By Johnnie W. Lewis
Well, the first day away from our home state of Georgia (for this year) was interesting. Jimmy poured a cup and a half of sugar from the bag of sugar into the travel Yeti cup to fix our “road coffee.” I like my coffee white and sweet, but not THAT sweet! He also locked the RV keys in the back of the RV in a storage compartment and all I could ask was HOW? So the day had begun with a twist.
We headed for an RV park in Troy, AL, from my brother’s yard about 10 miles outside of Cordele, GA. About a 3.5 hour drive to Troy, even in an RV, towing a car. Smooth sailing…, all the way into Cordele! Pulled into the Pilot Truck Stop to dump the tanks (my brother, for some reason, doesn’t have a dump station at his house, hehe!). There was a semi parked in front of the dump station. Had to ask the snarky driver to move his rig (yellow stripes on the asphalt, indicating he shouldn’t have been there anyway). Went inside to pay the $10 dumping fee. Came back out to find out that the question one cashier had asked the other was true. “Hey, did they ever fix that dump station? It was broke yesterday.” Went back inside to get the $10 back. Drove 9 miles up I-75 almost to Vienna to the next state rest area to dump the tanks, whichwas free and clean. At least some laces were doing their jobs correctly and well!
Then it was back to Highway 300 to Albany and around that city. Nothing much to see along the way in southwest Georgia except the magnificently peaceful Chattahoochee River. I’ve only seen other parts of that river around the Atlanta area and it’s always clogged with so many boulders that the river is constantly turbulent, almost everywhere you view it. But where we crossed it near Ft. Gaines, the river was slow and easy going.
Then came the disappointment. There were trash dumps of houses and yards (on both sides of the GA/AL border) until we got to Shorterville, AL. It's a simple little town, but the yards and roadsides and businesses were immaculate! Great introduction to the state of Alabama…, until we got to the south side of Troy, AL and turned into our campground.
Having lived in almost pig-sty areas in the USA and in Germany at different times in our 48 years together, we’re pretty flexible and fairly accepting of people and conditions we see around us (translation: we will fuss, but only to each other, or to those we feel we can trust). But in the 13 years since our house in Marietta was struck by lightning, blew up, and burned down, we had lived in a nice house in fairly stable surroundings and situations. And had gotten old-ER from those prior experiences. I say all of this to explain why I am constantly amazed when we pull into a campground for a new and different experience and see that the campground is worlds apart from the pictures and videos on their websites that lure in unsuspecting travelers! Sheez people, get a life and quit lying to potential customers!
Walnut Creek RV Park, south of Troy, AL is another one of those places called an “RV Park” that is actually a mobile home/trailer park with a few spots for transient/traveling RVs. I hate that! And Jimmy hates that. Because when you have “semi-permanent” residents, or people who own an RV/trailer/FEMA house and place it in one of those places, they rent them out to whomever, whenever. So you have RVs parked right next to transient workers’ homes with little half-attempted gardens, dogs’ leashes staked to the ground, sometimes-working vehicles, and refrigerators outside. Ditto here. We had asked for a pull-thru site rather than a back-in one. The area where the pull-thru sites is located is down a steep dirt/gravel road…, beside an absolutely beautiful pine-surrounded lake. Sometimes it’s amazing how the crappy can be mollified, even slightly, by the extraordinary!
One of the things that I want to accomplish during this odyssey is to write at least another couple of books. One of those books will be about all of the capitol buildings, in every capital city in every state in our country. Pictures of the present one, and if I can find them, pictures of what prior capitol buildings in each state looked like, if the state had prior capitals. So, every state we go through gets a visit to the state capital, complete with taking pictures of the capitol buildings. We did Montgomery, Alabama this week. Nice looking capitol building.
Another book I want to write, or compile, will be a picture book of all of the county courthouses in Georgia. And previous ones, if I can get those pictures, too. Georgia now has 159 counties in the state, second only to Texas, with 254 counties. That's a daunting task, since a lot of the smaller counties keep their historic courthouses, but move their governmental business to other, more modern buildings, away from the town sqare, to another part of town, down some trail, under a bridge, inside a box -- somewhere, if we’re lucky enough to find it. It'sBeen touch-and-go with a few counties that we’ve been through aso far. If we’re lucky, by the end of this five-year odyssey, we will have captured pictures of all of the old and new courthouses in the state.
Next, we visit the capitol building in Jackson, Mississippi, boondock in a Cracker Barrel parking lot (if we’re lucky), see a few cousins, then on toward Louisiana!
Johnnie Wright Lewis, author of many books, and her husband, Jimmy, travel the USA in their RV, stopping to see whatever they can. They met and married in Athens and with cousins and friends in the Athens area, including their beloved Bulldogs, they take every opportunity to come back to where they “started.” Follow them on Facebook at “Two Old Farts Traveling” and watch the many videos of their travels on YouTube under the same name. Look for Johnnie’s books on Amazon.com under the name of Johnnie W. Lewis.