Sunday, June 5, 2011

2011-14 Georgia

Hazlehurst GA
Vidalia GA
Greensboro, GA

Campground:  Towns Bluff Park and Heritage Center.  $12.50 per night (Passport America rate) 30/50 amp elect/water.  Nice washrooms and  a washer/dryer 75 cents each. Nice county park with nice campsites both pull thru and back in with lots of space with grass and tall pines. 6 over the air digital TV stations available.

Campground:  North Shore Resort, Greensboro GA.  I was able to get 3 days FREE by taking a 90 minute tour.  Full hookups.  On Lake Oconee, two swimming pools, train car cabins, large Rec hall, tennis courts, shuffle board and mini gulf.  This is a well kept but older tired park.  The transient Rv sites are close together and many not very level.

Campground:  Camping World (Chattanooga TN) . $25 full hookups w/cable tv.  Old campground part of Camping World. Ok for one night.  Swimming pool and laundry room. Close to interstate for easy access.

Blog info:  If you haven’t looked lately, check out the resources I developed on the right side of this blog.  There are some good links in My Favorite Websites to help you find campgrounds, what digital TV stations are in an area and lots of other great links.  I’ve also added links to All the state parks in the contiguous U.S. with hints as to discounts many give to seniors.  As an example, Georgia gives half off the price of a campsite to anyone 62 and older both residence and non state residence.  That’s one heck of a good deal.

Stories from Mayo

I was talking to my neighbor campers the last couple of days.  These are true Southern Crackers.  Tom has worked for the lumber company.  He was telling me that he started out 34 years ago making $2 an hour and he and his wife were living like kings.  Now he makes $27.50 an hour and the money goes faster than he can make it.  At the lumber company they make cellulose  for paper products and use 52 million gallons of water a day that is then somewhat filtered in settling ponds and then dumped out into the river and Gulf of Mexico.

They say in Perry, if you smell that odd pungent smell, yes it’s the paper mills, but they prefer to say “it’s the smell of money”.

Went to an antique shop called the Dust Catchers.  The owner moved up here with her husband 35 years ago and eventually bought the building the shop is now in.  Did pretty well even after her husband got a divorce (maybe too much collecting?).  But when two dollar stores moved into town, her business has dropped dramatically in the past year or so.   The locals don’t need to go to her shop for dishes, glassware or gifts when they can go to Family Dollar or The Dollar General for new stuff cheap all made in China of course.  The name of the shop really says it all, Dust Catchers.

Back on the Road.

Well after driving across hwy 90 the original east west road in North Florida, I headed north on 301.  But somehow (GPS was not turned on) I ended up bypassing Kings Bay on the east coast of Ga.  So instead of going to the Navy Submarine base I’ve ended up at a county park in Jeff Davis County Georgia.  A super nice and quite park that will do rather nicely for a couple days stopover.

Drove around the Hazlehurst area today and discovered there are a couple of lumber mills in the area.  Huge piles of pine trees debarked, stacked one on top of the other.  Some are being sprayed with water, others are trimmed cut and stacked into planks and 2 by 4’s to dry and cure.  Surprising they can keep going with such a slowdown in the housing industry.  I’ve seen quite a few trucks hauling those trees as well.  Big industry in these parts.

While driving through Alma Georgia, I came across this unique George Jettson Bank.  Still in operation.  I did not take the picture (don’t ask me why) but was able to find a picture on the internet to share with you.
What a unique building.  If I’m ever back that way, I must get a few shots of it myself.

In Greensboro Ga while staying at the North Shore resort, I took their 90 minute tour designed to get me to buy into the Ocean Canyon Properties.  After finding out about me of course, they were trying to become “friends” you know, the tour continued via gulf cart around the property.  The company owns about a dozen resorts in the South East, all former private campgrounds down on their luck, which enabled the owners to come in and buy them on the cheap.  Fix up each place a bit and now sell ownerships in the properties.
North Shore Resort
It’s an interesting piece of property on a lake with cabins made out of train cars and cabooses positioned precariously along the sides of the sloping hill leading down to the lake.  After the tour we discussed price.  Which began at the gold level, $11,995, the charter membership at $11,995 but with special one day bonus offers included.  Wow, how could I refuse.  Then it was decided I could get a 1st day incentive of $2,000 off the price, plus another $1,000 off for having worked for the military.  Bringing the price down to $8,995. Now really, how could I refuse such a generous offer.  Finally after more discussion, it was determined that the Bronze membership would be more suited to my needs at only $6,995.  Gad, the bargains kept getting better and better.

