We've been in Georgia long enough that we are getting used to the tall trees and all the green. So it's fun to host family, like our son Blake, who can appreciate the abundance of waterfalls and lush foliage. We have noticed some stark differences between Georgia and western Oklahoma. Back home you only see trees that were planted and cared for, so trees are predominately found right around houses. In Georgia, the opposite is true--the only place you don't see trees is where they have been cleared away right around houses.
This day we are heading north from our campground, and our first stop is the trail towards Anna Ruby Falls.
We are in the Chattahoochee Forest now, so all three of us are singing, "Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee, it gets hotter than a hoochee coochee . . ." We are enjoying beautiful weather right now, so spring is a great time to visit this area. The half-mile trail to the falls was busy with all the weekend warriors this day. Uphill most of the way, there are lots of sofas to sit and take a rest. These rock couches look like they came straight out of the Flintstone's living room.
Actually two falls, Anna Ruby is tumbling from Tray Mountain. We couldn't even see the top of the 153-foot waterfall on the left, fueled by Curtis Creek. On the right is the smaller fall from York Creek with only a 50 foot drop.
We finally got a picture of the three of us together at the bottom of the two waterfalls.
Can you imagine riding your horse across the mountains, and finding this double waterfall? That is what happened to a Confederate soldier, who named the twin falls after his daughter, Anna Ruby.
Our next stop is to the tallest point in Georgia--Brasstown Bald. This was our view from the parking lot, and we are heading up a trail that will take us up the last slope to its 4,783 foot elevation.
Blake is looking very statue-esque as we get ready to start the .6 mile climb from the parking lot.
The trail is paved, but steep to the observation tower. It was also getting increasingly cooler as we trudged to higher elevations. There is a shuttle van that takes most visitors from the parking lot to the summit via the road. But of course, hikers like us would never stoop to ride the shuttle when a trail is available.
From the deck we can see for many miles. It's a little cloudy this day, but on a clear day you can see all the way to Atlanta in the south . . .
and to Tennessee and North Carolina in the north.
We can only imagine how stunning this view must be in October when all these hardwood trees are changing into their fall foliage colors.
Mark should get some kind of award for driving through the maze of winding, tree-canopied roads we have been on these last three days. This would be a great place for a motorcycle trip traversing the hair-pin curves of the North Georgia mountains!
Our next stop was a place we have heard about from fellow campers for the last month. When we have asked locals for advice on places not to miss in Georgia, everyone has gotten a dreamy look in their eyes when they mentioned Vogel State Park. So we stopped there on this Saturday afternoon when the park was packed. We got away from the weekend crowds by taking the Trahlyta Trail around the lake.
The trail also took us to Trahlyta Falls. Denisa stayed safely on the observation deck while the two boys climbed to the top of the falls. We got a nice rainbow over the misty falls and a silhouette of the two adventurers.
Likewise, Denisa took the trail back to the top of the bridge, while the two boys walked along the ledge. This looks like a great water slide, but at least those two boys were smart enough to recognize that this slide ended in a very steep and rocky waterfall.
Another tree over the water, so there is another picture of Mark climbing out on it. Is there any wonder why Denisa's hair has turned white?
At this lake we saw some new water plants. The yellow flowers on tall stems were suspended above the water. The three of us discussed whether they were attached to the bottom of the lake, or were floating on the top.
You can only discuss it so long before someone with very long arms stepped out on a branch and plucked one out of the water. Blake proved that the plants have their own little flotation buoys that keep them above the surface of the water. How cool is that?
Have we mentioned that we are really enjoying getting to spend time with our son, Blake?
Since this was his last evening in Georgia, we wanted to treat him to a campfire dinner. He got to help with cooking two of the bratwursts, that we would pair with saurkraut and baked beans and watermelon.
But of course no campfire meal is complete until the s'mores are eaten. He didn't take our advice. Instead of the usual 7-8 marshmallows we prefer, he settled for only 3 marshmallows on his s'more. He didn't even get sticky, and there was no marshmallow stringing from his chin. This just proves he is a rookie camper. He'll obviously have to return again to spend more time with us.