You know you’re nuts when sleeping in your trailer, which gets new scenery every few days, starts feeling ordinary. After months on the road, we had a craving to bring out the tent and spend a night on the ground.
We knew we would love Vermont. It has maple syrup, tons of craft breweries, very few Walmart’s and ZERO billboards. Vermont is one of 4 states that bans their use. No one trying to sell their business with gigantic pictures of greasy meat or confounding slogans and no lawyers to distract you into crashing your car so you can use their services. Instead there are acres upon acres of trees and grass land, farmhouses, and a plethora of local businesses. You immediately recognize it as “normal”, what normal should be anyway.
The Blue Ridge Parkway runs for 469 miles. Its northern extent begins in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and ends at Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina. However you choose to approach the trip, the drive alone is worth the visit, full of dynamic scenic overlooks and without the distraction of bill boards and major towns.
We had a sweet 24-hours in Savannah, Georgia. We parked it at the Savannah, Georgia visitor center, a fantastic find as it is only $8 per night to park your trailer downtown. With limited time, we were quickly turned onto the 10,000 steps self-guided tour through town (a map is provided in the Visitor Center). We began in the morning and found our way around the city, stopping at several of the block parks which are punctuated by manicured gardens, fountains and monuments.
We paused in Forsyth Park to nap under the tell-tall broad and overarching oak trees, dripping with Spanish moss. The fertile soil of the city is well cared for and can be found around every corner.
We spent an entire month in Florida but not on purpose. We were trapped by the delusions that set in with too much sun. You begin to fear leaving for if you do the next place might rain, or be cold or run out of rum.
We pulled off the highway, just before entering Mississippi to visit the Rosedown Plantation in Louisiana, built in 1835 by the Turnbull family. The Turnbull’s were cotton planters who owned several plots of land as well as 444 slaves, 250 who worked on the Rosedown Plantation.
First and final thought, the plantation is a well preserved house and garden estate. It was built by the hands of slaves (preserved in later years by non-slaves). Do you forgive a home built by a family that owned slaves? Do you visit and fawn over the beauty? Do you feel envious and dream for greater things such as these? Or do you remember the slaves, who lived and breathed and toiled on the same land where their white owners thrived. Bottom line do you remember the slaves.
“History” might try and say the owners treated their slaves well, that they had a doctor that lived on the property, the slaves came back after the Civil War to work, the owners didn’t know any different. But how could they not?
As a white woman in the 21st century I can’t speak for anyone in this story. What I can do though is not neglect the history of such a place. I can remember the slaves. Yes it is beautiful and peaceful NOW, but I will not say that this is what it represents, beauty and peace. In so many ways it represents the opposite. This needs to be noted because the following pictures depict only beauty and peace and my guess is, it’s because it is now empty.