Early Fall in Appalachia

Ok, so there are upsides and downsides to the “no planning” M.O.

Sleep at the Augusta/Martinez Super 8 last night was not exactly comfortable. It started out with the 4 beer drinking gentlemen down the hall. Around midnight I had to slip back on my clothes and remind them that this was a motel. Fortunately, they apologized and were quiet from then on.

And then there was the bed. I figured that the lumpy mattress offered a camping experience to Linda, since it sort of replicated a forest floor.

Stimulating nighborhood around the Super-8

In the morning we considered the attached Denny’s for breakfast, but decided that we’d earned a trip to IHOP down the road. A very nice IHOP it was, with pleasant service and the usual pretty-good fare.

Linda and I of course used the opportunity to further discuss the merits and pitfalls of the planning vs no-planning travel modes. The “finding” and experiences at Jekyll Island had been real plusses, while Linda felt a bit shortchanged in Savannah. And our Augusta / Super 8 experience had been decidedly ho-hum.

However, I would offer that that is exactly the point. You live in the moment, you take the good and the not-so-good. You discover and investigate, and yes, you sometimes settle. I’m not exclusively promoting this mode, only pointing out that it is a different and sometimes very good way to travel.

Linda respectfully disagreed with me, pointing out that precious travel time can potentially be wasted when you “settle” for less-than-good circumstances.

In the end, I think we both have valid points. Care to weigh in further on this issue?

This discussion led Linda to grab paper, pencil, laptop, spreadsheet, wi-fi, and cell phone to plot out the next couple of days. I started laughing that she’d clearly broken off the “no-plan” model, and grabbed the camera to “bust” her.


Hours of beautiful driving after that, on backroad 28 and 81 following the Savannah River northwest from Augusta to Anderson, all on the South Carolina side.

From there back into Georgia, but this time up into the Appalachians. The leaves were just starting to change color and we really enjoyed it.

Early fall colors

On one steep mountain slope, traffic slowed for a long wait as a loaded tanker truck chugged up the mountain spewing smoke, obviously in disrepair.

This guy was having trouble

Straight away to the Butternut Creek municipal golf course. We didn’t get teed up until about 3:30pm and the course was nicely wide open. The elevation changes on this course are dramatic, and as we made our way around we realized this was the funnest course we’d played so far on the road. Gorgeous views, too, with the Appalachian mountains as a backdrop and the changing leaves adding the color. Also, it was nice to be back on a course that allowed the ball to roll.

Beautiful Butternut Creek course

Linda’s phone rang on the golf course and I busted her again making motel reservations for tomorrow. You’ll have to read the blog tomorrow to find out where, if in fact that is conceivably important.

Twice in one day
Fishing for my ball
Nice shot
Great place to play

Checked in to the Seasons Inn motel on the square in Blairsville, GA. Just in front of our motel was a gorgeous city hall building. It reminded me of the city hall in Hilldale in Back To the Future.

Blairsville town hall

We asked about restaurant options and were surprised to learn that Blairsville is a dry county (but scheduled to go wet in only 9 days), We remedied that with an in-room happy hour.

Then a 30 yard walk to the Comfort Cafe across the parking lot. Check out their menu cover.

Happiness warning

Linda: chicken-mac casserole with bacon and tomatoes; Rich: chicken-fried pork chops with mashed potatoes and cream gravy, plus cinnamon apples. COMFORT!

Intense comfort food

5 thoughts on “Early Fall in Appalachia

  1. I’m with Linda….plan, plan, plan…Now that you can plan a little, I bet you are breathing a little better! My bed feels great! Miss you both 🙂

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