Monday, June 1, 2015
Chapter 3 - Savannah to Stone Mountain to Nashville
Our drive to Stone Mountain from Savannah was uneventful and took us just over five hours but here again the traffic seemed to be unusually heavy. Who knows, perhaps it just seems that way as I am getting older and definitely not accustomed to driving a car that feels like it is dragging an elephant. Our RV spot at Stone Mountain Park was reserved in advance so that there was no need for us to rush although human nature is such that we were always in a hurry to end the stress of driving. Once we arrived however, we quickly realized that it was a good thing that we had made reservations as there was a fifteen minute wait just to get through the main gate into the park where they were happy to collect from us a $15 entry fee. This fee was somewhat unexpected but upon entering the park we understood the need for the access fee. Stone Mountain Park was huge, immaculate, full of activities, and it was beautifully landscaped and obviously well maintained. In addition to the camping park, there was a 36-hole golf course, a hotel, amusement rides, restaurants, hiking trails, a scenic railroad train, and a cable car ride to the top of a huge stone mountain that rises 825 feet above the surrounding area. On the side of the rock mountain was a huge carving of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis. If one had to rough it at a campground, this was sure the place to do it.
It was natural for us to assume that a Sunday drive on the Interstate would mean fewer cars and fewer 18-wheelers on the road. We were right on this assumption - there were around 10% fewer vehicles which was hardly a noticeable difference. Still crowded. There were also two separate accidents on the road to Nashville although each accident delayed us only around 10 minutes or so each. The first accident involved an overturned truck that was hauling tomatoes. The delay was caused almost entirely by slow moving rubber-neckers who were staring at the tomatoes that were scattered all over the side of the road. The second accident involved a burning car also off the road and here again every car had slowed down to gawk and watch the action. After all, how many of us have seen tomatoes everywhere and a flaming car all within an hour. The drive through the mountains south of Nashville was beautiful much like the view we remembered from our Blue Ridge Georgia home. Eventually we arrived in the country music capital of the south, Nashville, and thanks to our Garmin we easily located our new home at the Two Rivers Campground located about two miles north of Gaylord Opryland Resort ("Home of American Music") and Opry Mills, Tennessee's largest mall. We immediately promised our dog Cabo not to worry. We would not be visiting either location and leaving him at home alone. Kathy and I had visited Nashville in the past as I had supervised the construction of a large apartment complex here in the city around 15 years earlier and we had visited most of the major tourist attractions and we doubted that much had changed. The above photo shows our travel home parked at its latest location. Our plan is to spend three relaxing days and nights in Nashville which will afford us some extra time to restock our supplies and do the laundry. More about our Nashville visit to follow in our next chapter.