Twenty-seventh Lighthouse Expedition

November 1-10, 1996
Georgia and Florida

Friday, November 1, 1996

Cloudy and Cold
7:45 am
Left home.
11:40 am
Stopped at Burger King for lunch and ate on the road.
5:00 pm
Arrived at the Best Western in Wytheville, VA.
5:30 pm
Left the motel and drove around Wytheville, had dinner at "Mom's" restaurant. Stopped at the DQ on way back to Best Western.
6:45 pm
Arrived at motel.

Saturday, November 2, 1996

cloudy, misty, rain, cool
7:40 am
Left Best Western, Wytheville, VA.
11:40 am
Stopped just south of Orangeburg, SC for gas and fixed lunch in car because of light rain. Left at 12:05.
3:00 pm
Arrived at the St. Simons Island Lighthouse. We took tour and climbed the tower (129 steps). Spent a bundle in the gift shop. Took lots of pictures.
4:00 pm
Left lighthouse and drove around the island. We checked into Epworth by the Sea Methodist Conference Center. Drove out to Christ Church and then back into Frederica.
6:00 pm
Dinner at Mulletts Bay.
7:00 pm
Don got a DQ.
7:25 pm
Arrived back at Epworth.

Sunday, November 3, 1996

sunny, cool
8:30 am
Left our room at Epworth and walked around the grounds, Saw Lovely Lane Chapel. This is a beautiful spot on the river overlooking the marshes.
9:00 am
Left Epworth and drove to Christ Church (Episcopal) for the worship service. We walked around the graveyard and saw some of the familiar names from the Eugenia Price books. Went to coffee hour and then walked through the Wesley Garden with 18', 15 ton Celtic Cross which was dedicated to him and his ministry. We enjoyed seeing our Methodist roots.
11:00 am
Arrived at Fort Frederica.
12:00 pm
Left the fort and went to north end of island.
12:35 pm
Arrived back at Epworth to change.
12:50 pm
Left Epworth and went back to town and had lunch. Took more lighthouse pictures.
1:40 pm
Left St. Simons and drove to Jekyll Island.
2:05 pm
Arrived at Visitors center. Took the Historical District Tour of the Millionaires Cottages of the early 1900's.
3:40 pm
Drove around Jekyll Island and then back to St. Simons. Drove out to Sea Island.
5:30 pm
Had dinner at The Chelsea, very good.
6:40 pm
Stopped at DQ for Don before heading back to Epworth.
7:00 pm
Arrived at Epworth.

Monday, November 4, 1996

sunny, cool
7:25 am
Left Epworth by the Sea, St. Simons.
8:00 am
Arrive at Sapelo Island Ferry dock.
8:30 am
Ferry left for Sapelo Island.
9:00 am
Arrived at Sapelo Island.
9:10 am
Lulu Walker met us at the ferry dock on Sapelo Island. She has lived on the island all her life. Her husband, George, daughter and husband and granddaughter also live there. She took us on a tour of the island: we saw the mansion, a beautiful beach, the Sapelo Island Lighthouse (in bad shape), the Sapelo Island Range Light, her home, one of the 2 churches, the old cemetary, and lots of back roads. She has been a cook all her life and retired last year. She worked for the State of Georgia at the mansion. She has cooked for many important people including President Jimmy Carter and Andrew Young. She is a delightful, wonderful lady and we found her interesting and entertaining. She seemed quite intrigued that we came all that way just to see the lighthouse.
11:30 am
Returned to ferry dock.
12:00 pm
Ferry left Sapelo Island.
12:30 pm
Ferry arrived at mainland.
1:00 pm
Stopped at McDonald's for lunch.
2:10 pm
Arrived at Amelia Island Lighthouse. It is in a subdivision on property owned by US Coast Guard. Not easy to get clear pictures. Left at 2:15.
2:25 pm
Stopped on A1A and took picture of a vacation house in shape of lighthouse. Address 748 A1A, Amelia Island Lodging Systems, 261-4148.
2:50 pm
Arrived at car ferry from St. Georges Island to Mayport on A1A. Ferry left at 3:15.
3:25 pm
Ferry docked.
3:35 pm
Arrived on Mayport Naval Station.
3:45 pm
Arrived at St. Johns River Lighthouse located on the naval air station.
4:00 pm
Arrived at St. Johns (Mayport) Light on other side of the naval air station (newer). Left at 4:05.
4:50 pm
Stopped at Guana River State Park just long enough to look at beach. Very windy, but not cool. Water choppy. Left at 4:55.
5:30 pm
Arrived at the Best Western at St. Augustine.
6:00 pm
Dinner at Barnacle Bills (next door). After dinner we walked around the historic district.
7:30 pm
returned to Best Western.

