Saturday, February 5, 2022

2020-09-19: Geocaching Roadtrip Through Georgia Finding Abandoned Buildings, Old School, and Santa Claus

Hello Everyone. Well we had a 4-day weekend off from work so I decided a spontaneous quick trip down to Florida and back would be good to fill the time. We packed a weekend bag and left the Lake Norman RV Resort in North Carolina on Thursday morning, arriving at a hotel on Daytona Beach. Friday was spent visiting family. Todays' blog is about our Saturday drive north through Georgia, sightseeing and geocaching along the way. So climb onboard the GeoJeep once again and let us see what we can find...

Driving north on I-95 and arriving in Brunswick, Georgia, I exit onto US-25 / US-341 to take the backroads and byways so that we can enjoy the ride more than the Interstates. It didn't take very long to find a treasure and reaffirm the reason we prefer the backroads of rural America. Passing through the small community of Gardi, Georgia, I spotted this old red brick building and just had to turn around for a closer look.

The Gardi area was being settled by the Street Family during the colonial days of Georgia. Around 1900 and as the community was growing, this brick building was constructed by the Odom Family and first used as a post office and general store. The Fore Family purchased the building around 1940 and turned it into an apiaries, selling their "Fancy Honey" to the community. The family still owns the property but has since expanded and moved their business to Darien, Georgia. The abandoned building is a reminder of Gardi's historic past.

Since I was already here, I checked the geocaching app and lo and behold there's a geocache placed here too (GC377Y1). Also on the corner is a Geodetic Survey Bench Mark which was placed way back in 1917.

Moving along up the highway at the snails pace of 55 MPH, on a 4-lane highway, with nothing but trees all around on both sides, makes me miss Texas. This same stretch of highway would easily be 70-75 MPH in the Lone Star State!

Turning north on US-1, I arrive into my first needed geocaching county. We stopped in a small town called Santa Claus, Georgia, yes there really is a town called Santa Claus, to find a quick geocache for Toombs County.

Next up over in Treutlen County, we get to our next geocache at the Old Soperton School (GC5DVA8). I spent about an hour or so researching this old schoolhouse. However I couldn't find any history on it. Maybe one of you readers can share some insight to this place.

We also stopped by a cemetery about 8 miles north of Soperton for another geocache (GC49JYF). The small well kept Ricks Family Cemetery has 72 interments according to the FindAGrave website. Daniel Ricks (1795-1878) settled in this area and opened the Blackville Mill. His son, 28 year old John Ricks, was the first to be buried in this cemetery in 1859.

Moving along into Johnson County, I stopped for a quick roadside guardrail geocache (GC2ADG3) just outside the town of Wrightsville.

A few miles north of there in Washington County, I arrived at my next geocache (GC5QVK3) with a sad story of forgotten history. According to the CO of the now archived geocache: "My dad bought this land in 1959. He passed away in 1996. My sister and I now each own part of this land. When my dad acquired the property there were remnants of markers or head stones made from coarse materials, probably a concrete-like material. A previous owner had removed the markers from the small graveyard. He plowed and planted over the area. No one knew the actual location of the graves. The story has been passed down that it was a small area of graves .No bones or materials have ever been found. As the older generation has passed on, the younger people here do not know that this ever existed. While there is no way to ever know more about this, we can still remember them." Only thing there now is this cross next to a pine tree.

Still in Washington County just a mile or two away, was this really creative geocache container (GC5QN7X) at the corner near the entrance of the owners ranch.

Further north just past the town of Gibson, We stopped for one more quick roadside guardrail geocache for Glascock County (GC3DA5F).

Now it's early evening and time for us to grab some dinner and find a hotel. We made it about halfway back to the RV Park in NC. See you back tomorrow to finish the roadtrip.

To follow along on our travels and keep up with my latest blogs, you may do so here of course. But also by using you favorite of these social media platforms: FacebookMeWeGabRedditParlorTwitterRVillageGETTR and Instagram. These all link directly to my profile. Again, please feel free to comment and / or share.

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