Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back to 'Bama

The last part of my vacation was so packed with stuff that I didn't take any time to blog. So let's catch up. After visiting the Bankhead National Forest for a day, we hit the road again. Destination: Augusta, Georgia, where tomorrow we'll meet up with my good friend Marie. Our plan is to get there without going to Atlanta, something the interstates don't really let you do. Which is just fine with me anyway! Traveling is about the whole journey, not just the destination.We did spend a few miles on the interstate, but mostly tooled along on the small highways, enjoying the country. That's how I like it.
I forget the name of the park where we stopped for our picnic lunch, but it was a nice one. This is the local Council Bluff, looking over a stretch of the broad and shallow river behind me.
Them folks again!
Mom almost picked up a new pet.
This is where we had dinner. I wanted good, old-fashioned barbeque, and we found just the place, in the very last town before being (more or less) obliged to take interstate 20 into Augusta. We had stopped in the previous town but they had noplace that Mom would eat at. I'm not so sure about that - there was a little restaurant on the town square that we didn't look at very closely. Mainly Mom didn't like the look of the town. Too run-down and abandoned.
This place was serving bbq pork, fried catfish, and chicken. I like the pig saying Eet Mor Fish! Since Indianapolis I'd been on the lookout for one of those Chick-fil-A billboards, the ones with the cows urging us to Eat More Chicken, but didn't find any. This place had lots of business, mostly takeout, and it was a great pile of real southern food we had. Definitely a good experience.
Augusta seems like a nice enough place. Our hotel was along the interstate, one of those hotel-rows with nothing but the usual chains and fast food joints. Dad and I wanted to go out for a beer, so we walked along the road, which has no sidewalk of course. Nobody walks anywhere any more! They're making it so you can't, even if you want to.
Along the road we considered which of the restaurants would be best, notably since we had already had dinner. The hostess at our hotel told us of a bar that would be filled with noisy college kids, and we didn't want that. The Mexican place would have been nice for a margarita, but the most awful karaoke was loud even across the street, so we passed.
Then we saw the sign for the bowling alley. Aha. Going over there, there didn't seem to be any bowling alley, just a large abandoned building, when I spotted it on the next road. Yea! So we had a bottle of local brew and watched the bowling. There were two hotshots practicing on one pair of lanes, and next to them a group of their laughing friends throwing many gutter balls. No leagues tonight, just fun. I like to bowl, but we decided not to.
The next day, we were set to meet Marie and her family for a picnic at a nature reserve on the south side of town. That gave us the morning to pick a watermelon and find me a new lens cap. That's me with a sock for a lens cap after Caney Falls ate the real one. There are two photography shops in town, and the first was closed for vacation. Best Buy had lens caps, but not the size I needed. The second photography shop, happily, was open. They were even having a beginners class. And of course they had everything I needed; I even picked up an extra, just in case.On to the park, which is actually a water purification project, so the ponds are all rectangular and the berms straight and level. It's a big place, though, and if we'd been there an hour earlier we could have caught the weekly guided walk and seen a lot more wildlife. As it was, the temperature was climbing with the sun. On the good side, we did have the place almost to ourselves.Yep, there are alligators out there.
Most of the birds I was were in the act of flying away.
And then it was time for us to go, too. Mom & Dad were headed south for a few days in the Okeefenokee, and I joined my friends for a visit in Charleston-Mount Pleasant. More about that tomorrow!


Niamh B said...

that's a proper park! looks like a fab break

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Beautiful photographs. I think a vacation isn't a vacation unless you can pack everything in.

CJ xx

Tabor said...

Nicely done. Love the bird photos and thanks for the reminder that a sock can work in a pinch.

steven said...

nanu i just spent ten days riding eleven hundred kilometres around lake ontario and your comment about staying off the interstate and enjoying the little roads - well you nailed it. real america is there. real food, real people, real scenery, real goodness. i've got some catching up to do with your posts so i'll do a bit of back-pedaling. steven