We experienced some lucky breaks on our spring break. First, the group “cabin” at Crooked River State Park turned out to be rather luxurious. Screened porch, rocking chairs, central AC… who knew? Second, we learned why the yard behind it was riddled with holes. Groundhogs? Gophers? Nope. Gopher turtles. The state reptile of Georgia, as a matter of fact.
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Other matters of fact about gopher turtles:
- The gopher tortoise is a turtle as all tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises.
(Try saying THAT 3 times fast!)
- The gopher tortoise digs and lives in burrows averaging 30 feet in length, 3 to 20 feet deep.
- Gopher tortoises can live 100+ years.
Wow, it’s possible that our backyard turtle was a great-great-grandpa gopher who predates Lucky Break #3:
The 1898 Plum Orchard mansion, on Cumberland Island. (Former home of Thomas and Lucy Carnegie.) We paddled there from the mainland on a Monday—when the house museum is officially “closed.” Lucky for us, the ranger on duty was bored with vacuuming all 22,000 square feet of the place and let us in. He just asked that we leave our sandy boots outside.
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