The Long Drive

The Long Drive

I honestly love road trips as I love to see new things and love being behind the wheel. To me, getting there is half the adventure whereas oftentimes this is not the same with others. My wife is more of a “lets just get there” type of person. I on the other hand like to stop often and see things, and she obliges me because we go well together. I like to try local cuisines and visit restaurants we don’t have back home, especially barbecue pits. I also want to stop at stores that I like, even if they are of the same chain, just because I want to see the variation in them. I will typically skip the roadside attractions like the “free juice and pet the baby gator” places,  but I will visit a historic site that interests me if feasible.

We’ve made the haul from Northern Kentucky to Tampa Florida a few times now, and we’re at the point where we have favorite landmarks. It’s interesting, the little places that stick with you. People’s houses, businesses and factories, weird billboards (why is Jesus leading troops into battle again?) and quirky gas stations especially. This time around I didn’t straight shoot the trip back, opting to hotel it in Ringold again. This allowed me to see the stretch between Chattanooga and Knoxville in daylight. This was a great idea honestly as it made both Saturday and Sunday more relaxed. In the past, I’ve dropped the family off at the airport and drove back alone. That was good for the kids, but not for me so much as my back typically gave out 3/4 of the way home. Although it hurt at times, I was able to find a way to get comfortable and get through it.

Overall this is an interesting drive both ways with lots of history . Driving on I-75 you will see Georgian Appalachia. Most people think of Georgia as very flat but the northern part is fairly mountainous and remains hilly until you get through Atlanta. This is also the home of the once very powerful American carpet manufacturing sector, although it’s been greatly diminished by global competition. Once you’re past Atlanta you’re in Georgia’s massive southern agricultural region with it’s pecan and peanut farms. In northern Florida you’ll be in “Cracker Country”, a term to describe the ranchers that inhabit the beef producing region here. Of course there is the haunting specter of slavery and the Civil War throughout, as well as the indigenous peoples who were mistreated. It’s a beautiful region filled with a dark history.

Although we didn’t stop at a barbecue place because the timing wasn’t right with the kid’s appetites (when they are hungry the want food NOW), I did get to stop at Bass Pro Shops in both Gainesville (on the way down) and Macon (on the way back). Both are cool stores, although I didn’t get to shop much. Having kids in a BPS is a pain the butt. They are constantly running around, tugging on you, pulling things off of shelves, disappearing behind racks of clothes, so you don’t get to see much. I did get a cool hat and Teddy some fishing stuff. I also got some new sun shirts for fishing as well that will come in handy.

If this is the last time we make it through here it will be a memorable one though. I am glad we got to do it as a family.

 

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Bass Pro Shops Gainesville
Bass Pro Shops Gainesville
Bass Pro Shops In Macon Georgia
Bass Pro Shops In Macon Georgia
Bass Pro Shops In Macon Georgia
Bass Pro Shops In Macon Georgia
Bass Pro Shops In Macon Georgia
Bass Pro Shops In Macon Georgia
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