Stateside Road Trip travel blog

Yep, cowboys in Florida

Peewee cheer

My friend Art suggested the museum of Western Art in Cartersville, and indeed it was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours to start the day. Remington originals, a Civil War room, and a decent tuna sandwich were key.

I had intended to avoid Atlanta all together, but as it was a Saturday I thought traffic couldn't be that bad.

I soon found myself traveling about a mile in 90 minutes as four lanes of traffic were obliged to exit all at once due to an accident that blocked a bridge. Thank God NPR's "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" was on.

Once off the highway, I tried to obey my Google Maps. Told to chuck a u-ie, I found myself in an all east Indian shopping mall - dhal to wedding dresses for Hindi brides, it was all there.

I decided to really go around Atlanta and head toward the coast. I pulled into a Stone Mountain gas station to reset the GPS map. Three units of Stone Mountain police were already there, cuffing a perp. Inside, the clerk was nonplussed

Just your typical Stone Mountain gas station.

Back under way, the female voice of my Google map app suddenly got muffled. I felt around for my phone. Not under Jacques, not on the floor, not in my snack bag. After several miles of muffled direction, my intuition started working, and I fished the phone out of my bag of sweet pork jerkey. I took a brief stop in Monticello to wash off the oil and sugar. No harm done.

In Macon I took note of the fact that time melts away on back roads. I got on the Interstate and within 20 minutes or so hit a traffic jam. It seems half of Atlanta had decided to go to the state fair and were in the act of exiting. It was easily the longest exit lineup I have seen.

Southbound, I noticed 1) wind damaged signs and buildings, 2) the fact that I have never seen so much speeding and tailgating, and 3) it's getting dark.

I stopped at a rest area to use good old I have never seen so many "no properties available" results. It seems the hurricane victims had booked everything in the area.

I pondered while I drove. Sleep in a rest area? Too uncomfortable. Camp at a KOA? Possible alligators. This is Florida.

I tried again a bit later while dining at Steak and Shake and found a room in nearby Lake City.

Twenty or so minutes of hellish Interstate speed and tailgating later, I arrived at the motel to be informed they had been overbooked by, yes, online booking sysyems including I had no room. No sense chucking a spaz, so I sat in the lobby and searched, yes, for a room a bit further down the road.

Another forty or so minutes of hellish Interstate speed and tailgating later, I was handed the key to a room in Gainesville's Gator Land Inn.

Tomorrow is another day.

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