04/27/19 Pine Mountain, GA

DAY #189

Another super-terrific day at the campsite. the weather was just about perfect and I was enjoying it immensely. Quite a few more campers than during the week but except for the screams of a few kids (and hey, kids will be kids), it still remains a splendid place to hang out.

I just marvel at the size of these trees. These lucky kids have escaped the ax and chainsaw and have grown to be magnificent examples of all they can be.

I wanted to head over and check out the warm springs treatment pool that FDR used after contracting polio, finishing up my Roosevelt experience.

How the pools originally looked.
This first pool was originally covered by a glass roof.
View from the middle pool.
The spring that would fill the pool with 88 degree water.
The far pool
The changing room/
An iron lung. Not related to the pool but a device that many polio victims were all too familiar with.

It was an interesting place to visit. You need to let your imagination loose but once you do, you can envision what the pool was like in the day.

I think spring is fast becoming my favorite season.

A couple of photos taken from the area on the trip back to the campground.

Another full and satisfying day in the book, I can’t say it enough, I’m a fortunate guy..

04/26/19 Pine Mountain, GA

DAY #188

Day two of the visit to FDR’s ‘Little White House.’

The ‘Little White House.’
outside the entrance to the kitchen.
Should have taken a photo of the note posted (Oops). Something to look forward to if you visit the residence.
The chair in which the President was sitting when felled by a stroke.
Looking out from the front door of the residence.
It’s said that the scratch marks on the lower woodwork to the right of the door was caused by the Roosevelt’s dog.
The doorway to the veranda
The view looking out from the veranda.

What impressed me so much in visiting the ‘Little White House’ and the compound, was how modest it was/is in it’s accommodations. This was a wealthy man, the President of the United States, yet this residence was/remained such a simple place.

From the FDR residence, it was off to view some exhibits centered around Roosevelt’s last day, his death, and his legacy.

This is the flag that was flying over the compound on the day FDR died.

FDR’s final speech.

Switch board.

The final steps I took in the compound was the walkway of state stones and flags.

Being from Minnesota, this stone and flag stood out for me.

I enjoyed immensely my time at the ‘Little White House.’ While FDR was in no way a perfect person (he had his flaws as we all do) he led this nation through difficult and trying times. First, through the Great Depression and then the Second World War. He was more than a politician, he was a statesman, someone who got things done. This visit only heighten my respect for the man, and left me feeling honored that I was able to get a closer glimpse of his life.

04/25/19 Pine Mountain, GA

DAY #187

Today promised to be a big day for me, I was headed to the ‘Little White House’ to tour the grounds. It’s located approx. eleven miles from the park so the drive was quick and simple.

Sit back and prepare to see photos, lots of photos. So many that I’m going to post them over two days. Don’t worry though, they’re really interesting and I hope in the end you will be as impressed with the life of FDR as I was.

Fist stop on the tour is the museum, an interesting way to begin this step back in time.

A quilt.
This is how he was able to operate the car. I believe he had a hand in the design of this setup.
Hey, how did that guy get into the photo?
The table and chairs where Roosevelt would sit and dine.
A typical room in rural Georgia circa. 1935
FDR’s bathing suit.

There were so many more mementos that were given to the President during his life time on display. I’ve only captured a few. Hey, don’t want to show you everything in case you ever decide to visit.

From the museum, slowly headed over to the ‘Little White House,’ Roosevelt’s residence when he was staying at Warm Springs.

The bump gate leading to FDR’s quarters.
This was the help’s housing
The help resided above the garage.

From the help’s residence you went a short distance across where you came to the guest house.

Again, the Plexiglas impacts the photo.
View from the help’s & guest residence’s

From the guest house it was off to the main residence on the compound, FDR’s residence.

The Presidents resident will be the subject of tomorrows blog. Don’t want to overload the senses with too much for one day. I’ll end today’s blog with a few examples of old time architecture seen along the byways and highways of the area.

It was a full day and an enjoyable one. I look forward to tomorrow.

04/24/19 Pine Mountain, GA

DAY #186

It rained last night and the rain continued into the early afternoon. Thankfully it was nothing severe, just a moderate on again/off again rain. Along with the rain came a drop in temperature, went from short sleeve to long sleeve weather. If that’s as bad as it gets, I think I can struggle through it (big baby). One thing that I was so thankful for was no leaks in the trailer during this latest round of rain. I have to admit, a part of me expects it to start leaking at some point. Must be the pessimist in me.

