Category Archives: Georgia

Gordonia State Park, Georgia

Gordonia State Park was hard to find due to poor signage.  We almost missed it.  There was a separate entrance that we happened on while heading to Walmart.  We followed the GPS even though the sign on the road said “Dead End.”  It wasn’t a Dead End.  Go figure.

It has a lot to offer; golf course, splash pad, lake, canoe rental.  The sites were clean although oddly set up.  Gnats were absolutely relentless, so be aware you might decide to stay in your camper.

The office was at the golf course club house, however that too was not clearly marked.  We had to guess (although correctly) that was where we were to sign in.  And there was no RV turn around.  It was very difficult on Captain Jim to have to flip flop the camper and avoid golf carts.  So if, dear readers, you choose to go here please note that it’s a kinda hunt and peck situation.

Lil Man probably would say that the splash pad was the best part of the park.  I got some terrific shots there.  We didn’t stay long though, because it wasn’t very parent friendly.  There were lots of kids, but only so many hot, metal benches for parents to sit on and not efficient shading.

All in all, probably wouldn’t go back to camp there, however, I could see where it’s a good day park to visit.

No coffee in the house

Saturday,  June 3rd,  2017

After an uneventful, quiet night at Laura S Walker State Park we are once again on the road. Having no coffee “in the house” causes one to pack quickly and efficiently. The gas problem was solved five miles down the road in a teeny tiny town called Hoboken. I kid you not! We filled up tanks, coffee and gas and continued our travels down Highway 121. Some travelers would not be content to take these country highways, but I truly am. Lately, I have suffered terrible traffic anxiety, seeing an accident in every turn. Taking these meandering byways are peaceful and truly beautiful. It allows you to see a side of life one cannot see on major highways. Little to no traffic makes it stress free for both myself and Captain Jim. My only regret is I can’t stop at every rustic barn, quiet town and cute cow to take a picture. Destination Gordonia State Park.

The people are home but no lights are on

Friday June 2nd, 180 miles into the trip.

How can a whole town be without electricity? We stopped for lunch along Highway 121, Brandy Branch Road AKA Brady Brunch Road, according to Captain Jim. It was a quaint, meaning tiny, little gas station. We pulled in and decided to have some lunch and a much-needed bathroom break. It was pouring rain and as we sat in our home away from home we decided we could push it a little further down the road for a bigger gas station. The town of Folkston was only about fifteen miles down the road. What a nightmare! Our targeted gas station was closed and construction was blocking the entrance to further gas stations. “No problem”, says Captain Jim, “I can get us in there.”  Well here (Flash Foods) was down for the count as the electricity was out and so was the next place, the next and the next. As we drove through this god-forsaken town of Folkston Georgia, it was becoming apparent electricity was not to be had anywhere. Our first nights destination, Laura S Walker State Park, being only about 30 miles down the road, we will traverse on and hope to find gas along the way.

Here we go again

Friday 6/2/2017 

Away on another adventure exploring the unknown and revisiting some known. The traveling Willoughby’s leave the misty, overcast humidity of Florida and head for Roan Mountain, Tennessee. Days of last-minute appointments, end-of-year school prep, airport excursions, family visits and of course, packing, has left us subdued, but most definitely ready for the peace and quiet of the mountains. Follow us as we once again travel, play, photograph and explore.

Riding the Silver Comet Trail – Georgia

Spring Break

 Teachers everywhere live for the time when they can pack the books away and take a break from the rigors of preparing for state mandated assessments.  At least this is true for  two teachers I know of, myself and Jim.  We were just discussing what the “So, what did YOU do over the break?” feedback will be when we return to school tomorrow. (Yes break is over!)  Will most say they  painted the house, did spring cleaning, planted the garden?  NOT US !  No we Rode the Silver Comet!

Silver Comet Trail

http://www.silvercometga.com/

The Silver Comet Trail is 13 miles northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. It meanders through three counties:  Cobb, Paulding, and Polk. The Silver Comet Trail is over 61 miles long of paved rail-trail perfect for walkers, rollerbladers, bicyclists and even recumbant riders like Jim, Kaelin and I.   However, surprisingly, we only saw 2 other recumbent riders.

