Sunday, November 13, 2016

Atlanta in a Day

We have not spent a lot of time in Atlanta over the years.  In fact the more we talked about going there, we were cautioned about how tough the traffic is going through the area.  Nevertheless, we wanted to see the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library/Museum and the Georgia State Capitol.

When we began planning our five week fall trip to Florida we had to consider a few things in order to make the most of our time there:  We wanted to
  • Go to a few places we hadn't seen rather than concentrate on old favorites,
  • See as many friends as possible depending on how our schedules lined up,
  • Visit as many historical sites and capitols as we could squeeze in, 
  • Get more repairs done in Red Bay,
  • Stay at modestly priced locations,
  • Relax a bit instead of being on the go every other day
With some of those thoughts in mind, we considered Atlanta and all it has to offer.  We weren't kidding ourselves though, and knew that you can't see Atlanta in a day.  Maybe a week if you hit the high points.  But still it has a lot going on and we actually thought we'd devote a couple of days to seeing what we could.

Our first challenge was finding a decent location to see the city.  We were hoping for some RV campgrounds to choose from on the southern side of Atlanta.  There were precious few choices.

We tried to find a U.S. Army Corps of Engineer park that had been recommended but that didn't work out either.  We located and called Red Top State Park which is about 40 minutes north of the city.  Not ideal, but still doable.

Next, we had to pick two or three things to do each day.  We have found if we cram in more than three or four things it becomes 'overload' and we can't learn all we want and digest it all.  We drove from Columbia S.C. through Atlanta (taking the northern I-285 beltway around the city) to Red Top State Park.

Yikes!  Everyone was right - the traffic is tough !!  Lots of crazy semi-aggressive drivers and not a lot of fun at 1:30 PM in the afternoon.  
Still we made it to our very nice site without incident.

Then for Friday we picked out seeing the State Capitol and the Carter Presidential Library.  Depending on how that went maybe we'd see something else downtown.  The next day we planned on seeing Olympic Park, Turner Stadium, the Underground and the Coca-Cola Museum.

But-- we ran into some issues and didn't get to see all of the capitol.  We forgot Veteran's Day was on Friday so none of the government or state offices were open.  But we went ahead anyway and went downtown.  Holidays are the perfect time to find a parking place and walk around the outside of the capitol!

Georgia State Capitol
We saw a few things and were struck at the size of the building.  It is quite a bit bigger than the last capital we saw.
 We peeked in the doors and sure enough - no one there.
We walked around the northwest corner of building and found a statue of Confederate General John B. Gordon.  He was one of Robert E. Lee's most trusted generals.  
After the war served as governor and later as U.S. Senator from Georgia.  Fort Gordon, outside of Augusta, is named after him.

 Outside there are a number of displays describing Georgia historical events surrounding Atlanta.
 These were erected in 1920 by the Daughters of the Confederacy.

 Near those is a statue of our 39th president, Jimmy Carter.
 As we made our way around the building we noticed some maintenance going on in the back.
Three vehicles were parked on the extra wide sidewalk and they had one of the back doors open and were carrying items back and forth.  While that was going on Pam looked across the street and said, "There's the Liberty Bell!"
Sure enough, on the southeast corner of the capitol is the Liberty Plaza.  It is in a place of honor and a great location for public rallies and other outdoor events.
The names of the three signers of the Declaration of Independence were on the back side of the Liberty Wall.
The Liberty Bell replica was on full display and in a prominent place.
It is probably the best display we have seen of the Liberty Bell replica in our travels to date.  The whole area was very well done.

This photo I grabbed off the internet gives a better perspective of Liberty Plaza and its proximity to the capitol building.

From there, we went over the the Jimmy Carter Museum and Presidential Library.  I will save that and some other things we saw in Atlanta for (an)other post(s).

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

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