The bonuses kept pouring in.  A free cruise and 1st years dues would be paid if I paid cash.  1st years membership in Coast to Coast, RPI, ROD, AOR and ICE.  They were practically giving away the stuff.  But, alas, I did not bite.  I did not put down any money and walked away with my free gift a 7” Netbook PC.  And 3 days free at a VIP hotel of my choosing.

Besides, it’s scorchingly hot here in the middle of Georgia.  I couldn’t even imagine spending an extended stay down here.  Thank goodness I had a second A/C put on the camper when I purchase it and I have 50amp service to run the two of them.  I’ll wait till the sun goes down this evening before going for a swim.

An interesting note, most all of the workers up in this part of Georgia smoke.  Haven’t seen that much smoking in years.  They are constantly walking outside to light up a cigarette.

WPA Painting in Post Office
I did take a quick tour of Greensboro after having lunch in town.  Stopped into the local Post Office to see two painting done by the WPA program during the depression.  Now behind glass after someone threw eggs at them a number of years ago.  You see, the painting depicted the history of the area including blacks picking cotton and the fighting between the Native Indians and the European settlers in the area.  The post mistress said when she was a child, she had picked cotton and it was really hard work.  It took a lot of cotton picking to fill a bag.  Imagine, meeting someone before the cotton gin came into existence and cotton was still picked by hand.   I also went into a shop that had items all made in Georgia.  A really nice shop.  I’ll post some pictures on the Picasa site.

Greensboro GA

After a $3.75 all you can eat pancake and bacon breakfast, I headed out to Eatonton Ga to visit the Uncle Remus Museum.  Made famous by the author Mr Harris.  You know the stories of Tar baby, Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox.  Uncle Remus and the little boy were real people that the stories revolved around.  The stories were thought to be lessons for black children growing up in the south, but quickly became popular stories in their time throughout the country.  Now I checked on the computer to see if the museum would be open on Saturday and sure enough it was….. That is, until I arrived on Saturday and the town was having their 2011 Dairy Festival.  The museum with it’s sign stating “open” was closed tighter than a well you know what.  So you and I will have to go to the Uncle Remus web link and visit it virtually, though I did see the outside of the reconstructed log cabin, built from the remains of three slave cabins.  The web link has 37 complete stories worth reading if you can get into the southern-eze speak, which I find hard to follow, though the stories are all very good.
The Eatonton Ga Dairy Festival

Who knew there would be a Dairy Festival in town.  There’s a heavy mix of black population, about 65%.  I enjoyed the mix of all these southerners as it was a real people watching experience. Especially with all the hip young kids with their baggy pants slid down around their knees, boxer shorts in full view for the world to see.  The girls a bit more conservatively dressed, though a few were wearing some pretty snug fitting outfits that showed perhaps a few too many bulges and curves were emphasized a bit more than they should be.  Everyone was super friendly. I think what surprised me the most was that so many blacks were not wearing hats.  Now realize, it’s about 91 and a steamy heat with the sun bearing down on everyone.  I would think that darker skin would heat up even faster than the sparse head of hair on this ol white boy.  Though I could tell just about everyone who moved more than 2 miles an hour had a good sweat on.  Since it was a Dairy Festival, free ice-cream and milk were being handed out.

I had my free ice-cream, picked up a few freebees, listened to some local musical talent, but when the sound guy continued to do a really poor job of mixing the sound, I left in search of an air conditioned truck to take me back to the resort.

Left Georgia today and will stop over in Chattanooga for one night before heading north.  Spent $100 today filling up on diesel.  Really hits home when you see how much you've spent at the end of the day

Next stop, another adventure at a state park…. To be continued.

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