Although the trail starts in Smyrna, Georgia that’s where we ended our trip. It ends at the Georgia/Alabama state line, but we did not make it that far over.   We went as far as Rockmart, Georgia.  We started in the middle and went west on the first day and east on the second day.  We plan on going back and starting at the Alabama border and heading east from there.  Cedartown looks like fun.

The Silver Comet Trail was built over an abandoned rail line in northwest Georgia.  The rail line used to carry passengers and freight throughout the south and southeastern United States.  The trail was named after the Silver Comet passenger train.  Just like the travelers of yore we found the rail-trail a very scenic route.  It cuts through small quaint towns such as Rockmart and Powder SpringsCedartown was near the Alabama state line and we did not get over that way, but understand that it is a neat stop on the trail.  Bigger cities that offered more conveniences were Dallas, Hiram and Smyrna.  But the best views were hills, rocks (shale and some granite), forests and open farmlands.

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Getting There

We live in Central Florida and traveled to see Jim’s daughter, Alex, at Flagler College in St. Augustine.  We spent the night there and then the following day.  First of all, as our luck would have it, it was right in the middle of St. Patrick’s day celebrations and festivals.  Traffic!  Oh my goodness; it was a nightmare.  And hotel?  Everyone was booked.  After several tries and being told everyone in town was booked we stopped at the Knight’s Inn and they had a room.  Jim went in to look at it first and came out shaking his head.  He said it was disgusting and that they wanted $140 but the manager said he’d knock off $20.  Jim said we’d be better off sleeping in the truck.  Using the GPS on my phone I called the first place on the list, Country Inn and Suites.  Luck had changed.  They had just recieved a cancellation and we got a room.  It cost all together $160, but it was worth it after the first alternative.  Very nice hotel and staff.  Kudos to you guys.

We had a lovely time with Alex and her friend Rachel, exploring parts of the town, visiting the beautiful playground near the downtown visitor’s parking garage and checking out St. George Street shops.  And then it was on to our main destination.  Most of our trip is on I75, a long trip, and with me and a 3 year old, lots of stops.  However, uneventful until we decided to try the GPS to get us to Rockmart.  We ended up winding our way around and through some town, (River… something, I think) on I85.  Very frustrating!  But we prevailed and ended up in Rockmart, a quaint town with a downtown area that looks like it stepped out of the past.  Their chamber of commerce was very helpful in pointing us in the right direction – The Rock Campground.  After walking around the downtown area and seeing our first glimpse of the Silver Comet Trail, we headed to The Rock.

The Rock Campground

The Rock Campground is really the only campground on the Silver Comet Trail.  It was a pretty campground.  However, we were very frustrated when we arrived as there was no office to speak of.  No one greeted us.  We called the number on the “office” (a tiny outhouse looking building.  No one answered.  As there were not any other camping choices near Jim decided to drive through.  It was basically deserted.  Of course it was in the middle of the week, but at least someone being there or answering the phone would have been helpful.  Jim did finally get someone on the phone, a man on a tracter on the property.  He curtly told Jim it would be $10 to camp and to put his money in an envelope in the “outhouse office.”  This was rather disconcernting but we did it anyway.  No one told us where to set up camp.  There was a brief paper, attached to a clipboard, outlining basic rules for camping but it stqated nothing about where to go.  So…. we found a spot in the field side of the campground and set up.  There were a few RV’s on a hill above us and around the corner but we really saw noone until the end of our visit.

The park did have water hook-ups, electrical hook-ups (which we didn’t need), very nice clean picnic tables, front porch type swing, clean bathrooms (very close too!), and 2 private showers with very hot water.  We were glad we chose the spot we did for camping as at night the entrance side of the camp was well lit up.  It wasn’t so bad on the side we were at.  We also built a nice fire both nights, drank some beer and chatted for hours.  Very nice.  Kaelin, of course, seems to sleep like a log when we camp.

Overall the camping was okay.  We realized that we might be getting too old for some of our ideas.  We were difinitely glad that we brought the truck instead of trying to bike camp.  (We did do that once before at Fanning Springs, Florida.)  I like the camping, but Jim is not crazy about setting up and breaking down.  Not sure if we will try it again.  If we do we do know we will bring the truck.  Now the riding however, was fantastical!  And that I’m going to save for a separate entry.