Mark and Wendy’s Excellent Adventure: Even a hint of danger in the north Georgia hills

Editor’s note: Mark Bradford is contributing occasional posts from his diary on traveling the country with his wife Wendy while they rent out their Mishawaka home for more than six months.

February 1, 2024  —  Somewhere near Chattanooga, Tennessee

We left Homosassa, Florida today at 8 a.m., intent on driving about eight hours, spending the last unscheduled night of the sojourn in an undecided destination before returning to safe and predictable lodging Thursday 

We started the day nicely when we stopped in for a doughnut and coffee and then we basically deadheaded to and through Atlanta in our fully-loaded car. Wendy insisted on listening to podcasts about Russian spies and everything that is wrong with the Internet while I tried to list all the Beatle’s songs off the White Album in order in my head. (Number 9, Number 9)

After a driver change, I got online and decided to take a chance and try an unseen Air BnB as close to Chattanooga as we can be.

Well, imagine a cabin in the middle of the north Georgia hills, so far into the hills that dark means dark, in what looks like a garage that looks  like someone outfitted it strictly to take advantage of the Air BnB craze.

We wanted odd and quirky, we got extremely odd very quirky, and just a hint of danger.


The good news is that we are so far out there that our dog Corky gets to run free, which would be great except Corky prefers to be inside.

More good news is that we are steps away from a “river walk.” The bad news is that those “steps” are down a cliff that requires some flexibility, unless you sneak through a neighbor’s yard, both of which are difficult for me to do.

The good news is that there is a TV in the unit. The bad news is that it is about an 18-inch screen and right now Wendy is watching Pitch Perfect 3, a movie in which apparently everyone who walks around an Army Barracks can, at the drop of a hat, break into an a capella performance at any time without reason. If you have seen Pitch Perfect, imagine the same jokes in different order, add some insinuated sex,  and you have Pitch Perfect 3.

The good news is that Purdue mens’ basketball is not on TV tonight after their win last night, so she can watch her movie without me demanding that we switch it to sports.

The good news is the path down by the stream is only about 400 yards long and seems to only be used by the few folks who live in the area. The bad news is that there are lots of trees that have fallen into the path and require a certain amount of flexibility to get over (see above comment)

Yes, we could have stayed for free (points do work) in a nicer hotel, but this was a flinger and despite the fact I will push a file cabinet in front of our door to keep out predators, it is an appropriate way to end the sojourn. The next two nights will be spent with family members and we are excited for that, but this was a good way to end it.

Update: Somehow the girls in Pitch Perfect 3 just lit an entire hotel on fire and no one seemed too bothered by it.

So, this is a perfect way to add a bit of color to our experience. We look forward to the next few days of reconnecting with our family before all the work of unloading the car, sorting the mail, and adjusting to normal life begins.