Thursday, April 5, 2012

Horses, Lizards and Ticks, Oh my!

Horses, Lizards and Ticks, oh my!

We had a couple days of travel without much to report, except the two real live alligators swimming in the river. The last one I saw was only about 15 feet from us when he disappeared. I got a pretty good look at him!
I wanted to visit Cumberland Island, which is the largest and most southern barrier island in SC. It is a National Seacoast, has wild horses and the ruins from when the Carnegies, the brother of the more famous one, lived there.  We first saw some of the horses on the beach as we went by the northern part of the island, but we were headed for the southern portion.
We arrived, dropped anchor and went to get a closer look at the Island Packet’s bimini, dodger of the neighboring boat. They, of course asked us on board. They have been living aboard for about five years and love it. He had his sewing machine set up and was recovering their cockpit cushions. Their bimini/dodger was really a cockpit enclosure-all one piece. We may have to incorporate some of their ideas! Their water catchment system was quite simple and apparently efficient.
The next morning we dinghyed into shore as the ferry was unloading a boy scout troop. There was a steady stream of scouts carrying boxes, coolers, etc for about 30 minutes? I was becoming concerned, as in all of those supplies, I hadn’t seen one sleeping back or tent. Finally, they made one last trip and got their backpacks with bags, etc. Don’t they have a motto that says something about being prepared? And boys that age do eat a lot, but it was a very long parade.
We walked on the River Walk, but there were no pamphlets, so we had to make up our own reasons for the numbered stops.

There were lots of lizards skittering through the brush.

one of the lizards not in the bush

At the end of the River Walk was the Ice House museum, where we learned the history of the island. Mrs. Carnegie was the one who wanted to live on the island. They had to be pretty much self sufficient, which required something like 400 slaves for the family. They even had a heated indoor pool. After she died, the house fell vacant. Unfortunately, it caught fire and was pretty much destroyed.  We spent a leisurely morning exploring around all of the ruins and even remembered to take pictures.

gates leading to the front of the mansion

you may be able to see a little of how the rear of the mansion looked in this picture of a picture.

this picture we took from a similar spot as the picture above.

We had a rather close encounter with a small group of horses. We could hear them running, but it was rather thick foliage right there. Suddenly, they burst into an opening about 15 feet from us. There were four or five and the lead mare was not happy-head down ears back. I thought for a minute we were going to get run over, as they seemed confused about where to go. The rest of the horses we saw were just grazing and seemed content. We saw two small foals. There are around 136 horses on the island, as well as deer, raccoon, armadillos and fowls. We saw turkey, an owl with a mouse or something, raccoon and, of course, lizards.
We took a different trail back.

(Reggie here.  Our wanderings of the Carnegie mansion grounds made me Tara a bit and contemplate the wonderous things we mortals create which, sooner or later, are Gone with the Wind!)

This trail had a pamphlet, so we read about all the different kinds of trees and bushes. I had read that there were ticks, which carry Lymes disease, but figured that it was too hot for them. Wrong. We each found a few crawling on us. They are much smaller than our Montana variety and sort of red in color.
That was more walking than we had done is some time, so we returned to our little home afloat and had a quiet evening. 

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