On Saturdays in the fall when the Georgia Bulldogs have a home game, all roads leading to Athens are lined with vehicles flying their Georgia flags and the entire campus is filled with red Georgia tents and fans dressed in red and black.
We have had season tickets to Georgia’s home games since 1980 and our fall weekends revolve around home football games. This past weekend was the SEC showdown between UGA and visiting University of Missouri. We usually stay in a town about 50 miles from campus but we decided to take the fifth wheel closer to Athens for this game. Last year we discovered Pine Lake campground in Bishop, about 15 miles from the UGA campus. With spacious wooded campsites, a lake, and even a small waterfall it is a well run private RV park that feels more like a state park.
The SEC Nation pregame TV show was broadcasting live that morning just behind our tailgate area. Crews were in the process of breaking down the set when we arrived. Several semi tractor trailers were still there but we just missed seeing Tim Tebow, Paul Finebaum and the other announcers. It’s amazing how much equipment is required for these broadcasts.
After a fun afternoon visiting with friends, eating delicious food, and enjoying an adult beverage or two, we headed to the stadium for a 7:30 kickoff. It was a great night for the Georgia Bulldogs as the Dawgs won and went on to become the number 3 ranked team in the country. Go Dawgs!
The campground in F. D. Roosevelt State Park was a great home base to explore nearby Warm Springs, Georgia.
Franklin D. Roosevelt served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 until 1945. He died at his home in Warm Springs, Georgia on April 12, 1945 after suffering a stroke while posing for a portrait.
FDR was born in New York and was diagnosed with polio in 1921. In 1924 he made his first visit to Warm Springs to receive physical therapy in the warm waters of the springs (88 degrees year round). He returned many times to Warm Springs to receive therapy and although it did help it did not cure his disease. The pools are no longer used for therapy. They are now part of a museum with displays about their history and how they were used to help polio patients.
He loved coming to Warm Springs and built a home overlooking the mountains just a short distance from the pools. A tour of The Little White House begins in the museum with many artifacts and interesting displays telling about the time he spent in Georgia.
The Little White House was even smaller than I imagined. It had a tiny kitchen, living room, dining room, one bathroom and two small bedrooms. The best part of the home was the veranda overlooking the mountains. I was so busy enjoying the view I forgot to take a picture!
Around the house were Sentry Posts for Secret Service and Marines. Servants quarters and a guest house were also on the property. Everything in his home has been restored and everything is original to the house.
One of his favorite spots to get away was Dowdell’s Knob. He even had a barbeque pit built there that is still on the property. There is bronze statue of him on a bench looking out at the view.
Our latest wandering took us on a short trip that was full of excitement. Our first stop was F. D. Roosevelt State Park, Georgia’s largest state park, in Pine Mountain. It was the perfect place for us to use as home base for exploring both Callaway Gardens and F.D.R.’s Little White House in Warm Springs.
After driving in the rain on the winding road through the park we arrived at the Visitor’s Center to check in just after a tornado warning had been lifted. Everything was fine in the campground and we set up camp just before another rain shower began.
“Connecting man and nature in a way that benefits both.” – Callaway Gardens Mission
With the sun shining the next morning we drove about 15 minutes from our campsite to Callaway Gardens. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Callaway Gardens opened in 1952. Today, there are many different gardens to explore, a lodge, golf course, swimming beach, and even a zip-line adventure.
Our tour of the gardens began with a stop at the Pioneer Log Cabin. From there we strolled along the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Trail with many Georgia native plants. The Flowering Dogwoods and many other wildflowers displayed their brilliant spring colors.
Next we walked on the trails to the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center for a look at some tropical butterflies. Butterflies of all sizes, shapes and colors fed on the colorful blossoms and sailed by our heads as they flew from flower to flower.
We learned about some of Georgia’s birds of prey at the Discovery Center. As our guide gave a very informative presentation, two different species of owl and a red tailed hawk flew over our heads during the program.
We must have just missed the Azaleas at their peak because most of the Azaleas on the Overlook Azalea trail had finished blooming. The Flowering Dogwoods and other trees added color to the landscape.
Our visit to Callaway Gardens included only a few of the many gardens there. It is a wonderful family destination and bicycles are a popular way to get around the park. There are several restaurants to choose from or you can have a picnic in one of the picnic areas.
“We have more fun than anyone.” – Sisters on the Fly® motto
Some members of Sisters on the Fly® recently gathered together at River’s End Campground on Tybee Island, GA. A quote from their website says:
“ “Sisters on the Fly®” is the largest outdoor women’s group in the United States with currently over 8,100 “Sisters.” This membership-based community supports women in their journey to get up, get out and become more adventurous!”
