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Published: April 9th 2019
You all probably know, due to health issues, I did not get on a Winter Snowbird trip in January. I made some tough decisions, my health dictated my choices. It was horrible staying home during those cold, damp dreary winter months. My goal was to be in tip top shape by 3/26, the date for my trip to Ireland. I accomplished that and had a great trip with girlfriends. But, I got sick at the end of the trip, and ended up at the doctor upon return for a sinus infection and bronchitis. I recovered enough in time to go to NJ for Maggie’s confirmation, which did not happen due to circumstances beyond all control, but my plane ticket was purchased, so I went. I got home and quickly packed the RV with friend Marilyn’s help, and joined my Southeast Loners on Wheels camping club for a week campout at Stone Mountain Park Campground, outside Atlanta.
I took 2 days to drive the 425 miles. A slow, shakedown tour, stopping at every Joanne’s fabric store along the way looking for one skein of yarn matching 3 I bought at home but they don’t have any more of and I need
one more! I ordered it online today. A $5 skein of yarn and $5 shipping.
I found an Outback at 4:00, parked out back and enjoyed a sirloin, Caesar salad, loaded baked potato, and travelled on to the my overnight Walmart campground in Aiken, SC. What a beautiful town. Waze weaved me around traffic, and I saw beautiful stately mansions with 12 foot tall azaleas in full bloom. I spent $60 on groceries at Walmart…..my campground fee. Lol. I slept like a rock, felt very safe, and was the only camper there.
Up early on Sunday, headed out early, as I would pass thru Augusta where there was a golf tournament happening. I arrived at my campsite, and this huge rock peeking thru the trees. I was intrigued. Stone Mountain Park is like Disneyworld. There is a mountain with a hiking trail and a sky ride. There is a golf course, boating, hotels, restaurants, historic buildings, and a campground in the trees. There are 20 SELows here, equal men and women. I know many from previous campout or winter travels. A very nice bunch. Happy hour introduced me to some new friends.
I plugged in and turned
on everything, and my hot water heater did not ignite. Growl. I checked fuses and circuit breakers, I jiggled all wires. No propane, no spark. I contacted RV friends via Facebook for advice, and I asked all here. I had lots of guys look at it, scratch their heads, and after 2 days of this, one guy said he would sandpaper the igniter, when another saw a fuse there. He pulled it, and it was dead! Maybe success?? But, it’s a 4amp mini fuse, and me and none of the guys had one. Tom called the local auto dealers, no luck. The local camping stores were all closed. I will call them tomorrow. I washed my hair in cold water last night and washed well in the sink, and today I walked to the bathhouse for a hot shower. Felt good.
I knew nothing about Stone Mountain. I had to read as much as I could, as it is in my view, and I found the most concise description was on Wikipedia. Some of it is very boring, but I had to know…...Plagiarized from Wikipedia:
Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome and the site of Stone Mountain
Park near Stone Mountain, Georgia. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet above sea level and 825 feet above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain is well known for not only its geology, but also the enormous rock relief on its north face, the largest bas-relief in the world. The carving depicts three Confederate figures, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and has been the subject of widespread controversy.
Stone Mountain was once owned by the Venable Brothers and was the site of the founding of the second Ku Klux Klan in 1915. It was purchased by the State of Georgia in 1958 as a memorial to the Confederacy. Stone Mountain Park officially opened on April 14, 1965 – 100 years to the day after Lincoln's assassination. It is the most visited destination in the state of GA.
Stone Mountain is more than 5 miles (8 km) in circumference at its base. The summit of the mountain can be reached by a walk-up trail on the west side of the mountain or by the Skyride aerial tram.
Stone Mountain is a pluton, a type of igneous intrusion. Primarily composed of quartz, the dome of Stone Mountain was formed
during the formation of the Blue Ridge Mountains around 300–350 million years ago part of the Appalachian Mountains. It formed as a result of the upwelling of magma from within the Earth's crust. This magma solidified to form granite within the crust five to ten miles below the surface.
The Stone Mountain pluton continues underground 9 miles at its longest point.
The minerals within the rock include quartz, plagioclase feldspar, microcline.
The top of the mountain is a landscape of bare rock and rock pools, and it provides views of the surrounding area including the skyline of downtown Atlanta, often Kennesaw Mountain, and on very clear days even the Appalachian Mountains. On some days, the top of the mountain is shrouded in a heavy fog, and visibility may be limited to only a few feet. The clear freshwater pools on the summit form by rainwater gathering in eroded depressions, and are home to unusual clam shrimp and fairy shrimp. The tiny shrimp appear only during the rainy season. Through the process of cryptobiosis, the tiny shrimp eggs can remain dormant for years in the dried out depressions, awaiting favorable conditions.
The largest bas-relief sculpture in the world, the Confederate
Memorial Carving depicts three Confederate leaders of the Civil War: President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (and their favorite horses, "Blackjack", "Traveller", and "Little Sorrel", respectively). The entire carved surface measures 1.57 acres. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet above the ground, measures 76 by 158 feet and is recessed 42 feet into the mountain.
Stone Mountain was "the sacred site to members of the second and third national Ku Klux klans. I will not go into that, nor will I write on the attempts to remove the figures. For more info, please read the Wikipedia article.
At our happy hour Sunday, we learned of The City Pass option. Pay for 3 downtown attractions, get admitted to 5. Most of us went for it, and 13 headed for the aquarium Monday morning. A lovely place, lots of gorgeous fish, huge whales, live coral exhibits, and cute sea lion and dolphin shows. Many class trips. Ugh. As it rained most of the day, this was a good choice. I managed to walk 10,000 steps, a major day for me. My feet hurt now.
Tomorrow we visit the Coca Cola exhibit and the CNN studio, and maybe the natural history museum. Lots of rest stops.
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