01 November 2014

Across the U.S., Day 26 - Savannah (GA) to Thomasville (GA)

Today was the official start for my way back home. The day began cold and extremely windy, mainly tailwind I suppose? :-) I thought that it would be perfect for a visit to the Bonaventure Cemetery, located east of Savannah and in use since 1846. Its avenues lined with old Live Oak trees -  Georgia's designated state tree - make it a gorgeous place.

The silver-geenish stuff hanging from the trees is called "Spanish Moss". However, it is neither Spanish nor moss, but actually belongs to the family Bromeliacea and yes, is related to the pineapple.

When I got to the cemetery this morning it was deserted. And I left just in time before a large tour bus emptied its content on the parking lot and people swarmed all over the place. This cemetery is certainly the most famous in Savannah, partially due to John Berendt's book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil".

I was surprised to find so many German names on the tombs such as Hohenstein, Schwarz, Vogel, Entelmann, Heise.

Savannah is said to be the most haunted city in the United States. According to one of the tour guides yesterday, there is one house in downtown nobody wants to live in because it is occupied by ghosts. And I have never seen a city with so many "Ghost Tours". Well, if it helps tourism, so be it.

On my way through the deep south, I stopped by Debbie's Diner for a coffee and bathroom break. No, this place is nothing famous, it just happened to be on the route. Kelly, the waitress, noticed my license plate and we started talking. It turned out that the parents of her ex-husband lived in Sunnyvale for many years until they moved to near Fresno last year. The world really is a small place! She had visited them with her daughter in Sunnyvale and especially liked the fresh citrus fruit they had in their garden. Like me, she does not understand, why so many people just let their oranges etc. rot on the ground. She loves to visit California, but would never move there, because that little town Ludovici where I met her is home.

The Wiregrass Georgie Parkway has lots of small communities along the way, many abandoned houses, mobile home parks and several antique stores, like this one:

Driving through this swampland feels odd to me. I don't want to imaging driving off the road accidentally and into the swamp, which lies left and right to certain roads. The creeks I drove by (Big Alligator Creek, Small Alligator Creek etc.) must have their name for a reason. ...

All of a sudden I noticed this:

Cotton! It might sound silly, but never in my life I had seen the raw material growing on a field. Of course I had to get closer.

Real close:

Cotton is grown in the southern United States, mostly in Texas, Arizona, the Mississippi delta, but also California and in recent years also in Georgia and North Carolina. It is grown as an annual plant from seeds. Depending on state and location, planting usually starts between February - May, while harvesting begins as early as July and ends in December.

The cotton plant is a member of the Malvaceae family and related to okra and cacao. As of 2012, the United States were no. 3 in the world cotton production, behind China and India.

Cotton blossom

The fluffy white fibers grow around the cotton seeds and are protected by a green capsule (boll).

After harvesting, the seeds are removed and the cotton fibers get formed into bales, 500 lb (~ 227 kg) each. Cotton cultivation has a long history BC in Egypt, Pakistan and Mexiko and "King Cotton" is certainly tied to slavery and the prosperous development of the American South before the civil war.

More to come.


  1. Uuh, scary - seems that most of the sculptures at the cemetery are missing some fingers.

    Hehe, I also would have stopped at the cotton field to take some picutures. It is a fascinating plant. And so fluffy. Did you take a little cotton ball with you? I would have.

    1. You bet! I took a small branch with a closed and an open boll. :-) And went into some more cotton fields again today.