Thursday, March 5, 2015

Creeping home

Well, the weather up North is frightful, and the South is so delightful, to misquote an old song. We are on our way home, but studying the weather there and enroute as best we can, we decided to advance slowly. We are adding another day to our travel time in hopes that the current bad news will push offshore by the time we are approaching Virginia.

After spending half a day (and a bunch of money) at Leisure Time, we headed toward the ocean. I had studied the map and discovered that Lynchburg is actually slightly east of Charleston, so I-95 is the most logical route, even from the Gulf coast of Florida. Being in no hurry, we bypassed the interstate and turned north on A1A, which runs along the shore. We stopped in Ormond Beach so Jean could get another beach hit.

The beach there (at least at low tide) is broad and flat. The sand is fine and very light, except by the water where it is reddish. There were few people and few birds on the beach. Also, to Jean's disappointment, few shells. After about three-quarters of a mile, we spotted RVs parked just beyond the dune line. Investigating, we found a combination hotel/cottages/campground. We inquired and found the price higher than we hoped, but tempting. However we elected to press on. After a long stretch where you can actually see the ocean from the highway (rare for A1A) we found some more campgrounds. Unfortunately they were either full or way overpriced. So we carried on and checked in at the same campground we had stopped in on the way down to de-winterize.

Next day (today) we decided only to go through Georgia. We drove up US 17 and quickly saw the effect of building I-95. The new (at the time) highway took most of the traffic off 17. There were a lot of abandoned businesses and things looked sort of run down in general.

Along the way, we passed a sign for Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation Historic Site. We were in no rush, so we turned around and drove in. It turned out to be well worth our time. The site is park-like with lots of 400-year old live oaks bedecked with Spanish moss and Resurrection ferns. It is the last remaining of the rice plantations that were the basis of the economy of the Low Country.

Don't think Tara, the house itself is little more than a substantial farm house. There are lots of outbuildings, mostly from the years as a dairy farm after the price of rice fell. It stayed in the family for five generations, and was finally given to the state by the last surviving family member.

Hofwyl-Broadfield plantation house
We were fascinated by one huge live oak that was spread well out on the ground.

Pressing on, we ended the day at a Cracker Barrel on the outskirts of Savannah. The temperature is dropping and it is raining off and on. Tomorrow we don't expect to get much farther than Florence, SC, where we will sit tight and wait for a break in the weather so we can head north for Forest.

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