Playground of the ultra rich and famous of the Gilded Age. This Georgia barrier island has bike paths and walking trails that lead through majestic oak forests festooned with Spanish moss, saltwater and freshwater marshes complete with alligators, pristine Atlantic beaches, historic ruins and opulent cottages, and a history in Indian and slave trade.
Yesterday, we drove the golf buggy around the island to get an overview. Today, we unfolded our bikes and rode the bike trails. We took the tram tour of the historic town which is centered around the Jekyll Island Club – an exclusive club created by 53 prominent empire builders with strict membership rules.
Names such as Rockefeller, Morgan, Macie, Goodyear and Pulitzer, built holiday cottages with the strict undertaking that they were not to be showy or over the top. Club members only stayed from January to March to beat the harsh northern winters. The island was closed for the rest of the year.
After the Great Depression and then World War II, only 11 members remained in the club but their families wanted to holiday in Florida – Jekyll Island was looked upon as passé. And so the island was sold to the State of Georgia which has now turned it into a state park. The cottages have been preserved. The Jekyll Island Club building is now a hotel and conference centre with strict dress code. No dress – no dinner. There is also a sea turtle rehabilitation and scientific centre on the island.
But one has to ask the question – – – why, oh why, would the ultra rich and famous come to an island with rattlesnakes, cottonmouth snakes and alligators, not to mention the totally annoying gnats?
Thankfully, I did not see any rattlesnakes on our bike ride. We did, however, come across an alligator in a swamp located in the middle of the island. And how did he get there? Mark had strict instructions to cycle in front!
We survived, but I have arseritis from the bike!
Such is Life!,