Atlanta is a great southern city. It has a lot of history and architecture and culture and it is a terrific sports town. So this is not a put down. I hate coming to Atlanta. I despise it. It’s always rush hour in Atlanta, even at 2 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon without a sporting event going on. It doesn’t matter how wide they make the interstates. It’s pure torment trying to navigate the city. Atlanta itself is smaller than Nashville. You wouldn’t think it, but Nashville proper is more populous than Atlanta proper. But metropolitan Atlanta is a monolith, extending outward for many miles in all directions. Even when you’re out of Atlanta, you’re not out of Atlanta.
Today we drove through Atlanta on the way to Hilton Head Island. It’s my first time in South Carolina. I have now been in all the southern states except Louisiana. It was 543 miles from Mt. Juliet to our hotel. The 100 miles from north of Atlanta to near Macon on I-75 would have tried the patience of Mother Teresa. Thick with traffic and rife with construction, it made you wonder if you’d ever even be able to go the speed limit again. We’ve already decided to take a different route back on Thursday. We’ll go north through the Carolinas, over the Smokies, and then westward across Tennessee. It’s 48 additional miles that way, but it also bypasses Atlanta. I’ll gladly take the extra miles.