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Fort Pulaski

December 31, 2012

Georgia – Wednesday, December 26

Once again we had a wonderful breakfast at the Amethyst Inn – a broccoli/egg dish, grits (made with sour cream and cottage cheese – so creamy!), “sock-it-to-me-bread” with lots of cinnamon and nuts, sausage and fresh fruit. Rocky says even if people stayed for 10 days there would always be a different breakfast! The weather reports were not good at all – possible tornado activity, and it was raining hard. Toni and I were going to stay in Savannah for the morning, but it made more sense to get back out on the road before the bad stuff came through. But it took a while to get all packed up, and by the time our cars were loaded, we could actually see blue sky! We checked out and got a couple pictures, and it was suddenly nice enough out that we decided to walk downtown to get the little fuel canister for my new Jet Boil.

Then Toni headed back to Florida, and I decided to get Tula out for a last long walk around Savannah. I think this city is near or at the top of my list for ‘best city for walking’!

Then it was time to take care of my donation-of-the-day. I had talked with the people at The Old Savannah City Mission a couple days ago, and they said someone is there 24 hours a day 7 days a week to take donations. We were going to make a donation on Christmas Day since they were open, but no grocery stores were open to shop in! When I talked with them that time, they said they could used anything that could be used in meal preparation for 75-80 people, or other non-perishable things that can be packed in bags to send back out with people who need them. I thought I would call again since a number of days had passed to see if there were any current specific needs – and the answer came back fast – MEAT! So I went shopping and got a ham, a whole bunch of fresh chicken, and 10# of hamburger. I found the mission, and the young men I met were all very pleasant. They helped me carry the food in, and I told them I hoped they had someone there who was a good cook, and they assured me they did! I can see where the mission would be a comforting place to the people who need to stop by.

While I had been driving around the block to get to my parking place by the mission, I saw a sign pointing the way to the Fort Pulaski National Monument; the fort I had noticed on our riverboat tour. So I followed the sign, not realizing I would end up nearly on Tybee Island! Fort Pulaski was a fort that reminded me of the one on Dry Tortugas off of Key West (one of my very favorite national parks!) and Fort Sumter. When I commented on the similarities to a ranger, she told me these were the Third System series of coastal forts – designed after the War of 1812-era forts were deemed ineffectual. These are huge brick forts with lots of cannon inside and out, but even with 7-foot-thick brick walls, they could not always withstand the ever-increasing military firepower. They’re really interesting to see. I walked a couple of the trails with Tula first and went out to see an old lighthouse, then I put her back in the car and went into the visitor center and walked all around the fort. I stayed til they were closed, but a couple rangers said as long as cars were parked across the river outside the gate by 5, people could walk back onto park grounds after hours for more walking. I took advantage of that because I wanted to walk the 2.5 mile grassy trail along the dike system around the island. So I parked the car outside the gate and walked the bridge back in. The sun was going down fast, but at the same time, the full brilliant moon was already up, and the lighting was almost surreal. On one side of the island I could see the fort’s flag and cannon silhouetted in the red sunset clouds, and the other side of the island had the soft glow of moonlight. And I was the only person in the park – I felt like if I stood really still long enough I could almost hear echoes from the past. The wind was howling though, and it was nice to get back to the van because it was pretty cold out.

Since I hadn’t gotten too far from Savannah yet, I decided to head back to the B&B to pick up the towel we had left behind (used to keep dogs’ feet clean, and I needed it!). The towel had already been washed and folded! I made one last walk by the riverfront shops so I could get some postcards, and by now it was really cold out. I found the postcards in a candy shop, and appropriately ended the Savannah visit with a fresh praline.

I only drove a little south before it was time to call it a day – after walking nearly 11 miles. Toni had arrived safely back to Gainesville without going through any storms, and I never saw any rain either, so i don’t know what happened to all the threatening weather, but I’m glad it stayed away!
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