Woodbine, Georgia

Day 839

     Woodbine is located in one of Georgia’s original counties, created when the state constitution was adopted in February 1777 and located in the very southeastern corner of the State, just 7 miles from the current Florida border. Records of the site where Woodbine is now located date back to 1765, when 4 men petitioned for and received fourteen hundred acres on the south side of the Great Satilla River.

     We are staying at a campground called Walk-A-Bout Camp & RV Park. We walked about, but nothing really to see.

     RV’ers stop here on their way to Florida and that warm sun. So, this sign seems out of place:

Technical Stuff:

Summerton, South Carolina to Woodbine, Georgia: 207.2 miles

3 hours 55 minutes

11.7 MPG

Diesel: $2.96

Atlanta, Georgia

Day 829

     Heading home for my father’s 98th birthday. Visiting Barbara’s cousin here in Atlanta. Caught here in heaving rain, and blocked from moving on by heavy snow between us and home. We were scheduled to meet with friends in South Carolina from our Alaska trip, but they got snow, and now have freezing rain. We will wait it out. 

Technical Stuff: Columbus, Georgia to Atlanta, Georgia: 146.0 miles

3 hours 19 minutes 

9.3 MPG

Diesel: $2.86

Columbus, Georgia

Day 826

     Columbus, Georgia, once the site of a Creek Indian Village, is one of the few cities in the United States to be planned in advance of its founding. Established on December 20, 1827 as a trading post, Columbus is situated at the beginning of the navigable portion of the Chattahoochee River from the Gulf of Mexico. The city became a center of shipping and military manufacturing.

     East of Columbus is Fort Benning Military Reservation. On October 19, 1918, the Infantry School of Arms was established on 80 acres of land here. Camp Benning, later Fort Benning, was named in honor of Confederate Infantry General Henry Lewis Benning, born April 2, 1814, a Columbus Resident, and lawyer. 

     Today, we saw graduation on Inouye Field. Named for Daniel Ken Inouye (井上 建), born September 7, 1924 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. (If you get a chance, you should read this man’s history. It is an inspiration of what it means to be an American and a soldier.)

     Located on the Fort is the The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center. A fascinating museum covering the infantryman from the Revolutionary War through Afghanistan. 

     Not only depicting the soldier, but also equipment used in each conflict. 

     Transition from calvary to mechanized. Send in the cavalry!

     Barbara tried driving an armored vehicle, but got the gas and brake mixed up, destroyed the exhibit, and almost going from the second floor to the first. 

     Part of the museum was devoted to Congressional Medal of Honor recipients (remember Audie Murphy?).


Technical Stuff:  Tallahassee  FL to Columbus, Georgia: 195.8 miles

4 hours 1 minute

9.2 MPG

Diesel: $2.77

Kingsland, Georgia

Day 558

     Almost made it to Florida, but we ended up in Kingsland, Georgia. We will spend only 1 night here and move on to Mims, Florida tomorrow, where we will spend 4 days, hopefully in warm weather as it suppose to be above freezing and a high of 50.

Technical Stuff: Walterboro, SC to Kingsland, GA: 165.4 miles

3 hours 40 minutes

10.0 MPG

Diesel: $2.86

We have slept in 26 States

Atlanta, Georgia

Day 539

Day 539 Atlanta GA 8252_Fotor

     We are back in Atlanta, Georgia (see day 259) to visit with relatives. They wanted to view the Christmas displays at Callanwolde.

Day 539 Atlanta GA 8249_Fotor

     The estate was built in 1920 by Charles Howard Chandler, the son of Asa Chandler, who established the Coca-Cola company, after buying the patent from John C. Pemberton, the inventor. Charles succeeded his father as president of Coca-Cola from 1916 to 1923. He died in 1957, and the estate went through many owners. 

     In 1971 the dilapidated house and estate was taken over by The Callanwolde Foundation. Rather preserve and restore the house to the way it looked in the 20’s, they used the house to promote the cultural arts. Each room was dedicated to a different genre. They did have the invisible man playing the piano as you walked into the foyer.

Day 539 Atlanta GA 8262_Fotor

     It was ok, if you are into that sort of thing, but I don’t think it was worth the price of admission. And Mr. Chandler doesn’t look happy as how his house turned out.