The clouds cleared away by 3:00 pm and I thought I’d take a spin into the big city, LaGrange, GA, which was about a 1/2 hour ride away. I wanted to get some provisions (they had a Publix there), and to find a ATM to draw some cash out. My debit card which I’ve been using to get cash out along the journey expires at the end of April and since I’m not sure when I’ll be back home in Minnesota (projected late May), I thought it prudent to start accumulating some cash before I can’t use the card anymore.

On the way to LaGrange, I had the opportunity to get off the main line and travel down some good old Georgia back roads, it always gives me a thrill (along with a little anxiety).

Before turning onto the dirt road, I traveled for a couple of miles down a paved road that looked like it hadn’t been paved since the 30’s (I’m sure it wasn’t that old). For a short while, I could pretend that I was back in that time I’ve always wanted to be, it was so cool.

Back to reality and into LaGrange, GA, I went. Got all my errands taken care and gave the city a quick once over. Sadly, the downtown area while still very much intact, has become overgrown with the effects of urban sprawl. Add to that a couple of freeways now crossing through the city, and that’s only exasperated the changes. Maybe it’s a sign of growing old, but I find myself (at least down here) wishing the changes hadn’t come.

One of LaGrange’s historical homes.
Once sitting on a large plantation, today it is nestled into a residential neighborhood.
It was spared being burned during the union occupation in the civil war.

Headed back to a quieter place to spend a serene evening overlooking the lake from my campsite. What stated out as a gloomy, cool day ended up being more than just OK.

04/23/19 Pine Mountain, GA

DAY #185

Drove around the area today seeing some of the sights. The park is located upon a ridge and the views from both sides are simply spectacular.

Looking south along the ridge.
You can hike the 23+ mile Pine Mountain Trail.
Maybe next time (yea right).
Looking north along the ridge.

Went up to Dowdell’s Knob which was a favorite spot of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was President (for those who don’t know) from 1932 until his death in 1945.

Franklin D. Roosevelt loved to picnic here and he had this grill built.
It was filled in to preserve it.

I’ve always had a fascination with the Great Depression and in many ways, it ties in with my equal fascination of the ‘Old South’. To be able to come to this place and spend time where FDR, who played such a central and integral role in that period, also spent time, was a moving and fulfilling experience.

Next stop was Warm Springs. It’s a really small town that to this day remains quiet and rather quaint.

It was also the location of the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation which FDR set up for the rehabilitation of those with polio.

The original entrance .
As you can guess, I didn’t take this photo..
Some of the cottages where the patients stayed
Sadly a couple of cottages were destroyed by fire over the years.

Headed back to the campground. Rain was forecast to be moving into the area later in the evening, and tomorrow looked to be rainy as well (at least starting out).

So enjoyed the day. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, not much more one could ask for.

04/22/19 Anderson, SC-Pine Mountain, GA

DAY #184

No sleeping in late today. the next stop on the journey was F.D. Roosevelt State Park, and it would take a little over five hours drive time to get there. Leaving early is important especially on longer drives because I don’t like getting into someplace I’ve never been before late in the day, I like to leave a cushion for the unexpected. Having said that, I was up and ready to go by 9:30 am. Getting the trailer ready for travel went smooth (thank you) and I was able to pull the trailer out of the rather tight camping spot without wracking it into one of the trees, and that’s always a good thing.

I decided to go freeway-free this day and it meant about an extra hour of travel time. Some of the roads I ended up on were pretty narrow, what with the trees hugging the white line on the edge of the road. Traffic was light so I could cheat a little and drift over the center line from time to time. It was a winding, hilly, and relatively slow trip but in the end, what with the scenery, it was well worth the ride.

Saw this on the side of a building in one of the small towns traveled through.

At around 3:30 pm, I made it to F.D. Roosevelt State Park. The park is located approx. eleven miles from Warm Springs, GA, and about five miles from Pine Mountain, GA. Coming into the park from Warm Springs, the navigation app informed me that I would have to park the vehicle and walk the rest of the way into the park. I wasn’t too happy this trip with the map app on the iPad. I had used it instead of the google map because the iPad gave me voice directions and I couldn’t figure out how to get google to give voice directions. Going through a couple of the small towns, I found the app vague in giving directions and once even omitted a turn that I should have made. I know that I’m towing a small trailer but geez, having to find a place to turn around can be a chore.

I ignored the app and proceeded on finding the administration building where I stopped and registered. From there it was off to the campsite where I could began to set up at what would be home for the next week.

