Harold and I originally planned an overnight run to the Chattahoochee and Nantahala National Forests to trace some of Doc’s favorite county and Forest Service roads. But severe drought has brought forest fires, so we opted to run south and make a long day of it in Meriwether County, Pine Mountain, and Sprewell Bluff in nearby Upson County. We kept a road log, stopped at a rural church and graveyard, Flint River crossings, ate a road-food lunch beside a covered bridge, and sunned ourselves at FDR’s favorite picnic spot outside of Warm Springs at Dowdell’s Knob. We hiked the Delano trail for an hour, and made our way to Sprewell Bluff along the Flint, just in time to spend the golden hour. I took photos along the way and kept the log book. Harold drove his truck and developed our map strategy. We listened to a lot of Dwight Yoakam and talked of many things.
Just past dark, just past the Lamar County line on our way to dinner at the local meat and three in Barnesville and thence back to the city, on a rural stretch of State Road 36, we saw the brightest greenest closest meteorite either of us had seen in recent memory flash across the night sky like a coda, a cosmic boo-yah, as though Doc had cracked the time-space continuum and hurled a roman candle back at us, chuckling at our attempt to duplicate his fieldwork.