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Road Trip Part 2

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The Ocmulgee River in Georgia The Ocmulgee River in Georgia

Oz, the gay campground in central Georgia just east of I-75 near Unidilla is a friendly place. The current owners took it over about a year ago and have made a great effort to make it a success. Our second visit in one year seems like we never left. There are rolling green acres of RV spaces populated here and there with a camper; acres of seasonal spots with a half dozen tenants; a vast stretch of bottom land for tents without one to be seen; a huge dance hall now a bar with a handful of customers.

Oddly enough a general perception is that Oz does well, based primarily on their advertising and marketing efforts, though each time we have visited I have been glad it isn’t my money. We were chased out of the bar by cigarette smoke which was not really a problem after a long day on the road. With smoking cessation indoors I have become aware that it takes few smokers to foul the air. So many success stories of businesses that ban smoking always make me wonder why any continue to allow it. Running from the fumigation made a decent excuse to get to bed early. Travelling is mostly about experiencing what can not be planned and meeting the locals. In that spirit we took the back roads to Hawkinsville, just to see what was what.

There is a bridge across the Ocmulgee River, the only bridge for thirty miles in each direction. On a dreary dark and rainy day being a tourist has little appeal though a movie in a hoodie by the fire does. Last summer I made the mistake of hauling around Atlanta on the bypass and that trip was as white knuckle as they come. Talking with a friend over a beer during a break in rain showers he suggested we shoot right up the middle and as the trip would be early on a Sunday morning the plan was set. Turns out it was a walk in the park, or at least not a white knuckle run down a slot car track with driver’s texting, reading, drinking and putting on makeup. There I did it; expressed my opinion on two hot topics in two paragraphs!

Mountains appear in the distance and Jake pulls the grades with a downshift and roar, floats over the top and rapidly gains speed downhill to reach the nadir, downshift and begin the cycle anew. It’s best not to look at the fuel use indicator. We roll into Blue Ridge following directions to the RV park to find it located down a graveled slope from the highway. I stop in the drive to be greeted by a child who informs me that the owner will be back and who said for me to choose any spot I liked.

One rule that works when hauling long heavy loads is to know the exit before committing to the entry. I broke the rule, pulled around the corner of the house on the drive falling to lowland behind. Everything behind the place is low, wet, soft and muddy; no way I am going to drive in there. Staying on the gravel I drive along behind the building and begin the steep pull up around a 120 degree turn. Getting Heath around the turn I got off into mud at the steepest point where Heath began to pull Jake back down the grade.

When the rig is in control there is little to be done past hope for the best, stay off the brakes and try to at least steer the whole sliding rig. Thankfully the slide stopped when Jake again found gravel. Rolling backward a few more yards I then had a good approach angle to the steep drive, got the rig rolling and gave Jake his head. He hauled us all back to the entry, we slowed enough for John to make a running mount, gassed Jake hard again to gain the highway and kept on going. Note to self, when a child is in charge: runaway.

THIS IS PART 2 OF A 9-PART SERIES

Ric Reily

Ric Reily is the author of two books, Money Is The Root Of All - Skip The Debt Habit, and Gregory’s Hero; and two blogs, LGBT Opinion In A Gay World and LGBT Personal Finance In A Gay World. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of Stonewall National Museum and Archives serving as Treasurer. His firm CFO On Call provides small business finance and operations consulting. Ric is married to John, his partner of 26 years, and lives in South Florida. You can reach Ric at ricreily@gmail.com

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