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Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park

I had been told by the park folks in Pine Mountain that GA Vets was worth a stop. Figured I would check it out –sounded kind of interesting–and, it was in Cordele, GA -watermelon capital of the world!! What’s more authentic rural than that ☺

The park was established as a memorial to U.S. veterans and the park features an outdoor display and museum with aircraft (including a Boeing B-29A), armored vehicles, uniforms, weapons, medals and other items from the Revolutionary War through the Gulf War.

For the sports minded, it has an 18-hole golf course and pro shop; and for the fishing and boating folks, there’s lots to do on 8,700-acre Lake Blackshear. The lake included a number of small coves where I caught a glimpse of some Spanish moss—you know you’re getting close to that uniquely southern wetlands landscape.

It is reportedly one of Georgia’s most popular state parks. Well, I am here to say that the report seemed accurate – despite arriving midweek (beat the crowds right?? Wrong!! ) –the place was jumping. Maybe it was Spring Break crowds, maybe the crappie fishing was good (lots of boats behind RV’s parked along the lake). So much for getting a choice spot on the lake.

But, lady luck was on my side. I was directed by a friendly camp host to a site on Loop 3 that was the old Host Site – meaning I managed to grab sewer hook-up along with electric/water—something unheard in a State Park. ( A guy has to do laundry once in a while ) Sweet! And, Loop 3 was virtually empty—even better! I love kids ( Remember I have 2 ) but families on spring break meant lots of noise and I wanted some peace and quiet.

The first morning I was there I happened upon a couple of folks flying miniature planes being flown by sophisticated remote control units –how cool is that. I had a great time learning about yet another cool hobby (not that I need another one-but you never know). Seems their RV “mission” was to drive around the country and visit with other like minded enthusiasts. I was reminded that for every interest there’s a group out there—and, some of them live in RV’s ☺

The next day I set out to backtrack and visit Plains GA. I didn’t vote for the guy but Jimmy Carter came “out of nowhere” and took advantage of new/post-Watergate election rules to become a U.S. President-kind of interesting history that was on full display in Plains GA—was interesting making my way around the sites of this small (and I mean small) GA town.

Seems the entire area is now a “historic district”. The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains includes the farm where he spent his boyhood, the Plains High School he attended, and the train depot that served as headquarters for his 1976 presidential campaign.

The Plains High School serves as the park visitor center and museum and includes a restored and furnished classroom, principal’s office, and auditorium, and exhibits on Carter’s life and accomplishments. The Plains Depot is a self-guided museum with exhibits focusing on the 1976 presidential campaign. The Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm, two and half miles from downtown Plains, offers a look at Carter’s childhood.

It was fun exploring the area. I played with a software program (Posterino) to create a postcard of my pics from my visit to the depot and town.

A big draw at the park is of course the display of fighting machinery on display—and, it was also good to see that, despite budget cuts everywhere in GA as elsewhere in this country, that the place was getting a facelift. Things were getting lots of attention from a dedicated team repainting the old “birds” and tanks/artillery . Had some fun wandering among it all and capturing some images.

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