05/03/19 Rogersville, AL

DAY #195

Spent the first part of the day watching TV (The Peoples Court-twice), and lounging around although I did wake up fairly early (10:00 am). It was a warm, humid (not a big fan of the humidity), and cloudy day, with a thunderstorm rolling through the area in the early morning hours. Along with some rain, there were a couple of claps of thunder that almost knocked me out of the bed, they were soooo loud.

Watching the Peoples Court and Judge Mathis on TV I couldn’t get over all the commercials from lawyers trying to drum up business, all promising big payouts if you’ve been involved in an accident. It was one commercial after another, each one seeming to try to out do the other. I’m beginning to see why our car insurance rates are so high.

When I stepped out in the morning for a quick what’s up, the people across from me were gone and the campground (at least around me) was really quiet.

My initial impression of the campground is positive. The site I have affords a nice cushion of space on three sides although the sites across the road are a bit close. I can’t quite figure out the site across and to the left of me. It’s so close to the road that when the campers staying there put their awning out on their trailer, it goes almost half way across the road.

The bathroom/shower is just up the hill from my site and seems to be in pretty good shape. TV reception is spotty with the cursed fade in and out reception, but at least the Verizon service is decent.

The campsite sits on the banks of the Tennessee river. I got to see a barge floating down it this afternoon.

Not the greatest photo, I blame the weather.

Saw the female cardinal along with a couple of squirrels and a robin. It never ceases to give me a smile just watching them as they go about their business.

Spent the majority of the day working to catch up on the blog. When I add a lot of photos to a day’s blog, it really becomes a slow process, especially since my internet connection using my hot-spot is at such a low rate of transfer speed.

I did go into Rogersville, which is only a couple of miles once you get outside the park and picked up some fast food from the local McDonald’s. When I left to go into town, I noticed that the park had really filled up with the weekenders. Driving the park road both out and when I came back, saw a number of male cardinals (they are so darn cute) and quite a few deer. Coming back I also saw a skunk just rambling along about thirty feet from the road. first skunk (alive) I’ve seen and it was a noteworthy sighting.

It started raining sometime after midnight and I forgot that I had left my window open in the truck. I went outside to shut it and as I reached the truck door, I saw something on the ground next to the truck. I’m not sure what it was since I didn’t have my glasses on but whatever it was it moved and moved fast as I just about stepped on it. I think the only thing that moved faster was me. Curious what it was.

Tomorrow is forecast to continue being gloomy with rain. I’ll adjust my activities depending on the weather. Maybe I’ll have an excuse to do nothing.

05/02/19 Rogersville, AL.

DAY #194

Weather is pretty warm and man, it’s humid. Wind and rain blew through around noon, but it came and went pretty fast and poof, the humidity was back.

I was stretched out on the bed watching TV when outside the trailer came a female cardinal. It seemed she just wanted to check on me and when she saw I was doing OK, off she went. Such a cool sight to see.

I did sleep in late today since I had little sleep the past two days. My sleep pattern continues to be out of sync from the norm, staying up until 4:00 am or later and then not getting up until 12:00 pm or even later. Gets kind of hard to do things when you start the day so late. The last couple of days I got up early and that seemed to help me fall asleep at a decent time last night and woke up fairly early this morning. I just need to get up when I first wake in the AM and not listen to that little voice encouraging me to fall back asleep.

I finally did get up and moving around in the late afternoon, taking a trip into Athens, AL, to do some shopping at Walmart and Publix (Yes, I was so happy they had one). Athens, is approx. 18 miles from the park and it’s a four-lane highway to get there. Going into Athens, you don’t feel (at least for me) like you’re in a rural area what with all the business’s and what not along each side of the road. There’s just enough fields, beginning to show the crops sprouting to make the drive enjoyable (for me). Traffic in both directions was heavy.

I’m getting the feeling again that once inside the park, everything is honky-dorky, outside, not quite as much.

05/01/19 Pine Mountain, GA-Rogersville, AL

DAY #193

Another early start, and another long day on the road (at least for me it seems long). I’m going to miss this place. The area is so beautiful in it’s views and majestic trees. Visiting the FDR complex turned out to be a very moving experience. The area had given me some very solid vibes, and the campground has been everything one could ask for. I’m so glad and thankful that I had the opportunity to visit and spend some time here.

