The Phoenix Nest

Stone Mountain Park Campground, near Atlanta, Georgia

Stone Mountain Park Campground, near Atlanta, Georgia

A Stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour

By Jim Fulton

 

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Abstract

Stone Mountain Park Campground, near Atlanta, Georgia. I had come with the expectation of seeing a nice collection of fossils at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Sadly, what they have falls short of my expectations and way short of my hopes. The Mesozoic 'fossils' are all replicas of fossils in other museums. To that they've added a very few local fossils. There are of course other things to see in Atlanta, but I've been there before, and my schedule was pushing me north.

Page Prerequisites
Table of Contents
Page Specifications
Id Flights_GFT_2018_0223
Title Stone Mountain Park Campground, near Atlanta, Georgia
Subtitle A Stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour
Keywords Atlanta, Georgia, Stone Mountain Park Campground, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, FOSSILSITE, POINTINTVAL, STORY
Author Jim Fulton
Author's URL http://fenixnest/Phoenix/
Copyright 2018
Status Published: 2018/3/27
Last Revised 2018-03-22

Atlanta, Georgia

Arrived 2018/2/23
Day of Tour 216
Nights Stayed 4
Departed 2018/2/27
Map miles from last stop 131
Mileage on arrival 32,654
Actual miles from last stop 169
Accumulated miles for trip 15,749

Click "More options" to view full-size version.

It was a short trip from Columbus to Atlanta, Georgia, short enough that I eschewed the interstate, opting for 2-lane highways. Well worth while! The Georgia hills, ridge beyond ridge of them, were stunning, even though the trees were bare. Not all of them! I saw a number of trees (peach?) covered with white blossoms.

I stayed at the campground at Stone Mountain Park, which surrounds Stone Mountain itself, a “quartz monzonite dome monadnock” or “inselberg” (island mountain), to quote Wikipedia. That means it’s an anomalous dome of quartz rock, probably volcanic in origins, sticking up out of the ground, unlike any of the surrounding hills.

Stone Mountain is also the site of a controversial bas-relief sculpture (the largest It’s also the site of a controversial bas-relief sculpture (the largest such in the world) of the Confederate “heroes” Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. In these days when Confederate statues are being pulled down and Confederate flags are disappearing from the marketplace, the appropriateness of this paean to the Confederacy has been challenged.

I am of mixed minds about it: It is dangerous to our freedoms to allow political opinion, however righteous, to stifle free speech and interfere with artistic expression. Nonetheless, racism remains a cancer in American society, and symbols that provide nurturing feedback to that disease should not be encouraged. Besides, one might argue that this is less "art" than investment for profit, pandering to a racist underbelly of America.

Stone Mountain

Leaving speculations about motivation aside, what do people see when they view the sculpture? Do they see brave leaders who happened to be on the losing side of a conflict? Or do they see bigots fighting to keep a race in chains? Probably no one answer there. So if we are to do anything about it would depend on the net effect, and that’s hard to measure. Certainly any attempt to remove it will be met with fierce resistance, not least because the sculpture is a money-making attraction, unlike the removed statues. Not an issue I choose to get involved in.

Page Contents

Stone Mountain Park Campground

Stone Mountain Park is beautiful! Since it’s part of a park, it’s not hemmed in by local businesses. It has a good number of places to spend my money, but they’re across the lake. Here what I see is trees, trees, and more trees, with RVs and campers strewn among them.

The campground itself is spacious, but the sites are undersized. The architect did have a challenge trying to lay out level camp sites on rolling hills, and the results are middling. I asked for a pull-through site (I still don't like backing my trailer). There are a few of those and they were built by building up a narrow loop, kind of like a train siding, next to the lanes. The one I was assigned was barely big enough. To get my trailer close enough to the utilities, the wheels had to be back on the ramp leading to the site, putting the trailer out of level. And the curve of the loop meant that my truck couldn't be straight on with the trailer, as required by my hitch. But it all worked out. I was able to get unhitched and rehitched without too much problem. And I would go back were I to return to Atlanta.

Photo Gallery for Stone Mountain Park Campground

Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain
from Stone Mountain Park Campground
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain
from Stone Mountain Park Campground
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain
from Stone Mountain Park Campground
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Stone Mountain
from Stone Mountain Park Campground
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Confederate Statue
Stone Mountain Park
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Stone Mountain Park Campground
Address 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd
Stone Mountain GA 30083
Home Page https://www.stonemountainpark.com/
Phone (800) 385-9807‬
Associations
Rate (net US$) $53
Pros
  • Large, spacious park
  • Plenty to do and see
Cons
  • Pricy
  • My site was seriously out of level
Reviews (as of 2018/3/9)
Reviewer Rating Out of
RV Park Reviews 7.6 Good 10
Good Sam 8 10
KOA n/r 5
Tripadvisor 4.5 5
Phoenix 7 10
  Site Type pull-through  
  Site Size 6 10
  Ease of Access 6 10
  WiFiNotes 7 10

Points of Interest

I came to Atlanta with the expectation of seeing a nice collection of fossils at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. I scheduled only a weekend, because I have been to Atlanta several times before for conferences, and my itinerary was pulling me north.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

When I did my Google search on Fernbank, I came to expect that there were fossils there to see. Their website boasts of their Giants of the Mesozoic. Sadly, what they have falls short of my expectations and way short of my hopes. The Mesozoic "fossils" are all replicas of fossils in other museums. (I show a few of those here.) To that they've added a very few local fossils. All of these I have folded into my collection. They also display a few dioramas (which I no longer find useful; there are only so many artistic visualizations that I can keep in my miserably limited visual memory), plus some other exhibits to draw in the school kids. My impression is that their investment is much skimpier than similar museums in other cities of comparable size.

Photo Gallery for Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Hadrosaur Statues
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Hadrosaur Statues
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Giants of the Mesozoic Exhibit
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Giants of the Mesozoic Exhibit
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Giants of the Mesozoic Exhibit
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Giants of the Mesozoic Exhibit
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Giants of the Mesozoic Exhibit
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Giants of the Mesozoic Exhibit
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Giants of the Mesozoic Exhibit
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
(Click for full-sized photo.)
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Giants of the Mesozoic Exhibit
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
(Click for full-sized photo.)

Fossils at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History has a mediocre fossil collection, mostly cast of large Cretaceous animals to draw the kids. I did photograph them and will fold those pictures into my collection.As of right now, however, I am unable to show you those photos, since my fossil photo collection is under major redevelopment, and I would rather organize them once and for all than take time now for a temporary local collection. They will come, I promise you. It's only a matter of correcting a few bugs in the programming, thereby generating a few new bugs and correcting those, thereby ....

Next Stop

From Atlanta I headed back to the coast to visit Charleston and Savannah.

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