"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

heading North

We finished packing up and hooking on Tuesday morning and pulled out of our spot at 9am. Rudee followed me in my parents car and we drove North on US 98 until it intersects with I-75. We had decided to take the interstate to save time since we had over 300 miles to cover even though we would have much preferred to take the slower paced state routes.

Traffic was fairly heavy most of the day. We made one stop at the Georgia Welcome Station for lunch and a short rest break. We pulled into Twin Oaks RV Park (http://www.twinoaksrvpark.com/), Elko Georgia shortly after 3pm. Our plan is to stay here for 3 nights and leave Friday morning and continue our trip back to Indiana. The campground is nice and we have a full hook up pull through site for $18 per night (Passport America rate). We signed up to attend their Thanksgiving pitch in dinner when we checked in. The park is providing the meat and each couple will bring a covered dish. Not quite like spending Thanksgiving with family but it should be nice.

We got set up and drove into Perry Ga. for dinner at Red Lobster. Rudee wouldn't let me unload the bike because I have been having some serious back issues the last few days. I have been having a hard time walking and have been in a lot of pain with spasms. She didn't want me to unload the bike and then not be able to ride it and have to load it back up again. We decided to try the hot tub here at the park and see if that helped so we spent about 30 minutes relaxing and soaking.

Wednesday morning my back was feeling better so the hot tub must have done the trick. Rudee gave me the OK nod to unload the bike and down it came. We did have to bundle up some since it was in the middle 40's, man I miss Florida already. We rode about 25 miles west of the campground to the Andersonville National Historic site which was the location of Camp Sumter a confederate military prison and home of the National Prisoner of War Museum. Our first stop was to visit the museum and visitors center. We have a National Parks Passport book that we purchased about 3 years ago. The book lists all the National Park sites and has blank pages that you get stamped when you visit the sites. We got our passport stamped and spent about an hour visiting the museum seeing all the displays. We then headed to the prison site. There are several monuments at the site and the prison "walls" are marked by white poles outlining it's former shape. There are actually 2 sets of poles, one to mark the outer wall and one to mark the inner perimeter, the space in between is the "kill zone" and the guards were instructed to shoot any prisoner that strayed over the line.

There is also a National Cemetery on the grounds. The prison held over 32,000 men on it's 26 1/2 acres. Most had little to eat and their quarters were crude handmade tents. There is a stream that runs through the camp but it was not sufficient to supply them with the fresh water they needed and was soon contaminated with human waste. The death toll was nearly 100 men per day, too many for individual burials so the men were laid shoulder to shoulder in mass burial ditches. The graves were marked by wooden stakes with numbers engraved and eventually these were changed to the marble headstones seen today.

Leaving Andersonville we headed further west to the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in the Presidents hometown. Plains Georgia is a lot smaller than I anticipated. There is a main drag about 1 1/2 blocks long with business' on one side and railroad tracks on the other. We visited the museum which is in the former Plains High School where Jimmy and Rosalynn both graduated. We then rode the few blocks to the west edge of town and found the entrance to his "compound". They moved back to their home after leaving the White House and are still living there today. The house is a fairly modest ranch style and the museum has a video tour given by the Carter's themselves. The driveway is gated and judging by the guard shack and black SUV's parked around the entrance the Secret Service is "on the job" protecting our 39th President.

We decided to park the bike and stroll through the stores. Each store had local grown peanuts for sale and one offered free samples, I declined until they came around with the peanut butter ice cream. How can you say no to a free sample of ice cream!! The ice cream was just OK, tasted like frozen Skippy or Jiff to me.

We decided to head back to the 5th wheel before it got too late. I planned a different return route than the way we had come and we headed out. The roads here are really great for riding. The traffic was very light and we enjoyed being able to look over the terrain as we rode. We went through several small towns and saw several factories that looked recently abandoned. This area appears to have been hard hit by the recession.

Our Thanksgiving dinner is scheduled for 5pm so we should have a little time tomorrow to explore some more on the bike. I'll keep you posted.

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