Day 539 Atlanta GA 8265_Fotor

     The Chandler ancestry goes back to the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The name “Callanwolde” is based on this family connection to the Irish town of Callan and the Old English word for “woods” (“wolde”)

Day 539 Atlanta GA 8273_Fotor

Technical Stuff: Montgomery, Alabama to Atlanta, Georgia: 203.7 miles

4 hours and 4 minutes

11.7 MPG

Diesel: $2.49

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Day 263


     Stone Mountain is a granite rock, 9 miles long and 1,686 feet high formed at the time of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is most noted for it’s carving on it’s north face. 

     The carving was conceived by Mrs. C. Helen Plane, a charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). She wanted to have a lasting tribute to the Confederacy. She got a lease from the owners of the Mountain in 1916 and commissioned Gutzon Borglum to do the carving. He wanted to do  a sizable Civil War monument showing General Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson leading a group of soldiers. However, because of various disputes Borglum abandoned the project in 1925 (and later went on to begin Mount Rushmore). He had completed a good part of the carving. Nevertheless, the supsequent carver actually blew off the mountain Borglum’s work.

     Numerous disputes and carvers followed. The project, consisting only of Lee, Davis, and Jackson, was not completed until March 3, 1972. (No wonder they lost the war. And, why didn’t they put it on the South face?)


     We stopped at the grist mill that had been moved from somewhere else to the base of Stone Mountain. 


Roswell, Georgia

Day 261

     Finally, far enough south to see flowers.


     In 1830, while on a trip to northern Georgia, Roswell King passed through the area of what is now Roswell and observed the great potential for building a cotton mill along Vickery Creek. Since the land nearby was also good for plantations, his idea was to put cotton processing near cotton production.

     We visited Bulloch Hall, the childhood home of President Theodore Roosevelt’s mother, Mittie Bulloch, which has been preserved and restored. 


     The Bulloch family moved to Roswell at the invitation of founder Roswell King, a family friend. Major James Stephen Bulloch, who served in the Revolutionary War, built this house in 1839. Mittie Bulloch lived with her family here until she married Theodore Roosevelt in 1853. They then moved to New York City. Their son, Teddy, became the 26th President of the United States. 

     The family tree goes like this: Major Stephen Bulloch married his second wife,  Martha Elliott, in 1832. Their second daughter, Martha (Mittie) Bulloch, married Theodore Roosevelt in 1853. Their son, Theodore Roosevelt, was the 26th President of the United States. Elliott Roosevelt, another son of Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and Martha Bulloch, was the father of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt who married her fifth cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who became the 31st President of the United States. Got that?


Swan House, Atlanta, Georgia

Day 260


     Completed in 1928, Swan House was the home of Edward and Emily Inman, heirs to a post Civil War cotton brokerage fortune. Edward Inman died in 1931, but Emily collected her family into the house and lived there until 1965. The house and grounds were acquired by the Atlanta Historical Society in 1966. The house is maintained as a 1920s and 1930s historic house museum, with many of the Inmans’ original furnishings.


     It got it’s name from the decorations of swans throughout the house and property.


     They also had other unusual animals. 

Atlanta, Georgia

Day 259

     Atlanta is built on the territory stolen from the Indians in 1821. James McConnell was one of the first white settlers to establish a homestead after the Indian removal. Originally called Terminus, the name Atlanta was adopted December 26, 1845. It is the capital of the State of Georgia.

     Confederate Colonel John C. Pemberton, who was wounded in the Civil War and became addicted to morphine, began a quest to find a substitute for the problematic drug. The prototype Coca-Cola recipe was formulated at Pemberton’s Eagle Drug and Chemical House, a drugstore in Columbus, Georgia.  The first sales were at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. It was initially sold as a patent medicine for five cents a glass at soda fountains, which were popular in the United States at the time due to the belief that carbonated water was good for the health. Pemberton claimed Coca-Cola cured many diseases, including morphine addiction, indigestion, nerve disorders, headaches, and impotence.  The drink’s name refers to two of its original ingredients, which were kola nuts (a source of caffeine) and coca leaves. Coke’s headquarters are here in Atlanta. 


Big Shanty, Georgia

Day 258


     The Western and Atlantic Railroad led to the establishment of several towns along it’s route, including Big Shanty, which eventually became known as Kennesaw, Georgia. The settlement was the highest point between the Etowah and the Chattahoochee rivers. The high ground and water supply encouraged the railroad workers to build houses, or shanties, basically a house built with slaps of wood. In 1850, the railroad acquired land around this area to establish a depot and hotel for travelers along the rail line, in which a farming community eventually sprang.

