Somewhere outside Fort Gaines, Ga the Purple Whale surpassed the 16,000 mile mark. Today we visited 2 Georgia State Parks and a State Conservation Park. We scored caches in 3 GA DeLorme Map Pages and 11 Georgia Counties. Along the road today we spotted a fox squirrel, a turtle and a field mouse. We also spotted Jesus carrying a cross and a naked lady with a lizard in her hair.
Georgia Post Offices anyone?
Maybe because we didn’t travel as far today (only 200 miles instead of the 300 of the past two days), there were only a couple of items of interest to report, 1) the breakfast of choice in the small town of Colquitt, GA is a cinnamon bun and a Bud Light and 2) we saw a person riding a bicycle that you stood on and pedaled in a stair stepper motion (maybe this.)
Twelve geocaches today. Nine Georgia Counties, five GA DeLorme pages, two State Parks and one DNF.
Last night we were visiting one of Donna’s friends from the Navy, so we spent time catching up instead of me surfing the web (plus they didn’t have wireless.)
Today was spent on I-10 heading west in the rain. It did stop in time for us to do a brief driving tour of Donna’s childhood neighborhood that was devastated during Katrina. Donna’s Sister Sandy visited the place a year after, in 2006 and the house was empty a complete wreck. Today, their block is unrecognizable as new homes have gone up all along the street with still a few empty lots. The picture above is what stands at their old address of 6560. It is a nice house and all, but it doesn’t fit in with the look of the surrounding properties, plus the large live oaks that stood in the front and back yards are gone, replaced by small patches of grass thus removing the major part of the charm of the place.
This evening was spent watching the wedding rehearsal and eating at the rehearsal dinner of Stuart Lewis, son of Donna’s childhood friend Sally who we watched grow from a cute little baby into a big hulk of a man. Friday morning, after tomorrow evening’s nuptials, we head home, covering what took us four days to do on the way in a mere two.
While in Louisiana’s capitol city we are staying at The Cook Hotel on the campus of LSU. Like buying a brick with your name on it to support the local Veteran’s Park, alumni have sponsored rooms here, hence tonight’s post title.
This is one of only a few photos I managed to take that was neither blurry or washed out before the battery went dead. The groom is the reason we were there, Stuart, a hulk of a man child is the son of Sally, Donna’s childhood friend. The second to the left bridesmaid is Claire, Stuart’s sister. We got to watch them grow from infants to small children as they lived two doors away from us the 4 years that Donna and I lived in New Orleans. After we had gone our separate ways, us to NJ and they to VA, we always visited a couple times a year.
Tonight after the reception, Donna and I came back to the Al, Judy, Mark & Kristy Herman Room where we changed real quick, so we could go back out and grab a geocache that was physically 700′ away from our hotel, but a quarter of a mile walk away. We now have one find in Louisiana. On our trip back we plan on grabbing one in Mississippi and Alabama.
For whatever reason, there was gobs of traffic heading east on I-10 with us today all through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Fortunately there were no major slow-ups, except the tunnel under Mobile Bay, so we made great time, but we were always surrounded by fast moving cars and trucks. Mysteriously, traffic thinned to almost nothing once we got into Florida and past Pensacola.
But wouldn’t you know it, but as soon as we got off I-10 to hit the back roads of Florida, we ran into a convoy of farm implements crawling along at 25MPH. The roads were hilly and curvy enough that we, along with some others, were stuck behind them for about 20 minutes. We thought we caught a break in Campbellton when 2 of the three went straight and only one turned right with us staying on Florida Route 2. It was short lived though, as those two just took a different route through town and two minutes later popped back in front of us. Sigh.
We hunted only two caches today as we wanted to make big mileage, one was in Mississippi and the other was in Alabama, bringing us to having found caches in 40% of these United States.
Tonight we are staying at the same Holiday Inn Express in Bainbridge, GA as we did Monday evening on our way west. This time it is different, and not just because we are in a different room from then, but the hotel is flirting with disaster this weekend as it is where the band Molly Hatchet is staying while playing at the 1st Annual Redneck Expo & Golf Cart Rally that’s here in town.
The Purple Whale passed the 17,000 mile level near Spanish Fort, MS.
