World Run II / Reports
The map shows the position of which the pictures for the day are taken (if any). The start and finish markers are placed at the first and last valid registered position. This is not nessesary the actual start and finish position, if GSM or GPS signals was not available.
Distance today: 41.0 km (Accumulated: 32840.0 km)
Elapsed time: 03:59:20
Start 09:52am., 20c, allmost clear and light wind, at cross of Crandall RD & Hwy.17. Finish 14:47pm., 23c, clear & light wind, at mile-marker "Mile 19" on Hwy.17, in Georgia state.
After about one hour I ran across the dividing line between the states of Florida and Georgia and thus had the last 20miles of my run on the quiet rural roads of Southern Georgia :-)
Coincidently its also exactly one month since I started my North American part of world run 2 and therefore I'll try to sum up some of my impressions of USA this time and compare with the experience back in 2005 when I as the finishing part of world run 1 ran West-East across the continent.
But first a little about the state of Georgia: It was established in 1732, and was the last of the original thirteen english colonies that formed the colonies of North America before the formation of USA. It got its name from King George II of United Kingdom, and entered the United States Constitution, in 1788. During the civil war in the 18.century it declined its place in the Union along with the other Southern States and became part of the Confederate States untill it - as the last state after the civil war - rejoined the United States by July 15, 1870.
When running across the state divide from Florida it was a far more abrupt change than I had imagined ! As I hope you can see from the picture-serie from todays run its a sudden shift to areas much more severely hit by the economic downturn. In some areas as much as approximately one fifth of the houses out in the rural areas seems to be eigherter abandoned or in bad state of repair. Many small businesses as for examples local supermarkets, gasstations etc. closed down. Its seldom that I see this rapid a chance and it was not only the economic conditions.
Crossing the state line also meant running into mainland USA from the peninsula of Florida and the weather certainly has turned from tropical 'winter' to something that reminds much more of what winter is in Europe; or atleast Southern Europe: a cold sweeping wind; fallen leaves, a brisk clear air. Very welcome, actually, since I for more than the last full year of the world run 2 has had a persistent summer while running across South America. And; beeing a Scandinavian by heritage and nature - this cooler temperatures of Georgia is something I have longed for since thousand of kilomteres back :-)
Also in culture, in the micro-level I experiense it, seems to chance rapidly as I ran into Georgia. The attitude - that definately was friendly in Florida - seems to be even more friendly here ! Far from my perhaps bias about the "South States"... People I pass by are eager to exchange a short greeting; cars on the sometimes narrow highway more often that not go out of their way to give my enough room to run on at the edge of the road :-) Something I am not used to in nearly all other areas I have run through on the last 3 continents of the run. And Very Welcome since its one of the main concearns when doing this kind of run; or any kind of run on heavy traffic roads !
But also in a broader scale - its a different impression I get this time running through USA than that of world run one in 2005.
Back then I was stunned by how many commercials there were adverticing the oppotunities to "loan", with or without any kind of security. As far as I remember for example it was nearly half of the tv-commercials. Now - I instead see a type of shops and commercials wich I cant remember to have noticed back then: Pawn Shops and Dept Clearence business. Its easy to see in many ways, big and small, that while it was a time of fast economic growth in 2005 its now a situation of a much more restrained economy when it comes to private spending.
What strikes me in the middle of this is that it doesnt seem to affect peoples surplus to be friendly and helpfull ! A very positive thing in the mentality here :-) When running through areas had hit by the current global economic cool-down it often affects the mentality more than what seems to be the case here. And, there are also signs that the economy slowly is beginning to pick up again; also when reading the local newspapers where it appears that some of the jobs lost over the last years is coming back.
But as said; in general a stunning difference from 7 years ago running through a contry with an economy at full pace (and most likely over-spending) and now an economy and society where its easy to see that things has been slowing down economically for a few years - most likely as a result of that same hectic economic period those years back.