When Plans Change, Watch the Sunrise at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia

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When plans cancel, just make new plans, like catching the sunrise at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Sunrise at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Ga.
Sunrise at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Ga.

Psyched for Another Gold Ticket Treasure Hunt! But Wait…

Regular readers know I’ve started treasure hunting over the past couple of months. As a confession, I’m not good at it. I haven’t found anything, or at least, I haven’t found treasure I set out to find but have found experiential treasures. As the saying goes, it’s about the journey and not the destination.

I registered for the Candyman’s Gold Ticket Treasure Hunt in a Southeastern state which kicked off at 11 a.m. on Oct. 20. I didn’t hit the road until 8 p.m. that day. When I arrived at the I-95 Georgia Welcome Center, I read that the $5,000 Gold Ticket was claimed earlier that evening.

Now what?

Just Make New Plans

After some thought on what to do, I decided to stay in Georgia and watch the sunrise. With Radcliff next to me, I slept a couple of hours in my car at the welcome center parking lot, fueled up, and spent a couple of hours sleeping in a Walmart parking lot (great for boon-docking; and this is when it’s good having a protective dog at your side!).

After little sleep, we set out into the darkness for Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island. I read it’s best visiting during a low tide and by luck, low tide was 6:30 a.m. and sunrise was 7:30 a.m. It’s also one of Jekyll Island’s dog-friendly beaches, as long as the pup’s on a leash.

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island is a Dog-Friendly Place to Watch the Sunrise. Oct. 2020
Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island is a Dog-Friendly Place to Watch the Sunrise. Oct. 2020

Sunrise at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island

We arrived around 7 a.m. and we walked down the pathway toward the Atlantic Ocean through the darkness. A few others arrived around the same time. One couple set up beach chairs to watch the sun slowly emerge. Mosquitoes were also active and I really wish I had applied insect repellent!

As the beach’s name implies, large dead trees and driftwood dot the landscape. A portion of the beach has barnacle-covered rocks. As the sunrise progressed, the landscape changed. Nature’s whimsy creates a beautiful photographic backdrop at Driftwood Beach.

Someone brought chalk with them and wrote a couple of messages on dead tree trunks. The first thing I saw was a heart outlined in black chalk. Then, I saw the phrase, “Find Love.” Is this a sign? I’ve been on a quest to find love.

See the Good During These Challenging Times. Spotted at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Ga., Oct. 2020.
See the Good During These Challenging Times. Spotted at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Ga., Oct. 2020.

See the Good

The last phrase I saw was written in bright purple and yellow on a tree trunk. It read, “See the Good.”

It was an overcast morning and the sunrise wasn’t as dramatic as the photos I saw online. Yet, being there in the moment listening to the lapping waves, feeling the breeze and seeing the eerie landscape transition from early morning darkness to daylight made the trip worth it. I did not win the $5,000 but I saw the good of the experience.

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island is a strange, beautiful place. Have you been?

Some of the Eerily Beautiful Landscape of Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Ga., Oct. 2020.
Some of the Eerily Beautiful Landscape of Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Ga., Oct. 2020.

Nuts & Bolts About Visiting Driftwood Beach

Driftwood Beach is located on Jekyll Island in Georgia’s Golden Isles along the Atlantic Ocean. Entryways for the beach are located along N. Beachview Drive between Clam Creek Picnic Area and Villas by the Sea Resort. Jekyll Island is a state park and all vehicles entering must have a valid parking pass. This can be purchased upon arrival onto the island for $8 per vehicle less than 8′, $12 for vehicles longer than 8′. Learn more about the Jekyll Island parking pass on their website.

Posts Related to the Candyman’s Gold Ticket Treasure Hunt

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Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Ga., Oct. 2020

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Author: Solo Travel Girl

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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