Saturday, 6 October 2007

Travel Diary: Augusta, GA

It's fall break at Duke and we are on the road again. We are clearly becoming more Americanized, and used to the enormous distances people travel here, because driving over 300 miles to Augusta, Georgia on a Friday evening did not seem like a big deal. It took us a little over six hours, with a stop at Cracker Barrel on the way. If you get a good Cracker Barrel, it's a great experience -- good American cooking, friendly waiters and waitresses (three lots of liking our accents today) and pretty good value -- $28 to feed four of us until we were stuffed. They advertise themselves as a kind of "old country store" and the d├ęcor, which looks pretty much the same in every one you visit, is American style olde worlde, with old portraits on the wall, old baseball bats and balls, and of course some mounted fire arms. The food is all breakfast, burgers and barbecue, and I love it. Eating "biscuits", a kind of tasty savoury scone, which sounded so strange to us two years ago, is now a natural and regular event. Cracker Barrel biscuits may be the best, though Bojangles ("chicken'n'biscuit") runs them a close second.

Driving on American roads is unbelievably straightforward. On a big journey like this, you never hit a single track road (=single carriageway), so it's like being on a big motorway for hours. And even on a Friday night, our route was very easy with no traffic jams anywhere. So you just point the car in the right direction, bang it into cruise control and there's not a lot more to do except choose your BBC podcasts. We managed to clear a bit of a backlog on that front, going through several Daily Mayos, Start the Week, Thinking Allowed, Genius, Safety Catch, and a programme celebrating 25 years of Radio 1. The most poignant moment in the latter was the short feature on John Peel, still missed. Earlier today, on my way back from work, I finished listening to a wonderful, lengthy documentary celebrating 40 years of Radio 4. Nice to think that others are turning 40 this year.

We are only just in Georgia. Having driven through North Carolina and South Carolina, Augusta is right on the eastern border of the Georgia / South Carolina state line. We have a twenty minute drive tomorrow morning to get to the small town of Harlem. More on that later this weekend.

2 comments:

CS Sweatman said...

Mark,

I would highly recommend indulging yourself on the "Cinnamon Biscuits" at Cracker Barrell during the Christmas season. That is one of the many things I look forward to each year around that time. I could easily make a meal out of just those.

Regards,
-carl

Tanie said...

I've been searching old posts on my Blog and found a message from your old incarnation. Just thought I'd check how you were getting on in the USA and indeed if you're still there!! Have to say it makes me full of wanderlust....