2013 Travels travel blog

Carpe back in the trees at Skidaway Island State Park

Departing Lake Aire RV near Charleston
Thru the forest we go...

We headed south on US 17 in South Carolina

Welcome to Georgia

They were constructing when we were here in 2010

New bridge replaces drawbridge on GA 204

Approaching Skidaway Island State Park

The Folkston (GA) train viewing platform

Train watching entails lotsa waiting

Sandi prefers the car seats to hard benches

A two engine mixed modal freight

And off she goes

Folkston Georgia Courthouse

Sun, 13 Oct: We've got Georgia on our mind...

We got going this morning at a decent time, a few minutes before nine. The dump site at Lake Aire is surrounded by trees with low branches so we opted to "take our stuff with us" rather than take a chance on damaging Carpe. No biggie, we weren't too full so it wouldn't be a major problem.

Sandi got us out of the woods with no problem and we successfully negotiated the construction barriers and got ourselves heading south on US 17. Forty-some miles later we merged onto I 95 south for the trip across the Savannah River and into Georgia.

We stopped at the Georgia Welcome Center to pick up some maps and stuff and change drivers. Bob drove a mighty two more miles on I 95 and then exited onto I 516 for the trip thru Savannah. It was mostly divided road but there were many stop lites, most of which were red.

Then on the Harry Truman Parkway to its southern terminus and GA 204 east to Skidaway Island and the Skidaway Island State Park. GA 204 was under construction, as it was three years ago when we last visited. The new causeway bridge is now finished and bypasses the old drawbridge, so some progress is being made.

We arrived at Skidaway Island State Park at 1145 with a twenty minute stop at the George Welcome Center. Today's run was very pleasant over mostly excellent roads with lite to almost no traffic. We added 113 miles to Carpe's odometer and averaged 8.3 mpg in the process.

Once checked in and all fees paid (less our 20% senior discount) we disconnected the car and Bob took the coach to the dump station while Sandi scouted for a suitable site. She found a good one with plenty of room and fifty amps of power. Too many trees for solar or satellite TV, but you can't have everything...

Mon, 14 Oct: Today we got some training...

Well, we always said we were still trainable despite our advanced years and stuck-in-the-mud attitudes. But that's not the kind of training we received today. This was, instead, the locomotive, rail, and steel-wheel variety.

In southeast George is the small community of Folkston (pop 5,418). It happens to be at the crossroads of several major CSX rail lines, which makes it somewhat of a mecca for train buffs. The brochure claims that more than fifty trains pass thru Folkston in any given 24 hour period.

So, we took Dinkum south on I 95 and then west to Folkston. Once off the Interstate it was a lovely drive with virtually no traffic. We arrived in town a few minutes before noon and spent a half hour at the viewing area before the first train came thru. This was a six engine at the head CSX mixed modal freight train that went on forever and ever. We've never seen a train with six engines at the head and none in the middle or pushing. Our cameras were still in Dinkum's trunk.

By then our tummies were grumbling so we headed to the Okefenokee Restaurant, which features authentic Southern Cooking, buffet style. It was excellent and we probably ate far more than we should have. But, what are buffets for then???

When we were leaving the restaurant a second train rumbled thru town. Back to the viewing area where we waited almost another hour for the third train, this one with cameras at the ready. This was a mere two engine mixed modal that was pretty short. We waited some more and then it started to sprinkle so we "wussed out" and headed back home.

It was a very interesting day, all 265 miles of it. While we expected to see more trains we did enjoy the few we did see. When in the area this place is worth a revisit.

We'll be here till Wednesday morning when we'll continue south to Florida to get ready for our cruise. Stay tuned.

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