Excellent Adventure to Georgia
February 11-13. 2005
 

Every trip we do has an overarching theme. This trip's theme turned out to be "The Weekend of U-Turns and Dead Ends". Bruce, who is unfailingly good at navigation couldn't find the proverbial peanut farm if he fell off a tractor. No matter where we were heading, the road didn't go there or we hit an uncharted dead end. I honestly felt like Lewis and Clark when I should have felt like Martin and Lewis. Bob Hope would have had no career with a road picture like this.

Bruce said the maps sucked and I have to believe him. Otherwise there is no other explanation for our inability to find things that doesn't involve us looking like idiots. The weekend should have been the weekend of waterfalls and we were in rain, too.

Anyway, we crossed another state off the list... Goodbye, Georgia! Bruce and I met up in Greenville, SC and explored the northern most reaches of Georgia. Here are some photos from the trip.

Gotta Pee..

Sometimes, you just gotta go when you gotta go. We found a parking place off the highway that just happened to have a river, kayakers and hikers with beer. Just lucky, I guess.


Guys with beer and a sense of humor.

Bruce and Nowell. Quiz: Who's who?

Our bathroom wall. Just like in a bar.

Can you spot the kayaker's?
Tallulah Gorge

"Tallulah" is just one of those words that you love to say. The fact that it is a famous place is an added benefit. This is where Karl Wallenda walked across a 2 inch thick steel cable setting a world's record for the highest tightrope walk in history.


The Guide to the Gorge. She knew everything and we couldn't follow instructions.

Jane Hurt Yarn
1924-1995
Patron of the Interpretive Center

The Interpretive Center

The Karl Wallenda exhibit. Look him up on Google.

One of the falls in the gorge.
Toccoa Falls

You go through the gates of Toccoa College and down a long road to get to this cool place. You can read the story of the falls. Very interesting stuff.


Every good gift shop should have some nice young women collecting money.

Story of Toccoa Falls.

The guy left his pack on the ground and just had to climb something.
Helen, Georgia

Our base of operations. This is a little town in the mountains about an hour and a half north of Atlanta. The area is a major tourist attraction and must be jumpin' in the summer. In February it is not too crowded and is still affordable. Everything had a string of xmas lights on it and I presume that the buildings are still lit in the summer. There is an active river through the town that is a tubing attraction.


I should have known that something was up when this was the first thing I saw as we got to the hotel. Trust me... after years of experience, I know that nothing good can come from horse poop in the street.

Helen is a quaint little town in the daylight and at night it becomes a wonderfully quaint place. Lots of gingerbread houses and shops and lots of street lighting.

Mostly, I wanted to get out and have a cigar. I took photos to have something to do. The S2 does a good job at night.
Saturday
First Stop, Ice Wall

We were driving to the Amicalola Falls when we happened upon these ice formations. They were very cool and we stopped. It was not cold at the one that Bruce found. The ice climbing one was freezing cold and very windy.


The ice wall in the sun. It stopped us in our tracks.

On close inspection, you can see the ice melting under the ice because the wall is getting hot in the sun.

A few miles later, we happened upon this wall which was in the shade, and had a stiff, cold wind blowing. There are two guys doing ice climbing.

Find the ice climber. Give up?

Here he is. Imagine how cold it is. My hand froze and I couldn't use the camera anymore.
Amicalola Falls

This is a waterfall that starts as a bucolic creek at the top of a mountain. Once it gets to the edge it turns into a waterfall that drops 729 feet into the valley. Bruce left me at the top and drove the van down to the parking lot. I did the 427 steps down. It was easier than climbing up. Trust me.


Looking at a majestic vista makes your brain go to somewhere else. In my case, it fled my body causing me to walk down the stairs to the parking lot.

This is an example of how the Georgia State Park system builds stairs.

If you think this looks like a habit trail, you're right. It is an easier walk down than up.

Pretty cool, huh? Especially considering that a hundred feet up it is only a creek.

This is what you find at the bottom of the steps.

This group had to stop for a photo since the guy on the right was about to have a heart attack.
 

The taller kid asked me if I would take his photo. I did.

She has a name but I called her "Excuse". Mom and Dad decided not to try the walk up because little miss excuse was getting cranky.

Heck... it would have worked for me, too!

 

Chestatee Wildlife Preserve

We only took six wrong turns, three U-turns and three direction stops to find this place. It was worth it. It is a private zoo that has over 125 species of animals. They have more tigers than we've ever seen in one place. It is really cool, no matter what it takes to get there.


Dr. Doolittle talks to the animals.
Toccoa Riverside Restaurant

We found the restaurant all right but we drove five miles into the wilderness looking for another waterfall and couldn't find that. No biggie... the restaurant was very good. I had pecan trout and gave some to Bruce. It was his first trout. He liked it.


Kelly Collins was our waitress. She is from Michigan. Well, she left there at age 4 and you can see that there is no Michigan left in her now. If you want to buy some real estate in North Georgia, call her at Century 21.

These fellows were playing bluegrass music at the restaurant. They were really good. Roy Neal is on the left and Dale Bryant is on the right. I bought their CD.
"Sunday... sunday... sunday... US30...30...30..."

Oops, got carried away there for a second. On Sunday we awoke to rain. Not to be deterred, we went the Anna Ruby Falls, Brasstown Bald, then to the airport. Wet and wild, that's the way to leave Georgia!


Anna Ruby Falls is a double falls complex that turns from two creeks into one.

Bruce is pensive in the forest.

Rushing water... sounds like a Sea World adventure, dontchathink?

He is not as happy as he looks. Later he will find out that his jacket is soaked. So is his head.

"Rain drops keep falling on my head..."

"Tension Breaker... Had to be done."



Us

The view of the area from the parking lot of the Brasstown Bald.

The Bald was closed. I was talking to Diana in California. This was the only spot I could get a signal.
 

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