Cool building. It was built during the depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

As I set up, everything was going along routinely until I came to having power in the trailer, I didn’t have any. I plugged in from the trailer to the electrical box at the campsite and when doing that, noticed that the 30 amp receptacle in the box looked ‘fried.’ After plugging in to the box, I checked and sure enough there was no power. I surmised that was where the problem was coming from. Called the park office and was able to get someone to come and look at it. One of the positives of getting to a place early (and boy did that come true today) is if needed, you can usually get help before everyone goes home for the day, you’re not stuck until the next day without (in my case power) whatever. It was kind of a comical scene watching as the three maintenance guys tried to correct the problem, none of them seeming to really know what they were doing. After a hour and half I started thinking (almost out loud), just put me on a different site. Finally, after a number of trial and errors (and a new receptacle installed) there was power to the trailer.

After the power situation had been corrected, I had a problem hooking up the water, it kept leaking from where the hose attached to the spigot. After the power situation, I was beginning to get a bit frayed (but not to the point of embarrassing myself) when a camper from the site across the road came over and after I told him my problem, he asked if there was a washer in the hose end of the connector? I checked and sure enough, no washer. Feeling a whole lot silly, I found the washer, installed it and viola, the water was no longer leaking.

With the problems solved, I could kick back and see what kind of a place l’d be staying at. The campground sites are pretty close together with not a lot of ground coverage so you don’t get the feeling of being all alone. The site turned out to be fairly level (Yea!), if not a tad on the small size. The bathroom/shower is a walk from the campsite so it looks like I’ll be using the bathroom in the trailer a lot more frequently this stay. It’s kind of goofy not wanting to use (call me odd) it since that’s why its there. There is no OTA TV reception (that’s it pack up were outta here) but there is a decent Verizon signal. The campground itself is located in lovely surroundings so while it may not be perfect, it works. Plus during the week it’s still early enough in the season that it’s not very busy and that helps to give a larger cushion of space.

The view out my back window.

Some views of the campground from site #108 (that’s where I’m staying).

Come the weekend, most of these sites will be occupied.

Now that the kinks have been worked out, I think I’m going to like my time here.

04/21/19 Anderson, SC

DAY #183

Last day at Sadlers Creek State Park, and the last day in South Carolina. The weather has changed and what a glorious change it is. The gloom and doom of the last couple days have been replaced by brilliant blue sky’s and sun, plus the temperature has rebounded to a comfortable 70 degrees.

The park looks practically deserted, just a couple of us left to hold down the fort.

There really are some beautiful views that the campground offers.

Got into the truck and did some meandering around the area. It took a little doing but I was able to find some back roads to explore.

The area in this part of South Carolina is a mixture of fields, farms and trees all on a terrain of flatland’s to rolling hills. It is a very scenic and serene area.

Spotted a couple of old buildings that caught my eye and wanted to show them as they represent a time gone bye.

Driving along the roads I began to feel somewhat melancholy. I’ve always had a fascination with the South, especially the time frame between 1900-1950, and throughout this journey I’ve hoped to be able to see at least a whisper of that time. Looking at the old houses and buildings, I found myself thinking how I wish I could go back to that era. To see and immerse myself in the culture, the idiosyncrasies, the way of life. It was a simpler time and one so different than the one I know. Disclaimer; One dimension of that time that I do not cherish or embrace is how African-Americans were treated and the life they were forced to live.

I’ve enjoyed my time in South Carolina and who knows, maybe I’ll be back again some day.

Wildlife Alert: Coming back into the park I spotted three deer just hanging out. It was three times better than the one I saw yesterday.

04/20/19 Anderson, SC

DAY #182

Today was a washout. It was cloudy, gloomy, windy, and cold. A perfect day to just hangout in the trailer, watch TV and surf the net. And the best part, I didn’t have to feel guilty about doing it.

It actually looks nicer (weather wise) than it is.

It was so cold this morning thought I saw ice forming on the lake. OK maybe I’m exaggerating a bit (how about a lot) but it was cold (high of 51 degrees). Just for the heck of it I checked the temperature in Osakis. It was 78 degrees and sunny, that really surprised me. Wow, it looks like spring may finally have made it up to the north land.

One positive thing about the crummy weather is that its thinned out the herd of campers in the park. The people next to me, and across the road have left, along with the kids who were making so much noise yesterday. It’s opened up some more space, if only it was nice enough to get out and enjoy it.

I did try to be a little productive today. I called the issuers (Shazam) of my FNB-Osakis debit card to let them know that I would be using the card and not to decline it because of the location (South Carolina), thinking it was stolen. Well, in the end all I accomplished was to have it reported lost or stolen and now it’s been cancelled and of no use to me. Damn automated system, I thought that at one point it would have directed me to a person to talk to but no, it just cancelled the card and informed me that if I had any questions to contact the issuing bank (FNB-Osakis).

