Sunday, April 27, 2014

2014-7 Savannah Georgia


Savannah Georgia

Holbrook Pond
a gator sunning itself at Holbrook Pond

Campground:  Ft Stewart, Holbrook Pond Campground.  Although this is on the military grounds, it is isolated from the main base, surrounded by pine forests and the pond.  50 amp Electric/Water, free wi-fi,  concrete pads and patio.  Cost:  $20-30, also accepts the National Park Senior Pass making the campsite cost $15.00.  Small annoying gnats this time of year.  They don’t bite but make it unpleasant to sit outside.  Down by the pond, with a slight breeze it’s gnat free….  Note:  the general public may also use this campground, very unusual for a military campground.

Distance Traveled:  89 miles

As you may have noticed, I’m not traveling very far with each leg of my travels.  Even I expected I’d go my usual 150 miles but with so many places to visit the distances have been relatively short.  My GPS wouldn’t give me directions as it kept saying the route would bring me on private or restricted property.   But I was able to make it alright without the GPS and came in from the eastern end on hwy 144.  Entering the military base from  this end enabled me to enter without needing to go through base security as it is a local road passing through the military installation and is available most of the time for local traffic.  All I saw for the 15 miles were forests of tall pine trees and dirt roads with signs like “Caution, Tank Crossing” and numerous shooting ranges.   Fort Stewart is 250,000 acres in size and is the Army’s largest installation east of the Mississippi.  Driving around the pond on the single lane paved berm holding back all that water, I also had to dip down into a spillway with a couple of inches of flowing water.  Heavy rains recently filled the pond to capacity and it was draining out over the spillway.


RV Tip:  I read recently that using Pine sol in the black water tank as well as grey water tank will keep them smelling good.  I’m giving it a try.  Instead of spending all that money for those “special” black water treatments which rarely work, this may be a viable solution.  Seems to be working after a week.  I'll keep you posted, via the poo smell meter.

Day Trip:

Savannah has a wealth of homes one can tour.  For the first timer as well as repeat visitors it’s a good idea to get a trolley tour pass.  Along with learning the lay of the land and lots of history, one can get on and off the tram all day long.   Saves a lot on having to find parking spots as it’s all metered parking downtown.  This is a great town for walking around and seeing all the neat parks surrounded by all those wonderful old historic homes.

Mercer/Williams House
The house I wanted to tour most this time around is the Mercer Williams House.  Construction began in 1890 and took 6 years to complete due to the Civil War going on.  The house was sold a number of times including to the Shiners’ who used it for their meetings. Jim Williams purchased the house in 1969.  Having restored many homes in the area, he purchased this one, restored it over two years and lived in it for 20 years.  Mr. Williams story became the essence of the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” .  A true story, it’s one of those books you just can’t put down once you start reading it.  I highly recommend it.  The movie by the same name was filmed here as well as a few others.  The house being the scene of the crime and Jim’s eventual death 10 years later.  Jim Williams became a millionaire by restoring homes, owning an antique store and refurbishing antique furniture meticulously.  Being able to see the house in person as well as having read the descriptions in the book and seeing it in the movie was quite a thrill.  The spiral staircase with a stained glass dome, the exquisite original furnishings and paintings, the office where the crime took place all added up to some pretty heady touring. Nice to know that it is still owned by Jim Williams sister who has made it her main residence since 1990.  The second floor is not available on tour.

Savannah's historic district

a peak inside the Williams house

view from one of the square parks throughout Savannah

one of many square parks throughout Savannah

On another day, I drove first to a Flea-Market where there was a mix of old weathered homes probably from the pioneering era.  Some old rusted out farming equipment and antique farming machinery along with covered and mostly enclosed flea-market stalls.  Unfortunately, about half of the stalls were without power and made the enclosed spaces almost pitch black.  Obviously not suitable for finding that perfect used item or bargain of the century.  I did enjoy one of the buildings that had lots of antiques and vintage stuff, but nothing I couldn’t live without.

lots of antiques in this bldg

great idea, made from clay pots!

Then it was onto Tybee Island which is off the coast of Savannah Georgia.  The road leading onto the island actually crosses over multiple islands and back bays filled with sea grasses and channels leading to the ocean. That is if the tide is high, otherwise one would have to have a very shallow boat to navigate those channels.  Tybee Island is a great seaside resort community which still has that older beachside vibe.  Not a lot of high-rise towers here.  Hint for travelers, park over by the lighthouse, but not on the center shelled parking area (reserved for lighthouse tours only) and you can park in the area for free.  Then after touring the lighthouse, go across the street to see the fort/battery complex and walk through the break in the wall to the beach.  Weekends they have a great little seafood beach diner with live blues/jazz musicians.  At least the weekend I was there.  And no, I did not climb to the top of the lighthouse.  Not sure how many steps it is, but it looked really, really tall to me.

Tybee Island Lighthouse

I’ll do a couple more tours in downtown Savannah next week before heading out on Thursday.  If I see anything worth reporting on, I’ll put it in next weeks report.

Next stop:  An Army Corp campground outside of Augusta Georgia on the South Carolina side.

More Pictures on Picasa.

No comments: