Day 043 – Townsend, GA > Treehouse Hostel, GA

I woke up and got my coffee on with Darlene and Ken before Ken had to head out to teach Sunday school. It was so relaxing to sit on their wrap around deck and sip coffee while talking about armadillos. Apparently they dig lots of holes looking for grubs and other ground dwelling insects much to the consternation of home owners and farmers. The topics came up because I was lamenting the fact that I saw so much road kill along my ride – now including armadillos. Darlene sent me packing with a Georgia peach and a PB&J which I gobbled down on my way to the smallest church in America (pic) on the way back to the main road from their house. It has room for 12 people and a very intimate service.

A few miles down the road I saw a turtle shell in the middle of the road – intact – and my heart leapt for joy. I could save a turtle from the fate of so many others that I’ve seen on my journey. I dumped my bicycle on the side of the road and jump in to grab her as cars were swerving around. Just as I picked her up a pick-up truck pulled over to the side of the road and a woman called out, “what kind of turtle is it?”

I said, “a live one” holding her up a big smile on my face.

She said, “put it in the cab of my truck, I’ve got 11 acres.”

It sounded good to me so I put her in on a piece of plastic in the back of her king cab thinking I hope this isn’t a ploy for turtle soup. She told me that she did a bike ride when she was 52 from San Diego to St Augustine and really enjoyed it. With a warm feeling from saving a turtle and communing with a fellow cyclist in my heart, I was pleasantly shocked to see on the back window of her pick-up truck a cardboard bust of President Obama with a Pinocchio nose and jesters crown. Ha ha ha. Why not? We shared a love for saving wild love and cycling, but not our President. I’ll accept that. I was feeling really bummed out because I did get pictures of anything because I was so focused on saving the turtle. But…

A few mile down the road driving the opposite way she yelled out the window, “do you cook?” I was like, “sure, but not really on this trip.” She said, “too bad I just picked up 20 pounds of shrimp and I wanna give you a pound.” On a bicycle without any refrigeration I couldn’t accept her gift, but it was a chance to take the pictures I missed before and talk a bit more. Her name is Emmy and she is 78 – more like early 60s based on appearance – and she gave me an impeach Obama button (pic), which I took, but I did tell her that I’m on the other side, being a supporter of Obama.  Emmy’s first comment about him was, “he’s against people praying.” I said, “I don’t think that’s the case,” but she seemed in a rush to get going so I couldn’t continue our conversation. As she pulled away she said, “I’m sure you’ll find someone you can give it to.”

The whole situation was very satisfying – saving a turtle and talking to a spirited older woman. If she would have invited me to her place to enjoy shrimp, release the turtle and talk politics I would have been over the moon. But it didn’t work out that way. I should have at least asked to go home with her for some shrimp. When on the road you have to ask for what you want or miss out on experiencing it 🙂 I think that could be generalized to anytime in life, but seems more viable to me now.

I stopped in Darien to do my first cold water/beer refresher only to find out that on Sunday they don’t sell beer until 12:30 and it was 11:30. Slightly flustered I set-up my folding chair outside the deli and enjoyed my Vitamin water and looked for a place to grab lunch. Google told me to check out Skipper’s Fish Camp only a few blocks away. I already had shrimp on the mind and was craving beer so it was a pretty easy sell. Once ensconced in a captains chair facing the water on their outdoor deck I ordered flounder and blackened shrimp along with more than one Sweet Water pint. After gobbling that down I went for the large shrimp platter. I was actually staring at the boat that caught the shrimp I was eating (pic) just off the dock in front of me. Talk about knowing your source.

Then it was on to the Treehouse Hostel with a very full belly and another 20 or so miles to go. I was a little apprehensive because I wasn’t sure of exactly what to expect. There was a definite hippy vibe with the place so I was curious just how far out there people would be. I have a real problem when people start using the world energy to describe emotional states or cleansing retreats. Darlene told me a back way into the place via Mister Road which bypassed the long potholed dirt road that is the primary entrance and delivers you to the main office via a nice hard packed path. I got a little confused due to signage and turned off Mister Road too early and ended up on fire break, which was over grown with vegetation, but geared down and pushed through to the pothole infested main road, but only had to stay on it for half the length.

I spoke to Dee on the phone the day before to book a reservation. She said that she couldn’t guarantee a treehouse because the forest decided, but no matter what I would enjoy being there. Upon arriving she checked me in and delivered me to the treehouse (pic) overlooking the labyrinth. Damn! It was pretty sweet. Queen sized bed, electricity and amazing 360 view, including of course the labyrinth. In this case it was a path outlined by rocks as opposed to a hedge, but mystical all the same. A guy named Jeff has been working on it for the past couple of days, cleaning it of forest detritus and laying down new soft sand.

The first two people I ran into were Cameron and Kate. Cameron had just ridden his bicycle from Saint Petersburg and Kate was enjoying the weekend with two girl friends. Over by the fire pit I met Heather, her sister Lea, mom Kim and friend Phaedra – all North Carolinians with an art bent. Lea gave me a flower head band (pic) that is fab to wear, but too delicate to wear often.

After a yummy dinner based largely upon produced picked from the garden we retired to the lake to swim out to the center dock in the nude to chill in the net stretched in the center of the center dock. Underneath the cloudy star filled sky we passed around a hip flask of bourbon and shared a bit about ourselves as the fish nibbled at our asses. A very memorable nights with some wonderful people.






7 responses to “Day 043 – Townsend, GA > Treehouse Hostel, GA”

  1. Darlene Avatar

    Hi Adam! I can not wait to read about your adventure. I love being at the Hostel and was hoping it would be amazing for you as well.

    1. adampomata Avatar

      I just posted the first day. I had to leave after the second night or I was afraid that I would have never left. It was really great. Thanks for the Mister Road entrance info. It saved me some potholes.

  2. Penny Avatar

    You are enjoying some very unique experiences plus good food and good people all along the route. We are enjoying the blog and pictures. The small church reminded me of the one in Elbe in size but the one in your picture is fancier.

    1. adampomata Avatar

      I didn’t realize there was a small church in Elbe, WA. When did you guys go over there?

  3. Penny Avatar

    We saw when we took you boys on the train ride many years ago.

  4. Penny Avatar
    Penny Here is the web site for the Elbe church. It is “big” by comparison but similar.

    1. adampomata Avatar

      Thanks for the link. It has a nice story about its history. It must have been really satisfying to come together as a community to build your own church or any public building for that matter.