No, it is not send 150 years in the past and drop it in a Confederate Prison Camp. It turns out it is rather easy. During day one we visited the Andersonville Prison Camp, so fittingly today, our last day, we visited a spot in Thomasville that those Andersonville Prisoners were moved to temporarily to find a geocache.
Google maps reports that the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, LA is about 700 miles one way from Aiken, but we managed to accumulate 2150 miles on our round trip. We were gone 8 days, witnessed one wedding and found 37 caches in four different states, ignoring Florida, because, well, its Florida. We polished off anything needed for the three Georgia Challenges in the southwest part of that state. Plus we DNF’d three caches and accidentally ruined one other. Right now it is good to be home, but ask again on Monday morning and you might get a different answer.
On our trip through the gnat capitol of the US, southern Georgia, every time we opened the car doors to get out, be it for a driver change, a geocache expedition, or whatever, invariably several gnats would end up inside the Purple Whale. Though, not 100% effective, driving with the windows open for a bit helped, but we always still ended up two or three bouncing around on the windshield. Swatting did nothing. Neither did trying to smack them with my hat. The best method for dispatching these annoying things was to let them settle on the glass and slowly bring you thumb down on them. A quick wipe on the carpet discarded the carcass and a rub of the windshield with a sleeve removed all traces of the little buggers.
Baseball is back and the FRS have lost the first three games of the season. The Boston press is already writing stories about the Red Sox 2012 season being doomed or don’t worry it is only 3 out of 162. Today the Sox had a 3 run lead going into the bottom of the 9th inning. Detroit scored three runs to tie it. The FRS scored two in the top of the 11th to take the lead, but Detroit promptly scored 3 in the bottom of the inning to win it. I was already leaning towards Gloom & Doom, but after today’s effort I’ve fallen completely over.
Both cars got a bath today, the Sonata to remove the Georgia red clay from the wheel wells and the Florida bugs off the front, while the Miata had the last of the pine pollen rinsed off.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1127
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1128
Last year the Red Sox started the season by losing their first 6 games. So far this year in their first 6 games they are 1–5. I’d like to say that they have won 100% more games to this point than last, but 100% more of no wins is still no wins, so I guess I’ll have to go with they have lost 16% fewer games than 2011.
Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1128
Our one and only geocache (for now) in Mississippi was not too far away from this life-size model of a Lunar Lander placed in the eastbound !-10 Welcome Center to that state. We apparently were just about a week too early to tour the new Infinity Science Center built adjacent to the Welcome Center. This exit off I-10 is the entrance to the Stennis Space Center which started life in the mid 60’s testing the Saturn V booster engines, later the Shuttle’s main engines and is still in operation today testing the engines that power cargo rockets for satellite placement and International Space Station resupplying.
Unfortunately for my few readers, I have a thousand and one excuses.
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1128
We weren’t the only ones out enjoying the Florence Marina State Park on the early morning of April 1st. I hope he caught some fish because we found our geocache.
When we got back from vacation on the 7th of April we were in for a surprise. The floor around our refrigerator was very wet. Dang! So we pull the fridge away from the wall and take out the 8 screws holding the soggy cardboard cover on the bottom back. The tray that catches condensation or whatever was full and running over. I sponged out as much water as possible and decided that maybe the water build up might have been caused by the dust build up on the condenser coils, so I vacuumed them off, buttoned everything back up and pushed the fridge back.
You would think I would have remembered about the last time this happened, but no.
One week later (Saturday the 14th) as I open the fridge for something, my sock starts soaking up water. Come on! Sure enough the floor is wet around the base of the refrigerator again. Wheel it away from the wall, remove 8 screws, throw away the totally soaked and warped cardboard cover and notice the condensation tray is full again. Also notice a fine mist cloud of cooling water coming from where the clamp that holds the ice maker water line to the back of the fridge. Empty the tray. Shut off water to the house. Cut 3 inches off the water line. Place a new fitting on the line. Tighten every thing up. Turn the water back on. No leak. Roll the refrigerator back.
Do you think there is a chance that when I get a wet sock while getting a cold drink in the year 2017, that I will instantly think of the ice maker water line?
