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A Quick Trip through the Deep South

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Saturday October 14 was going to be a long day of driving for us. We left Waynesville, North Carolina and headed northwest for Knoxville, Tennessee on Interstate 40. We planned a stop at Walmart to do some shopping before continuing on to Chattanooga for the night at a Cracker Barrel. We were making really great time so I opted to continue driving south on Interstate 75 towards Atlanta, Georgia.

This new route was in anticipation of returning to Florida earlier than planned. Karen is making a trip out to California to visit for five days and she booked her flight out of Jacksonville, Florida so I can stay at Mayport Naval Station while she is gone. This means we need to get to Jacksonville by Wednesday, October 18 and get settled in before she would leave the next day.

We finally concluded the days travel at the Cracker Barrel in Kennesaw, Georgia before it got dark. We drove over 275 miles on Saturday, which at an average speed of 55 MPH is normally a 5 hour drive without stops. Add an hour plus for shopping and lunch and it kills the day. The good news is it would allow us to stop for a two day respite on Sunday. We left early that morning and drove around Atlanta via Athens, Georgia stopping at Costco there to do some more shopping. I was able to get reservations at a Georgia Power Lakes campground called Parks Ferry Recreation Area at Lake Oconee near Greensboro, GA . Because we left the Cracker Barrel early we arrived at the lake around 1 PM giving us time to set up and enjoy the rest of the day.

The campground is very clean and well maintained. We have site 16 which is an interior site within the campground yet we still have a view of the lake from our windows. Paved roads and packed gravel sites makes maneuvering anything from a pop up trailer to big rigs very easy. There is a lot of space between sites so we don't feel cramped. The bathhouse facilities are cleaned daily and quite new.. The lake is easily accessed for fishing, swimming, launching jet skies, canoes and kayaks. There is also a very nice, big dock on the lake. Lastly the hosts Donny and Evelyn are very friendly and accommodating. Over all, an excellent value for $30 per night for electric and water hook ups. We are really enjoying the quiet and would love to come back again sometime.

Visited the nearby town of Madison, GA while running some errands on Monday. Karen had cards to mail so we stopped at the U.S. Post Office in the town square. What a lovely and quaint historic town! We parked next to a local patisserie and purchased some delicious danish then walked to the other side of the square to get a coffee at Sinclair's.

Across the street from the coffee shop was an impressive local government building that caught my eye, It was the Morgan County Court House with its stately clock tower feature. We also found evidence of some interesting trivia while on the square. Oliver Norvell Hardy, the consummate comedian of the team Laurel and Hardy, was a Madison boy – at least, for the first eight years of his life. The comedian’s given name was Norvell, the maiden name of his mother Emmie. Oliver, his father, was manager of the 1892 Turnell Butler Hotel that sat at the corner of Jefferson and Hancock Streets. There is a plaque in that location to that fact. We drove out of the historic downtown along Main Street. The route was lined with some very impressive architecture synonymous with what you might expect of the "Old South".

On Tuesday we will drive to Macon, GA to the Discount Tire Dealership to get three new trailer tires. We had to replace one in Delaware earlier in our travels due to a puncture but wanted to delay doing all of them at that time...well, it's time. The tires were original purchased in Paso Robles, CA back in January of this year, so they have quite a few miles on them after ten months. Unlike the truck tires, the wear is not measured in miles however. The driving conditions, like turning corners take a toll on the tread, especially the outer tread. I called ahead so the dealer will be ready for us Tuesday afternoon. From Macon, we plan on one nights stay at the Cracker Barrel in Valdosta, GA near the border with Florida.


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