Friday, July 18, 2014

Day Tripping

Thought for the day:  You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.  [Yogi Berra]

When Smarticus and I hit the road, we pretty much know where we're going, and thank goodness, he knows how he's gonna get us there. If it were up to me to do the navigating, it'd be like Yogi said: we might not ever get there... even with a GPS. For someone as directionally challenged as I am, a GPS would simply allow me to get lost with a greater degree of precision.

But no fear. He was behind the wheel when we headed out for a day trip recently, so we actually made it to all the places we were hoping to visit.

This was our first stop... the Georgia Guidestones, which rise twenty feet into the air in the middle of a farmer's field in little ol' Elberton, Georgia. Also known as the American Stonehenge, I'd read quite a bit about this mysterious monument, and even wrote about it in a couple previous posts, but this was the first time we actually visited. Totally cool! Look at that dramatic sky, too. I'm not gonna go into a lot of detail here, but if you're interested in learning more of the background behind the mystery, you can read about it in this earlier post: Stonehenge Whodunits

Why in the world... and who in the world... would pay big money to have something like this built in the middle-of-nowhere, Georgia? Literally in the middle of a farmer's field. (Cattle are grazing on the other side of that wooden fence...) All we know for sure is these Guidestones to an age of reason were built in 1980 to the detailed astronomical specifications provided by an unidentified mystery man who commissioned the work on behalf of an equally mysterious and anonymous group of his friends.


Here's a shot looking up toward the capstone. See the writing? The same message for mankind (Perhaps for a post-apocalyptic world?) is engraved on the stones in twelve different languages: English, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, Spanish, Swahili, as well as in ancient Sanskrit, Babylonian, Cuneiform, Egyptian Hieroglyphics, and Classical Greek. Talk about covering all the bases, huh?

I can't verify what the writing says in all of the languages, but I can tell you what it says in English:


  • Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  • Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
  • Unite humanity with a living new language.
  • Rule Passion - Faith - Tradition - and all things with tempered reason.
  • Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  • Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  • Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  • Balance personal rights with social duties.
  • Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite.
  • Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature. 


Do I know any more about the mystery than I did before? Nope, but now we know firsthand how bizarre it is to see, and how eerie it feels to look up at this mammoth creation, especially in such an unlikely location.



Our next stop was the Elberton Granite Museum. This portion of Georgia is largely agrarian, but there are also forty-five granite quarries and more than 150 manufacturing plants to turn that granite into monuments, memorials, and building stones. (Which I'm sure must have played a large role in the selection of this area for the Guidestones.) There were lots of displays about the industry, how it's grown, the tools that are used, blah, blah, blah, but there were three things in that museum that captured my interest.





This antique camera...






this antique chest...



and... Dutchy.

Elberton's first granite finishing plant was built solely to create this statue after the Civil War, (Or the war of Yankee aggression, as it's known in those parts.) and was intended to be a grand monument proudly honoring the Confederate soldiers. With much pomp, the monument was unveiled to an excited crowd of enthusiastic people in July of 1898. Let's just say their enthusiasm was short-lived, because they were totally unimpressed with the short, squat dude with a moon pie face, short fat legs, and huge feet. But to make matters worse, the uniform and cap he's wearing looks like (gasp!) Yankee garb. He was dubbed Dutchy, which was not intended as a term of endearment, and two years later, poor ol' Dutchy was... lynched. Kinda. A rope was thrown around his neck, and townspeople pulled him right off his pedestal. Broke his legs off in the process, so they dug a big hole and buried him... and his legs... face down. In 1982, the statue was dug back up again... and he now lies in the museum... with his legs and feet beside him. Looks pretty darned good for being buried all those years, too.


Our third stop (after lunch!) was the Ty Cobb Museum, which is located in his small hometown of Royston, Georgia. Some consider the Georgia Peach to be the greatest baseball player of all time. After all, he was the first player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, had a lifetime batting average of .367, won twelve batting titles, scored 2245 runs, got 4191 hits, and stole 894 bases, including 55 at home plate. Amazing numbers, most of which still stand as records today, but as proud as his hometown is of his on-the-field actions, his philanthropy, which created an amazing healthcare system in Royston, secured his position as favorite son.

