Day 3 of Our Southern Climbing Trip…
It was early afternoon and the rain was coming down at a steady pace as Nick and I rolled into Athens, Georgia. The first thing that was on our minds was getting some quality Southern chow!
Automatic For The People
So naturally we rolled into the parking lot of a Slimer-green building, and went in to try the famous Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods. It was a small place with several long tables laid out like you were at a family get-together. Nick and I both ordered the fried Chicken, with sides of Catfish, mac and cheese, and collards.
It was my first time eating collards and I was a little nervous. They looked a lot like boiled
seaweed to me, and smelled kinda funny. I decided to taste them first, and after a couple of bites I was hooked. They reminded me of spinach, of which I’m already a big fan. Overall the food was pretty good. It’s not a fancy place by any means, but it’s quick service and filling food. I also learned that the band R.E.M. took the title of their 1992 album “Automatic for the People” from Weaver D’s motto. Pretty cool, huh?
After satiating our hunger we moved on to downtown Athens. The only way to really experience all of the cool shops, cafes and bars was to park the car and walk. The rain was still coming down hard as we ran down the streets looking for something that piqued our interests. First we stop into an old looking used book store. Nick and I have a habit of visiting a bookstore or two in every town we drive through. What can I say, books rock!
We hit up a great record shop, comic book store, and a cafe / bar. All the while we were running back and forth through rain and puddles. About an hour into running around town, I noticed that my feet were completely soaked through. Yeah, it was wet out, but I didn’t think I stepped in anything deep enough to warrant such soggy sneakers! I asked Nick if his feet were wet, and he said they were fine. Well, after we got done doing some shopping and coffee drinking we went back to the car so I could change my shoes before I got trench foot.
When I pulled the shoes off I noticed that their bottoms were not completely covered in rubber like most soles! The middle of the sole appeared to be woven hemp or some other material. The water was able to go right up into my socks! I love these Skecher shoes, but you think they would have come with a warning! DO NOT WEAR IN THE RAIN!
Live at the 40 Watt
After drying out and cooking another meal in the parking lot of a Sam’s club, we decided to go to the famous 40 Watt and rock out at their Christmas party. The club was not very big. There was medium size stage with about 10 round tables in front of it, just enough room for some dancing, and a nice long bar the length of the room. Surprisingly there were very few people there that night. I guess it’s because Athens is a college town, and everyone was at home for the break…
Anyway, there were some great southern alt-rock bands playing that night. I forget the first two names, but the headliner was Lona. They put on a great show and had a ton of energy. They even managed to entice some dancers to the floor. It was so cool standing in the place that the Drive-By Truckers (One of my favorite bands) recorded their live album, aptly named Live at the 40 Watt.
Overall, Athens was a blast. It’s probably even more exciting when school is in session and thousands of students are roaming the streets. Rain or shine, you should visit Athens for a good time!
Day 4 and The Long Road Home
The next day we got up late, around 11am. We slept that night in a tent, for the first time on our trip. The temperature went down to near freezing, but with a little space heater cranking all night we kept warm and cozy. Most of the night I didn’t even need a blanket because it got so warm. In the morning we showered, cooked some eggs, and hit the road by 1pm.
We were hoping to get one last climb in at Rock Town, GA on our way home. Sadly, with our late start, it began getting dark just as we were nearing Rock Town. Then to add insult to injury, the sunny skies turned gray and it began raining again. Nick and I finally resigned to the fact that we would not be climbing anymore on this trip :(
We remembered that we needed to get back in Bowling Green, OH by Sunday morning. At this time it was already 5pm on Saturday and we were still in Georgia! We had a 10 to 11 hour drive ahead of us! We decided to grab some food and make the long push for home.
Thank you technology! If it wasn’t for my iPhone and the ability to stream Pandora radio and Youtube videos into Nick’s car stereo, that would have been one long and monotonous trip home. I took the wheel in Chatanooga to give Nick a break from his driving duties. All went well until midway through Kentucky. That’s when the snow started falling.
From that point, until we pulled off of the Bowling Green, OH exit ramp, it snowed. There were a couple of times that I was gripping the steering wheel and hoping that the car wouldn’t lose traction, careening off of the mountainside. In the end we got home without incident at four in the morning. We unpacked some of my gear, hauled it up my stairs, I told Nick, “Awesome trip Bro, see ya later,” and within minutes I was out cold.
What a great trip! If any of you have been to Athens, GA or Chattanooga, TN let me hear your stories. Until next time, Happy Traventures!
Southern Bouldering Trip: Day 1
Southern Bouldering Trip: Day 2