Last week, when Gov. Kemp finally issued a stay-at-home order for Georgia, Fort Frederica National Monument closed. We had been trying to keep the park open, but people weren’t doing a good job of social distancing. The Visitors Center closed two weeks ago, the restrooms closed last week, and this week everything is closed. Although the wildlife love it, it seems very odd to walk around and not see anyone.
The other two interpretive volunteer couples left – heading to homes in Colorado and Ohio. The Verbas, our maintenance volunteers, decided to stay because they can’t get into Shenandoah, which was where they were planning on working in May and June. So our little volunteer village is only half as full as it was.
Tom and I are still working. I am continuing to scan things for curatorial and working with textiles. We are doing short, informational videos for Facebook. You might have seen some of my videos on warping the loom. We walk the grounds every day, keeping our eyes open for trash or vandalism.
Tom has been clearing new trails and fighting ticks. We haven’t been down here this late in the season before, so we didn’t know that the number of ticks increases exponentially as the weather gets warmer. Most of our ticks are Lone Star Ticks in the nymph stage, so they can be hard to see. Add in the mosquitoes and biting green flies, and you can have quite a swarm around you. We use a lot of Deep Woods OFF and have tick checks whenever we head back into the RV.
On the whole, the park has been very quiet. The locals can still get into the park via the nature trail, but they haven’t been out much. Tom and I take a walk most evenings to admire the sun setting over the river. This is when we would often see local people also admiring the view. But we have been the only ones out in the last week.
We are sorry that Fort Frederica National Monument closed. We would prefer it to be open – always. But we would also prefer not to be infected by coronavirus or pass it on to others. The monument will be open again as soon as possible. Until then, Tom and I have plenty to do.