Elle and I decided to go an a half-tank adventure today. Georgia is always a good choice, mainly because they have cheap gas. It's too bad I don't still smoke. Their cigs are pretty cheap, too. We chose to visit the small town of Woodbine. It's the county seat of Camden County in Southeast Georgia and hosts a few festivals throughout the year. Their website claims to have a beautiful riverside boardwalk that is really popular and the weather was gorgeous today (sunny and 75!!), so we went.
When will I ever learn my lesson.
After driving through Woodbine in about .05 seconds (I don't know who decided to make this town the county seat, but shame on them!), I had to turn around three times to find the blasted Satilla Riverfront Park & Riverwalk. The sign was faded, the cops were all over the people coming out of the local Ebenezer Church (I believe this means that south Georgia racism is still alive and kicking), and I was already pissed from having a few spots of coffee drip onto my white shirt (yes, I'm an idiot - but wait'll I tell ya about "Dole"!!).
I should've headed back home, but NOOOooooOOO! Remember, I haven't learned my lesson yet.
I finally found the f*****g park and the lot was empty. Most people would be pleased by this, but I was in Hickville. Y'know, that Dukes of Hazzard town where the black kids get hassled by the cops when they come out of church? I'd driven for an hour already and Elle was eager to see the river. This is the only reason I agreed to get out of my car. She and I weren't 20 feet into our walk when we met Dole.
Dole was a super-creepy dude wearing nothing but overalls and a trucker hat. I'm really not even sure if he was wearing shoes. That doesn't matter, though. He was eyeing me and the kid as we got closer to him and his...friend? I don't know who the other dude was (I only know he was very quiet as Dole yelled about all the things he was doing wrong. That or the friend was deaf.). Dole introduced himself to me and when I didn't respond, he got up and yelled at me, told me he had his pole ready for me to try some fishing.
And because I haven't yet learned my lesson, my dumbass continued on the walk while my daughter constantly reminded me about that "creepy guy". I noticed the river current was strong, really strong, and this made me nervous. The water was murky and muddy. The perfect place to dump the body of a single parent who refused to use some creepy guy's fishing pole. Then I met another creepy guy. He stopped Elle and me and asked us to make a wish for him to catch some fish. Yeah, he said it that way so it would rhyme. Little kiddies like rhymes.
I grabbed Elle and got the hell outta there. Unfortunately, I had to walk past Dole again, still screaming at his friend about stepping on the line, or some shit. Dole saw me coming and got up from his seat again. This time, he didn't ask me to play with his pole. This time, he asked me if I would like to go swimming.
Thankfully, there was a nice couple not too far away (with two large dogs) and they struck a conversation with me, maybe to let Dole know that they were around...you know, to be witnesses after he took me "swimming" in the muddy, murky, furious-current river?? I don't know. What I do know, however, is that Nice Couple Lady advised me that around these parts, I (as a woman) should never walk the boardwalk alone (or, God forbid, with my child!) and that if I must walk the boardwalk, I should bring pepper spray. She said, "It's not safe here".
Hey, I didn't listen to my instincts when I crossed into the town of Woodbine, but I'll certainly listen to the Nice Couple. Forget the pepper spray, I'm just never coming back.
This is the last thing I saw as Woodbine disappeared in my rear-view mirror:
I could not leave town fast enough.