Saturday, June 19, 1993...
Reached my starting point, the eastern end of US 80, at about 2:00 this afternoon. 80 begins as Butler Avenue on Tybee Island, Georgia, eighteen miles east of Savannah. The island's claim to fame is as the birthplace of Days Inns -- the first one stands two blocks from the end of the road.
Four miles later I reached the first historical site: Fort Pulaski National Monument, erected for coastal defense at the end of the 18th century but rendered obsolete during the Civil War. The Confederates believed that its masonry walls formed an impregnable barrier to attack by Union guns mounted a mile and a half off. They were wrong: the rifled barrels of Union cannon made short work of the 7-1/2' thick walls, forcing a Southern surrender. Every masonry fort in the world was now obsolete.
Then the road entered Savannah as Victory Boulevard, a four-lane, tree-lined thoroughfare presumably dedicated after World War I. For much of its distance through town the road is covered by a canopy of trees.West of Savannah it opens up into rural country -- in some spots it even looks as though it's been cut back from four lanes to two, a rare sight even when, as here, the road's been bypassed by a nearby Interstate. The soil got redder and redder as I drove west, reaching Macon at about 7:00. I was delighted to see US 80 passing over the Ocmulgee River on the Otis Redding Memorial Bridge, built in 1974 and dedicated to the late Maconite. Continued on to a motel in Warner Robins, GA for the night...
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