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Rural Southern Georgia

January 2, 2013

Georgia – Friday, December 28

I slept for 10 hours straight last night and should have woken up refreshed. But instead, I have no energy at all. I only have 3 miles to walk to finish up Georgia, and that will be goal for the day.

I was happy to just sit in the car for a while as I drove across the southern part of the state. This is cotton territory, and I saw fields of cotton that were waiting to be picked, and others that looked like they’d been picked recently. There were fluffs of cotton scattered along the roadsides and blowing down the road. I passed a couple of gins (cotton “gin” is simply short for engine) but all I could see were warehouse buildings and bales and bales of cotton sitting outside, labeled with spray paint. Most bales were rectangular and some were round, and all were big. They seem to cover the top half of the bale – doesn’t really matter though because this is the “raw” cotton and still has to be cleaned. I saw signs that mentioned pecans, but didn’t notice any pecan orchards.

And no trip through this region would be complete without seeing something about peanuts! I don’t know what peanut plants look like when they grow, and I’m assuming some of the empty fields I passed were old peanut fields. This area of southwest Georgia is the state’s biggest peanut growing region, and when I stopped in the town of Blakely to finish my walking, I saw the Peanut Memorial on the grounds of the courthouse in the town square. There were a lot of peanut facilities and peanut pride in this town – a seed warehouse; buying and shelling buildings; lots of trucks and train cars at the warehouses; but I didn’t see one peanut! I think they’re harvested sometime in November, judging from some old Peanut Festival posters that were still up. I know I support the industry – both in consumption of peanuts and peanut butter!! The town square in Blakely also had the oldest remaining original Confederate flagpole in the state.

I got out to walk, and was really dragging. I was even worried I would have to sit down in someone’s front yard to rest. But I somehow finished, and then I got in the car and drove the short distance to Alabama. I found the first reasonable pet-friendly place to say, and by 5:30 was collapsed in bed with the chills. Ugh. No energy to watch TV or even read – what a waste of time!
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