     Big Shanty became famous as the scene of the Great Locomotive Chase during the Civil War. On April 12, 1862  James J. Andrews and a band of Yankee spies boarded the northbound train at Marietta. This train was powered by the locomotive, The General. At Big Shanty, the crew and passengers left the train to eat breakfast at the Lacy Hotel. In plain view of the soldiers at Camp McDonald, Andrews and his men stole The General and headed north to destroy the Western and Atlantic Railroad. But they did not count on the persistence of William A. Fuller, the conductor of The General, who chased The General first on foot and then on the locomotive Texas (which ran in reverse) before running it down north of Ringgold, Georgia, 80 miles away. This incident forever placed Big Shanty on the map. 

     James Andrews and his men became the first recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. 


Kennesaw, Georgia

Day 257


     After leaving Chattanooga, General Sherman headed toward Atlanta, Georgia. At that time Atlanta was the major industrial city of the Confederacy. Taking Atlanta would cripple the South. The Confederate Army came to stop him. Heading that army was 57 year old Joseph E. Johnson, the highest ranking officer of the US Army to resign his commission to fight for his home State of Virginia, and the South. Of course, I already told you the end of this story in Day 249.

     The two armies clashed at  Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Cassville, New Hope Church, Pickett’s Mill and Dallas. Each time Sherman was able to outflank Johnson. 

     Finally, Sherman reach Kennesaw Mountain on June 27, 1864. Although the mountain was only two miles long, Sherman was spread thin and could not outflank Johnson. Johnson at the top of the mountain, Sherman at the bottom. The battle raged on for 3 days. Then all of a sudden, Johnson left. Was it a tactical error? Who knows. Johnson thought he could better defend Atlanta by the river. 

     Johnson lost 800 men, Sherman 1,800. A senseless battle, as nothing was really gained (but weren’t most of the battles senseless?)

     From the top of the mountain, you can see Atlanta. 


Cumming, Georgia

Day 256


     James Edward Oglethorpe, born December 22, 1696, was a British soldier, Member of Parliament, and philanthropist, as well as the founder of the colony of Georgia, (February 12, 1733), the last of the original 13 colonies.

     The area now called Cumming Georgia, where we are camping, was first inhabited by Cherokee tribes. The Cherokee and Creek people developed disputes over hunting land. After two years of fighting, the Cherokee won the land in the Battle of Taliwa. The Creek people were forced to move south of the Chattahoochee River.

     The Cherokee coexisted with white settlers until the discovery of gold in Georgia in 1828 (bet you didn’t know Georgia was the first gold rush). Settlers that moved to the area to mine for gold pushed for the removal of the Cherokee. In 1835, the Treaty of New Echota was signed. The treaty stated that the Cherokee Nation must move to the Indian Territory, west of the Mississippi River. This resulted in the “Trail of Tears” which led to the death of over 4,000 indians. 

Technical Stuff:

Blacksburg, VA to Cumming, GA 219.9 miles

4 hours 26 minutes

10.3 MPG

Diesel: $2.20

Savannah, Georgia

Day 66

     Although we have been to Savannah in the past, Barbara wanted to tour some of the homes, this is the Davenport House:

Day 66 (13)

     We also toured Andrew Low’s house, whose nephew married Juliette Gordon Low, who was the founder of the girl scout movement.  All these house look alike to me.

     She also wanted to see the flowers in the squares:

Day 66 (22)

    We took the trolley tour of Old Savannah:

Day 66 (16)

Then back to our campsite to relax Day 66 (1)And contend with our neighbor

Day 66 (2)


Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia

Day 64

Walked through the Okefenokee Swamp. Day 64 (46) Day 64 (132)


Then took a boat Day 64 (119)ride through the Swamp.




 And, this is what we saw:Day 64 (115) Day 64 (43) Day 64 (6) Day 64 (26)









Every 20 years or so the swamp has a drought and dries up allowing lightning to start a fire that will burn through the swamp. The last such fire was in 2011:Day 64 (128) Day 64 (92) Day 64 (134)









Evidently this is needed to rebuild the swamp as these tree seeds need the fire heat to germinate.

