Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Random Road Trip - Day 4 (16 Sep 2014)

Operation Random Road Trip continues.  In case you missed the last couple of days here is where we have been so far:

At the end of day 3 we were in Savannah, Georgia and we owed the dice 2.5 hours of driving to the Southwest.  We decided to explore a few museums in the Savannah area before we paid off the dice. 

Our first stop was the Georgia Railroad Museum.  

The Georgia State Railroad Museum (formerly called the Roundhouse Railroad Museum) is located at the Savannah Shops Complex of the Central of Georgia Railway (CG) in Savannah, Georgia. The complex is considered the most complete antebellum railroad complex in the United States. The museum, located at 655 Louisville Road, is part of a historic district included in the National Register of Historic Places.The historic railroad structures at the Georgia State Railroad Museum site include a partial Roundhouse with operating turntable, partial Machine Shop, Tender Frame Shop, Blacksmith Shop, Boiler House, Storehouse & Print Shop, Lumber and Planning Sheds, Coach and Paint Shops, and a partial Carpentry Shop which now houses Savannah Children's Museum. Many of these structures are open for visitors to explore.

Jack on a caboose

Jack and Mary at the Roundhouse

After the railroad museum, we walked across the street to the Savannah History Museum.  The museum is housed inside the old passenger terminal at the Central of Georgia Historic Landmark District. It contains artifacts and exhibits relating to the history of Savannah from its establishment to the current time.

Jack and Mary with the bench that Forrest Gump Sat on in the Movie.

Artillery Display


More hats
Next, we jumped back in the car and drove to Old Fort Jackson.  Old Fort Jackson (usually shortened to Fort Jackson or Fort James Jackson but unrelated to Andrew Jackson) is a restored 19th century fort located two miles east of Savannah on the Savannah River. It is a National Historic Landmark and the oldest standing brick fort in the U.S. state of Georgia.

Old Fort Jackson Aerial View
During the American Civil War, Fort Jackson, along with nearby Fort McAllister and Fort Pulaski, defended Savannah from Union attack. In 1862, Fort Jackson was shelled from a ship captained by an escaped slave named Robert Smalls.

The staff at Old Fort Jackson do an excellent job with interpretive history.  Our guide Private Bradford walked us through daily life at the fort and demonstrated the use of small arms and cannons.  

Private Bradford firing Enfield Rifle
Jack even got a chance to serve on the gun crew of the cannon.  It has been a long time since he did that.

Jack serving on Cannon Crew

Cannon Room at Old Fort Jackson
After we departed Savannah, we had to pay off the 2.5 hours Southwest that we owed to the dice. That 2.5 hour drive dropped us off in the middle of the Okefenokee Swamp.  The Okefenokee Swamp is a shallow, 438,000 acre (1,770 km²), peat-filled wetland straddling the Georgia–Florida border in the United States. A majority of the swamp is protected by the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and the Okefenokee Wilderness. The Okefenokee Swamp is considered to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia. The Okefenokee is the largest "blackwater" swamp in North America. The term Okefenokee in Native American is "land of trembling earth". The swamp was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974.

Mary at Old Homestead in Swamp
We decided to hike on the boardwalk that stretches 3/4 of a mile out into the swamp.  It was actually a pleasant walk.  The only disappointment was that we didn't see any alligators.  We did see a number of birds, frogs, and turtles. We are pretty sure that the alligators were lurking just out of eyesight waiting for us to take a misstep.

Aerial View of Boardwalk Route

Hiking in the Swap

Mary Looking for Alligators

Okefenokee Swamp

Boardwalk Through Swap
So East we started to drive.  That took us as far as Jacksonville, FL by the time we decided to stop.

3 Hours East
Day 4 - 183 Miles (Georgia and Florida)
On day 5 we will drive as far as the coast and no further.  We are once again thwarted by our lack of a boat.  Next time we do a trip like this, we will plan better.

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