All-in-all, it was a fun outing, and just goes to show ya: there's a lot to be seen in your own backyard. (So to speak.) So let's not (ahem) take those local attractions for granite...

                                Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

P.S. Smarticus and I will be hanging out with some of our grandchildren for the next few days, so it may be a while before I respond to your comments. But like good ol' Arnold said, I'll be Bach!

93 comments:

  1. I was in San Francisco on Sunday singing Old Man River to a sleepy baby, but you have inspired me to take even more day trips --maybe even to places where I don't have family. Am I getting adventurous or what? Great post, Susan!

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    1. San Francisco, a sleepy baby, and a mellow baritone voice (I'm just guessing) crooning "Old Man River" sounds like a pretty awesome combo to me. Yes, day trips are awesome, so yeah, get adventurous, dude. After all, the right attitude makes just about anything an adventure.

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  2. I think you have just given me a new hero. I have no arguments at all with the messages on the Georgia Guidestones - and a lot of admiration. Sadly I think we are already a cancer on the earth - but hopefully not a terminal one.
    If indeed they are a message for a post-apocalyptic world, I can think of a lot worse. And hope they are unnecessary anytime soon.
    Great post - with a lot to consider.
    Have a heap of fun with your grandbabies.

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    1. Sometimes, it does seem that humans are working overtime at being a cancer on the earth, and on each other. But hopefully, we'll wise up and learn how to be better stewards of life and our planet before it's too late.

      We had a super time with the kids. (And I'm already ready to go back...)

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  3. Next time - the original Stonehenge!

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    1. I would love to see Stonehenge.

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    2. I would LOVE to see the real thing. Calling these stones the "American Stonehenge" drips with delusions of grandeur, and I realize that, because they are nowhere near as cool as the European henges. But for now, I'm content with having seen this version, because it's in our own "back yard."

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  4. I really like those stones with instructions for mankind in 13 languages, I think every country in the world should have a monument just like that.

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    1. I think they're pretty cool, too. Too bad we'll never know who paid to have them built. And why.

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  5. Great road trip...thanks for taking us with you. I especially enjoyed seeing the American Stonehenge.

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  6. I love that picture of you under the American Stonehenge. How cool. And that antique chest is awesome. And I had forgotten that Ty Cobb was from Georgia!!

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    1. Thanks! Nice to know my antique chest is still being admired. My antique legs aren't bad, either. HA! (Sorry... couldn't resist.)

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  7. I'll have to visit some of these interesting places in Georgia before we move closer to family.

    Have fun with the grandkids!

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    1. I hope you do! There are a LOT of really neat places to visit around the state.

      We did!

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  8. I love those inscriptions on the Guidelines and the picture of you looking up them is just wonderful.

    I can't wait to see your comment to OE concerning your antique chest.

    Enjoy your vacation!

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    1. Those inscriptions are pretty thought-provoking.

      HA! I have a feeling OE's comment struck the same chord with you as it struck with me...

      We did! There was lots of rain while we were in Alabama, but we played lots of indoor games. Just my speed! (You know, because of those antique hips and knees and all...)

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  9. Yes, the inscriptions are lovely - and that is a cool pic of you.

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    1. Yeah, "somebody" put a lot of thought into those inscriptions. Thanks. It was a chilly day...

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  10. Wonder who really went out of their way to have those made, some interesting statements too. To bad no one listens. Even get lost with gps? That takes skill.

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    1. Yeah, it's quite the mystery. I'd love to know who the people were who came up with the ideas.

      Okay, so that's a slight exaggeration. MAYBE I could find my way with a GPS, but I'm pretty talented at getting disoriented and making wrong turns. My parents were the same way.

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  11. Those guidestones are kind of bizarre out in the field like that. Sounds like you had a very interesting day trip!

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    1. Yeah, I know! (But the cows don't mind...) It was a lot of fun.

