Sunday, April 6, 2008

Cumberland Island

For those who don't know (which will be most people who read this blog), Cumberland Island is Georgia's southern most barrier island. It was previously home to Thomas and Lucy Carnegie, as well as some revolutionary and civil war generals. The island has been made into a National Seashore and with that comes a lot of guidelines that keep this from being "just another car camping experience", mainly there are no cars allowed. : ) Because of that, you ferry 45 mins. over to the island with all of your camping gear and food in tow and say goodbye to civilization until your scheduled time to leave (for us 6 days). They do not have a camp store or anyway for you to purchase forgotten items so it takes quite a bit of careful planning. With all that in mind, we set out on our family adventure to Cumberland Island on Easter afternoon.

Here are a few pictures of unloading the van and the kids "helping" Chris it get all of the gear to a place where he could load it onto the ferry. The day we boarded the ferry was FREEZING! I actually had to unpack some of the kids warm clothes for them to put on while we waited.

Once you arrive at Cumberland Island, they provide you with carts to put your gear into so that you can carry it the 1/2 mile+ that it takes to get to your site. We all wore a pack (big kids included) and I pushed Caleb in the stroller on our first trip to the site. Since I'm pregnant, Chris didn't feel comfortable with me helping to move the gear and so he made the trip two more times by himself to bring the rest of our belongings to the site.

Needless to say, Chris was exhausted by the time he had unloaded the car, loaded the ferry, unloaded the ferry, loaded the carts, and trekked 3 miles to get all the gear it takes for a family of 5 to make it on an island 6 days. Then we still had to set up camp and all of this in 40 degree weather. Welcome to beach camping! lol!

We knew the week before our trip that the first few nights were looking like they would be painfully cold, considering we had 2 little kids and a baby to keep warm. I have to admit that this was my biggest concern. It's hard to keep a baby warm without having it co-sleep and Caleb is not a co-sleeper. That first night was about 37 degrees but we survived. This is a picture of us trying to warm up the next morning. We don't do many fires at this stage of life because a toddler plus fire equals ER trip but desperate times call for desperate measures. The big kids loved it of course!

This is the picture of the main path across Cumberland Island.

The first full day was still pretty cold so we decided to explore some of the island's historic sites. It was perfect hiking weather so it made for a nice outing. This is Dungeness, the ruins of the Carnegie Mansion on Cumberland Island. Thomas and Lucy Carnegie lived in this once 4 story Mansion along with their 9 children. This is one of the sites on the island that we enjoyed the most. The grounds are enormous and it was fun to imagine what it was like in it's grandeur.
One of the things Cumberland Island is known for is the wild horses that roam free there. I think that the kids counted a total of 17 wild horses during our 6 days there. They would rest by the bathrooms, walk down the path, and play on the sand dunes. It was fun to have the chance to experience that! Notice in the picture below...Luke is layered (as he should be) yet Kate has chosen to sport her bathing suit, desperate to experience the beach.
This was the board walk down to the beach...just beautiful!We returned to Dungeness on our last day for a picnic. Just a little family photo after lunch...
Cumberland Island contains a meritime forest and is made up of these BEAUTIFUL live oaks! You could not ask for a more perfect climbing tree
This is the ferry that transports you to and from the island. Our last 3 days on the island were gorgeous and we spent plenty of time on the beach. It also made for a much more enjoyable ride back to the mainland. The kids enjoyed riding on the top of the ferry and looking for dolphins.

Our Cumberland Island Adventure was one we will never forget and hope to repeat (maybe when Cuatro is about 4)!


Tricia said...

Wow! That looks like such a neat place to go. Great pictures. I've got to get one of those cameras!

Again, I so admire that Larson spirit of adventure! I don't think I'd be camping while pregnant with three kids... you go girl!

Christy said...

You guys are awesome!!! I love it, love it, love it. Great pictures ... and though I've never been huge into camping, I have to say that (as long as it's not cold) that place sounds like so much fun!

bugs & sunshine said...

wow, those are super fun pictures! hey, i just read your post. you need to read my sister's response to your response.

your post made me extra giddy about you moving back. don't even think i'm not going to be stalking you for your new latest and greatest recipes. if you'll notice, half of my menu is courtesy of YOU!

and, one of the first orders of business for us, well, besides you having a baby and everything is teaching me the art of headband wearing.

i figure i can load up my kids and come visit. i'll give them walkie talkies so we can rain in fights via intercom, etc while we sit at the table and solve the big dilemas in life-such as how to wear a headband and what to eat next.

or, if you come to my house we pretty much just have one big room so they can color on the walls and so forth while we do business. ok?!