Lots of lily pads, not one frog on them. However, they were flowering today.Day 64 (65) Day 64 (64) Day 64 (72)










We did see a frog as we walked through the swamp.Day 64 (148)

     Also went to Chesser Island, which is a home of a swamp family. The dossier was also a swamp person, but since the Swamp is now a National Wildlife Refuge, all the Swamp people have been booted out.

     We had our own wildlife at the campsite as there were free roaming guinea birds. Day 64 (3)


St. Marys, Georgia

Day 63

     We followed the rabbit down the holeDay 63 (2)

    St. Marys, Georgia, was established in 1787.  We went to the grave yard, we love graveyards, but the oldest we could find was 1815. All other older ones had their markings eroded.Day 63 (16)

     We walked the town, which had the usual old homes of the South. This was before the Church denied it was making money:Day 63 (3) Day 63 (4)

     Went to their radio museum. Saw peg leg, again.Day 63 (1)

     Their submarine museum was underwhelming. 

     I really did not know a missile was loaded when I pushed the periscope fire button.Day 63 (6)

Is that a rat in our drawer?Day 63 (5)




Just kidding.

Country Oaks RV Park, Ga

Day 62

     We are taking a day of rest today, after all we are retired. I will take this opportunity to answer some of your questions on the RV lifestyle.

How do you find driving a 40 ft RV?

     Actually, it is 39′ 10 inches. I do not find it as difficult as I thought. Remember, I have driven fire engines for 28 years. The thing to remember is that when I make turns, the 5th wheel will cut into the turn. To compensate for that, I make a wider turn than I would make with my car, sort of like the tractor trailers. Our main learning curve is backing up the Sphinx into a campsite. Although we are getting better, we have not got it down just yet.

In one of your posts you indicated you had to be self sufficient. What does that entail, and how long can you do it?

     It means that we do not have to be hooked up to water, sewer, or electricity to maintain ourselves. For electricity, we have four 6 volt batteries.  Supposedly that will provide our electricity for a week or so, not using the air conditioners.  We have a 69 gallon fresh water tank, and three 40 gallon waste tanks, one for the toilet, one for the bathroom shower and sink, and the final one for the kitchen. We testing living without hookups for 3 days with no problem. At one campsite their water supply was contaminated and we used ours for 4 days with no problem. We did supplement that with bottled water. We also have a 5 KW generator to run the air conditioner and recharge our batteries. The generator runs off our propane tanks, which are two 30 pound tanks.

When you are traveling down the road, how do you keep the food in your refrigerator cold?

     For the first few weeks of our adventure the weather was so cold we had no problem, so long as the doors remain closed. Unfortunately, we did not realize that the refrigerator was not level and the doors came open during transit. The lettuce rolled around the RV. After leveling it, we also had to put tension bars to prevent items from rolling around inside the fridge. Even leveled, we have to secure the doors to prevent opening while jostling The Sphinx down the road. Now that we are in the South, and the temperatures are in the 90’s, we have an inverter that converts our battery 12 volt DC power to AC 110 volt power. This is for the fridge only, and works great.Camper (9)

The red box is the inverter, below that you can see 3 of the 4 golf cart 6 volt batteries.

How do you get your mail while traveling?

     We don’t. Prior to leaving I convert all bills and notices to electronic form. All my banking is electronic, and all my bills are paid through the bill pay of my bank. We even got our absentee ballots from Harford County electronically. We did have to mail the actual ballot in, but since they are in PDF format, I printed them out at the campsite office. All our taxes are done electronically, as well as keeping all my records. I have the laptop that I use to publish this blog, plus I have a scanner to convert all receipts that I get on the road. I then discard the paper receipts. With the exception of my credit card, all value cards, like food discount cards, have been converted on my I Phone to be electronic. The cashier can scan that electronic bar code as if I actually had the card.

What do you miss most now that you are no longer living in your house?

     Nothing. We had to make adjustments in our lifestyle, but we anticipated that. We keep in touch with my father and other relatives by phone and messaging. We keep in touch with Chip and our granddaughters through face-time. Barbara wants to look at them on her tablet. Works great. My granddaughter just had her braces taken off, and Barbara can see her new smiling face. They also have an app on their smart phone that tells them exactly where we are. The purpose of this blog is to keep our friends and family informed of our whereabouts. We have adapted well to full time RVing.

     Oh! I see by the great electronic clock on the microwave, it is time for my nap.

     Feel free to send me any other questions, I will be happy to answer them.