Wandering Dawgs 2017 Year in Review

This year was a little different for the Wandering Dawgs. Instead of traveling to far away places, we had many memorable adventures by staying close to home in 2017.

Our RV travel started with a short spring trip to Pine Mountain, Georgia to tour nearby Callaway Gardens and F. D. Roosevelt’s Little White House .

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
FDR's Little White House in Warm Springs, GA
FDR’s Little White House in Warm Springs, GA

From Pine Mountain we continued on to Alabama to attend an air show at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. All of the performances were exciting but the stars of the show were the United States Air Force Thunderbirds.

U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds at Maxwell Air Show
U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds at Maxwell Air Show
U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds at Maxwell Air Show
U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds at Maxwell Air Show

Seeing the Thunderbirds was so much fun we made a day trip to the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina to see the United States Blue Angels perform.

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Our final RV trip of the year was a fall getaway to north Georgia to see Mountains, waterfalls, and Tallulah Gorge .

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Dry Falls near Highlands, NC in the Nantahala National Forest
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Suspension Bridge over Tallulah Gorge Hurricane Falls

Visiting New York City with my daughter was one of the highlights of my year.

Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty

Just like we’ve been doing every fall since the 1970’s we made several trips to Athens to attend University of Georgia’s home games.

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The teams take the field for pregame practice before a night game in Sanford Stadium

And when we were home we when for boat rides and walked on the beach whenever we could.

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Small island in the Georgia salt marsh
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Early morning at the beach

My Wandering Around America One State at a Time blog project was really fun to do. As I worked on the post for each state I loved going through old photographs and reading my hand written trip journals. With each state I was flooded with many fond memories of places we had been and the wonderful people we met.

Where do you think we will wander next year? Stay tuned…

Spring at Callaway Gardens

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.

Pioneer Log Cabin at Callaway Gardens
Pioneer Log Cabin at Callaway Gardens
Flowering Dogwood on Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail
Flowering Dogwood on Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Azalea at Callaway Gardens
Azalea at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens

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.

Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens
Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens
Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens
Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens
Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens
Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens

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.

Juniper the Great Horned Owl at Birds of Prey program
Juniper the Great Horned Owl at Birds of Prey program
Barred Owl Birds of Prey demonstration at Callaway Gardens
Willow the Barred Owl Birds of Prey demonstration at Callaway Gardens
Red Tailed Hawk Callaway Gardens Birds of Prey Show
Red Tailed Hawk Callaway Gardens Birds of Prey Show

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.

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Callaway Gardens Azalea Trail
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Flowering Dogwoods were in bloom at Callaway Gardens
Eastern Redbud Callaway Gardens
Eastern Redbud at Callaway Gardens
Callaway Gardens Overlook Azalea Trail
Callaway Gardens Overlook Azalea Trail

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.