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  12. I love those guideposts. Wonderful messages. Have a grand old grandkid time :)

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  13. I had never heard of the Georgia Guidestones and I loved the tour of them that you have given us.
    Have a wonderful time with your grandchildren.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the tour.

      Oh, we did! Now that we're home, I'm itching to go back.

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  14. I heard about that "Georgia Stonehenge" a few years ago and wanted to go see it. Alas, I haven't yet. I think the mystery of it all adds to the appeal. After all, who doesn't like a good mystery?

    Duchy's story made me laugh. Thanks for that.

    Last, but not least, there is something for you on the Thursday post. Hope you like it:)

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    1. I think the mystery adds to its appeal, too, but I'd still like to know whodunit.

      Cool! I'm sure I'll love it... here I go to check it out.

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  15. You and Smarticus have the best road trips! Thanks for sharing them with us. :)

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    1. Yep, we think they're the best. Then again, we enjoy our trips to the hardware store, too...

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  16. I love that Yogi Berra quote.
    (The Georgia Guidestones... not so much.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Yeah, Yogi is the source of some priceless quotes. I'm not surprised the Guidestones don't float your boat. Too New Age-y and World Order-y for you.

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  17. A fascinating road trip - - you even managed to make the Granite Museum sound interesting. Once, long ago, I saw a program about the Georgia Guidestones on TV (I think it was on the Travel Channel) but I don't remember much about it. I think the momument was built by small group of people who were "seeking the Age of Reason". Go figure.......

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    1. It was "hard" to make the granite museum sound enthralling, but I had a rock solid point of interest in Dutchy.

      Several people have told me they'd seen the Guidestones featured in documentaries, but we've never seen them. If that small group of people who were seeking the age of reason are still alive, they must still be looking, because it hasn't happened yet.

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  18. What an interesting monument and I totally agree with all those wishes engraved.

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    1. Cool. I'm glad it piques your interest, too.

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  19. You and Smarticus have quite the wild times, don't you? A bit like Willy Dunne Wooters and me, except WDW won't go much of anyplace.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Well, I dunno about "wild"... We have a lotta fun, but I think our "wildest" days are behind us. Something tells me you and WDW do just fine stirring up things from right there at home.

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  20. Remember the other Yogi Berra quote when driving...

    "When you come to a fork in the road...take it"

    I'm not sure I am on board with all of those statements on the monument, and having driven to Stonehenge from London (it, too is the middle of nowhere), I'd say that the Georgia "mystery" is obviously a product of man, whereas the UK site certainly could be debated.

    Stonehenge was kind of like that Grand Canyon scene in National Lampoon's Vacation...you get out of the car, look for a minute, and then what?

    The British must have seen the "European Vacation" film---you cannot back your car into Stonehenge and start a domino effect...although I really wanted to try (hey it was a rental!)

    LC

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    1. Yogi's quote about the fork is one of my favorite. (It also does a pretty good job explaining my eeny-meeny-miney-mo talent for getting lost.)

      Oh, no argument. Even though this monument in Georgia CALLS itself the "American Stonehenge," it's really a bit of a presumptuous stretch to compare the two. We already know "someone" commissioned the job in Georgia on behalf of a group of "someones." The real Stonehenge, on the other hand, is surrounded with mystery and possibilities. How cool that you saw it in person!

      HA! I almost forgot about that domino effect scene.

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  21. The American Stonehenge, huh? Wow. No one knows whodunnit? Really? Pretty cool legacy to leave behind ... and then not to put your name on it ...

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    1. Yeah, an anonymous legacy. A little odd, but some people really HATED this monument, and said it was the work of the devil. Perhaps anonymity was a wise decision.

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  22. I'd never heard of the Georgia Guidestones before. Guidestones to an age of reason... clearly not meant for us!

    And DiscConnected's mention of another Yogi Berra quote reminds me of one of the local food trucks here. The truck is called "Fork in the Road" and says on the side of the truck, "If you get to a fork in the road, pick it up and eat!"

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    1. HA! Yeah, we're still waiting for that "age of reason" to happen.

