Some of you read this title and thought, “What on earth?!” Others saw it and thought, “Yeah, I’ve been there.” And, no, Turtle Crawling is not something that refers to what I did after a wild night out. Unfortunately . . . But since last Saturday morning required me to roll out of bed at 4 a.m., it didn’t seem like an appropriate time to stay out late partying. Even if I was childless for the weekend. And sort of on vacation.
This past weekend was Jekyll Island’s Annual Turtle Crawl. The event, which features two triathlons, a 10K, a 5K, and a festival, drew over 1,000 participants, plus assorted spectators, family members, and volunteers. My mother and I were of the latter, which is how we found ourselves, still drunk on sleep, riding our rented bicycles down the wonderfully paved bike path toward Great Dunes Park. It was probably one of the most dangerous bicycle rides I’ve ever been on, and I have a lot of scars on my knees from childhood mishaps.
Every year, the island opens registration for runners, triathletes, and volunteers for this event, which benefits the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. It was a great excuse to get away for the weekend and log some volunteer hours as well. Neither of us had been to Jekyll in two years (Read my article on that visit here.), and many things that were in development at the time had been completed. Perhaps the most amazing part was an area known as The Village, which was a shell of buildings before and is now a thriving, downtown-like spot with shops, restaurants, and most importantly, coffee.
On preparing for this trip—two days of enjoying the beauty and simplicity of the island while helping a great cause—I found myself overcome with excitement. Our previous trip had been so much fun, plus, it had bicycles! So, in my excitement, I proceeded to pack everything I could think of needing. In layman’s terms, I was packing for the Apocalypse. I have a large car, and I filled the trunk. For me. For a grand total of three nights. It was sad.
Though I understood on some level that I wouldn’t need three-fourths of what I was packing, I didn’t care. I wanted to make sure I had everything. I wanted to be prepared. I just wanted to get on the road, and taking a few minutes to edit out some of the last-second items was simply too much of a delay for me at that point. I’ll admit it—I giggled maniacally for a few minutes as I pulled out of the parking lot of my apartment. Then I stopped, because I live in a small community, and I became paranoid about who might have seen my momentary mental breakdown.
Perhaps two years was too long to wait to return to this retreat from the world. I’ll try to make it back before it goes that long again.
—Shelly Gable, Digital Editor and Producer