Georgia On My Mind
Our lovely stay in the Charleston area had come to an end but before we departed on our romp across southeast of Georgia, Finley had an appointment with a vet to receive his various vaccines. A simple affair one would think but Finley is a very complex character. If he likes you, all good but if he takes a dislike then watch out. The vet in this case tried hard to bribe him with treats but Finley was not fooled so easily. She then tried to squeeze some Cheez Whiz on the floor, I mean come on who eats that stuff!! Finley was not impressed. The vet, now somewhat flustered suggested that Finley be muzzled so that she could complete her examination. I warily agreed but the Finster most certainly did not and as soon as she touched him, he went into full on Tasmanian Devil mode. I stepped in to reassure him and to diplomatically suggest that we skip the hands on examination and just proceed with the vaccinations. I took the muzzle off and lifted him up on the table and told him to be a brave boy. He took it like a man, I mean dog all except for one vaccine that had to be administered orally. The vet cheekily gave it to me and asked me to administer it. We gladly left with a $195 hole in my pocket for good measure. See ya South Carolina!!
We hoped Georgia would have more pleasant experiences for us and she did not disappoint. Our first stop for the night was a charming pecan farm called Terra Firma. Unfortunately their pecan trees produced nuts biennially and this was a fallow year. Still we enjoyed walking through the forest and orchard and Finley was able to say hello to the horses. I had a pleasant chat with the farm manager, Calvin and checking out his marvelously converted school bus. The whole live and work remotely craze has really taken off in the last few years, fueled by YouTube-ing Vanlifers and the like but it’s really very cool to see someone take an item as boring as an old school bus and turn it into a well thought out home on wheels. Well done Calvin, we hope to see you out on the road one day!
As we journeyed to our next destination, we stopped in the town of Thomasville to see a tree. Yes that’s right we went into a town to see a tree. When I say in town I mean slap dab on a street corner we found a gigantic Live Oak tree, rather cleverly named the Big Oak. This magnificent example of arboreal splendor stood alone and as if the entire town had grown up around it. Seeing as it was 335 years old that is probably exactly what happened. I looked at the somewhat incongruous sight, snapping pictures and nearly getting run over.
The only pomp of any kind was a rather plain placard giving Big Oak’s vital statistics. In deference to Big Oak’s celebrity, I did not let Finley, you know, be Finley and so he had to be satisfied with some nondescript tyre.
Our second stop was the tiny town of Pitts, Georgia to visit Oliver Farm’s charming shop located in an old railway station. They had lots of local products on display but the real reason I was their was to taste their cold pressed oil made from pecan, sunflowers, peanuts and benne. In short they were terrific and I quickly liberated a bottle of pecan oil from the shelves.
Soon after Clay Oliver showed up and escorted us to our campsite for the night, a prime spot nestled atop a small rise in a stand of pecan trees and surrounded by fields of cotton, peanuts and sunflowers. Harvest was many months ago of course and the fields lay dormant but that did not stop Finley and I from enjoying several walks nonetheless. We passed a peaceful night in isolated splendor and I reflected on how small family farms were fighting to stay relevant and in doing so carving out unique markets for their high quality products. Really good to see.
Our last few days in Georgia were spent in the marvelously named town of Chattahoochee on the shores of Lake Seminole. What a beautiful spot. We were treated to warm sunny days and glorious sunsets as a prelude to clear star filled nights. It was a most bucolic setting, a wonderful place to recharge ones batteries.
We have now crossed into Florida and I write this from deep in the Apalachicola forest but Georgia, Georgia is still on my mind.