Down the Coastal Plain

After  a night in northwestern South Carolina, we drove southeastward through the State, crossing the Fall Line near Columbia; the later is the outer margin of the Southeastern Piedmont, where rivers leave the hard crystalline bedrock of the Piedmont and fall into the softer sediments of the Coastal Plain.  This geographic and geologic line can be traced from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Washington, DC, Richmond, Virginia, Raleigh, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, Macon, Georgia and Montgomery, Alabama.

Heading south on Interstate 95, the highway was closed in by a pine-hardwood forest throughout most of South Carolina.  In southeastern Georgia and northeast Florida, numerous meandering rivers crossed beneath the Interstate, flanked by large tidal marshes.  We stopped for lunch in Savannah, Georgia, dining along the Savannah River before walking through the historic city and its beautiful "squares."  History buffs are clearly drawn to Savannah, as are architectural photographers and couples with small, fuzzy dogs (at least two or three per couple).

Further south, we enjoyed a walk along Jacksonville Beach, watching wind surfers and board surfers alike.  Gannets dove far offshore, brown pelicans skimmed the waves and large flocks of Wilson's plovers foraged on the beach, joined by small groups of willets; out on the city pier, dozens of ruddy turnstones scavenged the planks, oblivious of human fishermen that lined the railings.  Tomorrow we'll cross Florida to reach Longboat Key, choosing a route that maximizes our exposure to natural habitats (and their resident wildlife).