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day 4: savannah to birmingham

SEPTEMBER 14, 2010

    so yesterday we left the comfort of family and friends once and for all in savannah. the interstates were an immediate turn off and it was very clear we were not going to discover anything about our great country if we were to stick to them. so we veared off road and plugged in a random alabama address to annie's trusty droid phone. and suddenly, everything fell in to place. cruising through small georgia towns and through tobacco country felt so right. this is what we were here for. we stopped for peaches and scuppernongs at a roadside stand. we ate the peaches this morning in our cereal and there is something to be said for the giant georgia peach, it ain't no wives tale.
    the day was ending and as we approached the border of alabama and drove through the town of bowdon, georgia  on H- 166 (local: college street) we spotted a BBQ pit stop with a full parking lot. we figured a resturaunt had two reasons for being packed on a monday night in a small town, a) it was the best place in town or b) it was the only place in town. either way we decided it was a must. and let me tell you, it was GREAT! our waitress Cheree was friendly as we dreamed a southern waitress would be and the food was fried and cheap. i had my first basket of fried pickles and a pulled pork sandwich. annie had a veggie plate with mustard greens sweetened with equal sweetener. Ha! We left full and happy. The whole feast cost us only 13 dollars.
    the sun was setting as we drove in to alabama and we wanted to try out our newly purchased $20 walmart tent so we instructed the droid to take us to a camp ground in Talledega, Alabama. it got dark fast, regardless of the fact that we gained an hour. i was following the trusty droid deep in to the country. "You have arrived," said the droid in the middle of two sprawling pastures. we began to lose faith. we were near the Talledega motor speedway and most of the campgrounds with RV parks rather than tent camping. Birmingham was only an hour away so we fueled up on gas and got back on the road.

    Driving in to Birmingham was, however, a bit disheartening. It's the biggest city in Alabama and a metropolis is not exactly the romantic dream we had on our minds when we decided to stay the night in the dirty south. But we were tired and getting cranky so we swallowed our pride and pulled over at a Day's Inn off the interstate. future travelers beware, 60 dollars a night does not gaurantee a bug free room in Alabama. we were unhappily greeted with a few tiny cockroaches crawling around in the bathroom. but after a class A princess moment we decided to throw a sleeping bag over the bed and power through it. and yes, we survived the night!
    I am just now and even so, just barely, finding my road legs. it's not an easy adjustment for someone who has a certain about of regularity and reliabilty in their lives to give that all up for something so incredibly uncertain and unfamiliar. but i am not finding it as challanging as i thought. new york has built a certain air of skeptisism and untrust in me but i feel it melting already. sitting in a local birmingham coffee shop we were just visited by our first couchsurfing host, Alabama Joe. there is no fear of strangers or preconcieved judgment in the south. at least not so far. perhaps i am diving in to optomism too quickly. but so far so good!

Alabama, show us what you got!
always and all ways,
lila

Topical: Huckleberry