Day 57: Sixteen miles walked today. We were up before daylight again to get out on the road. Shortly after I got started, I was greeted by my sister and brother-in-law, Michelle and Jason Upshaw, who had driven up from Tifton to spend some time walking with me and to spend a relaxing night in the mountains as well. I’m not sure what they were expecting, but as the person who planned the route has told me often, there’s nothing we can do about the terrain. Jason and Michelle found themselves tromping with me through quite a lot of tall grass. They continued with me until we reached the Rabun County line, then our photographer Toni James came and walked with me across Tallulah Gorge. She and I walked until 3 p.m., when we had to stop for the day and take a car to Duluth for a speech I had to give at the Faith and Freedom Rally.
One of Toni’s friends, Ruth Ann McGuinn, was kind enough to let me shower and change at her house on the way to the speech.natutal viagra has no side effect of viagra This walk truly has been a team effort, and I never would have been able to get this done alone. We had an excellent volunteer turnout at the Faith and Freedom Rally, and I thought the speech went well too.cialis Thank you for following me at WalkingWithAustin.com!
N34 50.490 W83 24.958 946.11 miles walked]]>
Day 62: 16.7 miles walked today. This morning began at 6:30 outside the Forsyth County Board of Education Building. After walking down GA-9 for a while, I stopped in at the Forsyth County News for an interview. After leaving the office, I continued down the road and was met by Aaron Gould Sheinin of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution for another interview
. I believe he will be running a fairly lengthy story on the walk, and I’m looking forward to reading it when it comes out. We stopped for lunch at Subway in Midway, where we were joined by Barbara Thomas, who is the president of the Fulton County PTA.
She and I had a wonderful conversation, and we agree on a lot of points.side effect viagra side effect of viagra natural viagra alternative to viagra alternatives to viagra natural alternatives to viagra natural alternative to viagra herbal viagra erectile function One thing that sticks in my mind was our agreement that money is not the solution to Georgia’s education problems. If you look at the schools around the State that have done well, they aren’t always in areas with higher incomes, or places where a great deal of taxpayer dollars have been spent on education. Innovation seems to be the key. I know I will use some of these thoughts when developing my education platform shortly after the walk. In a sense, it’s been in development for fourteen years, but now that I’ve had a chance to ask so many concerned Georgians what they would do as Governor for a day, I am even more confident that there are a great many Georgians who agree. We finished today outside the Alpharetta City Hall, where we were met by a reporter from the Beacon newspaper.
After the interview, Will Gurley, an Alpharetta planning commission member, introduced us to a number of city officials, including City Manager Bob Regus, Finance Director Thomas Harris, and Police Chief Gary George. They were polite enough to tolerate a soaking wet gubernatorial candidate walking through their office, which I appreciate.payday loans online Bob and I had a wonderful talk, and I was delighted to hear we share many of the same ideas about tax collection procedures between municipal and State governments. Although tax collection procedures and being certain the Department of Revenue has was it needs to be efficient are not exactly glamorous political pursuits, I intend to make them one of my primary areas of focus during my administration.
I know we could see significant savings if we made a few operational changes in the way the State does business with local governments. After I finished introducing myself to the employees at Alpharetta City Hall I got in the car and rode up to Braselton for a fundraiser at Jack Ansley’s restaurant, called Jack’s, which was arranged by Holly Hutchinson, an old high school classmate of mine. We had a great time and met a lot of very good folks, some of whom made donations on the spot. I always feel very honored when that happens.
N34 04.536 W84 17.647 1041.51 miles walked Levitra]]>
Day 60: Twenty-two miles walked today. This morning began with two breakfast meetings arranged by my cousin Bill Christian. Once I got started walking for the day, I took Town Creek Road out toward Sandy Flats Road and then took Rock House Road out to the Dahlonega Highway (US-19/GA-9). During the afternoon, I was met out on the trail by Bart Reising, a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi who has had experience working in gubernatorial races around the nation.
We spoke about my candidacy, and my team’s strategy for getting me elected.автобазар He shared some wonderful insights during his fifteen miles spent on the road with me. Later on the walk I was joined by a group of college students from North Georgia College, Rafael Pellerano, Jon Feise, and Richard Mattison. Vivien came up to Dahlonega tonight and we ate dinner at Caruso’s where we were joined by two friends of one of our staff members, Elyse Roesch and Rachel Slade.
N34 28.114 W83 58.137 1003.81 miles walked]]>
Day 54: 10 miles walked today. Today was a relatively short walking day, because I had to go to Atlanta to attend a number of meetings. I began walking at seven a.m. just north of Ila, Georgia, in Madison County. These ten miles took me through some beautiful countryside of rolling hills farmland—just the relaxing scenery I needed before the series of meetings I had planned for the afternoon. Arriving in Atlanta by car, I attended a meeting held by Governor Perdue to brief gubernatorial candidates on the recent developments in Georgia’s ongoing water problems.payday loans I was glad that the Governor took the time to update us—indeed, he’s updating everyone, in the hopes of building support for his plan.
