Saturday, March 17, 2012

National Parks Tour GA & SC

Part of:  NPT - Southeastern States ride 
SpotWalla Map
GPS Track (Garmin Connect)

The IBA "Pizza Party" is being held at lunch time north of Daytona Beach.  It is an annual after the IBA Annual Dinner tradition reserved for riders who have successfully completed the Iron Butt Rally.  I was invited, but decided to skip it to knock out three of the NPT passport locations.  If I went to the Pizza Party I couldn't make Fort Sumter in SC before the Visitor's Center would close.  I went to last year's Pizza Party having been invited while still a rookie selectee.  It was fun and I met many of the veterans of past IBRs.

So, after another hearty free breakfast at the Ramada Inn I headed for GA and two National Monuments.   Getting to Fort Frederica NM GA was real easy.  Getting to Fort Pulaski NM I had to ride through downtown Savannah....during Saint Patrick's Day!  There must have been a million people and 250,000 cars parked everywhere.  The police had all the streets blocked off and it was driving Greta Garmin crazy as she was trying to route me back into down town.  I just ignored her and did a big loop around the town center to get to the highway leading to Fort Pulaski.  Returning through the city center I again did a loop around the congestion and finally got out of town and back on the open highway.

The jot up to Charleston SC for the Fort Sumter NP Visitor's Center took me out on I-95.  Lots of northbound traffic from Daytona Bike Week.  About twice as many bikes on trailer as were being ridden.  Riding through Charleston was a breeze compared to Savannah and I went right to the Fort Sumter Visitor's Center.  The Fort is actually several miles away in the middle of the channel leading to Charleston harbour.  The ferry wasn't running but I tried to take a picture of the island anyway.

My next passport location was to head to Andersonville Civil War prison location south of Macon GA.  I wasn't going to make it in time on Saturday and planned on spending the night in Dublin GA.  About 40 miles east of Dublin there was a bad crash on I-16.  A thunderstorm had blown through about 1 hour earlier.  It must have contributed to the crash as the The interstate traffic was at a standstill, people out of their cars walking around.  I got stuck in it for about 30 minutes.  I fired up the GPS and saw a work-around so I cut over to the eastbound lanes and headed back about 5 miles to Metter, cut north then back west.  It was almost 9pm by the time I checked into the hotel.  All in all....a great day.

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