Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Sun - Sun, April 24th - May 1st

While we were camped at Stone Mountain Village we spent a couple days exploring Stone Mountain. It is internationally known for the Confederate Memorial carving on the mountainside of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

This is the Memorial Lawn and Hall below the carving where thousands of people were gathering for the evening lazer show. The lawn is terraced with terraces marked by monuments to the 13 Confederate states, including the two states that fought for both sides.

The lazer show was amazing. It lasted about 45 minutes. The music was all songs about Georgia and the South and by Georgia musicians. All types of music from Ray Charles to the Indigo Girls, and it was all awesome.

The coolest was when they lit up the Civil War heroes and the movement of the lights made their horses appear to be walking. Totally cool!

They covered military, history, sports, recreation, industry, art, culture, folklore, anything you could think of.

The crowd just went crazy over their favorite teams, characters, singers, heroes, etc. The patriotic stuff was a grand finale that really wowed the crowd. Then they topped it off with fireworks.

A few days later we hiked up the mountain. There were lots of names and dates carved into the stone along the way. The oldest ones I saw were 1912 and 1888. This railing was just on this little stretch that was particularly steep. The rock is very smooth and could be very slippery if wet.

When we reached the top, we saw this view of downtown Atlanta 14 miles away.

John is relaxing and enjoying the view after our hike up.

This is a view over the edge just above the carving showing the Memorial Lawn where we sat to watch the lazer show. You can see the river, man-made lakes and the golf course. There are also cable cars, amusement park, plantation, museums, a huge campground and resort hotels on the mountain property.

Back down at the base of the mountain all four of the Confederate flags are flying with the U.S. flag. The first flag in 1861 had stars and bars, 7 stars for the original 7 states that seceded. The stars and bars were hard to distinguish from the Union stars and stripes, so it was changed to a white background a few months later. It was changed again in 1863 to add a red bar on the end because it could be mistaken for a flag of truce. It was changed one last time to the one we all recognize with the 13 stars in an X shape on a red background.

People in the south are so friendly, polite and gracious. I've really been enjoying our travels across the South. I haven't heard a "Hi" or "Hello" for over a month. Everyone says, "How y'all doin?" and "Where y'all from?". It's really very warm and welcoming.

Goodnight y'all,


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