I still feel like there is more we can do as a State to conserve water, thus preserving the moral high ground on the issue that has set Georgia apart from the other states vying for the same resources. Basically, what has happened is that a federal judge has issued a court order with which Georgia must comply within three years. Perdue has several ideas for getting around the order, including appealing in court, but I believe that at the end of the day the State will have to comply and that we need to do everything we can to start saving water now. As I told the reporter afterward, the cheapest gallon of water is the one we never use. And I believe that. Currently, in the State of Georgia, there are areas that have massive losses of water every single day due to leaks in the distribution systems.
While other candidates have said they intend to follow a policy of hoping for the federal verdict to be overturned (which is extremely unlikely) and that they would not accept federal dollars under any circumstances, if I were elected Governor, I would have no problem accepting federal dollars to fix leaky pipelines in Georgia. After all, the systems were built with federal assistance in the first place, and the State could not afford to fix all the problems on its own. Thus, I think the best approach (and the one over which the State has the most control) would be to do everything possible to conserve water and to supplement those efforts by fixing the leaks in our system.
After leaving the Governor’s office, I went and visited with the Georgia Municipal Association to discuss issues of interest to them. I told them one of my main priorities for this State is to fix the problems in the Department of Revenue. I’m not blaming any one person in particular, but I believe the Department as a whole has gone too long without certain issues being addressed. I look forward to continuing my discussion with the GMA in the near future. Later this evening I sat down with leaders of the State Republican Party to discuss the status of the Party and what we can do to improve our performance going forward. I believe too many Georgians think we haven’t lived up to the promises we made when we came into office—and as Governor, I intend to change that. That’s one of the things I think hurt us so much in Washington: the simple fact that we never did what we said we’d do. I want to make it my job to be certain we keep the promises we’ve made to the Georgians who’ve put us in office. Thank you for listening, and keep following the Walk of Georgia to see just how serious I am about that promise. Goodnight and God bless!
GPS: N34 20.076 W83 15.359 889.03 miles walked]]>
Day 51: 18 miles walked today. I always like a day that begins outside my hotel door.Federal tax refund calculator2011 federal tax refund calculator2012 federal tax refund calculatorFederal tax refund calculator 2011Federal tax refund calculator 2012free tax return calculator 2011free tax return calculator 2012estimate tax refund 2011estimate tax refund 2012quick tax refund calculator 2011quick tax refund calculator 2012income tax refund estimator 2011income tax refund estimator 2012calculate tax refund 2011calculate tax refund 2012income tax refund calculator 20122012 refund estimator If we don’t have to drive to where we left off the day before it can save a lot of time. I walked out of my hotel room and through downtown Washington, which is a beautiful city. This town has a tremendous amount of history to it, and has more antebellum homes than anywhere else in Georgia. Battles were fought nearby in the Revolutionary War, and it is actually the town where the Confederacy was dissolved by Jefferson Davis and his cabinet in 1865. It is also the last recorded location of the remaining Confederate gold supply, and it is widely thought that the gold is buried somewhere in the vicinity.
Robert Toombs resided here, who was a US Senator from Georgia in the 19th century (after serving in the Georgia House), the Secretary of State of the Confederacy, and a general in the Civil War. After about fifteen miles, I took a break to drive to Macon to meet up with my son Wells for his birthday. My mother was kind enough to drive Wells up from Tifton, and it was great seeing them both. One of the most challenging aspects of the Walk is that it keeps me away from my family as much as it does. I remember when I first entered this race and people were calling on me to enter the race for the 8th congressional district instead. Someone even started a Facebook group called “Draft Austin Scott for Congress.”
Amongst the many reasons why I chose not to run for Congress is the fact that there is no way I am willing to spend five days a week away from my family. Not at this point. It’s hard enough doing it for just a few weeks out on the Walk of Georgia. As I got out of downtown Washington (Georgia), and started moving along Highway 78, the road were among the most difficult I’ve encountered. The grass grew right up to the street, and virtually everywhere the shoulder dropped off just a few feet past the road. Since it rained the night before, the ground was soft, and needless to say I didn’t make quite the pace I wanted. But I kept at it!
Several people stopped me (and my staffers) during the day to ask if we were alright. These are kind people around here, and most all of them stopped to ask if we were broken down, out of gas, or needed some sort of assistance. I remember one girl in a black pickup with Young Life and UGA stickers on it who stopped to ask if we were alright. When I told her my name and why I was walking, she seemed delighted at what we were doing and warned us about the impending storm before heading on her way. Maybe she’s looked me up by now and is reading this post. At one point we passed the University of Georgia Beef Cattle research center, which brings back some very dear memories for me of the time my grandfather and I came to this exact farm and bought our first herd of cattle here.
