By Samuel Strait – October 29, 2022
I have been a bit remiss in keeping up with the latest days of this road
trip as things have become much more intensive as we drive east.
Birmingham was our last stop where we stayed over to amble through yet
another air museum, somewhat disappointing as the collection was less
than exciting and in the midst of a general reconstruction of the
museum. It did not take long before we were off for Huntsville, home of
the Johnson Space Center, truly worthy of a stop on any meanderings
through the South. One could spend several days viewing what the Space
Center has to offer for any age group. A comprehensive history and
artifact display of American efforts to enter the extra terrestrial
world of outer space. Plenty of interactive displays, video, and
rockets to satisfy the thirst for America’s ventures into the world
outside of our atmosphere. Ticket to Mars anyone?
It was tough to leave the challenges of life in space for the more
sedentary efforts of driving on back country roads, but nevertheless
after four hours of gaping at gigantic rockets, we were on the way to
Madison, Georgia, via a brush with Atlanta. Nothing like five o’clock
traffic in a major urban center to make one appreciate life in rural
America. Before I forget, a brief stop at Kennesaw National Battlefield
for a brief walk around the site. Not too much to see at an important
military engagement of the American Civil War, but none the less a
reminder of the sacrifice our forefathers made in times past to
preserve this Country’s way of life.
Next stop, Madison, Georgia. Why there one might ask? It seems we are
to be hosted by refugees from the Pacific Northwest, the State of
Washington to be more precise. A young family, that has seized the
opportunity to a life that they view as giving them more opportunities
in life to be safe, secure, and financially stable. Lower taxes, less
government “nanny state”, and the ability to own their own home, something that has become increasingly more difficult in the “blue” states of the west coast for young families. Georgia, which has developed a substantial resource based economy, translate that to timber harvesting
and wood products, has elected to open up the possibilities for it
citizens for a multi faceted economy, many of which have been severely
impacted by the progressive policies of governments in California,
Oregon, and Washington. Quite the education from this Georgia couple,
as to what they think that Georgia does right. Gasoline still hovers
near $3.00 per gallon, roads and infrastructure continue to put those at
home to shame.
Day nine is done and breakfast at a local “Cracker Barrel” in the
morning for the other half of the story before setting off for
Andersonville and the Atlantic Coast at Savanna, Georgia.
Day ten starts out with the friendly people at the local Cracker Barrel,
where we are set down and made to feel right at home. Meeting the other
half of Madison’s refugee couple where we learn he has just completed a
twelve hour shift at a local sawmill. It seems that there has been a
substantial uptick in logging and wood products throughout the
Southeast for a while. The timber rich West it seems, is missing the
boat when it comes to well paying jobs which satisfy many needs in the
construction trades. But hey, just yet another example of
environmentally obsessed California, adding to the woes of it citizens.
Quite frankly, it is difficult to notice anything California’s
restrictive policies have done to make its environment any better than
anything we have seen in our travels except to make life in California
cost substantially more than most of the rest of the Country.
Our stop in Andersonville, Georgia, was a stark reminder that war and
its associated fallout are real and can be devastating to those
actively engaged. During the last year plus of the Civil War in the
United States, nearly 45,000 Union soldiers were kept in an open field
cut from the surrounding forest as prisoners of war. From the Spring of
1864 to its conclusion in 1865 nearly one third of those men perished
from the privations that they experienced in the camp. Today, it is an
open field full of markers and remnant reproductions of parts of the
stockade that confined the Union soldiers. A pastoral scene of flowing
grass where only a chance encounter with a venomous snake serve to
interrupt the peaceful scene of this past horror. It is something that
every American who thinks that they have something to complain about,
pause and rejoice in the idea that modern America for the most part does
not engage in such practices.
As we left Andersonville behind for the back roads of Georgia to wend
our way to Savannah and the Atlantic Coast, it was a time for reflection
on the seeming inability of many in modern America to shed their
animosity for those they disagree with and come together for a better
way forward. I suppose it starts with the lessons of the past and the
face to face contact with what can happen when simple disagreements turn
to the violence found in conflict. Rural Georgia has been welcoming and
has returned the smile to our faces. It can be as simple as a stop at a
ubiquitous fast food restaurant, Wendy’s, for a chocolate frosty, where
we learn only strawberry is to be had. When a fellow traveler following
us is met with the same conundrum, strawberry for all is the choice and
a friendly conversation breaks out with the staff of the Wendy’s joining
in. Chocolate, by the way, was the over whelming favorite. Our hotel
room comes into view with Savannah’s lights in the background and
another day is behind us.
Stay tuned for a full day of the delights of Savannah, Georgia and the
late night scurry to our mid-point in the trip, New Bern, North Carolina.
One thought on “On The Road Day Nine And Ten”
I am enjoying your travel log across the country. I found it interesting that the latest photo shows an atlas open to the Estados Unidos. Si se puede indeed.