Leaving was uneventful save for one incident. I had stopped to throw away some trash and I decided to just stop on the road since going into the lot (with the trailer) where the dumpster was located would have been more of a hassle. My thinking was, what the heck, it’s 9:00 am and there’s no one else around the campground, and since it’s going to take less than two minutes to do this, I”ll just take the easy route and stop on the road.

No sooner had I got out of the drivers side and opened the passenger side to collect the trash bags when along comes a truck behind me. In addition to the truck, along comes some guy on a bike who proceeds to make the comment ‘nice place to stop.’ Damn it I thought, I could have stopped and sat in the truck blocking the road for an hour and no one would come behind me, but no, stop the truck for a couple of minutes to throw the trash away and these bugs come out of nowhere, it drives me FREAKIN CRAZY. I know that I need to learn to just let it go. As long as I act in consideration to others, I’ve done my part and if they have an issue, than it’s on them and not me. Hey, I’m still learning and it’s a stumbling path right now at best, but I’ll keep trying until I get it.

Afterwards, I’m at the dump site just down the road emptying the black & grey tanks when the guy on the bike rides by me. He makes the comment about no one being there until you stop, to which I responded (and I know I took the wrong tact on this) why did you say ‘nice place to stop’? He said what? To which I asked him again (admittedly somewhat challenging) why he said that. He just waved me off and rode away. Lesson to be learned: Just let it go.

The drive to the next destination; Joe Wheeler State Park outside Rogersville, AL went well. The scenery was immensely enjoyable throughout Georgia, what with it’s winding and twisty roads going up and down hills, although it is more involved and therefore more fatiguing being behind the wheel.

Hit a straight stretch and able to get this photo.

Coming into Alabama and especially the Decatur, AL, area, the landscape slowly began to transition. While still hilly and tree covered it felt more industrial and more developed. Decatur especially with it’s large complexes and chemical operations. I think being on the Tennessee River had a lot to do with that. For me, I was getting a less rural and more urban vibe.

I made it to the campground or so I thought. I found a campground where the app said there should be one, but it was not the one where I had made my reservations for. This one was located just after crossing one of the dams created by the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority). fortunately there was a very nice women (not sure if she was a campsite host, kind of seemed like it) who directed me to the correct campground which was about ten miles away.

Found the right place and checked in. The site was nice, it was tucked in to the side of a hill with lots of old growth trees, and a pleasant view of the river. The sites were pretty much on par with other campgrounds as far as space went. I was satisfied with what was going to be home for the next eight days.

Verizon service was decent, and while there were a number of OTA stations, the reception on the majority of them would fade in and out. Hey, I’ll just have to rough it (what a light weight).

Yea, I think this is going to work out quite well.

04/30/19 Pine Mountain, GA

DAY #192


Last day at F.D. Roosevelt State Park, and the last day on the journey in Georgia. The park has been a wonderful place to base for the last week and driving/exploring through the mountains of this region has just been so special. Georgia has somewhat surprised me. I had always envisioned it as a land of flat landscape filled with cotton, and peanut fields, interspersed with peach and pecan groves. Instead what I found was lots and lots of trees along with rolling hills.

Today I headed to a place that maybe would give me a little of what I thought the state was about. I headed down to Plains, Georgia to see what it had to offer and to visit the farm that Jimmy Carter grew up on. Before getting to Plains, I did a side visit to Camp Sumter, also known as Andersonville, an infamous Confederate Prisoner of War camp.

Andersonville was in operation from February 1864 to April 1865. The encampment was meant to hold 10,000 prisoners but in actuality it held as many as 31,600 solders at one time. All together in the twelve months of operation, 45,000 solders spent time at the prison. Of that number, over 13,000 died there. There is a national cemetery adjacent to the prison that holds the graves of those who died.

A re-creation of what the shelters were like.
The area between the prison wall and fence is the ‘kill zone.’ If you crossed into that area you would be shot dead.
Home to up to 30,000 union solders.
The posts closest to the road showed where the walls of the prison were. the inner posts signified the dead posts from which you could not pass.