Tuesday, November 5, 1996

Election Day!
8:20 am
Left the Best Western in St. Augustine
8:35 am
Took trolley ride around historic district of St. Augustine. Walked down St. George Street. Took a few pictures of fort, mission cross, oldest house and Tovar house. Left at 10:55.
11:00 am
Arrived at the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Climbed the tower, 219 steps. The fifth tallest in the U.S. Saw the museum. There is a beautiful view of the Atlantic and St. Augustine. They closed the tower just after we came down because of wasps! Left at 12:00.
12:15 pm
Stopped at beach south of St. Augustine along A1A for lunch and to change into shorts, hot today. Left at 12:45.
2:00 pm
Arrived at Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse. Climbed the tower (197 steps) and saw the musem, nicely done. Left at 3:05.
4:15 pm
Arrived at the Kennedy Space Center. The last bus trip was at 3:30 p.m. We had hoped to see the Cape Canaveral Light, but missed the tour.
4:50 pm
Arrived at beach at Polk and A1A in town of Cape Canaveral. The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse is a long way off in the distance, but we took pictures in case this is our only chance at it. [It was] Left at 5:15.
5:25 pm
Arrived at Ron Jon's Surf Shop and got T-Shirts for the kids. We had dinner in their cafe. Left at 6:30.
8:00 pm
Arrived in Fort Pierce and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express.

Wednesday, November 6, 1996

sunny, to be in 80's
8:30 am
Left Holiday Inn Express in Ft. Pierce.
9:20 am
Arrived at Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. Door opens at 10:00 am. It was a guided tour which started with a video and then moved very slowly. There were 5 other people in the group. Thirty-three steps to base of lighthouse and 105 steps inside. Beautiful view from top, including Perry Como's home. Left at 11:05.
12:25 pm
Arrived Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse. We took pictures from a park on the south side of the drawbridge. The lighthouse is on private property. It's a steel tower and not too pretty. There are palm trees hiding the base of the tower. Hillsboro Beach has some beautiful homes. Left at 12:35.
1:40 pm
Arrived at Key Biscayne in park at tip of Bill Baggs State Park. We stopped on the way and got some Subway sandwiches for lunch. We ate at a picnic table near the Cape Florida Lighthouse. The lighthouse site is not open yet. About 4 more months until they finish the Lighthouse keepers dwelling. The lighthouse has been renovated. We walked around both sides trying to have the sun in the right spot for pictures. Beautiful drive! Now on to the Keys!
2:35 pm
We were unsuccessful in finding the Carysfort Reef Light. The RV park which the book ( "Florida Lighthouses" by Kevin McCarthy and William Trotter, excellent) told us was a good viewing spot is no longer there. You cannot see water at all driving along bayside.
5:00 pm
We arrived at the Marina Del Mar Resort in Key Largo. It's a beautiful resort near the bay with pool, etc. We watched the sunset and then changed for dinner. The resort has a fine restaurant next door, Snooks. It was a lovely setting for dinner.

