Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bicycling from Savannah, GA, to Brunswick, GA (Dec. 2, 2014)

85.16 miles in 6:29....(464.38)....The ride I'm taking today, I've actually done before, more or less. This little stretch of US17, is a stretch that I did on our last trip down here. I didn't remember very much, because most of the trip was pretty nondescript. I do remember a few details about Brunswick, but I did notice, after reviewing the blog from our early blogging days, that I really didn't do a very good job the first time around. I'll try to do better this time around.
I rolled with 60 degree temperatures to start the day, which in itself is very notable. Soooooo sweet to ride in shorts and one shirt! We got up to about 75, with mostly sun, but once again, the shade from the tall trees kept me in the shade quite a bit. One small stretch even had wet roads, where there must have just been a shower, even though there was only 10% chance of rain. I worked up a decent sweat by the end of the day, which I am very happy about. After all, our goal for heading south is to be warm. 
US17 treated me very well, all day long. The first twenty miles, nearer Savannah and Richmond Hill, was four lane, with great shoulders, and not much traffic. Eventually, and for the majority  of the ride, 17 was two lane. The shoulder was 18-24 inches, which is sufficient, but not as wide as it could be. The worst part of it all was the rumble strips that the state of Georgia puts in the shoulder. I went through a couple of decent sized towns, Midway and Riceboro, and several 'communities,' as Georgia calls them. Riceboro had a paper mill, which was responsible for that very distinctive smell that a paper mill has, and also the tractor trailer traffic that was not terrible, but present. I crossed under I-95 three times, so most traffic was there, and I only had the local traffic. I listened to my GPS, and did a 16 mile stretch on GA 99, which was closer to the shore than US17. GA 99 was a Scenic Corridor, and had a ton of historical markers, which carefully explained way more than I needed to know about the area. I also passed a few plantations that dated back to BEFORE the Revolutionary War. Many seemed to have been destroyed and reopened several times.  It passed through a stretch of 5-6 'communities' which made for some scenery. In several of them, the huge live oak trees filled with Spanish moss made 'tunnels' that the road travelled through. That particular feature is my favorite thing about this area. Very unique. It just seems as though it would be very cool in those 'tunnels' in the summer. GA 99 came back to US17, in the town of Darien, in time use the same bridges  to pass through a wildlife sanctuary, which is of course like a swamp in areas. I must have crossed four big rivers in five miles, which are part of a large area that is either designated as an estuary or wildlife reserve. The road I was on was the ONLY road through this marshy area.
As the day went on, and I got closer to Brunswick, a pretty big town, traffic got heavier. Even though the GPS tried for miles to get me off of 17, I decided to stick with it, because I wanted to see the view from the huge bridge that crossed the Brunswick River and harbor, which also acts as part of the Intercoastal Waterway. I made it to the Golden Isles campground about 4:30, just when the sun was getting really low in the sky, and the glare becoming dangerous. 
Brunswick, where we spent the night, is a city with a metro area of  over 100,000, and its claims to fame are the Golden Isles, ( Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island, which are tourist destinations and two of the only three public accessible public ocean beaches in the state,) and it claims to be home of "Brunswick Stew". At one point it was called the shrimp capital of the world, but production has fallen off considerably.

Started the day at Savannah Oaks Campground

US 17, complete with bike lane!

Mike didn't eat there, but he thought about it!

Old US 17 was present many times (off to the right)

We are in Gulah Geechie territory

This church claims to be the country's smallest!

Back in Piggly Wiggly and Winn Dixie country!!!

Live oak "tunnel" in Meridian, GA on GA 99

Butler River

Plantation remains near the Butler River

Plantations are all rice plantations

Some of the many rivers in the wildlife refuge

This trolley car reminds me of the RV Kitchen

Biggest climb of the day, 180 feet of elevation in .7 miles.

View from the top!

The green and white thing is a car carrying, ocean going vessel.  The cars in the foreground are either imports or exports at Brunswick Harbor.

No comments:

Post a Comment