October 24, 2017

Week 30: Closing the Circle in Macon, Georgia

A Grinch Xmas tree!

(All photos by the author).

We’ve done it.

This week sees us close the circle in our 2014 trek through the “lower” 48 contiguous United States. The auspicious event occurred in the state of Georgia just north of Macon, which was our final press stop for the 2014 tour. Fans of this site will remember our passage through the town of Macon earlier this year. But beyond just the southern rock music scene, Macon has lots to offer, and our re-visit taught us that it’s always worth giving any destination a second look.

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the outstanding Macon Arts and Sciences Center. The Center not only features a 40 foot diameter dome planetarium capable of housing 125, but also possesses a slide roof observatory — it’s the small squat brick building to the right of the entrance — which also hosts public sky viewing every fourth Friday of the month. The lizard room will bring you up close and personal with lots of creepy crawlies, including rare albino snakes and Death’s Head Cockroaches.

Weather as art at the Macon Arts and Sciences Center.

One current display not to miss is the “Weird Weather” creations of artist Nathalie Miebach. These are mathematical constructs of real weather patterns that the artist has chased around the globe and plotted in meticulous detail.

An absorbing and captivating display, the exhibit is a rare confluence of science as art.

And since it is Christmas time, we couldn’t resist including one of the most unique and creative Christmas trees we’d ever seen, which features the insertion of the Grinch himself (see intro pic).

Another fascinating stop was the Harriet Tubman Museum in downtown Macon. The museum is on the cusp of moving into a grand new locale just across from the downtown Sports Hall of Fame, and will be open in March 2015, which is just around the corner.

And we even had a confirmed sighting of early American astronomer and almanac publisher Benjamin Banneker at the Harriet Tubman museum:

Searching for Benjamin Banneker at the Macon Harriett Tubman Museum.

Long time readers will recall our tales of Mr. Banneker and our wistful lamentations of the state quarter that never was.

Our final stop on our explorations of Macon was the Sidney Lanier house, for a look at another 19th century prodigy that was taken from us far too soon.

The stately Sideny Lanier house and museum.

We also got a peek inside the Ocmulgee mounds at the national monument of the same name just outside of town… there’s an astronomical tie-in with the alignments of these mounds, and we may just write a feature length article on the same coming very soon.

Looking for a great cup of Joe and somewhere to hang out and drink it? We heartily recommend Taste & See in downtown Macon, a place so nice, we stopped there twice!

Mmmm… coffee house…

From there, we made a flying leap down to New Port Richey, Florida to swing by our storage unit and swap summer camping gear for winter clothes and snowshoes.

Storage unit life.

And in less than 48 hours, we’re equipped for our long trek northward to the land of our people, northern Maine.

More to come!

Comments

  1. Chris Maher says:

    David,
    You are fulfilling one of my dreams! I am also a retired USAF Smsgt, ex- crew chief so we may have pounded the same ramps at some point in my 22 years. My love for astronomy and Astrophography is fledgling at best but I am excited to have discovered your site and am proud of the wonderfully complex manner with which you have built it. I am a member of the North Georgia astronomers, based out of Dahlonaga . We sometimes gather at the North Ga College here and get to use their 16″ Meade scope in their observatory at times. I have a 10″ Meade LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain primary and an assortment of smaller reflectors and a nice mid-sized Refractor.
    I will be a regular on your site as soon as I can figure out how to make you a “favorite”!
    Chris

  2. David Dickinson says:

    Hi Chris,
    Great to hear… Georgia’s got some great dark skies. I’m active these days on Sky & Tel, Universe Today and more as well.

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