Day 75: Friday, September 4, 1981
Marietta to Stone Mountain
I really slept in this morning. Didn't get up until 9:00 or so, and it was 11:00 before I was back in the saddle.
I felt like an interloper last night, sitting around with Mary and her friend and her brother, so I decided to just go my own way for the next four days, see a little of the country around Atlanta, and rejoin Mary Tuesday morning for the ride to Cleveland. Stone Mountain seemed like a good place to start.
Stone Mountain was only about 30 miles from Marietta, but it took me nine hours to get there. Yesterday's light diet, plus the exertion after a day's inactivity, combined to give me a feeling of light-headedness and general weakness. I think my meal stops were about five miles apart all day. And the cold front which has been stationary over the Appalachians for the past four or five days finally produced some thundershowers in the Atlanta area.
Traveling through greater metropolitan Atlanta was no fun, either. And several rush-hour traffic jams made the going even slower. I was lucky to get the tent set up before dark.
Stone Mountain is just what its name implies - a big hunk of stone sticking up out of the rolling, wooded Georgia hills. A state park surrounds the mountain, which, since the Confederate memorial carving was completed, has become a tourist attraction, complete with aerial tramway, steam railway, and Confederate history museum. As I circled the mountain on the way to the campground, the sun forced its way through to bathe the mountain, wreathed in leftover rain clouds, in a soft pink glow.
Hint to bikers: If you're stopping at a large campground such as this one, which has over 400 sites, don't pay a site fee. Just say you're looking for Joe and Annie, who drive a blue Chevy pickup with silver trim and have a camping trailer... Then you can just cruise through the campground, find some friendly people, and share their site. Just like Yellowstone. But don't wait until dark to do it.