A fortunate byproduct of our quest to live on southern islands and forever walk the beach this winter has been the close proximity of so many beautiful historical sites, especially old forts and lighthouses.
We spent January on Dauphin Island, Alabama, within walking distance of Fort Gaines, and five miles from Fort Morgan just across Mobile Bay.
In February we were on Anastasia Island near the archaic Castillo de San Marcos at St. Augustine, Florida.
Heading from Florida to North Carolina we stopped for a week at Savannah, Georgia where we visited Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island in the Savannah River.
And in March we are on Emerald Isle, North Carolina, sharing the island with Fort Macon which we visited yesterday.
We are ending our winter sojourn in early April and heading back to Michigan, and I wanted to post a photographic review of these historical attractions that offered us so much aesthetic intrigue while wandering around the south this winter:
1. Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island, Alabama. This fort was less than 1/4 mile from our campground.
2. Fort Morgan, Mobile Bay, Alabama.
3. Castillo de San Marco, St. Augustine, Florida (1565). This one is really old and was built with local stone – coquina – before bricks were manufactured in the U.S.
4. Fort Pulaski, Cockspur Island, Savannah, Georgia.
5. Fort Macon, Emerald Isle, North Carolina.
Kaye and I have really enjoyed our southern sojourn and the side trips that have been available to us. I love old architecture, so this was a great place for me to explore while avoiding the hostility of the northern winter. This is the final post to the Southern Sojourn as we are heading back to our new summer home (campground) in Michigan soon.
There are more photos of these beautiful historical sites on my Flickr photo stream here.
And they are available for purchase as prints and other great gifts at my photo galleries and web store here.
Milepost 1-3-15 Dauphin Island, Alabama 70 degrees
Call it Snowbirding or Winter Migration or whatever, the population of the nation undergoes a significant redistribution twice a year. Kaye and I are part of the northern exodus that accompanies the onset of cold weather in Michigan. We stayed home long enough to have Christmas with the kids and grandkids, and then we hitched up the RV and set the GPS for the Alabama coast and took off.
On the way down, we stopped at Memphis Tennessee for a New Year’s Eve dinner of catfish and ribs at B.B. King’s Blues Club.
Our first campsite of the trip and of the year was at Tom Sawyer RV Park on the west bank of the mighty Mississippi River where the tugs were shoving the barges up and down the river all night long.
A third day of driving landed us at Dauphin Island Park a few miles off the coast of Alabama at the mouth of Mobile Bay.
Dauphin Island is the site of the historical Fort Gaines that saw action during the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay (1864). It’s open to the public and promises to be a great backdrop for some photography in a couple of days. Across the bay is its counterpart, Fort Morgan on another barrier island.
On the first day here I jumped on the bike and took off for a 6-mile ride. This is one of the reasons Kaye and I like to get away from the north during the winter; our exercise routine falls apart when the cold weather arrives. At this southern island there are many miles of cycling trails and beaches to be explored.
The island also is home to a nice Audubon sanctuary, although I think the terns and the pelicans may be outnumbered by snowbirds during the winter.
So this is our home for the month of January. When we left the north it was 10 degrees. Today it reached 70 here. That’s what I’m talking about! I haven’t slipped on snow or ice even once since arriving.