Day 20: Somewhere, Georgia to Tallassee, Tennessee

Once I roused myself from bed with Sprocket we continued down the road towards Atlanta. We really didn’t stop in Georgia but instead cruised through nowhere towns like Suches and Morganton before crossing into Tennessee. Once in Tennessee we kept crusing north.

F’s friend Rick called and asked us to pick up some Corona on the way to his house. This seemed like an easy enough task and we readily agreed. The first store we went to told us we were in a dry county. The second store said they could sell beer but not on Sunday. The third store told us they could sell beer on Sunday but they chose not to sell it at all. At our final stop, we found a place where we bought some Corona and a beer called 420 by Sweetwater Brewing out of Atlanta.

At Rick and Roxanne’s house Rick gave us the grand tour of the property and got us settled in the cabin up on the hill. After our showers we returned to the main house to have dinner with Rick and Roxanne, their neighbor Alex, and their friend Rocket. Roxanne made some fabulous Mexican food! Then after dinner we headed back up to the cabin. A pretty good thunderstorm rolled in and we sat on the porch and watched. It was beautiful!

Preliminary Schedule

**I initially called this “Rough schedule” but that seemed to imply that there was something “hard” about this and by no means is that the case.

We put together a rough schedule today of our plans for the trip. Everything is pretty amorphous and there’s some (but not much) wiggle room.

As of now, we’re planning on hitting the open road on April 14th following a walk through with our landlord. We’ll spend that night somewhere in Northeastern Oregon (I’m kind of hoping for a Barley Brown’s visit in Baker City) or Idaho before shooting into Moab the next day.

Rough outline:
Moab: April 15
Carlsbad: April 18
New Orleans (Meg): April 25
Tampa Bay (Frank & Carol): April 28-29
Key West: May 2
Pittsburgh area (Larry and Kim): May 15th
Bates: (probably) May 19th
Grand Isle, Vermont (Lee and Jim): May 20
Shoreham, Vermont (Katie and Colin): May 21

Anxiously awaiting departure…

Things are still progressing here in Philomath. Forrest spent most of yesterday working on the Cherokee and checked a few more items from the list. (I must say, my jeep has been getting five star restorative services in preparation for the trip.)

For my part, I’m trying to clear out the house. I’m working on selling various small things we don’t really need on Craigslist but more importantly trying to sell off some of the items Forrest carted home from the HP auction so we don’t have to cart them around. The house is well on the way to being packed up–the maps came down yesterday and the walls look sooo empty!

I also finished Blue Highways last night. I was continually struck by how many places I’ve already overlapped with Least-Heat Moon’s travels. His route in the Sierra’s almost exactly followed where Forrest and I were last August, traveling through Quincy up to Lassen National Park then following California Route 89 along Hat Creek (he was brave enough to jump into it’s gorgeous but frigid waters…I chickened out). He also visited Crater Lake, where we visited just last fall. His next stop was actually Corvallis where he used US 20 to travel out to the coast, mentioning Philomath and Burnt Woods before arriving in Newport and traveling 101 north to Depot Bay and Seaside.

His travels continued on US 30 passing through Astoria on the way to St. Helens which reminded me of my trip to Long Beach with Maryanne and Katie ages ago–the trip where the drunken Asian trophy wife worried about us, where we were all horrendously sunburned by the unexpected June sun, where we told the park ranger we were all 17 to get a discount a museum, where the Blazer seat broke, where we were completely soaked but decided to go home via Astoria anyway. He headed out WA 14 along the Columbia sparking memories of Forrest and I getting a private tour of Bonneville Dam and searching out a hot springs (which turned out to be flooded). Finally, his discussions of New England, particularly Woodstock, Vermont and Kennebunkport, Maine also delighted me. I’d been to both towns and cannot wait to return to my old stomping grounds for a bit.

It was the places he mentioned that I haven’t been to yet but will be arriving in soon that delighted me most though–hearing about Cajun Country: Breaux Bridge, St. Martinville, Opelousas, New Iberia, Abbeville; reading about his drives through Appalachia; and generally savoring the excitement of starting out on a new adventure to new places!

Just 11 more days!!!

Countdown is on!

I successfully defended my masters project on Thursday so now it is all systems go for our trip! I am so excited to be hitting the road “with my boys.” We’re working on getting the house and garage packed up–I think we’ve packed as much as we’ll be able to for awhile now. Hopefully we’ll start seriously checking off some items from our pre-trip to-do list this week! In the meantime, I’m re-reading Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon and imagining our trip as a less moody version of his trek in Ghost Dancing.

Just 17 more days!