I think we’ve got the bug. The get out and go- the adventure always- the explore, seek and experience infection. I shared pictures from our first trip out in the new adventure vehicle, which I have lovingly named the double-oh Xtra, since it’s a 2000 Xterra, a few weeks ago. We have since taken it out onto forest service roads twice more between the relentless rainy weekends 2020 has provided us in north Georgia, and on our 3rd trip, we joined a group. We encountered mud puddles, fallen branches and narrow paths, and a downed tree- which the group cut and moved for safe passage across the path. The travel was a ton of fun, exploring with a group was amazing and finding the quaint stage that we all assume was a wedding venue with a view was fantastic. The depth and vastness of the wilderness from the field took my breath away and reminded me that we are all small players in this limitless world. And sometimes, it’s great to feel just how encompassing nature really is.
Recently, we acquired a loved, well used, 4×4 Xterra in our home. Which, logically, means we are out exploring some back roads in the Georgia Wilderness. We picked Forest Road 630, which winds through the Cohutta Wilderness following a winding creek for a while before splitting to go to a lake- only open during the spring and summer, or further up towards Tennessee for our first outing. It was a brisk day, with the highs only reaching into the low 40’s, but it was still stunning. I can’t wait for the road to the lake to be open for more exploring.
One of my favorite places to visit to feel completely disconnected is Cumberland Island. I had been reading about the island while seeing all the pictures of the Dungeness remains and the wild horses and instantly knew that during our trip to St Marys, Georgia we were going to hop on the ferry to the island. We picked a day and headed to the ticket office for the first trip out. It was an overcast morning, sticky with southern humidity despite being September, but there was also a nice breeze bringing the clouds in and out. Once on the boat we saw lots of gulls snatching fish out of the water, waiting for the turbulence from the engines to stir up a good snack, and a few egrets in the marshy areas, popping out along the grass like bright stars on a dark night.
After docking, we were greeted by park staff who gave us a briefing on the relevant information for the days journey, such as beach closings and stern warnings not to pet the wild horses. From there, we were free to explore the island at our own pace. We were lucky enough to have a small group traveling to the island with us, and only saw people on the paths a few times, else we were mostly alone; just us, the horses and turkeys, wild and free.