Day 43: Leave Only Footprints


time of year

We woke to the sound of huge, crashing waves.

We could feel the full force of the 20 mph wind when we stood out on our balcony. So we grabbed a quick breakfast from the hotel and headed out to walk along the waves and get the full experience. I’ve never experienced such wind and waves on a beach before. We had to lean into the wind to walk. Even the seabirds were hunkered down on the sand. Sea foam crashed onto the beach beside us and then blew away across the sand.

We decided to walk along the beach to Tybee Island Lighthouse

Georgia’s oldest (dating back to 1736) and tallest (145’) light was about a 1.3 miles up the beach from our hotel so we headed towards that. The lighthouse, Military Battery and Museum of Fort Screven and Tybee Island Marine Science Center are closed to the public on Tuesdays (it’s Tuesday). They are still very cool to see. We decided to walk back to the hotel through the quaint neighborhood which turned out to be surprisingly interesting as quite a few of the houses are built incorporating old structures from the fort or were once

officers’ housing or mess buildings.

We ate a quick lunch and had a short nap before heading out again.

Oatland Island Wildlife Center

($5/person) covers 100 acres of maritime forest with a 2-mile nature trail walking loop featuring 5 main exhibit areas. The animals are all either rescues, orphans or unable to survive in the wild. They all seemed to be brighter and more active than other similar centers we’ve been to, following us with their eyes and reacting to sounds of birds and animals outside their enclosures. Outside the bird enclosures there were signs posted that said “To the untrained eye, it may seem that our raptor enclosures are somewhat small. However, they are that way intentionally.

All of our raptors were obtained from wildlife rehabilitators or veterinarians after treatment for various injuries that left them unable to fly. Non-flighted birds fare better in smaller enclosures with multiple perches to help them maneuver around their surroundings.” I was glad to learn that as we’ve often wondered why their cage tend to be so small. We passed a 4 other people while we were there. There is also a small area with some farm animals and an old cabin where you can learn how sugarcane used to be made into syrup. Our favorite enclosures were the cougars and the wolves and we even got to see 1 huge alligator.


difficulty: 1

We stopped at Publix to get 6” subs for dinner

(it’s my first time getting one from there). Great value and 5 grain Italian bread made my veggie sub so good!


We followed Google Maps to find the Cockspur Island Lighthouse

the smallest lighthouse in Georgia. It ceased operation in 1909. As it turns out the walk is not where we were taken by Google Maps but is part of the Fort Pulaski National Monument, just up the road from where we were but about to close for the day. The lighthouse itself has been closed due to preservation efforts but had we arrived earlier we could have viewed it from a nearby path in Fort Pulaski.

We went for a final walk along the beach to enjoy the slightly calmer waves and a beautiful sunset.

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