      That food truck sign is great! (I hope their food is, too.)

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  23. Hey Susan,

    A mercifully short comment from me. I think after read your post, I bordering on "Stonedhenge.", American style, y'all.

    What granite are you on? Seriously, another comprehensive and witty post by your illustrious self.

    Have a nice weekend, eh.

    Gary :)

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    1. Hey Gary.

      Stonedhenge", huh? HA! I dunno what granite I'm on, but I have a hard head and gravity's rearranging me so much, I expect a major slide to occur any day, so I must be on the right one.

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  24. Those stones are cool. I've never heard of them before. I like the antiques, especially the camera.

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    1. I'm glad you like the stones. They were certainly an interesting sight to see.

      Isn't that camera amazing? It is HUGE!

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  25. I've never seen those Guideposts. Fascinating. Love your photos, as usual.

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    1. Great. I'm glad you found them to be fascinating, too.

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  26. I wonder if it will ever be revealed who was responsible. I do hope they left some clues.

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    1. I doubt it. I think only one person knew the identity of the "front man" who handled the transaction details, and that was the banker, who was sworn to secrecy. I'm not sure if he's even still alive. As far as I know, the identity of the group represented by the front man has never been revealed.

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  27. More lovely Georgia and all new to me. *Hangs head in shame*

    I've been through Elbert County. Clearly I should have spent some time there. I'm most intrigued by the Guidestones. Even the location looks like the Salisbury Plains. A fascinating mystery.

    VR Barkowski

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  28. granite pun groan. I love weird road trips - you meandered into quite a variety. Very fun

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    1. HA! Sorry. Some puns just beg to be used, so who am I to refuse them?

      Me, too! It was a lot of fun.

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  29. Hi Susan - those Guidestones are amazing aren't they - I'd love to visit them, and too the granite museum ... as well as get to see your antiquities camera, trunk and "Dutchy" - he's had a chequered career ... but stone protects and preserves well!

    Lovely day out ... the baseball - I don't know! But at least Ty's been well honoured ...

    Enjoy the grandkids .. and see you anon .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Yeah, I thought the Guidestones are pretty amazing, but not nearly as amazing as YOUR Stonehenge.

      My hubby was a little dubious about going to the Ty Cobb museum, too, but we both enjoyed it. I figured since we were in the area, why not?

      We had a terrific time with the kids. Thanks.

      Cheers!

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  30. I agree we should never take our local attractions "for granite." Those Guidestones look amazing, and my boys would really appreciate the Ty Cobb Museum. Hope you're having a great time with your grandchildren!

    Julie

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    1. See? That was a pun just begging to be used, dontcha agree?

      We had a fantabulous time with the grandchildren. It rained a good bit of the time we were there, but we found plenty of stuff to play indoors.

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  31. Dear Susan,
    I am a devoted fan of Yogi Berri - such a wisdom in crooked lines! He has a very special sort of wisdom, I think - one only has to follow his way of thinking.
    The inscriptions on your fabulous Stonehenge are very, very sound to me - would change the world if everybody took them by heart.
    Here it is too hot to go anywhere (even the trip to the icecream parlour was a real challenge) - so we collapse after that on our sofas and fan a bit of fresh air into our faces...

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    1. Dear Britta,

      It's good to know you appreciate Yogi's humorous way with words. I didn't realize he had an international following.

      Yes, adherence to the words on those stones might change the world, but there is so much conflict and "different sides" in the world, I wonder if it'll ever be possible for people to come to a worldwide consensus about anything.

      Knock on wood, our summer hasn't been too bad so far. (Especially in our air-conditioned house and cars... HA!)

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  32. Now that sound like fun...just taking a day to go places you've never been. I like that idea!

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  33. A amizade nos faz ver o mundo com olhos novos.
    Feliz dia do amigo!!!!!
    Beijos Marie.

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    1. Thanks, Marie. And a very good day to you, too.

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  34. For granite. Haha!!! We've had people visiting throughout the summer, so I've had the chance to be a tourist in my own town (Nashville). Georgia isn't too far from me, either. I may have to check out your version of Stonehenge.