Thursday, November 7, 1996

to get to 86 today
7:30 am
We left the Marina Del Mar Bayside Resort in Key Largo. (Note: we did not see the reef lights in order from Key Largo to Key West due to position of lights and sun)
8:45 am
Arrived at spot to view Sombrero Key Light. (We took N. Sombrero Road off US 1 in Marathon on Voca Key.) Light is way off shore . It is a black skeletal tower. We took pictures from Sombrero Beach Park. Left at 8:50.
10:10 am
Arrive at Key West Lighthouse. The drive was NOT fun. The lighthouse is a pretty one, the museum good and grounds beautiful. We climbed the 88 steps. Left at 10:50.
11:25 am
Arrived at spot to view American Shoal Light (about 5 miles off US 1 down 939 and 939A at blinker light in Perky across from Sugarloaf Lodge.) It is a long way out in the water. Stopped for photo. Left at 11:35.
12:25 pm
Stopped in Marathon Key for lunch at McDonald's. Left at 12:35. (Note: we noticed the water seemed more colorful than this am. Many shades of green, blue, and navy.)
1:05 pm
We saw Alligator Reef Lighthouse. We stopped on bridge just south of MM78. This one is also way out in the water. Stopped for photos. Left at 1:10. (Note: There are other lights out on the reefs in the keys but are not visible from land. Boats and planes can be hired to see them.)
1:35 pm
Arrived back at the entrance to Marina Del Mar Bayside on US 1 in Key Largo. 211 miles , 6 hrs. 5 min. One gas stop, 3 photo lighthouse stops, 1 lighthouse and museum, one lunch stop which we picked up and ate in car.
5:15 pm
Arrived at Sanibel Island Lighthouse on Gulf of Mexico. We made it before sunset! It's a steel tower with brown keepers home. All can be seen but not visited. There is a fishing pier near by. Private residences for caretakers. Left at 5:35.
7:10 pm
Arrived at Days Inn in Port Charlotte.
7:30 pm
Ate dinner next door at Johnny's, good and inexpensive.

Friday, November 8, 1996

to be hot and sunny
8:05 am
Left Days Inn in Port Charlotte.
8:50 am
Arrived at the Boca Grande Rear Range Light. Left at 9:10.
9:15 am
Arrived Port Boca Grande Lighthouse at southern tip of Gasparella Island. We walked on beach collecting shells.
9:50 am
Left and drove around the island and town. Sure has change in 40 years. Condos, Condos, Condos, Boca Bay North is on the property where the Boca Grande Hotel was when Diana stayed here with her parents and the Blake family in 1957. We bought lunch in town. We changed into suits and enjoyed the beach. Had lunch at a park near the rear range lighthouse.
1:15 pm
Left Gasparella Ialand and stopped for DQ.
1:55 pm
We're on I-75, stopped for oranges and grapefruit. A cold front came through and it's chilly.
6:30 pm
Arrived at Travel Lodge in Valdosta, GA. Ate dinner at the Cracker Barrell restaurant.

Saturday, November 9, 1996

7:40 am
Left Travel Lodge in Valdosta, GA.
1:10 pm
Stopped for lunch at DQ in Jasper, TN. Left at 1:35.
1:55 pm
Stopped at the Monteagle Winery. Left at 2:15.
2:55 pm
Arrived at Diana's sister's in Tullahoma TN.

Sunday, November 10, 1996

8:00 a.m
Left Hockins in Tullahoma, TN.
12:55 pm
Columbus, IN - got lunch at Arby's and ate on the road.
4:05 pm
Cross into Michigan and it's snowing!
6:15 pm
Arrived HOME.

Trip Totals: 19 Lighthouses, 3781 miles, 10 days.

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Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey
Conceived and Developed by David S. Carter
Photographs by Donald W. Carter
Text by Diana K. Carter, Donald W. Carter & David S. Carter

Copyright © 1995-1998 David S. Carter, Donald W. Carter, & Diana K. Carter. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means, physical or electronic, in part or in full, without the express permission of the authors, is strictly prohibited.