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The Drive from Valdosta, Georgia to Greenwood, South Carolina and the Trip Home 1/24-25/2023

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I arose at the Drury Inn and following some of our Internet duties, we checked out and went to the Waffle House for breakfast this morning. I then drove us out to Douglas and our first station of the morning.

Georgia and Florida Douglas station built in 1904. The origins of the Georgia and Florida Railroad date back to 1906, when a former president of the Seaboard Air Line Railway developed the company for purchasing, building and operating six lines in three states. Eventually, the GF main line stretched from Madison, Florida, across southeast Georgia, northeastward to Greenwood, South Carolina. The Southern Railway gained control of the road in 1963, reorganized it as the Georgia and Florida Railway, and merged it into subsidiary Central of Georgia Railroad in 1971.

Georgia and Florida Douglas station historical plaque. I drove us to McRae and our next station.

Southern Railway McRae station built in circa 1890s. Next I drove the short distance to Helena.

Seaboard Air Line Helena Station built in 1893.

Railway Express Agency truck on display.

Southern Railway caboose X656 built by the railroad and donated to the Telfair Museum of History to memorialize a family member. Next I drove us to Lyons.

The sign in front of the station.

Seaboard Air Line Lyons station built in 1930. I drove Elizabeth to Metter.

Central of Georgia Metter station built in 1902 and originally served by one of its predecessors, the Bruton & Pineora Railroad which was incorporated on June 27, 1897. What began as the Macon and Atlantic Railroad, and then the short-lived Atlantic Short Line Railway, the B&P line started at Bruton. The 67 miles of the B&P line was eventually purchased outright by the Central of Georgia for $372,000 in 1901.

The sign on this station.

Southern Railway caboose X340 built by Gantt Manufacturing in 1974.

R.B. Simpson Memorial Motor Car Barn. We made our way to Millen.

Central of Georgia Millen passenger station built in 1854.

Southern Railway caboose X690 built by the railroad.

Central of Georgia freight house built in 1868, beside which is a train watching platform.

Sign on the freight house. We then decided to head straight to the motel and we arrived at the Days Inn at 5:00 PM. Later we went to Jersey Mike's then watched Erik Thompson's most recent Fun with Trains episode before I watched the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the Florida Panthers in Pittsburgh on my computer. As for Kris Letang, he played his first game since December 28 after missing 11 contests due to an undisclosed injury, as well as family matters following the death of his father, Claude Fouquet, on December 31. Kris had an assist which helped the Penguins get on the scoreboard at 10:56 of the first period. At 18:14 of the first period, Kris scored a goal then at 14:30 of the third period, he had another assist. In overtime he scored a power play goal at 4:06 and this was the 9th time he had a game-winning goal. I went to bed a happy Penguins fan.

1/25/2023 This morning we awoke to rain in Greenwood so after our Internet duties we got soaked getting out to rental car and had breakfast at Cracker Barral. We made the decision to get to the Charlotte Airport without stopping at any of the planned depots. We arrived there at 12:42 PM, turned in the rental car and checked our bags late. After a quick trip through security, we] reached the gate as the "B" group was loading so went to the check-in desk and they took us ahead of the rest of the B group as we were in the A group. I took the window seat for this trip.

Southwest Airlines 616 1/25/2023

This flight was above the clouds the whole way until we descented into Love Field in Dallas. I called Bill Compton, who was picking us up at Long Beach Airport, to give him an update.

In Dallas I bought a Kit Kat bar for us while we waited for our flight since we had to change planes.

Southwest Airlines 877 1/25/2023

On this flight Elizabeth took the window seat to Denver which was the coldest place on this trip. I called Bill again with an update. Once at Denver after the passengers moved off the plane we moved to the third row for the trip to Long Beach. I finished my Circle the Words book and then enjoyed the views looking over Elizabeth's shoulder as we saw Las Vegas and then came into the Los Angeles Basin via the southern route which was really bumpy to Long Beach Airport.

We went to Baggage Claim and Elizabeth's bag came on the carousel but mine was no where to be found. We went inside and a helpful Southwest employee informed me that my case went to Chicago and now was in Oakland and would be here in the morning. I was not a happy camper. I called Bill and he picked us up and took us back to his house where we had left our car and returned to our apartment. It had been a great trip until the flight home.