The day had finally arrived to take my first road trip on my #CanAmSpyder (my midlife crisis-mobile)! Since I had little experiencing driving anything with less than four wheels, I had to promise my wife that I would stay off the interstates, obey the speed limits and be back home in time to fix dinner. Yes, as a writer and foodie with a job that doesn’t require regular hours, I’m the one who usually has to fix dinner. … and yes, as a southerner, I said “fix dinner,” because that’s what we say.
I decided to take my road trip to Stone Mountain, Georgia. Located just 30 minutes east of Atlanta, Stone Mountain is home to world’s largest piece of exposed granite which happens to have the world’s largest bas-relief sculpture carved on its face. A huge rock with a steep flat face begged for some kind of grand artistic expression. The North face of the mountain was once owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who was decided that a Confederate Memorial Carving featuring Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, needed to chiseled into the surface of this huge hunk of granite. The entire carved surface is over three acres and is larger than a football field or Mt. Rushmore.
Today, Stone Mountain and its 3200 surrounding acres is owned by the State of Georgia and operated as a state park. The park has a number of outstanding attractions; a Scenic Railroad, amphibious Duck tours, an Antebellum Plantation, the world’s largest carillon, a covered lattice bridge, one of the largest family adventure ropes courses in the nation and 422 camp sites. You can hike to the summit on a specific trail or you can take the Summit Skyride, to the top and enjoy incredible views of the Confederate Memorial Carving on the way up.
Having lived in the Atlanta area my entire life, I’ve had the opportunity to visit Stone Mountain many times over the years. But road trips are not just about the destination, they’re about the journey and traveling there on my Spyder brought a new excitement. Taking the back roads proved to be a good decision. I drove through a couple of towns I had never been through before, making mental notes of BBQ joints I’d like to check out. Yes, my name is Rick and I’m a roasted pig addict.
I’m also a music addict. In my previous short trips running errands around home I never even turned on the Spyder’s radio because I figured that between wearing a helmet and the wind noise that I wouldn’t be able to hear anything without blasting out everyone around me. But road trips are just better with music and since this was my longest trip on my Spyder to date, so while sitting at a traffic light, I decided to turn the radio on at polite volume. When the light changed, I discovered one of my favorite features on my Spyder – the Self-Adjusting Audio Volume! The music automatically got louder as I accelerated and softer when I slowed down. I could have been listening to music all along. (Note to self – read the dang operators guide!)
Since I had been to the park on numerous occasions, my intent this time was to drive around and snap a few pictures. The day’s near perfect weather brought out scores of people taking advantage of the park’s 15 miles of hiking and biking trails. I think it might have also been college co-ed day as pretty girls were everywhere and my muscles were getting sore from sucking in my stomach. I think Can-Am should advertise that driving a Spyder around pretty girls can improve your posture.
While at the park’s old covered bridge, I mounted my GoPro to my Spyder and shot a little video of my ride across the bridge. The video is a little shaky, but so was the drive across the wooden planks.
If you visit the park between May and October, stick around for the world’s longest running laser show featuring spectacular lights, lasers, music and fireworks. The show is free and the crowds are big so you’ll want to arrive early and bring a blanket to claim your vantage point on the lawn in front of the mountain. On this trip, I didn’t stay for the laser show (I had to get home to “fix dinner,” remember?) but I have seen the show on numerous occasions and highly recommend it.
If you could take a road trip on a Can-Am Spyder, where would you go?
Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), is providing me with a Can-Am Spyder, accessories and compensation to take several road trips and write about my experiences. My views are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Can-Am Spyder and its affiliates.