The Georgia Diaries....
Thursday, 2/25/10 - Arrived at my host house in Cumming, Georgia.
After a few days traveling in the envelope, I was glad to get out and stretch. I was pretty
tired so that evening was spent inside playing with my buddy Duke and my host family.
Friday, 2/26/10 – Got up early and headed to Marietta, Georgia to have breakfast with
other visiting guests at the Marietta Diner. It’s kid of a famous place having been on an
episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network. Being flat, I opted for
After breakfast we headed to Roswell, Georgia for a doctor visit. I was just tagging along
but I got a clean bill of health. We did most of our running during the day and Friday
night stayed home and played with Duke.
Saturday, 2/27/10 – After breakfast headed to nearby Dawsonville, Georgia, home of
NASCAR Driver Bill Elliott who is often referred to as “Awesome Bill from
Dawsonville”. First went to Rock Creek Park and watched 5 year olds at T-ball practice
and later on went to Victory Park to watch 7 year old girls’ softball practice.
Past lunch time and now we headed to Dahlonega, Georgia. The first major US Gold
Rush was here and there are still operating gold mines where you can pan for gold. North
Georgia College and State University is here too.
That’s me in front of one of the town’s signs.
After seeing downtown Dahlonega we headed further in the North Georgia Mountains
out to the Cherokee National Forest and drove all the way to Camp Frank D. Merrill
which is where they train Army Rangers. I wanted to see the obstacle course but couldn’t
go beyond the front gate without enlisting.
After a couple hours rest at home and playing with Duke we headed out east of Cumming
towards Lake Sidney Lanier. This manmade lake was made much like Brookville Lake
by the Army Corps of Engineers. The reservoir was made by damming the
Chattahoochee River and is also fed by the Chestatee River. While Brookville Lake is a
5260-acre flood control reservoir, Lake Lanier has a surface area of 37,000 acres and
supplies much of the drinking water in northeast Georgia. It is one of the largest man-
made lakes in the country.
There are pictures of me outside at the lake and also inside one of the visitor centers. We
covered a lot of ground this afternoon and not only saw the lake from Hall, Forsyth,
Gwinnett, Dawson and Lumpkin Counties but also went over Buford Dam and saw the
main river forming the lake.
Sunday, 2/28/10 – The biggest outing of all. First we got up and took Duke for a walk.
Then we headed to Sandy Springs, Georgia to head to downtown Atlanta. We rode the
Marta train (MARTA - Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority). Marta operates
trains and buses throughout Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs all the way out to
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport which is the busiest airport in the world.
Here I am riding Marta to and from Atlanta (and waiting in the stations). The last picture
is going up the escalator from about 10 stories underground in downtown Atlanta.
There are so many things to do in and around downtown Atlanta that there was no way
we could cover them all. We still managed to do and see quite a bit. We went to CNN
center which is the world headquarters CNN, Cable Network News and its parent
company Turner Broadcasting System. There are several stations including The Cartoon
There are a lot of pictures of me inside CNN including a few with some of the network
stars. I really got along well with them. I think we were such good friends because they
were almost as flat as me. You might be able to tell this when you look at some of the
pictures. The CNN building is huge and it is located right in the middle of Centennial
Park which was constructed for the Summer Olympics in 1996. CNN is connected to the
Georgia Dome where the Atlanta Falcons football team play and also to the Georgia
World Congress Center as well as Phillips Arena. All kinds of sporting events,
conferences, and concerts take place here.
Here are just a few of the CNN pictures:
We dropped by the World of Coke.
Also the Georgia Aquarium.
Made several stops in Centennial Park and looking out at the city from the park.
Two years ago a tornado swept through downtown Atlanta and caused a lot of damage.
The building below is the Westin Hotel and it is just now having repairs completed on
several of the windows that were blown out. They had to be specially made to fit the
After all of this walking we were pretty hungry so we headed to the Hard Rock Café in
downtown Atlanta for a bite to eat. I even got to check out a few things in there!
I sat on Elvis Presley’s Harley, checked out a girl band that was just my size, and did a
little window shopping in the gift shop.
Before leaving Atlanta we also checked out the Braves and Turner Field. Don’t I make a
good looking Braves fan?
You might guess that the picture below is me in front of a poster. Even in Atlanta, they
don’t play very much Major League Baseball in the month of February.
The trip to downtown Atlanta was a pretty big outing and we covered quite a lot of
territory but when we got back to Cumming we found we had just a little bit of energy
left. Using that last bit of energy we made a quick visit to Sawnee Mountain Preserve
and went to the Sawnee Mountain Visitor Center. There are lots of trails on the mountain
and a few playgrounds and picnic shelters. There is even an entrance to an old gold
mine. Unfortunately the mine has been closed for years and the entrance is sealed with
cast iron bars. Being flat, I could have gone in but it wouldn’t have been safe so I chose
to stay on the outside. I wouldn’t want to fall down a mining shaft and get lost!
The Visitor Center was closed when we arrived but I’ll go in and check out some of the
activities they have there on my next visit. They even have classes where you can learn
to safely climb and rappel.
I did meet Chief Sawnee and check out one of the tree top trails.
This day was exhausting and I spent my last two days hanging out with my hosts ‘til they
could take me to the post office for my trip back to Liberty. I did stay one extra day and
have a piece of Chris’ birthday cake. Yummy!
This adventure is now over and I’m coming back to Indiana with a DVD of my trip and a
few postcards and souvenirs for my good friend Cody Peters. My host family was happy
to have me and we had a great time. I hope my next journey is as much fun as this one!