Back at Maryville, Tennessee- Home Base
Nov 4, 2010
UPDATE: Back at Home Base in Maryville, Tennessee
Hello to Family and Friends,
Man, how time flys. We have ended our volunteer stay on the SAM Excursion Train in South Georgia. Over the last 30, or so days, Chris and I have contributed 212 hours of volunteer hours to the Georgia Veteran's State Park / SAM Excursion Train. It was our extreme pleasure to do this work, and (as I have told all of you before) give back a little of what we enjoyed for so many years in the park systems of the United States.
The last weekend of Day Out With Thomas was a huge success for the SAM team. Lots of kids and parents showed up to enjoy the time and ride Thomas. I did not hear one complaint from folks, other than the gnats were terrible at times. We had no serious injuries during the event, and that was a blessing to all.
Chris and I enjoyed meeting new friends and catching up with old friends during our stay. The type of folks that do this volunteer work are very special in my mind. Most are just average folks with a desire to help and improve the park systems. Some of these folks are very young all the way up to folks in their eighties. Some of these folks stay in RVs and some are local folks, but, all share the same visions for the parks. Maybe some of you that are keeping up with us and our adventures will consider this type of volunteer work in the future.
We did have a chance to visit the Marine Base in Albany last week, and found the place had grown some. Lots of improvements were being made to barracks and quarters for the troops. However, the Commissary was still way too small and cramped.
We could not get our flu shots at the base clinic, as the medical staff there was only inoculating active duty personnel. The base gas station had been moved, and had brand new gas pumps. It appears the Marines are getting some of that stimulus money.
Some of you have asked us to report on the eating places we visited in the Cordele, Americus area. So here is goes. Cutter's Steakhouse: a buffet style eatery. We found this place similar to Ryan's, and in my mind not as good.
We celebrated a birthday of a fellow volunteer at a Pizza joint called Roman Brick Oven in Americus. This also was buffet style. Good pizza but not the best I have had.
On one occasion we visited the Cracker Barrel, in Cordele, at Exit 101 just off I-75. We found the Cod fish outstanding but the baked potato was over cooked and awful. No tip at this place was in order. This is not typical of the Cracker Barrel restaurants we have visited before.
So, out of the places we tried we found our best eating-out experiences were at the Taco Bell, Sonic and Sub Way joints. Hard to believe, but it is true. Guess the small franchises were looking out more for their customers that the big boys were.
Before we left for home Chris wanted to buy some more Pecans. So, we checked out Ellis Pecan Company again. So, we wound up bringing back home a whole bunch of pecans for distribution and cooking for the holidays.
Our departure from the SAM volunteer campground was on time on Nov 1st. and our trip up through the heart of Georgia on I-75 was uneventful. We motored through Atlanta around noon, straight thru with out taking the bypass. Traffic was light, and we breezed on through. The "Beast" performed well, and pulled the steady uphill grades out of the flat lands of Georgia and up and through the Tennessee Valley with hardly a strain.
It was nice to see fuel prices soften a little as we exited I-75 at the Lenoir City exit. Ironically, we encountered more traffic problems on the pull through Lenoir City than all of the other parts of the trip. We arrived at our home after 7 1/2 hours of driving.
The "big house" sure looks good to us after 5 weeks of being on the road. Thank you to our son Jeff for mowing the grass. Also, thanks to our daughter-in-law Karen and our grand son Brady for checking on the mail and the house. Thank you Greg for starting the Hyundai and keeping the battery charged. Chris and I are so fortunate to have our children to help care for the "big house" while we are on these trips.
At this time Chris and I are debating what we would like to do this coming new year. Most likely we will do something that requires us to dig down in our pockets for more money in order to do that. Sure hope the economy improves so that folks can enjoy the open road during retirement.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers and thoughts as we continue our adventures.
In Dad's memory the adventure continues...........................
Archie, Chris and Toby (the traveling pup)