Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ron and Bill's Excellent Adventure Day Five

Bill's hometown, Toccoa Georgia


If this is Wednesday this must be Anderson, South Carolina!  Remember that movie "If this is Tuesday This Must Be Belgium?"  That title has always stuck in my head when I travel.

Well, this was another adventure filled, frustrating, exciting, and productive day.  This is what I love about road trips.  Did Bill and I get lost again today?  Oh yeah.

Bill was determined not to get lost again so last night in his hotel room at the Hampton Inn in Franklin, North Carlina (high in the Smoky Mountains) he drew a map for himself.  After breakfast we would leave the Hampton Inn and get on Rt. 23 and zip straight down to Tallulah Gorge in Georgia.

We load up our Dodge Caravan rental and leave the Franklin, NC Hampton Inn and proceed to go the wrong way.  We were going west when we should be going south.  I thought we were going the wrong way but Bill wouldn't hear of it.  Okay.  As we were barreling down the road the wrong way I saw a small church cemetery along the side of the road and asked Bill if he would mind stopping.  He said he didn't mind.  He was probably feeling good because he thought he had his driving directions under control.

While Bill patiently waited, I took photos of every headstone in that small, beautiful cemetery on this cool spring day up there in those Smoky Mountains.  I even found a couple of Tipton graves!  Coincidentally the Tipton graves were located right behind gravestones for the Stroud family.  My first love was named "Stroud" and ironically he also lives in Georgia.  I haven't seen him since my Army days.  He's probably a great grandpaw now.  However, seeing that name again after all these years brought back fond, warm memories of my foolish youth and my first passionate love affair.  Man we were hot.  But I digress.

After I finished taking my photos and we got back on the road, THE WRONG WAY, Bill realized we were going the wrong way.  After I gave him several "I told you so's" we headed back to where we began and started over again!  Oh boy.  We were headed for the Tallulah Gorge.  Bill thought we wasted our time but I always try get something good out of mistakes.  I wouldn't have found that little cemetery if we hadn't gone the wrong way.

We eventually got to the Tallulah Gorge.  You know every time I say "Tallulah Gorge" I think of the old joke about Tallulah Bankhead which she used to say about herself but since this is a family blog I won't repeat it here.  Well, I was very impressed with the Tallulah Gorge.  Wow.  That was one deep gorge.  Looking down my fear of heights kicked in.

Next up was a visit to Bill's hometown of Toccoa, Georgia.  The past two years we have visited Bill's hometown and he always felt I rushed him.  So this time I agreed he would drop me off at the Toccoa Cemetery while he went and did his thing.  That worked out well except it was a very hot and humid day in Toccoa and that cemetery was big.  By the time Bill came by four hours later I was soaked with sweat.

I enjoyed my time in the cemetery but I was unable to fulfill even one of the twelve outstanding photo requests.  Sometimes I think people requesting photos are fishing.  They aren't sure where the deceased person they are looking for so they are quite willing to take advantage of us Find a Grave volunteers and waste out time going on their fishing expeditions.  Those kind of people I don't like but we all know it take all types.  There are always those among us who take advantage.  Oh well, I did enjoy having time to cover that whole cemetery.  There are so many interesting stories that are revealed by the type of headstones and reading the dates of birth and death.  I always feel sad for the little headstones.  Those are children whose lives were cut short.  Make me think that perhaps I am past my expiration date on this earth.

Bill came by later to pick me up to head for our next destination, a Hampton Inn on the interstate near Greenville, South Carolina.  We're visiting my brother John and his wife Barbara tomorrow.  We didn't want to stay in Greenville, we've done that and it is just too much stress with all that big city traffic.  We prefer staying as far away as possible from big city streets and rush hour traffic. Less stress for us two old guys.

Oh, I forgot.  We had lunch in Toccoa today.  Toccoa is an old cotton mill town that is almost dead since the Interstate was to built near it.  Both Bill and I wonder how the people who live in the town now survive  since there is no industry or business in town.  Last year we tried to have lunch but everything was closed by three in the afternoon.  Talk about rolling up the streets!

This time we saw a restaurant open.  So we were going to eat "local."  How was it?  Terrible.  The food that is.  I had something called the "Cuban Panini" sandwich.  I had one of those at Panera Bread in Johnson City and it was delicious.  That was the first time I had it.  The sandwich consisted of bits of grilled chicken, ham, mustard, and dill pickle on sour dough bread.  That was the Panera version.  The Cuban Panini I had today?  Not the same.  This baby consisted of ham, mustard, dill pickle and....wait for it:  OLD PULLED PORK.  I was so hungry I ate it anyway.  Ever done that and regretted it?

Bill enjoyed lunch because he kibitzed with the waitress who was very friendly.  Bill likes to flirt with women.  He was having fun teasing her.  She was giving as good as he gave.  Because Bill was enjoying himself I decided not to ruin their good time.  My ice tea tasted like a dirty dishrag.  The one good thing was the dessert.  Our waitress recommend their Orange Cream Cake.  It was scrumptious!  Our waitress asked me if I wanted coffee with it.  I took her advice, hoping by drinking the coffee I could wash out the dishrag taste .   Guess what?  They used the same dishrag to make the coffee.

So here I sit now at my desk in my room on the third floor of the Anderson, South Carolina Hampton Inn.  I have the TV on, listening to The Ed Schultz Show on MSNBC while I hear thunder in the night sky outside my hotel window.  More rain!  By the way, I'm glad this Hampton Inn has MSNBC on their channel line up.  At least I have more choice tonight than I did last night in Right Wing Country of Franklin North Carolina where my only choice was Fox News!  All low information voters up in those hills for sure.

Oh boy am I tired.  I was watching Rachel earlier and I kept dropping off.  Time to wrap this up now and get ready for bed.  The Hampton Inn has the most comfortable beds.  Last night I was so tired I woke up in the same position I went to sleep.  That's when you know you're tired.

Another big day tomorrow.  The adventure continues.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like everything is going well and mostly on schedule. I'm usually wrong about directions and Fred is so stubborn(like Bill) about them that I just let him do what he wants. But I would never be brave enough to say "I told you so"!
    Enjoy your trip!
    m.

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    1. Mark,
      Everything is going well except our problems with directions. Both Bill and I have done everything and more that we planned to do. However, I doubt if we will take another trip like this. All this driving is too stressful for Bill and I can't drive these long distances.

      We've enjoyed this road trip/vacation and will have many fond memories to reflect upon in the future but this will probably be our last road trip.

      Ron

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  2. A smile as I think ... I know were you are. Back in the day I supervised the Hardees in the picture so it takes me back for sure. The Cuban Panani at Panera is one of the best items on there menu I get as part of a pick2 when I mysteryshop. Enjoy the rest of the trip as soon you will head east.

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    1. Roger,

      Small world! You were a supervisor at that very Hardee's in that picture? Amazing coincidence.

      Tonight is our last night staying in a hotel. Both Bill and I will be very glad to get back home.

      Ron

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