soldiers that died there, well that were the plan. It was to start at 6:30pm and we went over about an hour and a half early, on the way there it started to rain a little. When we got there I talked to one of the rangers and asked here if we could wait in the parking lot until it started, she asked if we were volunteers and I said no. Well you are now she told me, the rain had put out most of the candles, she handed me half a dozen BBQ lighters and said get out there and start lighting candles. Cathy and I drove around to the site and started running around lighting as many candles as we could. About 10 minutes before it was to start, along with a ton of other volunteers we had managed to re-light approximately 80% of the candles. All of our lighters had run out of fluid and we were walking back to the car when the second wave of rain came along, I had my camera in my pocket and using a monument for a tripod I managed to get one time exposed picture before the rain hit really hard. Within two minutes all the candles were out again, by the time we walked back to the car the rain had stopped and was gone for the night. We only got to see it from the top of the hill for about 2 minutes but it was something neither one of us will ever forget. I talked with the ranger after and she said that they spent two years planning this and because of the time and money it took and because of the results that they will probably not attempt it again. If this is true then we are two of just a handful of people that will ever experience this sight.Click picture to enlarge