Last night was another cold one not helped by the fact that I had to turn the heating off in the early hours after the battery alarm informed me the level was low. Apparently the wind got up later though I slept and snored through most of it.
As soon as the curfew ended I ran the generator to provide us with heating and hot water before getting out of bed for a shower.
After removing more ladybirds dead or alive we did the housework, checked and prepared the vehicle and left Smokemont campground. Last night must have been really cold, probably near freezing; the sun had yet to reach our pitch which made it seem even colder.
This had been one of the nicest National or State Park campgrounds we have stayed in. On booking us out The Chef took a quick look at the posted weather forecast for the next two days. It forecasts rain or snow tonight and tomorrow, so I think we timed it well to be moving on and southward.
Our route to Atlanta was down US441 South most of the way, then on to I85, I298, & I20, the most enjoyable stretch by far being US441 as it was duel carriageway passing through, or close to, communities, businesses etc which gives you a much better feel for how the locals live.
The early part of the journey took us through more Hillbilly country, more so than the National Park or surrounding areas. I said to The Chef that only last night I realised we had seen few if any Negroes since arriving in the area. Having observed these local folk you can’t help but feel that there’s a lot of bottom drawers in bedrooms that have a white robe and pointy white hat with eye holes in, neatly pressed and just waiting for the ‘Good ‘Ole Days’ to return.
Lunch was taken at an enroute Wal-Mart car park because although there were lots of nice views either side of the highway we were travelling down, there was nowhere to pull off and enjoy them. The Chef did a bit of shopping, not too much as we’re now starting to run our stocks down. Whilst she did that I went to their Tire & Lube Department to check out the price of replacement auxiliary batteries. In the end I decided to try and get the bits to make a replacement securing bracket for them first before buying the batteries. I know my luck I’d replace the batteries then have them drop out of the side of the battery box somewhere along the Interstate never to be seen again. Soon after being back on the road I stopped again having spotted a Home Depot store. I was lucky enough to be approached by a really helpful member of staff who understood what I was a trying to do and between us we came up with the solution and the parts for about $15.
Back on the road and onward to Atlanta. Most of the journey was just how I like it, a nice steady speed, duel carriageway so anybody who wants to, can get past me easily, interesting scenery, and a chance to see how the locals live. We hit the outskirts of Atlanta at rush hour though it wasn’t too bad, we had our wits about us and the traffic kept moving. When we arrived at our Wal-Mart destination for the night I went to see the folk at the Tire & Lube department who said that although time was getting on, one of the members of staff would stay behind if necessary and fit two new batteries for me. What great service and the price was good too, so I asked them to go ahead and fit two new batteries. This was a great help and I’m hoping that there’ll be sufficient power already in them to see us through the night before we get a chance to charge them fully out on the road.
Tomorrow we’re going to be cheeky and ask if we can leave the RV here in the Wal-Mart car park for the day as there’s a bus stop here and a service which will take us to downtown Atlanta. There’s only really the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site which interests us, but I’m sure we’ll come across other points of interest. The Chef would also like to visit the Stone Mountain Park not far out of town.
We killed some more ladybirds then went to bed.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Wal-Mart, 2427 Gresham Rd, SE, Atlanta, GA30316 (GPS: N33.718498 W84.310899).