I've Been Jekylled
With just a few days left to my month on Jekyll Island, I must say it's been a wonderful and relaxing time. This 5,700 acre island off the coast of Georgia is protected, so the island’s development is limited to just 1,600 acres in order to preserve the ecosystem. There are significant maritime forests, miles of public beaches, an abundance of wildlife, and 20 miles of bike trails! I've seen deer, eagles and porpoises, while still hoping to catch a glimpse of a spoonbill.
Jekyll Island has an interesting history, but the most referenced period is 1886-1942 when it was the site of the most exclusive resort in the nation. With the opening of the Jekyll Island Club, the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Goulds, Cranes, Morgans, Pulitzers, and Goodyears signed the register, and later built "cottages" on the grounds. Today, this area of the island is a National Historic District, and continues to be an ongoing preservation project.
When I first arrived, I thought I'd be bored with circling the island by bike for an entire month, but it is so scenic and peaceful here that I'm amazed at how quickly the time has gone by. The views are picture-perfect while cycling and walking the beaches, the riverfront, and through the woods. With the exception of 36 hours of busyness on weekends, the pace is slow and friendly.
Actually, my first weekend here worried me as the nearby tent campers were a lively bunch. However, this was remedied as I was able to move to the group tent site, landing in a large, quiet spot I could call my own. There are also an abundance of RV campers who come for a night, a week or the entire season. I've made a few friends, and I've also been happy to go to movie night, do book swap, share dinner, and play games. It's a very comfortable little place.
Beyond these activities, I did dress up two days to play tourist, on and off the island. I visited the Rockefeller and Goodyear homes, the Faith Chapel, and had lunch at the wharf one gorgeous sunny day. After two weeks, I was running out of food, so I crossed to the mainland, visited downtown Brunswick, and spent a few hours on St. Simons Island. I'd like to see more of the "Golden Isles" in the future, but it felt busy to me after being on Jekyll Island (population 621), so I didn't wander too long. Jekyll is a special place.
On Saturday, I roll south into Florida which should be a jolt to all my senses!
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover