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Dedication: Day 9 Georgia, Watson Mill Bridge State Park

Dedication: Day 9 Georgia, Watson Mill Bridge State Park

Nothing worthwhile is achieved without great effort. How you can determine how truly dedicated you are to a cause is by evaluating how long you are willing to try before giving up. Working hard really does pay off, whether it be the intended result or not. Sometimes the result is even better.

The Geology Dept. Banner at the University of Georgia. May 17 2011

Today I slept in a little, with a drive of only 4 hours planned for the day. I was going to head from Savannah Georgia to Athens, Georgia, the hometown of one of my graduate school hopefuls. I had been emailing one of the higher up faculty there in hopes of meeting them while I was here, but unfortunately both of the gentlemen I had been talking to were going to be gone during this part of the summer. Since I had still planned on being in the area I figured it would still be worth a campus visit so I could at least see the campus, the geology building, and the town of Athens and get a feel for the area.

The Hydrangea at the University of Georgia. May 17, 2011

I arrived in Athens about 3pm, and after finding a visitor parking area, I wandered around the campus (with guidance from the campus map board that was stationed near my parking garage). The University of Georgia is quite larger than what I am used to navigating. I don’t know how big Athens really is, but I’m pretty sure that the U of G consumes almost all of it. The campus is really pretty, well landscaped with local plants like blue hydrangea, lilies, and various trees. Every nook and cranny between buildings is well landscaped to include benches and gathering places. It seems no matter where you go you would feel like you have found your own personal oasis. Perhaps this is because it is summer and most of the students and faculty are absent, but I’d like to pretend it is like this all year around.

I dont know why I take a picture of the university stadiums, I don't really follow college sports. None-the-less, here is the University of Georgia's stadium. May 17, 2011

I found the shared Geology/Geography building with little difficulty. The building was open so I went in and wandered. As with all schools, everything was clearly labeled, and those that weren’t were easy to distinguish. The floor with the rocks was the geology floor. The floor with the giant globe would be the geography floor….in general. I was reading the directory and then looking at some pictures when I noticed a familiar name on one of them. It was the very man who was coauthor of the research the man I had been communicating with published. Not even two minutes later I see a walking image of the picture I had just been examining, so I stop and ask if it was indeed him.

The Geography/Geology building at the University of Georgia. May 17, 2011

I had caught him at a perfect time, he says. He was just wandering the building, bored, and considering visiting the library to do some mindless reading. He would be more than happy to show me around and talk to me about what the University of Georgia has to offer. We sat and talked about speleothems from different parts of the world for a time, and then he showed me some of the research they were doing now, opening up the labs and showing me specimens. He told me what type of TA and RA offers they typically make- most of the information I need to know to make a solid decision. I was incredibly lucky to have met him, as he is well known in the field. I had considered for a short moment not visiting the campus since the two men I had been communicating with weren’t going to be there, but I was still determined to get as much information as I can. It turns out the determination paid off, well. That makes 2 grad school potentials down, only 3 more to visit to get a good idea of who offers what.

Some of the local produce I picked up at a roadside fruit stand in Georgia. May 17, 2011

The white peaches I got, first of the season, from a local produce stand in Georgia. May 17, 2011

After my visit with the University of Georgia I headed off to my next campsite: Watson Mill Bridge State Park. On the way to Athens to visit the University of Georgia I had stopped by a local fruit stand and picked up some local produce. I purchased 4 1st-of-the-season white peaches (grown from the standowners orchards), 1 ripe tomato, 1 vidalia onion (from Vidalia, GA, so the real deal), and a few potatoes- all for about $3. You can’t beat that. After stopping by a grocery store to pick up some sausage to slice up, and the leftover jalepeno from my cajun hobo dinner I cooked in Gulf State Park on Day 5, I had a really good dinner in the making.

My tasty dinner made of local produce (and a jalepeno and sausage). May 17, 2011 Watson Mill Bridge State Park Georgia

It turns out the park was absolutely gorgeous. I yet again had chosen the best park I could have in the area. The campsites were large, and the entire area was less than half occupied, there was a quaint wooden covered bridge, the nucleus of the park itself, and trails, waterfalls and more. I had to cook dinner and then eat it while walking on the trails I was so excited to experience them before dark.

My campsite at Watson Mill Bridge State Park in Georgia. May 17, 2011

The place stimulates each of the five senses: The smell of warm cedar. The sound of falling water. The sight of stone mill ruins and a covered bridge. The taste of camp cooked food. And the feel of a cooler, forested climate. It all added up to the fact that I had made the transition from the humid, warm south (which I did love) to the beginnings of the Appalachian Mountains. I was still in the state of Georgia, but something had clearly changed.

The old Mill Ruins you can find if you walk along the trails at Watson Mill State Park in Georgia. May 17, 2011

I couldn’t get enough of the park. I had planned the next day to be leisurely so I stayed there until almost check out time, taking pictures and relaxing in the canopy of the cedars and other trees. I was tempted to stay there another night, but I had already planned to visit another well-acclaimed state park up in South Carolina: Devil’s Fork State Park. I am determined to experience as much of America as I can on this trip, and my dedication had paid off today- It will certainly pay off tomorrow.  I’ll see you there-

Nicole

The covered bridge that crosses the river that runs over a lot of granitic rocks. May 17, 2011 at Watson Mill Bridge State Park

Taking pictures of Watson Mill Bridge in Northern Georgia. May 17, 2011

May 17th, 2011 | 5 Comments

5 Responses to “Dedication: Day 9 Georgia, Watson Mill Bridge State Park”

  • 05/19/11

    Mongo says:

    Hooray for covered bridges! XD

  • 05/19/11

    Don says:

    dinner looks good, looks like you made enough how about sending some our way

      06/23/11

      Nicole says:

      ha ha…yeah cooking for one is always a bit of a trick to get the hang of when you have all this amazing fresh produce available. Then again, all this hiking I am doing requires more calories anyways! :)

    05/20/11

    lisa cain says:

    Those peaches looked delicious and you pick the best places to camp. Thanks for letting us experience your travels through your eyes.

      06/23/11

      Nicole says:

      I love sharing my experiences, so thank you for reading! :)

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