It dawned on me at that time that I am the only Republican candidate, and perhaps the only gubernatorial candidate, with any agricultural background whatsoever. Shortly thereafter a State Trooper, a station commander nonetheless, pulled over and turned on his blue lights, asking us not what was going on, but if there was anything he could do to help. I introduced myself, told him I was running for Governor, and he stopped to speak with me a few minutes.
I know I’ve mentioned it before so I won’t bring it up again in detail, but suffice it to say I told him what I think about the furloughs the State Troopers have just been handed. It’s deplorable, I told him, and I mean it. We need them on the roads. After a while we parted ways and I went on down the road until the storm picked up heavily and it began raining hard. Tomorrow I hope to make it as far as Athens.
GPS: N33 47.822 W82 59.294 833.03 miles walked]]>
Day 53: 20 miles walked today. I woke up this morning and began walking just south of downtown Athens. Seeing this place reminds me of my time here as an undergrad, which somehow still seems like yesterday. It is absolutely amazing the way the time flies. Walking through downtown, I continued out along North Avenue, which becomes Highway 106. We’re starting to get into hill country here, and I’m bracing myself mentally for the last couple of weeks of walking before arriving in Atlanta. We should know our exact finish date sometime in the next couple of days, and it looks like that will be sometime before the end of the month, God willing.
After about fifteen miles, I took a break to grab a quick bite to eat before driving back to campus to sit down with Ron Courson, the Director of Sports medicine for the University of Georgia. He was kind enough to share a few minutes of his busy day with me, and I certainly enjoyed hearing his excellent suggestions. When I asked him (as I ask everyone I meet on the Walk) “What would you do if you were governor for a day and how would you do it?” his answer was that he would like to see athletic trainers in high school sports programs throughout the State. There are a few such trainers already, but not nearly enough, he said. Last year, four students in Georgia died of heat stroke, and countless others suffered needless injuries. With athletic trainers in high school sports programs, we could keep a better eye on the student athletes’ physical condition and shift some of the burden away from the coaches when it came to making health-related decisions about the students. He also mentioned that the next governor ought to ensure the State takes steps toward requiring coaches in schools to be certified in first aid/CPR. It is remarkable that so few of them are, and certainly that is a low-cost solution that would make life better for the people of this State—the exact kind of suggestion I set out on this Walk of Georgia to hear. Ron, like anyone who has responsibility for others’ well-being, is charged with telling his athletes what they need to hear, even if its not what they want to hear. Hearing that, I asked him to give my candidacy serious consideration.
I hope he will. I know I am the candidate for anyone who appreciates being told what they need to hear and not just what they want to hear. If you look at the other candidates, you’ll see right off the bat that some of them are willing to pander to whichever audience they happen to be in front of at the moment. Win or lose, I won’t do that. You may not always like what you’re going to hear from me, but you can rest assured you’re getting the honest-to-goodness truth of my opinion. As your Governor, you’ll know where I stand on issues. After the meeting, I went back out to spend some more time on the road, because tomorrow I have to be in Atlanta to meet with Governor Perdue about the water crisis in Georgia. I’ll still be walking in the morning, but I want to be on time with this Walk and I’m willing to do it today if I can’t do it tomorrow. As always, thank you for following the Walk of Georgia and God bless.
GPS: N34 09.104 W83 18.006 879.03 miles walked]]>
Day 56: Twenty miles walked today. The morning started off at 7:30 am. First thing in the morning we walked into the city of Toccoa, where we had an interview with WNEG AM 630 Toccoa and met with Charlie Bauder. Today was spent walking from Toccoa to Clayton through the rolling north Georgia hills on Highway 441. It was a pleasure to see so many cars out, and it looks like this part of the State has really grown a lot since I was last here. You can take that as a good thing or a bad thing. I have heard mixed reviews of the success of national chains developing in this part of the country.
There are a number of big-box retailers popping up along the road here, and when you look out on the green horizon it is hard to imagine where all the traffic comes from to support these businesses. This place is still so beautiful. I concluded this evening at the intersection of Highway 441 and Highway 17. The team and I went up to stay at a supporter’s home in Sky Valley, Georgia, which is the “highest city in Georgia” in elevation, and appears to be all but the most northeastern place in Georgia as well. We crossed in and out of North Carolina twice on the way to this Georgia city.
