Day 16 – What comes down must go up

 Take two! Packed the cart and out of the house before 6am this morning. Since most of the initial roadway had sidewalks, the sun didn’t need to be completely up me to safely begin the day. About 3/4 of a mile down the road, I figured I would enter my first Facebook/Twitter entry. It was also at this time that I realized I left both of my cell phones plugged firmly into the power socket at the house. <sigh>

Casa de Johnson y Youngblood

Remember my comments about compartmentalization and everything has its place? Obviously I don’t… I marched back towards the house, picked up the phones and added 1.5 miles to my already 30 mile days ahead. 😦

After about 10 miles I finally was leaving suburbia and no Waffle Houses, Starbucks or Tanning Salons were in sight. I couldn’t believe how my route was becoming more and more of a downhill ride. Well, I wish it was a ride.

Note to Runabout inventor, Richard Berg: Richard, could you please add a steering wheel to the front wheel. With proper balance, I could jump on the cart and steer it down some of the steep slopes. Thanks!

I didn’t realize I had gained that much elevation when entering the Atlanta area. What I soon found out was that I hadn’t gained that much elevation. It was more that I was ‘losing’ elevation! At the bottom of what seemed the never-ending hill, was the dark side of the hill. The up-hill side! What comes down…must go UP! Today I learned that I have way too much crap in/on my cart.

Somewhere along the way, I came to a busy intersection with a few businesses and gas stations. Previously I had walked by a prison and couldn’t help but notice the many bail-bond businesses around this area. When picking up my water and supplies, I noticed a newspaper on the counter that was nothing but mug-shots of people who were arrested in the last week. Awesome! Each week, Cherokee County publishes all the pictures of everybody that was arrested for Anything! I thought for sure that I wanted this as a keep-sake. As I started to walk away with what I figured was a free periodical. The clerk said; “Sir, I’m sorry those are a dollar”. What? Yip, I guess the paper is a hot seller, the clerk told me.

If you get busted in Cherokee County, prepared to be humiliated by all your friends and family!

Don't get busted in Cherokee County

All across Georgia I have seen a plethora of Hot Boiled Peanut signs. From little towns to in front of peoples homes in smaller areas. To be honest, they didn’t look appealing. Some of them in big glass containers, like a pickles or something like that. Looking across the street, there was not only a single Peanut stand, but another directly across the street. What? Are these peanuts really that good? I had to take the time to find out.

Bob's Nuts!

On one side of the street was Bob’s Peanuts and on the other was Dave’s. I chose Dave’s. Not sure why…but I’m glad I did. As I approached Dave’s stand, I asked if I could just sample a single nut. They said certainly and Tiffany scooped out a peanut from the Cajun cooker. It was wonderful! The peanut now had the texture of a soft bean and was loaded with Cajun taste I’m hooked and said I would like to purchase $2 worth. I also asked them if they minded if I sat with them for a bit. No problem, they said.

Daves Nuts

My new circle of friends included Dave (Dave’s Peanuts), Alan and Dave’s daughter Tiffany. Our conversation included my walk, the competition across the street, 1968 GTO, 14 mile commute to work (for Tiffany) and kids on motorcycles. You would have thought that I was part of their immediate family. Dave and Alan were Navy veterans. Dave served on the Ranger and Alan on the Coral Sea/Midway. While not wanting to be too judgemental of Bob’s Peanuts, I’m glad I stopped by Dave’s. Dave & Tiffany had nothing good to say about Bob, the quality of his nuts, or his business ethics. If I didn’t know any better, I would say their rivalry is similar to the Hatfield and McCoys.

After a bit, it was time to get walking. Before saying Goodbye, Dave said “thank you” to me, gave me $5 and wished me luck. Wow, what a nice group of people! I want to go back and just hang with them for an afternoon in the future.

Alan, Dave and Tiffany

Back to the hills, across a lake, and into some of the most beautiful country you have ever seen. Green, lush, farm-land as far as the eye can see. The quality of life has to be very high living in this area. All day the clouds were looming, just taunting me with the threat of rain. About 5pm, the rain finally happened. Earlier in my trip, somebody told me that you always know when its going to happen. About 5 minutes before the drops, the temperature will drop and a mild breeze will begin to blow. That is EXACTLY what it was like!

As soon as the first drop hit, I went into action! Popped the top of my cart, jumped into my rain-gear, changed into gore-tex shoes, covered top of cart with tarp, and BOOM, I was ready to continue! My fire-fighter friends would be proud. If this would have been 5-alarm fire, I would have been the first one in the truck waiting for everybody else.

Off the beaten path, I pushed through small country roads for the next couple of hours. The rain stopped for a bit the clouds lifted. I knew this was just more taunting by mother-nature, as the weather service said their was a 100% chance of rain tonight. Not knowing if I would find a good place to stay, I began my search. I stopped early at a church that had a covered outdoor picnic (flea-market) area. Nobody seemed to mind my presence and I began to set up camp at sunset. With the tent quickly up, I actually took time to read a little of 1 of 2 books I have with me on the trip. So far, I have been so busy writing my own story, that reading about others seemed to take away from the experience. It was a nice change.

As with most of the South, this area was full of small Baptist churches in the area. The difference was that every church had a cemetary next to it. I must have passed at least 10 small cemetaries over the last 10 miles. All of them were filled with beautiful flowers as evidence of the locals honoring their deceased family members. It was quite beautiful to say the least.

Sleeping on the concrete pad, I assumed tonight would be devoid of the bugs and critters I normally see. Exact opposite! Centipedes, Millipedes, Ants, Bees, Roaches (or something) and more Ants were aplenty. The ants were merciless! Out of all the bugs, you KNEW when they were crawling on you. I hermetically sealed my tent and figured I would watch everything climbing on my tent for the night. Nope, those damn ants founds an entry point and were my buddies for the night. I wonder how many of those little suckers I swallowed last night while sleeping with my mouth open?

Do you remember the annoying bird from my first night? Well, I have found a bird that tops that one-song wonder. Again, this bird only knew a single tune and made sure to sing it all friggin night. This time, I recorded it. When I can transfer the recording to my PC, I will post it for your pleasure.

Message to Jett: Hey Jett, the super secret sniper socks you gave me worked great! I shall pick up another pair like them or until then, wear them repeatedly. Thank you!!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Blake & Ricki Dowen on May 19, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    We love you stories Jack.
    Keep up the good work and be safe.


  2. Posted by j hibbard on September 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    great tales of the open georgia road over which sherman and his many thousand troops marched. making ruin. glad everyone is over that. let’s here it for the bird audio! when do we get to hear it??


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