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From Key West To Savannah, GA

Getting To Where You Are Going Is Half The Fun

Key West to home.

After leaving Key West, I needed to stop at home in Sunrise, FL. before heading to Savannah, GA. I needed make some adjustments to my bike. A lowered windshield, new grips, and road pegs were at the top of my list.

The next thing I needed to do involved getting the tags and have my trike registered. To do the latter, I needed the paperwork from Black Hills Harley Davidson which would take another 30 days. (They were way behind from all the bikes sold at Sturgis Bike Week.) There was no way I was going to wait 30 days and miss the fall foliage in the north east. I left a Power of Attorney for my daughter to get my tags and left as soon as the repairs to my bike were completed.

Home to Daytona

My first stop was Daytona for the night. I didn’t plan on the stop, but Hurricane Erica made her presence known with wind and rain. It slowed me down on the way north. Plus, I needed to be off the road by dark. Rain storms and after dark on unfamiliar roads on a motorcycle, even a trike, isn’t my idea of fun. My revised plan meant making Savannah a day later than planned. I took US A1A  through West Palm Beach on my way to Daytona. At that point A1A joins US 1. I originally planned on getting back on A1A  through St. Augustine, but the rain changed and wind changed that as it was too dangerous with the surf coming up over the road in spots.

The hotel where I stayed was one where many of the bikers who are having repairs done stay. I went to the nearby bar where I was told I could get good food. I had a wonderful meal and ended up spending time with a group of fun bikers. The surprise that I was traveling on my own, instead of a group made me laugh. This was the first of many times explaining how no one else wanted to travel for over a year. I left the bar early. I wanted to be on the road shortly after sunrise in the morning.

Park on US 1 where I stopped for lunch,

Daytona to Savannah

The ride from Daytona the next day involved going through Jacksonville, a city I’m not fond of no matter what way you go through it. US 1 follows the coast south of Jacksonville, but once into the city, it connects to the interstate. Once outside of Jacksonville, US 1 splits off again, going to the east to follow along the coastline of Georgia. Now me and finding the correct roads isn’t always perfect. I happened to make it through Jacksonville without getting lost. That was a good thing.

The picture above is from where I stopped to eat lunch on my way to Savannah. The lovely park drew me to stop and rest. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the mossy trees with light filtering through the branches of the oak trees. (The blur is photographer error, but you can still see the light and vibe.) This is the type of things you seldom see on the interstates. The ride along US 1 wasn’t fast, but it was beautiful and worth the extra time.

Savannah

Savannah is a city I always wanted to visit. The city is steeped in history going from the time it was founded to becoming a major point of contention during the Civil War.to a modern port. Much of the old city is preserved in the historic section of town which is close to the coast.

Rain on the lakeWhen I arrived at the campgrounds, this is what it looked like. Rain. I didn’t even want to think about going into town the next day dressed in a rain suit. Because of the rain, I ended up taking a cabin since it was wet, cool and getting toward dark. Also, with a canvas tent, putting it up in the rain wasn’t about to happen, with or without help, after a full day of riding. Luck was with me. The rain stopped during the night.

 

Calhoun Square in Savannah, GA

Independent Presbyterian Church spire from Forest Gump movie.

With the nice weather, I went into town early. What I wasn’t expecting was how mot of the homes are townhouses and built around the various squares. I parked along the famous Calhoun Square. It is the one you see at the beginning of the Forest Gump movie. (That is it above from a different street.) The famous church is off to the left in the first picture. The benches are the ones like you see in the moving. Yes, people still live here.

Seeing the Historic District

 

French mail order fountain

What I found odd was the fountain above. You can find others which look like it all over the US and Europe as it was a copy of one of the fountains in Paris, France. It was bought from a mail order catalog by the city and shipped to Savannah then assembled in the park.

The picture below was taken in the nave of St. John’s Episcopal Church on Madison Square. It was one of the earliest churches built in Savannah and copied the cathedrals of Europe with its soaring arched roof and stained glass windows and murals on the interior. Notice all the color and beautiful columns.

Interesting facts about Savannah

Savannah was founded in 1733 by a General James Edward Oglethorpe who named the area Georgia after King Georges. He had 120 colonists with him. It was America’s first planned city.  It’s called the Hostess of the South and has been home to composer Johnny Mercer, Eli Whitney and Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of America.  It’s also home to the oldest operating historical society in the US which started in 1839. The City Market is one of the oldest continuously operating markets in the US, having been found in the 1700s.  It is also a place where multiple movies and shows have been filmed.

The Ghosts of Savannah

If you like the haunted aspect of the cities, you’ll love Savannah

Gribble House where there was a triple axe murder in 1909 has had sighting of ghosts over the years.

The Pirate Home is 250 years old with tunnels going from it’s basement to the river and multiple stories of pirates and sailors. Today it is a restaurant. It looks like it isn’t much until you learn the history. Oh, it also has decent food and is worth a stop if you are in the area.

The Marshall House was taken over in 1864 and became an army hospital for the union. It is documented that body parts were buried beneath the floorboards as the ground was frozen and they couldn’t be buried outside. There are stories of a union soldiers wandering around carrying his arm looking for the surgeon.

Factor’s Walk was the seat of the cotton commerce in the area. There was multiple murders, accidental deaths and slaves which were transported through the port.

Madison Square is the most haunted outdoor space. It has St. John’s Episcopal church on it’s border. It was the scene of battles from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.  There are multiple people buried in the area from the wars.

Moon River Brewing Company was built in 1821 as a hotel. During the Civil War, the brewery was turned into a hospital where 100s of deaths occured. The two most famous ghosts are Toby as young boy who haunts the basement and taunts anyone who dares to enter his territory. A Mrs. Johnson and several children haunt the upper regions.

I highly recommend visiting the city. It’s one of the few I went into voluntarily. It was a gracious city with a lot to see or to just sit in a square or Franklin Park and enjoy the beauty around you.

This is from August, 2015 notes and pictures.

B. A. Mealer

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