Fort Mill, SC to Creola, AL

565 miles/904 Km

22 June 2006

Photo Gallery and Commentary

This is the longest travel day of the entire trip, 581 miles. One of the highlights of the trip (or maybe low lights) was going through Atlanta. The congestion starts as much as 60 miles out and continues well to the south side of the city. Having experienced Atlanta traffic many times in the past, we chose to go around on the Beltway rather than through downtown. This added a few miles to our original estimate of 550, but saved us some time and certainly aggravation. Maneuvering a truck and trailer, with a combined length of over 40 feet, through heavy traffic can wear on you pretty fast. Many otherwise courteous drives see you signal for a lane change and promptly speed up for fear of you slowing them down. It happens on the Beltway, but, because there is less traffic, it doesn't happen as often.

Today's travels took us through South Carolina, Georgia and into southern Alabama (our campground is about 20 miles from Mobile). The terrain is mostly rolling hills until we got into southern Alabama where it got a bit flatter and took us through some wetlands. The weather was hot. The thermometer peaked at 104 degrees Farenheit (40 degrees C) We drove through a shower just east of Montgomery, AL and it caused a drop of 16 degrees in a few minutes. A few minutes after the rain, everything dried up and the temperature soared back to over 100.

In the mid 1970s I spent a lot of time in the corridor between Charlotte, NC and Greenville, SC. I averaged one week a month in the area for over three years. In that time I got to know the area off the highway fairly well. My last trip down this corridor was around 14 years ago. Driving down today, I didn't recognize anything. Since the late 1800s, when the plants moved down from New England because of the cheaper labor market, the area had been the center of the textile industry. The textile industry started closing down the plants in this area and moved them overseas starting in the late 1970s. Now new manufacturing operations, many of them foreign owned (Michelin, Mercedes, Hyundai and others) are seen along the highway.

Georgia prides itself as being the Peach State. South Carolina claims that it the biggest producer of peaches and has put up a monument to the peach in Gaffney (see The water tower is located right off the highway as a reminder to anyone going to or coming from Georgia that South Carolina "rules." Years ago there was even a pull out from the highway so that people could stop and take a picture of the hugh peach. The pull outs are gone, I suspect for safety reasons. Susie took this picture as we zipped by. 

An interesting note came from an article we read earlier this year about peach production in the South. According to this article, Alabama exceeds South Carolina and Georgia in peach production. According to the folks in Alabama, they taste sweeter, as well.