The SAM Shortline Route

Plains and Archery, GA

The SAM Shortline train runs from Cordele, GA to Leslie, Americus, Plains, and Archery, GA and then returns to Cordele. Although it's a relatively short run, and towns along the way are full of history and interesting residents.

Leslie's current claim to fame is the Georgia Rural Telephone Museum---one of the most extensive and complete museums of early telephone equipment.

HFH's Global Village
Habitat for Humanity's Global Village

Americus is the home of Habitat for Humanity---the international organization that has been building homes for people around the world since 1976. Right up the street from the SAM Shortline depot in Americus is the Habitat Global Village and Discovery Center where homes from around the world are on display and where visitors can learn about different construction methods from around the world. Visitors also can learn more about the work of Habitat both in America and in nearly 90 countries.

Right outside Americus is the home of Koinonia Partners....a Christian community that has inspired, angered, and taught people since 1942. Started innocently as a place where Christians could live together in harmony and peace and where they could practice their faith in their daily lives, Koinonia Partners eventually became the target of bullets, bombs, and a boycott during the turbulent civil rights struggles of the 1950-1960's.

"Koinonia has given birth to many outstanding organizations such as Habitat for Humanity Internatinal. The farm inspired the musical Cotton Patch Gospel , and the documentary Briars in the Cotton Patch. Since the 1960's, we had heard about and read about Koinonia Partners and the work of Clarance Jordan, and since it's located just a few miles south of Americus, we spent an afternoon there visiting, learning about its history, talking with current partners.

Koinonia Farms
Koinonia Farms
Koinonia Farms
The "front yard" at Koinonia Farms

Plains:Another major destination of the train is Plains---the home of former president Jimmy Carter where he lived before he became president and where he still lives. Compared to Cordele and Americus, Plains is very,very small and very quiet. And it's also where some of the best homemade peanut butter ice cream can be bought!

Main Street, Plains
The main (and only) street of Plains, GA

On one of our first Sundays in Georgia, we visited Plains to go to a Bible study led by Jimmy Carter. His church is very small, it split away from the larger Baptist Church in Plains when in the 1970's the church wanted to ban all African Americans from any church functions, and it's very open to visitors....even northern Presbyterians! And since Jimmy Carter continues to lead Sunday morning Bible studies on many Sundays....we had decided to visit the church and attend one of his Bible studies. He's what some would call a "smiling conservative"---he's neither dogmatic nor judgemental---and it was obvious he knew his facts and had done his research!

Archery is the last stop of the train---a very small hamlet just outside Plains where Jimmy Carter grew up as a boy. His childhood farm where he grew up is now a national park, and is the last stop of the SAM Shortline.

Carter Homestead
Jimmy Carter's Childhood home in Archery, GA
President Jimmy Carter
President Jimmy Carter during the Bible Study we attended

Bruce and Sara 2008---Opening Page

Jan to April 2008---The SAM Shortline in Cordele, GA

April 1st to April 13, 2008---Driving from GA to Big Bend NP, TX

April 14st to April 23, 2008---Driving from Big Bend NP,TX to Mesa Verde NP

April 24 to May 4, 2008---Snow in Yellowstone, a Change in Plans, and a Detour to Zion NP

May 4 to May 11, 2008---From Zion NP to Salt Lake City and Glacier, and then to Canada

May 12 to May 16, 2008---Kootenay, Banff, Yoho and Jasper National Parks Yoho)

May 16 to May 25, 2008---The Alaskan Highway---From Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Skagway, Alaska

May 25 to June 7, 2008---Southeast Alaska--Skagway, Sitka, Juneau, and Haines

June 8 to June 21, 2008---Haines Junction, Fairbanks, and Denali

June 22 to July 4, 2008---The Kenai Peninsula: Portgage, Seward, and Homer

July 5 to July 22, 2008---Whittier, Anchorage, Palmer, Valdez Prince William Sound and Wrangell-St. Elias NP

July 23 to July 28, 2008---Driving Down the Cassier Highay: Steward and Hyder

July 29 to August 14, 2008---Driving Home after 13,600 Miles

If you want to write to or contact Bruce and Sara, their email addresses are: and/or

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