Cumberland Island has been added to my top 10 favorite places in the world list. This is my dream island! We have passed two gorgeous days here and I would gladly stay longer. Lala has found her “happy place”. This place is one of the best stops on the entire ICW, and highly recommended to anyone making this trip. The anchorage is nice and calm and right next to a dock where you can bring your dinghy to shore. Once ashore you are immediately greeted by stately, majestic live oaks, and not just a few. There is a huge marvelous forest of them, and miles of nice paths to enjoy walking on. Since I consider live oaks to be some of the most fantastic trees in the world, I was beyond way happy to meander through what they called a “maritime forest” full of them. Beyond the forest are sand dunes that rise in powdery sandy hills up and over to a huge expansive beach. This beach is absolutely epic, stretching on for miles. Lots of shells litter the beach. Surf pounds in. A dream beach. With only a few people on it, and no development. The island is run by the National Park System, and places like this make me so grateful we have such gems preserved for us to enjoy through the park system.
Cumberland Island was inhabited for over 3,000 years by a group of Native Americans who are sadly completely erased from the planet. Almost nothing is known about them, except the fact that they successfully lived here for a very, very long time without leaving a trace except for a few shreds of pottery. I find it so tragic that we know nothing about these people who called this home for a thousand years longer than our present culture has even been in existence. They must have known a thing or two about sustainable living that we could learn from them. Once the Europeans came, the Island served a variety of functions until it eventually came into the hands of some of the wealthy Carnegies, who built huge mansions and used the island as a playground for the rich and famous. But only a hundred years later, those mansions are abandoned and in ruins.
Today most of the island is uninhabited, and Wild horses roam the island, foraging for food. We encountered several of them and they pretty much ignored us. The wide open beach would have been a dreamy place to ride a horse, but I’m not a good enough rider to ride an untrained horse bareback!
We think we are going to stay another day, so reluctant are we to leave this magical place too soon. More stories to come, stay tuned!