Fair Harbor RV Park & Campground, Perry, Georgia is just off I-75, Exit 135. It is 220 miles from our previous stop at Chattanooga Holiday Trav-L-Park. Fair Harbor is a Passport America member but they will charge regular price if you make a reservation. Unusual rule but they are adamant about it (with attitude). We paid $34.50/night with Good Sam discount. It is a nicely laid out park with pull-thrus, FHU, free cable and WiFi. Streets are paved and sites are gravel and nearly level.
This stop is only one half hour’s drive from Andersonville National Park – the infamous Confederate prison camp of Civil War days. The place has haunted me to some degree since I read MacKinlay Kantor’s novel back in the 60’s. How could such a place have existed? It was only open 15 months and housed 45,000 Union prisoners, of which over 13,000 died due to the inhuman conditions.
We took the trip over and found the same notice on the gate as with most other National Parks, “Closed due to the Government shutdown”.
A short ways away from the locked Park gates we found Andersonville, the small town which was the rail depot and local support for the prison. Many of the buildings have been rebuilt giving us some insight into what it was like back in the day.
Since we were half way to the hometown of a fairly famous peanut farmer, we decided to extend our day trip to visit Plains, Georgia, hometown of the 39th President of the USA, Jimmy Carter. It’s a very small farming community that’s very proud of their favorite son. Both the Museum and the boyhood farm were closed, again due to the lack of a National Government with common sense but we did enjoy the visit. We even sampled some local peanut ice cream. No, not peanut butter flavor, this was pure peanut. We decided we knew why it didn’t catch on across the country.
The Carters do have a residence in town and we easily found it because it was the only the one with a high fence and Secret Service manning the gates.
Directly across the street and train track from main street is brother Billy Carter’s Service Station, from which innumerable quotes came – along with Billy Beer – during his brother’s tenure. It’s now a museum to all things Billy.
So many places were closed to us but the trip was still well worth the effort. Not only did we see the areas we have heard and read about but the scenery we passed was fantastic, from the pecan groves with their huge trees lined up in perfect rows from every viewing direction, all standing in closely mowed fields of grass to the huge cotton fields, peach orchards and fields of peanuts being harvested for processing in the former Carter Peanut Plant in Plains.
We had dinner in an antebellum home in Perry which came highly recommended. The name of the restaurant is Swanson’s. The building is the former home of a prosperous livery stable owner built in a previous century. The food was reasonably priced and fairly well prepared.
Our next (and last) stop before reaching our Winter home near Tampa will be in Lake City, Florida. It’s a favorite whenever we pass this way into Northern Florida. The final posting for this trip will have all of the stats including costs and mileages.