the beach forest
Oh yes, another trip to Cumberland Island! It’s been a few years since I’d been; I wrote about that trip here:
This time it was early March, which in north Florida and south Georgia should be warm enough. Just our luck it was in the 40s that morning! I shed off my hat and gloves throughout the day, but never did take off my coat or scarf, so I ended up with some bizarre sunburns on my hand and like 1/2 my neck.
Mysterious. Never found out what this was even after inspecting it for a good 10 minutes.
Above are the ruins of what I think was the Rec Center. It’s sad and surprising how much it’s decayed in the few years since my last trip. In fact, the old car graveyard was completely missing. It makes me think, what ruins of Dungeness will be left for tourists 100 years from now, if any?
There are 100+ wild horses that roam over the island. This one was grazing right in front of Dungeness with a friend.
Overlooking the salt marsh, Dungeness at our backs
Of course, you still can’t go inside Dungeness, and there’s not much there to be seen:
reinforcements for the inner walls
I did discover the Duck Pond this time, which I strangely missed last time. Its off the main path to the right if you get off at the first dock upon arrival (Ice House Dock).
Duck Pond remnants
…and said main path
We tried to eat our PB&J lunch at some shady picnic tables across from the graveyard area. Unfortunately, someone else wanted to eat our PB&J too. A little raccoon appeared at the edge of the forest and started meandering over. At first, we thought we was cute, but then it became apparent that he was coming right for us at increasing speed, and might possibly have rabies. We yelled at him and flailed our arms to no avail. I stood up on the bench, and then the table itself – and he was right behind me! With his razor sharp teeth. Considering that he wasn’t frothing at the mouth, he probably didn’t have rabies, but I still got the feeling there’d be no appeasing him unless he got all the food…or us.
We were forced to run away and eat on the beach.
Awww… you’re too cute to have rabies!
He looks so betrayed!
Speaking of the beach – they have amazing shells here. On Jax Beach you typically only find broken ones. We also spotted more horses:
man vs. wild
Plenty of jellyfish and horse shoe crabs were washed ashore. They make me feel a bit sad for them.
To be difficult, I insisted we trek to the jetties (doable but far – hence the sunburn) which I hadn’t seen since childhood. I remember it feeling sort of magical, with little pools of water with tiny crabs and shells and strangely colored sea life.
Not so magical now. Either my childhood perception was way off, or they’ve gone in with bigger rocks that are much harder to climb on (mainly because they’re really jagged). But I like seeing the difference in the ocean on either side of it.
I like the look of this pool of water for some reason. There’s something space-ish about it.
Jetties are the pelican hang out spot.
Here’s how cold it was:
Awkward-looking pic of me, but you can see how cold it was – 3 layers of shirts/jacket on even on the beach.
We got to the second dock (Sea Camp) early, so walked a trail back to the Ice House for pick up. There were tons of these gorgeous yellow wild vine flowers (below) that smelled delicious. Like starfruit, and candy, and a million types of flowers combined.
I think Starburst candy is the best comparison.
Anyway, Cumberland Island is awesome. Go if you can. Remember: there is no food and water on the island; bring your own. No trash cans either, so keep it with you. And look out for gators!