N34 38.743 W83 26.927 930.11 miles walked General Health]]>
Day 55: Twelve miles walked today. I began at approximately seven this morning, driving toward Carnesville in the suburban with Toni, our photographer. After I had walked for a bit, I was visited along the side of the road by a reporter named MJ from the Lavonia radio station. We had a nice conversation, touching on water and the state of the economy. After a while longer, I stopped for a break at the Hopewell Presbyterian Church, where I reviewed notes and interviews from the Governor’s water meetings. As I continued down the road and made my way through Carnesville, I was approached by a few more dogs. They followed me for a bit, and eventually fell off.
I went to lunch at the Amish Restaurant on Main Street in Lavonia, which was organized by Laurie Vitalle. We ate with a retired executive from a local bank, and were later joined by Rep. Alan Powell, one of my colleagues in the State House, as well as a reporter from the Franklin County Citizen. After lunch we left by car for Griffin, so that I could meet with the Spalding County GOP. It was an excellent meeting. There were numerous local supporters of my campaign present, including Kathy Noble, Brenda Ballard, and others. Also, lest I forget, today I was also allowed to drop by a bridge party at Tootsie Powers’ house, where I was introduced to a number of influential local citizens. What a day.
N34 27.982 W83 18.474 910.11 miles walked]]>
Day 64: 10 miles walked today. This morning began early at the intersection of Windsor Parkway and Roswell Road, near the parking lot of a Caribou Coffee where I met with our Worth County campaign chairman, Kenneth Jarrett, as well as Rufus Montgomery and Michael McNeely of the Black Republican Council. This was the most populated segment of the Walk thus far, but also one of the most straightforward in terms of directions—we walked straight down Roswell Road until it hit Peachtree, and continued south through Buckhead, Midtown, and Downtown before taking a left onto Martin Luther King Jr. Drive for the last few blocks to the Capitol.
It was an easy walk today, despite being the last leg of over 1,060 miles, and being fraught with stoplights, crosswalks, and traffic. It felt almost surreal, to have reached the end of this journey, in good health and with such success for the campaign. As I approached the Capitol, in the company of more than a dozen friends, family, and supporters, and was greeted on the Washington Street steps by even more, I knew without a doubt that this trip had been a success and that this campaign will be as well. By no means did I expect this walk to guarantee victory in and of itself or provide instant statewide name recognition—but it has come a long way toward putting this campaign where it needs to be. I believe it was the right thing to do for this campaign, and I’m thankful to have had the opportunities over the past sixty-four days to be out seeing this State, meeting my fellow citizens, participating in interviews and news stories.
How many times did this walk put my candidacy on the front pages of papers around the State? I’ve honestly lost count. How many great ideas have I come away with that I can use to develop my plan to govern this State? Plenty. That was one thing in particular that I learned: all across this State, from north to south and everywhere in-between, there are people of all walks of life, all races, and all political persuasions who share the same common goal of making this State a better place for their children. I was amazed at the similarity of beliefs of people from such diverse backgrounds. I’m looking forward to putting my platform on paper and knowing that I’m doing something that so many Georgians would approve of—after all, it’s their platform. These are their ideas. I’ve just asked them what they would do if they were Governor for a day. I couldn’t be happier with the result.
I have walked 1,068 miles through Georgia asking my fellow citizens how they would be governed. And because I’ve walked, they can be sure I’ll live up to those promises. I’ve shown them I am the hardest-working candidate in this race and the candidate most willing to earn their trust and respect. That is something that no other candidate in this race can have, and I believe it is exactly what the people of Georgia want to see in their next Governor.
N33 44.961 W84 23.327 1068.31 miles walked. Thank you for your prayers and for your support. God bless.]]>
Day 63: 16.9 miles walked today. Today the walk continued down Alpharetta Highway/Roswell Road/GA-9 for almost seventeen more miles. We began outside the Alpharetta City Hall where we left off yesterday through downtown Alpharetta, then on to Roswell. We stopped for an interview with Everett Catts of the Northside/Sandy Springs Neighbor newspaper, and I enjoyed the conversation we had.
Then we ate lunch in Roswell at Dreamland Barbecue, which was fantastic. Amazing food. Following lunch, we went back to where we left off on the walk, a bit farther up Highway 9, where we were met by a news team from 11 Alive News. They filmed me walking for a bit, and I answered some questions on camera for them. It was a very productive day from a media standpoint.
After a while longer, Vivien came out to walk with me, starting in Sandy Springs. It was great just to see her, and I really enjoyed having her walk with me. By this time, several of our team members were following in vehicles, riding up ahead and parking to wait for us to come by. Vivien walked with me until the conclusion of the day’s walk at the intersection of Windsor Parkway and Roswell Road.
After the walk was finished for the day, we met my parents and brother and sister and their children for dinner, which was great. They are all in town for the conclusion of the walk tomorrow. I cannot believe I have made it this far. It is almost surreal to be looking at the last ten miles of the walk ahead of me tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers and for your support. I could never have made it this far without you.
N33 52.737 W84 22.791 1058.41 miles walked]]>