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After 12 years in Colorado, the time has come for a change. The only problem is...I don't know where I want to live! Come with me (virtually, of course) across the country as I travel along all the rural roads, small towns, coastal regions, scrub-filled deserts, and damp, dark forests in Anywhere Else, America in search of a new home.

Trees and Traffic

Savannah is known for its trees - enormous live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, which is neither Spanish nor a moss. When I told people I met in Winston-Salem that I was coming to Savannah next, the trees were the first thing they would mention. The historic city is built around twenty-two public squares, almost all of which boast this distinctive flora. Sitting in one of these squares feels like stepping into a Henry James novel. You can have the same experience along the much-photographed oak avenue at Wormsloe estate and with the eeriness that the willowy, old trees lend to the famed Bonaventure Cemetery. So yes, it's cliché to post about them and write about how happy they make me, but how can anyone not love them?

large oak trees in a small park

large oak trees in a small park

large oak trees in a small park

large oak trees in a small park

What is less known about Savannah, or maybe only I was ignorant of, is the traffic. At only 40,000 more inhabitants than Boulder, Savannah delivers endless logjams at all hours of the day. This was especially shocking to me given how much larger the square mileage of Savannah is and how much lower the population density is. Sure, lots of people in Boulder use bicycles, but not enough to account for the difference. (Savannah, by the way, also has an excellent network of dedicated bike lanes.)
 
Boulder Savannah
Population 108,250 147,780
Square Miles 26.328 sq mi     108.50 sq mi
Population Density   4,112/sq mi 1,362.03/sq mi

So what is it? Tourism, of course. All the people coming to see the damn trees! Back in 2012, the most recent statistic I could find, the number of visitors to Boulder was 2.8 million. In 2019, Savannah had 14.8 million visitors. That seven year gap doesn't make for a great comparison, but I'm guessing Boulder's number hasn't increased by 12 million people. So while I'm glad I made it down here after last year didn't work out for me, there's no way I could stay here very long. The traffic is awful, though I will say I haven't had any problems finding (expensive) parking downtown very close to everywhere I've gone. But I can't imagine trying to live a normal life here while having to deal with these tourists all the time. This, in fact, will be my shortest stay of this whole crazy road trip, just 29 days, but I still have a few more posts coming from this beautiful, yet crowded, outpost in the south.


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