Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Storms and Traffic
What started out as a routine travel day ended a bit stressfully. After a normal departure and smooth traveling we approached Atlanta from the south only to encounter strong thunderstorms and rain. The rain can only be described as torrential. We decided that rather than fight the rain we should settle in for the night. This was about 4:30 pm. We saw a campground sign on the interstate and decided to go for it. Following the sparse directions on the signs we ended up on a back road that was not even paved where we asked a guy if there was a campground in the area. He said, "No." We asked if the road was passible and he said, "Yes, the section that is unpaved is very short and it leads to a shopping mall." He was right but once we got to the mall we really got turned around and it took us a while to get back to the interstate.
As we approached Atlanta the traffic got heavier and heavier. Since we were approaching the big city from the south we took the beltway around to the west and ran into the worst traffic gridlock we have ever seen. We crawled for an hour or so only to arrive at our exit to find it was blocked off due to an accident. Fortunately the GPS software was able to reroute us to I-20 west but once there we started checking for campgrounds only to find hardly any on that side of Atlanta. We pulled into a parking lot and did a broader search and found a nice campground up at Marietta, Ga. The mapping software routed us to it and showed it was only 13.2 miles away. We started out for it while calling on the cell phone to hold a campsite. By now it was late in the day for us, around 7 pm and they had one site left which they held for us. This campground is nice because it has free wireless internet.
The down side is that things are a bit soggy after all the rain. Our car looks like it is the color of red clay since that covers everything in this part of the country. Click here for the web site of the campground. I took some photos of the gridlock traffic with my cell phone. I'll add them to the post later. Anyway, we are settled in for the night and hope to make Red Bay, Al tomorrow. 250 miles to go.