Day 44 Savannah, GA rest day 4 miles 59 feet
In 1733 General James Oglethorpe established the city of Savannah at the behest of the British Crown to act as a buffer to protect Charleston from the Spanish in, Florida, and the French in Louisiana. It is the oldest city in Georgia and was a strategic port during both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Today Savannah is an industrial center and an important Atlantic seaport. The city attracts millions of visitors every year to its cobblestone streets, parks, and historic buildings.
General Sherman captured Savannah in September of 1864, after his famous March to the Sea from Atlanta. Savannah had been one of the last major ports that remained open to the Confederates. On December 22, 1864, Sherman wired Lincoln with the message, “I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.”
I slept in before spending a couple hours on badly neglected maintenance on my bike. I stripped her down to the frame and gave her a thorough wash, wax, and lubrication. Her rear tire had over 3,700 miles so I took it off to inspect. I could see daylight through dozens of gashes all the way through the rubber, not surprising considering the combination of unpaved rock cluttered trails and debris strewn highway shoulders we were riding. Amazingly, the Stan’s Sealant I use in my tubes prevented me from flatting. I gave my tire a proper burial and put some brand new rubber on the rear wheel. Walking back to the hotel I spotted the Savannah Coffee Roasters Cafe & Bistro, 215 W Liberty St, which had Pavlova, one of my favorite New Zealand deserts. Carole, a dear friend in Santa Barbara bakes it for my birthdays. I hope to stop there for breakfast before riding out of town tomorrow.
In the afternoon Brent Buice, the local representative for the East Coast Greenway, took us on a 4 mile narrated bike tour of the historic district of Savannah. Our tour included:
Fine historic buildings, many being rehabbed by SCAD The University for Creative Careers
Bonaventure Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Savannah which was used exclusively by whites of means. Many scenes from Clint Eastwood’s 1997 film, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, were filmed here, as well as in Forsyth Park and several private homes in the historic district
Forsyth Park, a majestic 30-acre park named for Georgia’s 33rd governor. The city’s most most famous fountain, installed in 1858 and modeled after the fountains at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, crowns the northern edge of the park. The park was a vacant treeless lot during the Civil War but is now full of massive century old live oaks, fountains, and statues. The park is used for sports activities, a farmers market, the Sidewalk Arts Festival, the Savannah Jazz Festival, the Picnic in the Park with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon.
At the southern end of the park stands “The Georgia Volunteer," a memorial to the Spanish–American War soldiers of Georgia.
Oglethorpe Club, founded in 1870, an exclusive all men’s club. Members were required to be white, male, and landowners.
When a wealthy Jewish businessman attempted to join the Oglethorpe Club he was turned down. In response he purchased the larger lot directly across the street and built a much grander club, only for Jews.
Cathedral of St John the Baptist, the original parish on the same site dates back to 1799.
The Cathedral is directly across the street from Lafayette Square where the water in the fountain is died green for St Patrick’s Day.
Pinkie Masters, a local watering hole for Savannah’s elite, it was here that Jimmy Carter announced his intention to run for Governor of Georgia.
General Sherman’s Headquarters
A mythical globe resting on the backs of 6 turtles
For dinner we went to a local dive, Savannah Seafood Shack, 116 E Broughton St, a brown paper towel kind of place with killer food, including fried shrimp tacos and their famous “Low-country Boil.”
Thirteen states down, 2 more to go.
Feet Climbed 80,706
States Visited Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia
For more details on my route, see my Strava Link