After our short stay in Hendersonville NC we headed south. On the way both to and from Hendersonville we passed the Eastern Continental Divide which separates the waters flowing to the Atlantic Ocean from those flowing to the Gulf of Mexico. The divide runs from Pennsylvania to Florida. It crosses Virginia from Carroll County at the North Carolina line to Giles County at the West Virginia border. Rainwater in southwestern Virginia flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Before 1760 it was the boundary between British and French colonial possessions in North America. It was also the line separating the Thirteen Colonies from the west. Sure didn’t know this until I saw the sign and looked it up!
We passed through South Carolina, which had the cheapest gas, and endured gusty winds and a major Friday afternoon traffic jam outside of Atlanta. We were glad when we reached our destination, the Stone Mountain RV Park.
Stone Mountain is an exposed quartz monzonite dome rock 825 feet tall and more than five miles in circumference at its base. It was formed during the formation of the Blue Ridge Mountains around 300-350 million years ago. Stone Mountain continues underground for nine miles at its longest point.
On the north face of the rock is an enormous rock relief carving of three Confederate figures: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis. It is the largest “bas-relief” in the world, larger than Mount Rushmore!!
Stone Mountain is surrounded by a family oriented theme park. We were not too attracted to the touristy stuff but did spend a morning riding the train on the five mile scenic loop around the park and then took the Summit Skyride. The Skyride is a high speed cable car which carries visitors to the top of Stone Mountain. As we rode up we had a nice view of the Confederate carving. At the top we walked around and enjoyed the beautiful views of the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlanta skyline. It is only a few miles east of downtown Atlanta.
On Saturday evening they had the last laser show of the season. It was very chilly and we had to really bundle up for the 45 minute nighttime show. With videos and high-powered lasers the mountain became a nighttime canvas. With the last laser show completed they began preparations for their Snow Festival season. There were already snow machines making snow and snowflakes hanging from light posts.
Sunday we drove into Atlanta to see the capitol building and visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.
The capitol is modeled after the U.S. capitol building. The roof is covered with gold leaf mined in northern Georgia.
In keeping with our goal to visit as many presidential museums as possible, we toured the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum. We began with a short film and then proceeded through several galleries beginning with his early life, navy career, political life as governor and president including a reproduction of the Oval Office, and concluding with his life today. These days he spends a lot of time at the Carter Center, even maintaining an apartment there. The Carter Center, founded in 1982, is a nongovernmental, not for profit organization in partnership with Emory University. The Carter Center works to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering.
Notice here how his head is made from the fifty state flags.
We enjoyed visiting the Carter Presidential Library and Museum and found it was very well done.
I had to laugh at a sign on the door saying “Worst President”. A closer look showed they were advertising a lecture by a guest author who wrote a book on who he thinks was the worst president: James Buchanan.