Ones mind – body connection is healthiest when in synch, especially when traveling. Driving a southern route from Arizona across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and the panhandle of Florida was a good idea. However, my body was unhappy. The gray, cold days in Florida where I had hopes of a few relaxing days were not to be; thus even my mind was frustrated. My van travel is best when I can also sit outdoors to sketch, read or exercise. Since it was not happening in Florida, Georgia was on my mind!
I chuckle to myself as I make my administrative/executive decision to leave my camp site one day earlier than planned … as if someone was going to stop me? As a solo traveler, I decide to treat myself to a hotel stay in Savannah, Georgia. Before arriving at the hotel, I went birding at Oatland Island Wildlife Center, visited the Isle of Hope neighborhood, and saw the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge. This 1991 cable-stayed bridge replaced the original 1953 cantilever truss bridge so maritime traffic could have 185 feet of vertical clearance as they moved along the Savannah River. As I looked at the bridge I thought how amazing it must have been to see it being constructed though the years … it is massive! (I could not find a place to stop and get a good photo.) There is much controversy regarding the name of the bridge that you can read elsewhere when you research a photo of the bridge. Downtown Savannah was congested, especially near City Market, thus no interest to me.
From Florida to Georgia, I drove many local roads, the blue highway, to see small towns, farms, ranches, fields and forests. Driving a two lane road, one each direction, is easy to enjoy until a logging truck, a truck with an over-sized load with modular house halves, or tractor truck trailer barrels towards and then by you. Ones mind must believe others are sober, alert and good drivers. And really it is not better when on a major highway. Speed limit signs seem to have no effect even with notice that detector devices are monitoring our movement. I have not seen more than 2 police cars yet in my travels.
If you come to Savannah, visit Oatland Wildlife Center. Honestly, I am not a fan of zoos, but this place has animals in large cages and good-sized, fenced, wildlife areas so deer, wolves and bison can roam in their own enclosures. It is a good place for a family with young children to visit so all can be outdoors and have some discussion about animals. I spent my time off the main path as the families were visiting the animals here. I was there for birding and did see three new birds: pine warbler, northern parula and wood storks. The wood storks were nesting high in the trees (a rookery). That was interesting to see.
Empire Coastal Brewing Company was my Harvest Host the next night in Savannah. I met fellow campers; we talked and had a beer. It was a nice quiet night … a regular campground or hotel room costs more per night. Here the $20 price was right: the cost of a beer as we talked and a six-pack to go. I would return here if I am ever in the area again.
The next day I visited Tom Triplett Community Park. Talked with many local people as we were all out walking the trail around the lake. I was so excited to photograph a new bird for me: swallow-tailed kite! A few seconds of hesitation and it would have been gone behind trees and I would never have seen it or photographed it! I was glad Georgia was on my mind and I followed through to visit a day earlier! Mind and body are in synch and life is good!