March 27 – Stone Mountain, Georgia


Four hour drive from Columbia to Stone Mountain – I can reassure you that Georgia roads are in much better condition than South Carolina roads. Nothing to tell about the trip. We did go thru Augusta and I thought of all the golfers I know who will be drooling next week as they watch the Masters at Augusta.

Arrived at Stone Mountain Family Campground about 3 PM. We did have some rain along the way. Very nice campground with paved roads and paved RV parking sites. First site we went to was too steep and we couldn’t get the coach level, so we requested a new site and found one fairly level.

Relaxed the rest of the evening.

Tuesday we went exploring around the park with the dogs. We like to just “take a look” and see what the neighborhood looks like. Stone Mountain Park is a state park that has many activities; some rides, historic district, laser show, museums, train rides, water activities and other stuff. I believe a daily pass is $32. We didn’t take advantage of the pass but are just looking.

Stone Mountain is the world’s largest exposed granite monadnock (mountain rising abruptly from a virtual level plain).IMG_3064

We found a covered bridge with a trail and walked the dogs onto the island. Lots of people hiking the trails.

Also found a historic grist meal, which was operating.

Stopped at the Memorial Hall and walked to the mountain to see the carvings of Lee, Jackson and Davis from the Confederate side in the Civil war – oh if I didn’t mention it the theme to this area is the Civil War and the Confederation.DSC_0072

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Carvings on the side of Stone Mountain were quite impressive.  The carved area is 3 acres.

Stone Mountain was important during the Civil War as the Union soldiers met stiff resistance here from the Confederates as Sherman began his march to the sea. But eventually the Feds did tear up train tracks and cut off the Confederate supply line.

Returned home for lunch.

After a rest Brenda and I ventured out to “walk up” the trail to the top of Stone Mountain. It was quite the climb as we went up 800 feet in one mile. The trail was all exposed granite rock and was not smooth, lots of stepping over rocks. We both made it to the top and even got a certificate acknowledging that.

They do a Sky Ride to the top but we skipped the easy way to the top.

Now to rest with a cold one.

Wednesday woke up to a reasonably warm day, humidity is high, but that won’t stop us. Off on the bike I went and made it around the entire park – a circular drive around the Stone Mountain. Not sure how many miles – odometer went bust – but I did ride for an hour which was good considering it has been 3 weeks since I last rode and the hills here are up and down – which they typically do and some were a good grade up – I don’t mind the downhill runs.IMG_3070

After cleaning up Brenda and I took off for Martin Luther King NHS. Quite impressive and moving. We watched the film which brought back many memories from my early teen years. I didn’t realize some facts about MLK – one being the fact how smart he was and the number of degrees he received and the fact that he received his first college degree by 19. I just wish he had more time to promote his anti-violence way of change – we need it so much today.

DSC_0150Gandhi who MLK learned non-violence in protesting.

We had lunch and a beer at the 5 Seasons Brewery in Atlanta.

Even found Growler Town which had way too many taps to fill growlers – almost like heaven.

Oh, speaking of Atlanta, I’ve heard of the congestion in traffic but we had to travel on I-78, I-285, I-20, I-70, I-85 – it was mess but we made it to our locations – just that traffic is all over this area.

We did go to REI (sports store) and stocked up on supplies, eg: new shoes, odometer, riding gloves and a few other items.

Home to relax.

Really enjoyed riding around the area as the Dogwoods are in bloom and they are so beautiful – my favorite tree.

Thursday we still had not seen the movies of Stone Mountain, so we headed over to Memorial Hall. Upon arrival – we did notice lots of buses – which means lots of kids – and they said they were not showing the movies here until later but we could see the same movies over at Confederate Hall.DSC_0135

Did watch the “War in Georgia” and “The Men who carved the Stone”. Great movies – the first about the Civil War and how Sherman made his march thru Atlanta and on to the Sea (Savannah) – again learned a lot more details about the Civil War and was impressed by the strategies of the Generals and how devastating the war was. The stone cutters movie was great and it showed the detail and vision that went into such a project. It was amazing seeing the pictures of these stone cutters hanging over the ledge with a rope and now much else -the whole operation was unsafe– and only one guy was killed who was blown off the side of the mountain – I asked, the movie didn’t say.

Went back home and picked up the dogs and walked the nature trail (only ¾ mile loop) and the dogs really like it especially Gretel as she seems to be in a race to finish the trail.

Went into Stone Mountain proper – the city – to see what town looks like – small town with a few shops – looks like downtown is slowly declining, We did find the Corner Village German Restaurant. And they had a brewery “Stone Mountain Brewery” (what else) but instead we went with an imported German beer and a sausage – as they had a German theme.

Brenda still wanted to hike the songbird trail and I was ready to read, so she ventured on the trail herself – camera in hand – but didn’t see any birds – did hear lots of song birds but couldn’t find them among all the trees. I’m reading “Legends and Lies” many short stories about the heroes we remember as children – Black Bart, Davy Crockett etc.

To my surprise later in the evening, Brenda said there was no power to the dryer and when I checked there was no power to the coach – did I tell you it was heavy thunderstorms outside? I looked out and the power was out to the whole campground – first time that has happened to us. Turned on the generator and while everyone else was in the dark Brenda was able to get her laundry done. Later I noticed the lights in the park back on and turned off the generator – great tool to have if something goes wrong.

Need to come back to Atlanta as there is so much more to do here and not enough time.

Friday is off to Montgomery, Georgia for more history.

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