When they visited River’s End campground they opened up their campers for a tour. I had too much fun looking at all the unique trailers and talking to some of the “Sisters”. They shared their stories, answered questions, and everyone laughed a lot.
They came from as far away as Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Many were dressed to match the theme of their trailer and some were decked out in Mardi Gras colors to march in the Tybee Mardi Gras Parade later that afternoon.
When the “Sisters” have an event, the husbands and kids stay home. If someone has trouble backing up their trailer, another Sister is always there to take over and do the backing for them. One member said you can laugh away 10 pounds at one of their events.
The “Sisters” often travel in caravans and stop to help each other out if there are any problems. If you ever see any of these campers in a campground, be sure to stop and say hello. I guarantee you will have fun.
Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!
I will be featuring the states alphabetically and the next state is my home state!
Georgia was one of the original 13 colonies and became the 4th state on January 2, 1788. The capital is Atlanta where the capital dome is covered in gold leaf from the Georgia Gold Rush in Dahlonega during the 1830’s.
I was born in Georgia but did not grow up here. When I was a child, our summer vacations were spent visiting relatives in middle Georgia where my mother grew up. I first moved to Georgia as a freshman at the University of Georgia in Athens and I’ve lived in the state ever since. Even when we are wandering I always have Georgia on my mind.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to do our state justice. How I condense a lifetime of memories into one post?
With the city of Atlanta, the north Georgia mountains, National Wildlife Refuges and National Forests, The Okefenokee Swamp, peach and pecan groves, cotton fields, lakes and streams, the Grand Canyon of Georgia, Athens the Classic City, Stone Mountain, antebellum homes, historical lighthouses, salt marshes, barrier islands, beautiful beaches, friendly small towns, and many historic sites Georgia has much to offer. And did I mention the delicious sweet tea, barbeque, grits, fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, low country boil, fresh wild Georgia shrimp and blue crabs, peach cobbler, banana pudding, and all the other amazing food around the state?
Unfortunately I am missing photos from many places around the state. No matter where you go there are interesting things to see and do in the Peach State.
Georgia is the Peach State and Peach County produces many of those peaches. There is nothing in the world that’s better than a fresh Georgia peach plucked right from the tree when it is perfectly ripe in the summer time. You know it’s perfect when you bite into it and the nectar drips down your chin and all over your hands. And fresh peach cobbler is a staple around our house when the peaches are in season.
In Georgia, you can watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean or watch the sunset over one of the Georgia’s many lakes.
Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean
Sunset over Lake Seminole at Eastbank Campground
Nothing says springtime in Georgia like azaleas, peach blossoms, and flowering dogwoods.
Peach Blossoms in Georgia
Georgia Azaleas under Live Oak Tree
With ancient live oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss, squares, a beautiful historic district, museums, historic forts, and one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States, Savannah is a popular vacation destination.
Forsyth Park Fountain in Savannah, Georgia
Steam Engine at the Georgia Railroad Museum
Ft. Puaski National Monument is a landmark visible from the highway as you travel east from Savannah to Tybee Island, GA
Historic stone steps leading to River Street
Three lighthouses protecting the Georgia Coast are accessible to the public. The Tybee Island Light Station is the tallest lighthouse in Georgia.
A trail at Fort Pulaski National Monument winds through palmettos for a close up view of the Cockspur Island Lighthouse.
The St. Simons Island Lighthouse was rebuilt after it was destroyed by the Union Army during the War between the States.
Joel Chandler Harris, Alice Walker, and Flannery O’Connor are just a few of the writers from Georgia. The Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton celebrates the creator of Brer Rabbit, Joel Chandler Harris.
Georgia also has a close connection with the film industry. Many movies and tv shows have been filmed in Georgia. Oliver Hardy was one of the stars who was born in Georgia.
You know your shrimp is fresh when you see the shrimp boats that caught them.
Atlanta is the capital and the home to companies such as Coca Cola, UPS and Delta Airlines. Atlanta also hosted the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996.
The birds and other wildlife are abundant all over the state.
Great Egret with chicks
Wood Storks building a nest
Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin near Tybee Island, Georgia
Turtle in the Okefenokee Swamp
Baby Gator on Lilly Pad
Butterflies and Blooms Tiger Swallowtail
White Tail Deer
The Iron Horse was originally placed on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens and later moved to the middle of a field near Greensboro.
We Georgians love our sports teams! When we travel in our fifth wheel, there is no doubt which college team we support! How bout them Dawgs!
As I put the finishing touches on this post the Atlanta Falcons are preparing to take on the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in Houston. Go Falcons!