Later in the afternoon, I went into Anderson for groceries (Publix) and to get a bite to eat (cooks day off). Everyplace I went was busy and didn’t want to wait. I ended up going back to the Pompous Pig and It did not disappoint, it’s a good place to eat.

Wildlife Alert: On the way back from Anderson I came across a deer while driving down the park road into the campground. Not a big deal but still it gave me a charge.

Tomorrow looks to be a much nicer day.

04/19/19 Anderson, SC

DAY #181

Today was a washout both figuratively and literately. Storms were back in the area and it was windy and rainy all day. At least the temperature was in the low 70’s, but with high humidity. I don’t like the feeling when it’s so high, it makes everything feel sticky.

Some areas received over 7 inches of rain and there was a lot of flash flooding going on, especially around the mountain foothills about an hour north of the campground, areas I had visited just a couple days ago. In addition, it was reported that a couple of tornadoes had touched down around Newberry and Prosperity, SC, close to the last campsite (Dreher Island State Park) I had stayed. Some damage to buildings but thankfully no fatalities. Very fortunate that there wasn’t anything like that around here although at times the rain came down hard.

Got tested (emotionally) a couple times today. First; the rain had stopped and the sun had popped out between the clouds and I started to hear music, loud music along with a dog incessantly barking. After a few minutes I thought what the f**k is going on, don’t these people have any damn consideration for others! Jumped up, opened the trailer door and went outside in my usual rush of anger. I saw it was a couple of young teens hanging around their trailer across the road. I caught myself from getting too stupid and remembered I’ve been there before and geez, I didn’t want to become some grumpy old man, so I took a moment and then, just let it go. Soon after the music and dog stopped.

The second test; I was on the bed with the trailer door latched open and the wind came up strong and popped the latch slamming the door shut. Damn it I thought, I’d just fixed the broken latch and here we go again, bitch, bitch, bitch. Again, it took a moment of reminding myself to calm down and let the anger go, got up and checked the latch and thankfully it hadn’t broken, all was well.

I thought to myself that if this is the worst I have to endure today, I’ve got it pretty darn good. I need to learn to just let the anger go.

The storms finally moved on early in the evening and was replaced with dropping temperatures. Time to get out the space heater, I’m going to need it tonight.

I think this is what’s called filler. Just words can get a bit boring.
How about a little more filler. Nothing says spring like a newly plowed field.

04/18/19 Anderson, SC

DAY #180

Today was rather warm (80) and very humid. Not into that, no worry, a front is on the way that promises to bring rain, wind and possibly severe weather in the next couple of days, I can hardly wait (yes that’s sarcasm). Oh yea, in addition to all that the temperature is looking to drop by about twenty five degrees (brrr).

Found out yesterday morning that on one of the TV stations I can get, is one of my favorite shows. the ‘Rockford Files’ airs at 9:00 am, so when I woke up early (for me) this morning, I was all excited that I was going to get to watch an episode (I guess it doesn’t take much to get me going). From time to time, some of the stations fade in and out with the channel I wanted being one of them, but after going through the channels this morning everything was A-OK, that is until I got to the station that the show was on. Nothing, the station wouldn’t come in. It’s a conspiracy I thought, someone is out to get me. why oh why does this happen to me? Just kidding, but it did tick me off. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m ready for this world.

Made a trip into Hartwell to do some shopping. Today I tried the local ‘Ingles’ supermarket’. I liked it, it was clean and spacious and offered quite a bit in it’s deli. I was a little disappointing in the bakery selection and for that reason, I place it a notch below Publix.

One thing I’m noticing around the area is that there aren’t the back roads that I’ve found elsewhere. I really get a charge out of going down them and getting a chance to get a glimpse of what the area is really about. Seems around here it’s main roads and that’s it. Maybe they’re there and I just haven’t found them yet, I’ll have to keep looking.

Farmers getting the fields ready for planting. Another sure sign of spring.

Went back to the campground and noticed that someone had set up at the site right behind me. So much for my cushion of space. Another thing that has been nagging me a little is the lack of wildlife. I haven’t seen any birds, squirrels, turtles, nothing, and at night I’m missing the sounds of the boy frogs calling out looking for a girlfriend. On the parks edge I have seen a couple of crows and a deer (dead). Maybe it’s too heavily foraged for birds, but it’s nevertheless a big change from the last campground.

A little nervous about the upcoming couple of days weather wise.