My son’s troop had a trip to Cumberland Island over the MLK weekend. We braved the traffic and ice in Atlanta to drive down on a Friday night to arrive in time to meet a 9am ferry Saturday morning (stayed at the KOA in St. Mary’s – which graciously let us check in late at night).
The gear is piled on the deck in the bow – so if rain is likely it is critical that the packs are properly weather proofed. We were lucky on the way out and had beautiful weather, but on the way back, well that was another story.
Because of the ice there were a large number of cancellations and our scoutmaster was able to arrange for a campsite in the seacoast site. This was probably good as we had some fairly young scouts and a couple of fairly old scouters along as well.
Cumberland island is a live oak/ palmetto forest (or at least the southern half where we were is), with a beautiful beach on the east coast and swamp on the west coast. There are wild horses , amadillos
, racoons, deer, and an assortment of birds, including the ubiquitous turkey vulture.
Indeed we were warned to use a “minibear” bag to keep the racoons out of our food, and I used the chance to teach about the PCT method of hanging bear bags.
The trail map shows a short walk by the Dungenous ruins out to a place were fill dirt is placed. This fill dirt is full of fossil sharks teeth and fish bones. Since it is disturbed soil and will be used on the road, you are allowed (indeed encouraged) to keep the teeth you find.
Rain was predicted for Monday morning, and as I’d brought a tarp as well as my tent, I thought it might be fun to set up a “Taj Mahal”
We hurried back in the rain to catch the 10am ferry and after a 6 hour drive (interrupted by a stop in Brunswick for seafood) were home.