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Old 05-05-2004, 06:51 PM   #7
MikeO OP
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Scarning, Norfolk, today...
Oddometer: 7,003
9th February

Another moderately chilly (41 deg F) morning. High overcast, but dry and relatively still. I’ve planned a very circuitous route ending in Savannah today, and I’m packed and on the road for 0940. Almost immediately, as I drive out of Waycross, I become aware of a State Trooper’s car behind me. No need to be concerned, as he comes past me and waves to me as he passes.

I start hitting some of the backroads leading North West and soon come across a detour around a closed bridge.

Unfortunately, the detour is down a mud road, which is wet, after last night’s rain, but has been recently graded. I set off, somewhat unsure of the fully loaded Adv, as I have virtually no off-road experience, and none on the Adv. I soon get to enjoy it, however.

The detour takes me some 4 miles, eventually re-gaining the road some 100 metres from where I left. The county roads, like many roads in Florida & Georgia so far, are often straight for long periods, but they occaisionally get interesting. I travel through some very poor parts of Georgia – some of the tar-paper shacks at the side of the road are clearly lived in, but look more like garden sheds……

I enter the town of Santa Claus – famous, it seems, for loving children. Hmmmm….. Further on is proof that even the local traffic authorities acknowledge the results of cousins knowing each other just a little too well……

After an excellent lunch at a small town diner – Spaghetti Bolognese, black-eyed peas, Mustards (mustard & turnip leaves blanched – bit like spinach), ‘sweet tea’ (iced tea with sugar) and lemon cake – all for $6 – and a short conversation with the waitress Joelene (no, really) ‘Ewer nut frum rownd heer, are yew hunny?’ – I’m on my way again.

I notice that the GPS behaves differently to when I’m in the UK. The algorythms (sp?) are clearly set for a lower expected average speed, which makes the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) function completely useless (it calculate I’ll need an hour to cover 14 miles on a county road – it takes me 12 minutes – okay I was speeding a little, but an hour??).

I come into the city of Claxton and do a double take. I turn the bike around and check. Yes, I did see correctly. If you were advertising something in the deep deep South, would you use a wizard wearing a pointy hat to do it?……

Just around the corner, I notice that the city water tower proudly proclaims Claxton as being ‘The Fruitcake Capital of the World’ – nuff said…..

As I approach the outskirts of Savannah, I stop at a junction alongside a graveyard. Many of the trees in this part of the world have ‘Spanish Moss’ hanging from them. I’m told it’s a parasite, a little like mistletoe, and that, eventually, it can kill the host tree. These trees by the graveyard looked like they’d succumbed, they certainly looked quite eerie….

In the historic district of Savannah, I toured the old pre Civil War (ante-bellum) houses. The temperature was quite cool, although Savannah is known to roast in the summer. This time of year is probably the best time to visit. You can see the Spanish Moss on the (still living) trees that line the road. I was quite surprised to see that some of the old houses were in quite a poor state of repair.

Leaving Savannah on US 17 N, I enter South Carolina. Tomorrow I intend to visit the USS Yorktown, a WWII carrier which is a floating museum there. I find a cheap Motel in Hardeeville for the night, write my journal, ring my girlfriend using a phone card which is amazing value – 2¾ hrs to the UK for $5 - and, with the aid of a cold six-pack of Coors bought from the local filling station (now there’s something you won’t find in the UK:P), spend a quiet night in……

All text & original photos © Mike Oughton 2004 - 2015

MikeO screwed with this post 02-12-2006 at 03:08 AM
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