Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sponsors, Swamps, and Serendipity

Yesteray I left Atlanta for Folkston to spend a week in the Okefenokee Swamp. But before I get into that, I'd like to introduce a new member to the Vanishing America family: Our first Sponsor, The Shop!

Last week, the Land Rover was taken to a specialty mechanic in Norcross, GA to have some rattles and vibrations tightened up. Luke Miles, owner of The Shop, rebuilt the driveshafts, did my brakes, and fixed a few of the other annoyances that come with a 13 year-old Rover. And he did it all for free! In exchange for all the hard work, I told Luke I would let people know if he did a good job. Well...

He did a GREAT job! The Defender rides like a dream. Even my mom enjoyed the ride, and that's saying a lot! I'm keeping Luke on my favorites list, and highly recommend him as your North Georgia Land Rover contact for everything from mods and suspensions to custom work and general maintenance. (And, he's a great guy. He's young, very experienced, loves Rovers, and off-roads in his juiced-up Discovery every chance he gets.)

On to the SWAMP!

John Almering (a friend of mine, who is a freelance videographer) and I hopped into BABS yesterday afternoon and drove down to the Okefenokee Swamp in South Georgia. We'd originally intended to go to the west side of the Swamp, to Fargo, and explore around Stephen C. Foster State Park. However, due to a late start and the possibility of arriving too late to find a campground, John called ahead to a little town near Waycross to see if we could stay at his friend's place. Well, here's where the serendipity that I keep talking about comes into play...

John's friend, Travis, is a direct descendant of the Lee family, one of the last families to live in the Okefenokee Swamp before the National Park Service moved everyone out in the 1930s. The Lee family actually lived on the infamous Billy's Island, and Travis' deceased relatives make up a significant portion of the population in the historic cemetery.

We're planning on heading out this morning (Thursday) to go talk with Travis' uncle, the last person born on Billy's Island.

I love it when a plan comes together!

1 comment: said...

We had a great time paddling Okefenokee. You are so lucky you get to talk to one of the Lees! Cant' wait to hear about your meeting.