By Steven Yancey
We’re back after 12 years, it’s been 12 years right? No? Well, it sure felt like it had been a lot longer than two months since we last ventured out. After a very cold and rainy January and February, we all were itching for some Vitamin D.
Originally, we planned to visit Blythe Island Regional Park over Valentine’s Day weekend. But then work schedules changed, so we moved it up a week. Then work got busy, so we moved it back two weeks. We were all set to go last weekend, but then the Jeep ended up in the shop and the weather looked miserable. So, we moved it back yet another week. I guess the camping gods were watching over us though because we ended up with the most beautiful weekend of the year!
We headed down to Brunswick, which is about three and half hours from Columbia, late Thursday afternoon. Due to our late departure we arrived at the campground, which is easily accessible from I-95, after dark. Entry was easy due to us calling ahead. We were advised to punch in the super-secret secure gate code, go to the main office, and find our paper work on the bulletin board. The campground did not give us a site number in advance, but we were told there weren’t really any bad spots. When we arrived, we found that we had site 49, which was in the interior of the campground. The site offered full hook-up, cable, WIFI, and a concrete pad for seating, all for $40 a night. The campground does not offer online booking, so you need to call 912-279-2812 to book.
When we woke up on Friday, we were able to actually see the campground, which offered gorgeous views of the intracoastal waterway and trees dripping with Spanish moss. After breakfast on Friday, we made a short drive over to Jekyll Island to spend the day with the in-laws, who drove up from Florida to spend some time with the “littles.” We paid $8 (totally worth it) for a day pass to explore. Alyssa had planned this trip during February specifically to participate in the Jeckyll Island Treasure Hunt, where the local CVB hides plastic orbs on the island that can be exchanged for artisan glass globes.
We started our hunt on Driftwood Beach. Driftwood Beach sits on the North of the island and due to erosion is filled with the skeletons of bleached and sun withered trees. It is a sight to behold, as it is as haunting as it is romantic and fanciful. The kids had a blast as they explored the worn timber and played well into lunch time. Jase did have one accident when he fell into a puddle while trying to rinse his hands. Though a few scrapes and a wet pants could all be solved by a chocy muffin. Chocy muffin fixes everything.
After lunch a Tortuga Jack’s, which is located on the island we ventured down to a second beach behind the restaurant. While we were eating, I kept seeing large bubbles, no GIANT bubbles, floating in the wind. Down by the water we found Aaron. Aaron is not a professional bubble blower, just a cool guy who wanted to learn a cool trick to show his friends while camping. As fate would have it he was on the beach that day and our paths crossed. To say the kids were happy would be an understatement. I’ve never seen them that tired after chasing bubbles. Aaron can be found on “the gram” under Aaron_the_gach, and though he just starting this, I hope its turns into a promising venture for him. It’s nice to see another human being doing something to just put a smile on someone else’s face.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have any luck finding one of the Jeckyll Island treasures, but we had a lot of fun searching. On the way off the island, we drove through the historic district, and remarked on how we’d have to come back to spend more time exploring all the nooks and crannies of the island. The island itself does have a campground, but when we were originally booking our trips, we discovered finding a site for a travel trailer is something that you need to do way in advance.
On Saturday we headed over to Saint Simons Island, which is north of Jekyll Island. It provided another awesome beach, which was surprisingly busy. Though, when its 84 degrees in February I don’t blame them one bit. It was a beautiful stretch of clean beach which was great for another day of trying to wear out the kiddos.
After we got back to the camper for some snacks and naps, I decided to head out for a little fishing. The fresh water lake offered some good bank fishing and some decent looking bass were found. When I returned Alyssa and Jase went out for a little exploring. While exploring Jase became enamored with some of the campground’s inhabitants: rabbits. Big rabbits. Everywhere. Apparently years ago someone on the island let their pet rabbits loose and they bred with the resident cotton tails. This produced a crossbreed of multicolored large rabbits which are pretty social. Jase befriended them and had to search out as many as he could. While at the campground we also saw deer, pelicans, squirrels and lots of other wildlife.
Blythe Island Regional Park also offers a very nice boat ramp and fishing pier on the intracoastal side. There is also several miles of off-road bike trails, walking trails, picnic shelters, and a small playground. We truly had a much needed, relaxing weekend. The only words of caution we’d offer is to make sure you bring bug spray, as the park had a significant sand flea population too. We also felt like some of the sites were a bit less private than we typically like, but, luckily, we had great neighbors. We decided on future trips we’d try to request a pull through site on the outside of the loop, as those seemed to be a bit more spacious.
Overall, Blythe Island Regional Park is a great destination that serves as a perfect base camp for exploring Georgia’s Golden Isles or to just relax and enjoy nature. It felt good to be back out enjoying the outdoors and some time together as a family.
P.S. – Thank you to my parents for letting us borrow their truck since our Jeep was still in the shop. It was definitely nice to tow with a big Ram 2500, but after two hours of hitting bumps on I-95, I don’t think I’m going to convince Alyssa to buy one as her daily driver!