Weekends are typically dull, dreary, but lovely things I look forward to. No school, no kids, no Cra-Cra crappola. Might do some writing. Will do some reading. I promise myself every Friday, I’m going to clean house. I’m going to! But it never happens. Spawn and I are boring people, with boring lives, just enjoying the solitude.
And then my cousin pings me Friday night and says he and the wife and 2 kids are thinking of coming to Savannah for 2 days and can they crash on my floor? I don’t tell them I have to clean up said floor, but I was up late and up early cleaning house that needed to be clean. I am a happy camper. I have a clean house, company I love almost as much as my parents and siblings and a good time was had by all.
First off, the pollen is already horrid. Don’t you eat that yellow snow!
That is the corner of my driveway and that foamy stuff is yellow pollen. Already! Ick!
We spent Saturday afternoon eating at a little restaurant in historical Savannah and then hoofing it over 2 or 3 blocks. My cousin, her husband and 2 kids had left their home at 6 AM and went straight to Wormsloe – the plantation Spawn and I visited over the summer…
After lunch, we visited a few shops (I found things I’ll need to go back for my Flat Richie box Arrival – which at the rate it’s going, should be sometime in the year 2525.
But I did find some art I really liked!
As Genevieve would say – Banana!!!!
As they had been up a long time, we returned to my place at sundown, and grilled up some burgers, chips, baked beans, potato salad and some of Spawn’s famous tagliatelle. Every one passed out in their proper places and snoring was heard all about.
We got up early and headed to my favorite breakfast place on the islands – The Breakfast Club. The last 3 times we’ve made that 50 mile trip, we either couldn’t a) find parking or b) get there before they ran out of food. This morning, it was cloudy and not as warm as they said it would be. The Weather Service said rain was coming, but we had until around 1:30 and we figured we’d get breakfast, a walk on the beach and either a lighthouse climb OR a visit to Fort Pulaski in under our belts.
They also said the temps would be in the mid-70’s
The Weather Service LIED!
First off, we DID manage to find parking right at the restaurant, the food was awesome, (For those curious, I had the Denver Omelette sans marinara) and we then we to the beach which was just a block up.
It was cold and windy and the water was ice cold frigid.
Not even the northerners were in it!
Yes, that kid is in shorts! Obviously he is from the Arctic Circle!
The Seagulls were oblivious.
and downright sassy, strutting their stuff, smack dab in front of me.
I have never seen so many shells and partial shells in my life!
At least I didn’t find any with dead crabs in them, like I did when we went to Charleston the year before last. That sucker stank to high heaven! Had I known, I would have left it behind!
Anyway, after many silly pictures and selfies, we then moved off Tybee, to Cockspur to visit Fort Pulaski.
And the rain we were told wouldn’t arrive until 1:30, actually arrived on our arrival at a little after 11.
And it was fooking COLD!
I see wasted book shelf space!
The unexpected rain meant I couldn’t go outside and take pictures. I have pictures I’ve taken in years past – we’ve visited the Fort 4 previous times since 1995. We learn something new every time. It’s one of Spawn’s favorite places. Those pictures were taken on old fashioned film, so I need to find them and scan them.
Fort Pulaski has a wonderful, rich history. Finished and completely furbished and moated by the union at the outbreak of the Civil War, Fort Pulaski was taken over and manned by the Confederate Army. Fort Sumpter in Charleston was not quite finished and the Confederates had handled that upstart Captain Anderson well enough and made him turn tail and run. (I found out today that Captain in Charleston in charge of firing on Sumpter and it’s captain had been a student of the captain at West Point. I can name a few professors I’d like to shoot!) They thought they were far enough inland to not be bothered by pesky Union boats. No one can get close enough, y’know?
They were wrong.
I didn’t take these.
The Fort fell within 30 hours after being bombarded by long-range union guns who had ramrifles that put a nasty spin on their motars, making them hit harder, faster, and more precisely. Much to the dismay of the young captain in charge of the fort, the damage opened huge, gaping holes so the next morning, that the Union began shooting through the holes and hitting the powder with painful, repeated accuracy.
I did take that one!
At that point, the fort surrendered and was taken by the Union. The soldiers were taken to a prisoner of war camp in Baltimore and the fort itself remained in Union hands for the duration of the war, used as a war prison for captured officers and in one case, a captured, Confederate Senator.
The general in charge of getting Fort Pulaski back to Union hands, then sailed north to Charleston, where he proceeded to decimate Fort Sumpter. Take that, you rebel scum! Literally, all that is left of Fort Sumpter are ruins. Repaired ruins.
