So on Monday morning I met up with Crooked River State Park ranger Jessica
It was a nice, small group. Besides me the only other paying customers were a very nice lady named Jane who is a media specialist at a middle school in Florida and her two teenage sons. Jane paddled a tandem kayak with Brooks while Jeremy with the long arms whose one stroke equaled two of mine had a sit on top kayak like mine (although mine was a prettier, brighter color!).
Bringing up the rear was Trish who is a local retiree from the nearby sub base and avid kayaker who volunteered to help out. It was great to have Trish along as we paddled past the base since she could explain some things about what we could see although we couldn't see much (no subs going in or out today) and, as she assured us, if we tried to get a closer look even in a little ol' kayak, we would be escorted out of the territory by chaser boats. We didn't test her theory on that one!
It took us about 2 hours to paddle the 6 miles to Cumberland Island starting in the Crooked River, going out through the salt marshes, crossing the Intercoastal Waterway, and finally paddling over a small section of Cumberland Sound. There weren't too many boats on the water that day so the paddling was nice and easy and the company was good so the time slipped by quickly.
It was good to be on dry land again and we were all agreed we were hungry. Just ahead of us stood Plum Orchard, the summer cottage of one of the Carnegies, that offered deep, shady porches with wide porch swings. We all hauled our gear up to the porch and sat down to eat our picnic lunches.
Before we had even finished eating the docent (who gets to live here 3 months of the year!) came to start us on our tour. I was thinking of how much Darlene would have loved the bedrooms and bathrooms. Take a look at the bathtub and notice how many taps there are. One set of taps is placed high enough so that the maids could wash your hair more easily. The tubs sort of remind me of the old tubs in the old hotels in Hot Springs, Arkansas, don't you think so too, Darlene?