A famous Scot wrote a long time ago that "the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry," and how true--time after time--his words prove to be.
In my last post I wrote of our plans to set out on our February "get-away" to points south: Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, and Waynesville, North Carolina. And we hoped to be on the road and out of the treacherous winter weather by late Tuesday evening and drive through to Stone Mountain and spend a couple of days in and around the Atlanta area.
However, as seems to be the case this winter, whenever any plans are made, some major winter storm will set in on said date when those plans are to begin! Thus, our leaving was postponed until late morning on Wednesday, after first having to fire up the snow thrower so we could get out of the driveway.
Though not completely cleared of snow and dangerous ice patches, the interstate highways in northern Illinois were not too bad, but the farther south we went, the worse they became. Very tense driving was the rule for most of the day and early evening, until we decided to stop in Paducah, Kentucky, and revel in the joy of having survived the long, icy, snow packed haul.
Although there was far less snow piled all about than what we're used to at home, there was plenty of cold and ice on the side roads and the hotel parking lot. But things were beginning to look up as the forecast was for no snow and I-24 to Nashville and Chattanooga was going to be dry and bare in the morning. Yea! I could actually drive the speed limit unlike our first day's adventure. And so we were up and out and on I-24 by 7:30 this morning and enjoyed the drive on a mostly cloudy day and arrived at Stone Mountain right before 3 p.m.
I've often wondered where all of the people driving in and around Atlanta come from as there always seems to be millions of them going here and there and very fast. I'm used to Chicago driving, but I'm familiar with the lay of the land so can pretty much deal with it. Being in uncharted and unfamiliar territory today, though, in the midst of motorists in a mad hurry, we found it just a bit over the top.
In spite of the traffic, we found our hotel and checked in without any problem and soon we paid a short visit to nearby Stone Mountain Park and viewed the famous Confederate Memorial Carving on the side of the mountain. Over the years I had heard mention of this but never had the opportunity to see it up close and personal, live and in color!
The museum and Memorial Hall provided some interesting information and background. We enjoyed seeing a couple of well-produced movies about the carving and the Civil War in Georgia.
Of course, Carolyn managed to squeeze in a quick visit to a gift shop just as it was about to close, and managed to purchase a coffee mug, a couple of post cards, and a Stone Mountain Christmas ornament. Uncanny, that woman!
So it's onto the Margaret Mitchell House in downtown Atlanta in the morning. I'm already steeling my nerves to deal with the morning hum and buzz of traffic and trying to navigate more uncharted waters. It's not surprising that Mitchell, the author of Gone With the Wind, died by being hit by a speeding automobile on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta in 1949!
Assuming we survive the fun and games of Atlanta traffic, we'll be on our way to the A.H. Stephens State Park in the afternoon, where we'll spend two days browsing about and learning what there is to be learned.
My wife is very excited to gather as much information as she can on Alexander Stephens, a second-cousin twice removed and vice-president of the Confederacy. I, of course, plan to find some interesting tidbits to share in my next update. Since we're staying in a cottage on the park grounds, it should be very unique and fun.
At this writing, I'm pretty confident that we won't have to do any snow blowing or shoveling to maintain our planned itinerary. But then again, this winter really shouldn't be underestimated and really shouldn't be trusted!…MLA
- Stone Mountain Park !! (acmisra.wordpress.com)
- Fun in the Snow at Stone Mountain Park, GA (orlandomommyblog.wordpress.com)
- Behind the scenes at Stone Mt. Park's Snow Mountain (VIDEO) (bizjournals.com)