Maybe I should add a column for my weight too. Every winter I always gain 5–10 pounds due to inactivity and each spring I lose it back. This year I think I have past the age point where losing weight becomes much more difficult, because I tipped the scales at Dr. PCP’s office at 206.0 today. Maybe it is the extra 10 pounds or maybe the same age marker is to blame for my higher blood borne floating fats…
They must have done a prescribed burn not too long ago on the Gopher Tortoise Nature Trail in Seminole State Park in Georgia. You can tell by the proliferation on nothing but bright green ferns with not much else for underbrush. Plus the blackened lower bark on the pine trees pretty much gives it away.
This past Sunday we got up and did the pay the bills by bicycle thing and stopped at Atlanta Bread Company for breakfast and a paper at an outside table. When we got home and typed in the code on the garage keypad, nothing happened. At first I thought that Donna had punched in the code wrong, but on further review it looked like the keyboard was dark, maybe indicating the batteries were dead. We don’t carry a key because this entry method has never let us down in the decade or so we have had this option of getting in the house.
Another look at the keypad and the lights were on, but the remote still wouldn’t open the door. It was then that we noticed the light at the end of the driveway that we always leave burning (so we know which house is ours) was not lit. That meant the power to the house was out. The neighbors kitty-corner across the street were out on their porch, so Donna went over to ask what happened. The neighbor said that she heard the transformer pop, so she walked outside and was just in time to see a smoking squirrel fall to the street. Poor thing must have stepped in the wrong spot and completed a circuit.
Not longer than 15 seconds after our cooked critter hit the ground, a neighborhood cat darted from under an azalea bush, picked up the fried squirrel and carted it off.
These pilings are all that is left of a couple of nice seafood restaurants that were situated on the West End of the New Orleans Lakefront pre-Katrina.
We stopped at the bank on the way home to deposit some checks and get a bit of cash back. One of our co-workers is turning 60 this weekend and we thought it would be a cool thing to get 60 quarters, 60 dimes, 60 nickels and 60 pennies, place them in a small Mason jar to give him. We deposited a nice round number, the majority of the money, and got $40.63 cash back. Of that, we wanted the sixty of each coin thing.
The two tellers up front were busy, but the woman handling the drive-up said she’d take care of us. We explained what we wanted and Donna asked how much all those coins would be worth, the teller replied $24. (This should have been our first clue as to what we were up against, its $24.60.) She brought over the quarters first, a $10 roll with 23 more loose ones and off she went to get the next denomination. A roll of dimes and 10 more. Good. We gave her back the 3 extra quarters. The next trip back she brought us a roll of nickels and ten extra. Um, wait a minute, we need ten more nickels, that’s only 50 of them. The second to last trip back she brought the 10 nickels, a roll of pennies and 10 extra pennies. Pheewww, right. The final trip she brought us 3 pennies and the bills, which she started counting out for us beginning with the singles, $25.63, $26.63, $27.63, and five makes thirty-two sixty-three and ten makes…wait, wait, that’s not right. We tell her she just owes us sixteen dollars more, finally we get a single, a five, a ten and exit the bank.
Did I forget mention that there was a gap of about 2 minutes between each trip to the counter to bring us money? It was no wonder wonder the fellow next to us wanted to close out his safety deposit box, I’m betting he is starting to keep his important stuff in a Chock Full o’Nuts coffee can under his porch.
Is it possible to have a pleasant flashback to an acid trip that was never taken?
We watched Sunday’s episode of Mad Men last night, and in it, Roger Sterling and his young, former secretary of a wife Jane, take LSD with some other Manhattanites under the “supervision” of her psychiatrist. We get to watch Roger’s slightly humorous and hallucinogenic evening that ends with he and Jane lying on the floor of their apartment discussing their mutual feelings that their short marriage is over.
Whether it is was the idea of this upcoming smooth and amicable separation or a residual acid high that causes Roger to proclaim brightly to Don at the office the next morning, “I have an announcement to make: It’s going to be a beautiful day!”, I’m not sure, but it had a strange effect on my day.
For no apparent reason, everything seemed brighter and shiner today. All things went smoother and easier too. On the way to work I either made it through all the traffic signals with only brief slowdowns or passed through unhindered. And even though this week I’m working 9-hour days for that free Friday afternoon off, today at the Valve Store® just flew right by.
So, is it possible for me to have a happy flashback to an acid trip that I never took or was it just the high dose of sugar from the DD Coffee Cake Muffin I had for breakfast?
Started down, went up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1130