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    1. HA! I'm glad you don't mind a bad pun every once in a while.

      Oh, you've got LOTS of neat stuff to see in Tennessee. I've never been to Nashville, (I know... the horror!) but we've enjoyed seeing a lot of other places there.

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  35. It is amazing what attractions we have in our own hometowns... I do have a great deal of them here in Halifax, Nova Scotia... That first sight you went to see where it was built no where... that is interesting and strange at the same time... very cool and intriguing as to why someone would put that there.

    Anyhow, I hope you have fun visiting and I will hear from you when you get back :)

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    1. It always fascinates me how many locals never bother to visit the places that draw tourists from miles and miles away.

      Thanks, we did have fun, but it's good to be home again, too.

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  36. Hey, wait a minute... I believe I've read this before! No matter, still cool.

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    1. Hey, stranger! It's good to hear from you again. Nope, you didn't read this post before, but you did read the original one about the Guidestones.

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  37. That all looks like a fun. Lots of mystery there! Though I think some of those things would creep me out a little in person, haha. Hope you're having fun!

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    1. It was fun! It was neat to visit the Guidestones in person after reading and writing about them. Nothing quite like being there looking up at them.

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  38. Poor Dutchy.

    I think it's cool you got to go around and visit sites close by. We're doing the same this year. The stones are huge, you can really tell in the picture where you're standing next to them.

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    1. Yeah, I think most of us probably live close to interesting places and things to see and do. We don't have to go to the other side of the world or spend a whole lot of money to have a good time.

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  39. I love doing adventures. My kids used to enjoy them when they were younger, but now, not so much. So I just go by myself. Looks like you saw some cool stuff!

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    1. Oh no! I figured Bubba was still at the "doing adventures" age. There's lots of stuff around Georgia to see.

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  40. i heard of those tablets, which seem pretty commonsensical. and i think it's easy to write those platitudes in stone but the same folks always seem to screw it up for the rest of the planet.

    a ty cobb museum?? that's awesome! i had no idea. i love that old time bat in his hands. nice to meet ya. here from pat hatt's place.

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    1. Hi-ya, Ed. Thanks for stopping by. It's nice to meetya.

      Yeah, they might sound commonsensical, but unfortunately, common sense ain't all that common.

      Yeah, the Ty Cobb museum was pretty neat. Not huge, but quite enjoyable.

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  41. It's so awesome that you two take off on daytrips together. Those tablets are wild---and rather ironic that these mammoth manmade planks taking up space in a field talk of making room for nature, eh?

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    1. HA! I never considered the irony of those massive stones taking up so much of nature's space.

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  42. I, too, am lost without a GPS. Even with one I can get lost. But thank goodness you were guided to such beautiful scenes that you share here with us. (I'm back to blogging on a limited basis, coming into blogs of old blogging friends mainly. You're on my list!)

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    1. Ann! How wonderful to hear from you again! Welcome back.

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  43. I love your Summer Trip posts, it's like I'm there with you and I learn all these little things I'd never know any way else. xo

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    1. Thanks, kiddo! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's nice to see you over here in the blogosphere again.

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  44. I have read about that monument as well, but never visited it. It is not that far from my home and I will definitely visit it in the future.

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    1. Cool. I hope you find it as interesting as we did. If not, at least it's FREE. (Not exactly a tourist trap.)

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  45. Wow those guidestones are amazing! I don't think I'd ever heard of them before. Would love to visit there.
    I laughed at your gps comment in the beginning of your post. Glad I'm not the only one with that problem. :D

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    1. I'm glad you find those stones interesting, too.

      Alas, I think there are a lot of us directionally-challenged people around. I come from a long line of 'em.

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  46. "get lost with a greater degree of precision..." LOL. That was awesome. So I'm thinking those stones are a novel in the making. What do you think? Maybe something to do with Doctor Who. ;)

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    1. Yep, these stones could make for an interesting tale. Tell ya what. You write it, and I'll read it.

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