Monday, November 9, 2009

We found the Road Less Traveled!

Headed south on Saturday we left the main highway in Columbus, Ga. First, we visited Providence Canyon State Park. Then the two lane road then ended at the water and Florence Marina State Park. There we started driving south on Hwy. 39, a crooked black line on our state map.
Hwy. 39 is bordered by miles and miles of cotton fields, all white and ready for picking. Mike pointed out the water was to our right, through the trees. "If we watch we might see a road so we can jog over and look." He saw a battered sign for a Corps of Engineering site – Rood Landing. He turned sharply and almost immediately we left pavement and hit a dirt road. Red clay, one lane road in the middle of nowhere. After a little while, when we thought about turning around, we realized we couldn't as there were no side roads or wide spots. So we kept going forward. After a couple miles we hit pavement and signs saying we were at Rood Landing.
About a dozen trucks with empty boat trailers filled the boat ramp parking lot. The line of camping spots right next to the river only held a couple tents. A slight turn to the right and we saw picnic tables along the lazy river waiting for us. Spanish moss hung heavy and fall colors reflected in the dark, still water. We were the only people in that area.
There's all that talk about "the road less traveled" and it sounds good, but I learned a couple things about it Saturday.
-You have to intentionally leave the road more traveled. It might happen by accident, but then you're too panicked to explore.
-You have to be willing to look. It will not jump up in your lap and beg to go home with you.
-You have to know your surroundings and be ready to react. Mike knew where the water was and went that direction when given a chance..
-You can't let the no turnaround thing freak you out.
In all reality, we took a couple hours detour off the main highway. South of the lake we got back on the main road with everyone else headed to Panama City. Even in the midst of all those cotton fields, we were on good paved road, the dirt road had been recently graded, and the park was taken care of (even had toilet paper in the pit toilets.) So our adventure was minor on the scale of adventures.
But sitting on the riverbank watching the fish jump and butterflies dance, all framed by curtains of moss, Mike and I felt like we'd found a treasure. And that's good enough for me.

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