Although it remained in Union hands, the soldiers themselves felt like prisoners, as they were surrounded by Confederates. To occupy themselves, they had a band, an orchestra and a drum corp.
There is also the first picture taken of a baseball game, as the soldiers enjoyed that as well.
The Fort was also labeled as part of the Underground Railroad – a way for slaves to escape and go north. The land the fort was built on – Cockspur Island – became a settlement for escaped slaves until they could taken north.
Not wanting the Confederates to get any ideas about bombing the powder room in the fort, the Union built underground Magazines and a maze of rooms to hold the powder outside the fort. Spawn and I like to wander through them, making ghost sounds, like anyone will buy that. Whoo Whoo!
After the war, the fort, now deemed obsolete by military stands, was left to ruin until the 1930’s when Calvin Cooledge declared it a National Monument and turned it over to the Parks Service. It was repaired, rebuilt and is wonderful testament to the engineering prowess of the time.
While they rebuilt the destroyed wall, they left the majority of the mortar holes and in some cases, the mortars were left in the walls.
Yep. That would be a canon ball still stuck in the wall.
Nowadays, there are reinactments, baseball games, etc, on the grounds.
Except when we have hurricanes.
That would be Matthew
And this would be Hurricane Irene. You can see those underground powder magazines really well there.
Now, I’m going to be honest. Spawn and I found this place quite by accident. Spawn has been long enamored of light houses and in 1998, we took a little trip to view and/or climb, Tybee Island lighthouse and Cockspur Island lighthouse.
Tybee has been well kept. It’s just across from Fort Scriabin on Tybee and it has all of it’s outbuildings. Climbing it was I recall, not difficult. The only difficult thing about it is you can’t see it until you’re on top of it. Literally!
Spawn had (and still has) a book, written by a retired Rear Admiral, mapping all of the lighthouses on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast. So here we are one spring break, wondering what to do for a few days and we see that in Savannah, there is Tybee Island Lighthouse and Cockspur Island light house. The information came complete with directions, etc.
So we drive down, do Tybee and then come up to do Cockspur.
Only to discover that the directions and little fishing road to take to see the lighthouse is private property and the owner is so angry about this book, that he chained the entrance and put up a Trespassers will be shot sign.
Spawn did not want to be shot. So, we pulled over on the side of the road, got up and proceeded to trek up the bridge to get a better view and shot.
Now, the lighthouse is short – 46 feet. And it was stated that if you’re adventurous and have waders, you can wade out, although the Park Service says don’t do that. It is open to the public, if you want to kayak or take a boat out. And apparently there is a trail cut through the bush you can take from the Fort and get within 200 feet of it. And if you have a boat or kayak, you can just go on out! I just saw that. Oh excitement! I’ll let Spawn know!!!! Maybe we’ll do that this summer or some weekend!
ANYWAY! We start trekking up the bridge and a police officer sees us and stops on the road – what are you two doing? (Spawn was 10!) We explain about the lighthouse and the directions not being worth a hill of beans and he nods and then turns on his lights and directs traffic around us, so we can get a good shot without getting hit. My telephoto isn’t great but we thank him and after developing the film, we realize the lighthouse has no top; the light and crown are gone. There were structural issues and cracks in the top, so the park service took it off. They ended up making a replica.
But while up on the bridge, we saw this fort and went to check it out. Glad we did.
In the ensuing trips, we’ve attempted to get a good picture of the lighthouse. We never can. Crappy cameras, rain. I tried today in the rain…
and figured that was the best we could do.
After saying goodbye to the cousins, we’re driving out of the park and talking about what Brown Signs we want to visit this summer and Spawn yells – STOP! Back up!!!!
No one is behind us so I back up and he jumps out of the car with his camera.
The original lighthouse was built on an oyster and mussel bed and was only 25 feet tall, but it’s little beacon could be seen for 9 miles. It sits in the South Channel of the Savannah River. It was damaged by a hurricane and rebuilt in 1855 on the same foundation. Its light was extinguished during the Civil War, as was pretty much every lighthouse light in the South at the time) Even tho it sat in the line of fire during the Battle for Fort Pulaski, it didn’t take nary a pot shot! Lucky Lighthouse.
Its light was extinguished again in 1909 because no one used the South Channel. It was relit in a ceremony in 2007 just because. The original crown-topper sits on Fort Pulaski grounds.
It poured the rain the entire time we were there but was bright and sunny when we got home. Meh!
And that’s what we did this weekend!