Sunday, June 6, 2010
2017-17 Macon Georgia
Campground: Al Sihah Shrine Park. A passport America park, $14 per night, elect/water. Semi level grassy sites, no shade. No picnic tables. Basic, but clean, neat and locked at night.
I left the southern town of White Springs Florida. As I turned the corner in the park, heading out towards the entrance, one of the ladies in Kelly Park stopped to say goodbye and invite me to stay longer the next time. A quick hug though the open door window and I was off down the road.
I usually take the back roads but decided to venture onto the big highway, I-75 heading to my next destination Macon Ga. It was a smooth fast trip, as even with some road construction, they are completing the 6 lane highway with new thick concrete lanes, the traffic was not too heavy.
I’m staying at a Shriner facility, you know the group that has all the Shriner hospitals for kids. Their main building is up front, with an old large barn facility for large gatherings along with the campground. I stopped in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame to pick up some CD’s, but they didn’t have the artist I was interested in. I’ll order it over the internet.
I’ve been driving around town and looking at all the gorgeous residential areas with their huge home on acres of land covered in huge magnolia trees, spreading oaks and gardens blooming with flowers. Along College Ave, I saw row after row of Italianate, Roman and Victorian homes. Grand white columns and porches. I’ll be touring a few of them including the Canon House, Hall House, the Black museum and a few others.
I stopped in the H&H, a true country restaurant and had fried pork chops, three vegetables and bread pudding, all for $10. No pictures please. Hmmm, why would they not permit pictures of the interior. This is the restaurant that the Allman Brothers used to eat before they became famous. They live and practiced right down the street and would come in and order two meals to feed the entire band. Memorabilia and photo’s hung all over the walls, simple square tables with vinyl table clothes and a juke box with all the local Georgia favorite singers on it.
Back at the camper I’ve been nursing a festering spot on my face where I had surgery for skin cancer. Come to find out, the nurse who removed the stitches didn’t do a very good job. Eventually the skin broke open and I used a tweezers to remove two yucky pieces of stitching. Someone staying at Kelly Park for the festival had asked me were there any downsides to traveling fulltime. A very good question and I told him that making Doctor’s appt. across country can be a bit taxing at times. Like this current scenario. If I had been back in Orlando, I would have gone back to the Doctor and had them remove the stitches properly. Of course they would have charged me as well. In any event everything came out all right so to speak.
Back in Macon, I did visit the Tubman African American Museum, which featured black inventions. Sorry to say, the museum is under funded with poor displays, tiny print placards so low to the ground I thought about just sitting on the floor to read them. Small inventions like the ironing board, the lunch box, the traffic light (yes you can thank a black person for the traffic light) and numerous improvements to other inventions along the way were featured. But no mention of the cotton gin, peanut butter and so many other note worthy black inventions along the way.
The Cannonball House was the only structure in Macon to be hit during the civil war, making Macon an historical city of the south still fully intact. Not worth the tour to go inside particularly except to hear the sordid story the 70+ year old judge who married a 30 year woman (his third wife) so he’d have someone to take care of him. And how after his death, the wife was not permitted to take care of her own finances and was eventually married off to another man so that her brother wouldn’t have to manage her estate as well as his own. Ladies, this is only 100 years ago.
I made it to the hay house the next Day. It’s listed as one of America’s Castles. I was the only one on the tour, but there were a covey of workers and restoration experts throughout the house. It was built for $100,00 back in 1855, when the most expensive home in Macon cost around $17,000. Lots of faux finishes that my Friend Jimmy Marquis would have loved to see. Only about a third of the house has been completely restored, but still well worth the tour.
And you know me, I had to see the Ocmulgee National Monument. A large complex of earthen Indian mounds and a restored earth lodge. Evidence of native habitation going back over 12,000 years ago. So after touring all those places and more, I was ready to head on out into the country. This time I’d be taking the back roads to La Grange GA. It’s called the west coast of Georgia because much of the area boarders the large and winding West Point Lake.
The trip was along country roads, 80, 41, 85 and 109. Like hop scotching across a quilt pattern of roads over hilly, wooded country settings. Hamlets and cross roads with one gas station or country store. Turned onto a 4 lane road for a short bit. Trucks whizzing by to get around us slower travels, then a small red truck in front of me suddenly veers to the left sharply. I’m next in line. It’s a blond dog about knee height walking in a daze down the middle of the lane. I swerve with my full size truck and 10,000 lbs of camper. Not an easy thing to do, but I miss the dog. The dog continues walking slowly down the lane.