KARE Project update – Seeing Savannah chapter. On making our way north this spring we decided to travel up the east coast. Neither Happy Camper nor I have ever been this way. After leaving Florida our first stop was Savannah, GA.
We choose a campground that was closest to the historic district of old Savannah called Red Gate Campground & RV Resort. Formerly the home of Georgia’s oldest Jersey cattle Farm (Red Gate Farms) it still is a working farm with horses and other farm livestock.
The first night we were there I was sitting outside with Tessy and Tucker and suddenly 4 or 5 horses go running right by Homey. The “kids” went nuts . . . they had never seen such “Big Dogs” as these before. I ushered them inside and went to investigate . . . not often (ever) have we stayed at a campground were horses come running through your site. I spotted them off in a field about 30 yrds. away . . . . it was after dark but I did manage to get a few pics . . .
Turns out these four were “escapees” (kind of like us) from the paddock and there is one who finds his way out and the others follow . . . one in every bunch :-). More pics of the horses later as I encountered them on my walks.
We took the “Kids” into the Historic District of Savannah one day. Very interesting. There were many courtyard squares lined with ancient looking Oak trees and many old southern houses. In one of the squares was a monument for Nathanael Green, one of George Washington’s most trusted Generals and a life long friend.
Another of the squares was Johnson Square . . . the first of Savannah’s squares.
We took a stroll along Savannah’s Riverfront District along the Savannah River and had lunch. Very old buildings mixed in with modern ones. The streets were old cobblestone . . . very cool.
Another day we took a tour of Fort James Jackson or Old Fort Jackson along the Savannah River. Fort Jackson is a restored 19th century fort located just east of Savannah on the Savannah River. It is a National Historic Landmark and the oldest standing brick fort in the U.S. state of Georgia. Constructed between 1808 and 1812 over an old earthen battery from the American Revolution. At the time, war with Great Britain or France seemed likely, and Fort Jackson was the best site from which to protect Savannah from attack by sea. In the War of 1812, local militias and U.S. troops saw active duty at Fort Jackson. During the Civil War, Fort Jackson defended Savannah from Union attack. When the Union captured Savannah by land on December 20, 1864, Confederate troops abandoned the fort and retreated across the Savannah River into South Carolina. It was a very interesting self tour.
I view from the top of the bastions looking out over the Savannah River.
Inside the fort there were many displays of period armaments, clothing and artifacts that were dug up around the fort.
During the Civil War there were a number of Ironclad ships protecting Savannah. There was a display of some models of these ships.
The Ironclad that protected Fort Jackson was the CSS Savannah. It had an average crew of 180 sailors and even though it only had two 7 inch guns and two 6.4 inch guns it had the reputation as the most efficient vessel of the squadron.
Ironically, the CSS Savannah was burned by the Confederates on December 21, 1864 when the city of Savannah was threatened by the approach of General Sherman.
It sank right out front of the fort and is still there today marked by two red buoys. It is approximately directly beneath the tug boat in this next picture.
While we were at the fort a very large ocean going ship from Hong Kong made it’s way up the river and into Port of Savannah . . . look close and you can see it coming . . . about a mile or so away.
Here is how it looked as it went by us.
After our tour of Old Fort Jackson we headed to one of Georgia’s coastal islands, Tybee Island.
Meanwhile, back at the Ranch (campground) . . . Red Gate Farms is a large property. The campground is only a small part. As mentioned previously Red Gate Farms is still a working farm though mostly for recreational purposes. I did a lot of exploring the grounds on my walks. From the campground in the front of the property you pass by the office house and make your way towards the horse paddock and pasture/jumping arenas. This is were I found the “escapees” from our first night.
This next picture is of the Master escape artist . . . pretty much all the time we were there he and at least one of his buddies were on the wrong side of the fence.
The property has many horse trails and you can ride (for a fee) one of these beauties around the grounds. Saw other people bringing their own horses and riding the property. As I have mentioned the property is very large. If I walked from the campground and to the furthest dirt road to the far side of the property and back I could get almost 4 miles. I usually walked the route twice every day.
Red Gate Farms is not only a campground and working farm but they cater to any size group for birthdays, company picnics or any company event and even weddings. On my first walk, after I past the horses I found a dirt road that led to a very cool discovery.
I followed this road for about 1/4-1/2 mile and when I got to the end I found this old southern mansion. This is were they hold most of the catered events . . . mostly weddings.
I followed the dirt road past this driveway around a big pond.
I saw a lot of Bass and even some very large Carp.
The dirt road came out at the back side of the mansion.
I found another smaller dirt road across from the mansion that went to the far end of the property about 1/2-3/4 of a mile. I came to the end of this road and found this sign. I talked to the lady that lived back here and she told me that when she and her husband were excavating for their house they found hundreds of cattle skulls. Apparently, this far side of the farm was were they brought all the cattle that died and buried them here. . . so the husband named his new dirt road . . . have to look close to read it, it has been there for 10-15 yrs. now.
On a lighter note . . . the rest of Red Gate Farm’s facilities were more whimsical.
“Mr. Dickie’s Barn” . . .
“Patty’s Shack” . . .
And last but not least . . . can’t forget . . .
All and all we enjoyed our stay in Savannah, GA. It was one of the hardest cities we’ve encountered so far to find our way around. I guess it being such an old city and all the old growth trees it just seemed that way . . . . naw . . . the road signs were hard to follow too.
Well, from here we continue to head north . . . not too far to our next stop and a new blog coming soon . . . “Hangin’ Out on Hilton Head Island“.