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Day 98: Sweet southern comfort

September 5, 2010 5 comments

Location: Acworth, GA

My final day in my home in Georgia was a great one.  Started the day off with the family by hiking at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield.  I’ve been to the battlefield a couple times in the past, but have only hiked up the mountain once before.

Kennesaw Mountain

We arrived at the battlefield  little after 9AM, and there was a pretty big crowd there.  Everyone, including ourselves, were trying to beat the afternoon heat.

We started the hike up the mountain.  I remember it being a bit strenuous for me the last time, but this time I fared a little better given all the hiking I’ve done this past summer, especially in some higher-altitude atmospheres.  This allowed me to pop ahead of the group and take some action shots.

John and Donna work their way up the mountain

Great day for a hike.  Not too hot, and there was a nice breeze blowing through the trees. 

It wasn’t long before we were near the peak of Kennesaw Mountain.

Atlanta in the distance

Georgia's famous Stone Mountain

Cannon near the top

It wouldn't be a complete post without some mention of history

Group shot near the top.

lots of history on the top of Kennesaw Mountain

After a little time at the peak, we started to work our way back down the mountain.  Caught some deer in the woods along the way:

Finished the hike and were back in the car around 11AM.  On the way back home, we picked up some authentic southern biscuits.  I ordered a spicy sausage one.  I never had a biscuit in the six months I lived here, so I looked forward to this staple of Southern breakfasts.  It lived up to the hype.

After this delicious breakfast, I spent a large portion of the afternoon and evening cleaning out the car.  My goal was to reorganize/consolidate a lot of the random things floating around, in addition to junking items I no longer needed. 

A collection of books/magazines/pamphlets I started with and acquired along the way. P.S. Ashley - the National Park book has been invaluable. Thanks

I junked the papers/magazines I didn’t need anymore, and then got to work on the other items in the car.

Getting the car empty

And before you say anything, yes, I realize that there’s still a lot more to this journey before the trip ends.  However, from this point forward I won’t be needing to rely on the car for anything but driving.  I’ll have places to stay everywhere I go now, so that precludes the need for sleeping in the car/camping, which means I can stow my neck pillow/blankets/tent in the back of the trunk.  In addition, getting things reorganized now will make it easier to empty out when I’m back in NY when Colleen will take over ownership of the car.

That's most of everything inside the car, plus my recently re-acquired winter floormats. Thanks, John

So after emptying everything out, I set up my tent and tarp to make sure they were all dry, as they will probably be put away for a long time when I’m back in NY.  I then went down to the car wash, got the car cleaned up, and vacuumed the interior.  I have yet to get everything back inside the car, but by the time I leave Sunday morning, I’ll have a bit more space to work with.

The folks here prepared a special last dinner for me.  I had never tried the southern specialty “chicken and waffles” (yes, you heard correct).  And I got to try the homemade version….so delicious.  To those not familiar, it’s waffles with syrup, topped with chicken, which is then topped with gravy.  I know, it might not sound the most appetizing, but it seriously is very good.  Here, John demonstrates how it all goes together:

My dish

Definitely a great final dinner in Georgia.  I got to spend the rest of the evening just hanging out at the house with the family.  Couldn’t think of a better way to end my time here.

Thanks again to all my friends and family here in Georgia which has made my return here better than I could have imagined.

Sunday, I hit the road for North Carolina, and another few days respite.

joe

Days 95-97: From vagabond to bum

September 4, 2010 3 comments

Location: Acworth, GA

I’ve been quite spoiled being back home in Georgia.  In the past few days I’ve been here, the most driving I’ve done in one day is 50 miles, and the rest of the time I get to relax and bum around in an air-conditioned house.  It’s so great to be back here.

The focus of my time here has been catching up with some friends.  I’ve played in a work softball game (psst… don’t tell them I don’t work there anymore), and enjoyed some dinners and nights out in Atlanta. Can’t argue with being able to stay indoors at times and play videogames, as well.

I’m also slowly getting the car cleaned up and re-organized once again.  My windshield was replaced on Wednesday afternoon, and I didn’t even have to drive anywhere.  A guy from a local shop just showed up with his tools and in 45 minutes I had a brand new windshield installed at zero cost to me.  I joke with  my sister, Colleen, to whom I’ll be selling the car to when this trip is over – man, she’ll be getting her money’s worth…new headlights, new tires (acquired back in Oregon), and now a new windshield (not to mention bonus items like XM radio, GPS, inverter, and sanitizing wipes).  I’ll be sure to get a picture up of the spruced-up car soon.

I have one more day in this area, Saturday, and then on Sunday morning I will make my way north towards North Carolina to spend a few days.  My friend John arrived late tonight, so looking forward to hanging with him and the rest of my foster family here in the time remaining.

With my buddy Rufus at the Tapas bar. Rufus is a native of my area in New York, but didn't get to know him until I first moved to Georgia

Happy Labor Day to all my friends out there.  Enjoy the last few minutes of summer while you can; rest assured, I will try my best to do the same.

joe