Tom LaPorte

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Downunder in Dawsonville

Posted by tomlaporte on October 7, 2007 at 3:03 PM
What a day in Dawsonville!  Shannan, Joel and I armed ourselves with coffee and donuts and drove north on 400 long past the pretentious subdivisions and over-built retail hubs.  Our first stop gave us a glimpse of a flock of wild turkeys and a lot more as we ran in a 5K race at the little known Paradise Valley Resort.  We all won in the top three for our age divisions.

Next we girded our loins and filled our bellies at Dogs and Hogs BBQ.  We made quick work of our sandwiches, coleslaw and Brunswick stew--all of which were tasty.  You should certainly stop in for a bite if you are ever in downtown Dawsonville.

Then it was off to the Outback, and I don?t mean the steak house.  As promised, we visited The Kangaroo Conservation Center.  This fabulous facility is beautifully situated at the foot of the southernmost end of the Appalachian Mountains.  The center gives Dawsonville, GA the distinction of being the largest kangaroo farm outside of the real Outback down under in Australia.  At present, the center houses over 300 kangaroos of 8 different species.

The Conservation Center is dedicated to the preservation of kangaroo species through captive breeding and public education. Admission seems pricey at $27, but it is well worth it.  You get a driving tour on the KangaRanger, which points out highlights for you to further investigate on your own up-close-and-personal walking tour.  These magnificent creatures are very gentle and curious.  They will come up to receive a gentle pat on the head.

Visitors to the center learn the inner workings of this preserve, visit bird aviaries, see other marsupials, reptiles, kookaburras and watch an interesting and informative show called ?Wild Australia.?  It wouldn?t be a true Aussie theme without a boomerang.  A patient staffer gives a brief lesson and then everyone can take a turn tossing a boomerang. You really must see this marvelous place.  Here's their web address: http://www.kangaroocenter.com/

Next Shannan and I will participate in another Laura Ingalls Wilder Adventure.  The following weekend will take us to Huntsville and then we?ll catch back up with Joel for a day trip to Tennessee. 

Keep watching for our Day Trip Diaries.  

Tom 

 

 

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