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Welcome to the “Georgia Wasp…”
This blog is modeled on the Carolina Israelite. That was an old-time newspaper – more like a personal newsletter – written and published by Harry Golden. Back in the 1950s, people called Harry a “voice of sanity amid the braying of jackals.” (For his work on the Israelite.)
That’s now my goal as well. To be a “voice of sanity amid the braying of jackals.”
For more on the blog-name connection, see the notes below.
In the meantime:
September 10, 2023 – In my last post, Stevenson Trail – from Le Puy to La Bastide-Puylaurent, I wrote about my upcoming trip to France, to Hike the GR70. (The Robert Louis Stevenson Trail, described in his 1879 book, Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes.) There I wrote about the first half of the hike. I wanted to do a second post to cover the rest, but alas, the time for doing that has run out: Today’s the day. Meaning later this evening I’ll be on my way, leaving the ATL on a red-eye flight. (And getting to Paris early Monday morning.)
The thing is, while I’m in France I’ll only have a tablet, not a laptop. With every thing I can call my own for a month supposedly weighing 15 pounds or less, all in one pack. So finishing another post while overseas will be problematic to say the least. So I’ll try this: Write up this post beforehand, then update it as I hike the Trail. (After enjoying Paris and Lyon.)
Then I’ll put in updates “on the road,” between these two sets of asterisks:
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[To be filled in at a later date.]
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So stay tuned! Meanwhile, for a preview of those last 50 miles I checked Robert Louis Stevenson Trail – Enlightened Traveller®. Here are the highlights. From La Bastide-Puylaurent, we climb to “Chambonnet Plateau, cross the Atlantic-Mediterranean watershed, and head down valley to picture-postcard Chasseradès.” (And enter “Cévennes proper.”)
Then comes a memorable climb to Mont Lozère and Le Pic de Finiels, the highest point in south-central France. “A short and relatively-steep descent is followed by a gentle hike to Finiels. Then follow a picturesque trail into Camisard Country and Le Pont de Montvert.” Heading to Florac we’re supposed to see “memorable views over the ‘blue waves’ of the Cevennes hills,” with alternate views of Mediterranean and Alpine flora, “and back again.”
In the “steep-sided, red rock” Mimente Valley we’ll pass by “menhirs and chestnut groves, the traditional staff of life in the Cevennes.” Which leads to the end of the trip, at Saint-Jean-du-Gard. (After hiking up the Corniche des Cevennes, said to offer 360-degree “last-gasp photos.” See also Cévennes – Wikipedia: “The Corniche des Cévennes (the D 907) is a spectacular road between St-Jean-Gard and Florac. [Or vice-versa.) It was constructed at the beginning of the 18th century to enable the movement of Louis XIV’s troops during his conflict with the Camisards.”)
Anyway, Stevenson reached the town on October 3, 1878. We will reach it – if all goes according to plan – on October 3, 2023. 145 years to the day after Stevenson ended his journey. And sold his faithful donkey Modestine, then took a stagecoach to Alès. We will take a day off from our hikes. (Of four, six and five days hiking in a row, with two days off in between.) Then take a train to Ales, and from there head back to Paris and on home to the States.
In the meantime, if you’re interested check out Walking the GR70 Chemin de Stevenson – I Love Walking In France. I listed some of my own reasons for doing such hikes in prior posts, but mostly I do it for the adventure. And the challenge, and to get away from the rut of ordinary, everyday life. But I’ll probably add more reasons, while I’m hiking, in those updates from France. (Between the two sets of asterisks above.) In the meantime, wish me Happy Hiking!
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The upper image is courtesy of St Jean Du Gard France – Image Results.
The lower image is courtesy of Pilgrimage – Image Results, which led me to Why the Oldest Form of Travel Could Be the Most Popular in a Post=COVID World: “Pilgrimages are the oldest form of travel,” from the start to go to shrines or temples and leave offerings, and/or connect to God or ancestors. Also defined as a “hyper-meaningful journey” or “sacred endeaver,” making it different from regular forms of travel or leisure; “it is the meaning or transformation that occurs.”
One pilgrimage that has exploded is the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage routes in Europe. There are many pathways, but one of the main pathways is the Camino Frances, which is a trail that goes from France to the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Santiago, Spain.
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Re: The Israelite. Harry Golden grew up in the Jewish ghetto of New York City, but eventually moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. Thus the “Carolina Israelite.” I on the other hand am a “classic 71-year-old “WASP” – White Anglo-Saxon Protestant – and live in north Georgia. Thus the “Georgia Wasp.”
Anyway, in North Carolina Harry wrote and published the “israelite” from the 1940s through the 1960s. He was a “cigar-smoking, bourbon-loving raconteur.” (He told good stories.) That also means if he was around today, the “Israelite would be done as a blog.” But what made Harry special was his positive outlook on life. As he got older but didn’t turn sour, like many do today. He still got a kick out of life. For more on the blog-name connection, see “Wasp” and/or The blog.
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