North GeorgiaWe've decided to spend a week exploring the area where Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina come together in mountainous terrain and forest.
The UN Environmental Program's definition of "mountainous environment" includes any of the following:
- Elevation of at least 2,500 m (8,200 ft);
- Elevation of at least 1,500 m (4,900 ft), with a slope greater than 2 degrees;
- Elevation of at least 1,000 m (3,300 ft), with a slope greater than 5 degrees;
- Elevation of at least 300 m (980 ft), with a 300 m (980 ft) elevation range within 7 km (4.3 mi).
Whether Brasstown Bald is a mountain might be up for debate, but at 4,784 feet, it certainly puts Britton Hill, Florida's high point of 345 feet to shame. I predict that a Florida landfill somewhere will become the highest point in Florida within a decade.
My old knees are both suffering after trudging up and down two miles of semi-steep grades visiting Brasstown Bald Mountain and Anna Ruby Falls yesterday.
We ran the Cherokee out of Georgia and into Oklahoma when gold was discovered here in the Georgia hills. The name of Brasstown, where Indians lived, appears to have been a translation error. The name should have possibly been Greenplacetown.
There are three theories about why certain peaks in Georgia have no trees and are covered with low green vegetation:
1. The Indians cleared the mountaintops.
2. The settlers cleared the mountaintops.
3. Unexplained natural causes.
We drive to Anna Ruby Falls and hike up 1/2 mile to see the twin falls. About 70% of the many visitors we pass on the train appear to be real Indians (from SE Asia). We could as well have been visiting a geological formation somewhere in India...very strange...perhaps these immigrants have an affinity for waterfalls?
I strike up a conversation with a Harley biker who has a really nice vest with sayings like:
.... Let go of my ears, I know what I'm doing.
.....If I want your opinion, I'll remove the duct tape.
The town of Helen, near Anna Ruby Falls, offers a water park and tubing for $20 or just tubing for $5.
We also visited Pappy's Trading Post near Blairsville. It is quirky and worth an hour or two.
We got a free sample of 140 proof moonshine. I know myself well enough to know that way lies madness.
Our friends, Felica and Bruce, would have liked the available yard art.
The restaurant menu looked very interesting but we weren't hungry. They had a store with 35 flavors of fudge. We had very good butter pecan ice cream on the porch and watched kids feed a school of trout in the Notteley River
We're moving tomorrow to the Moccasin Creek State Park near Clayton. We have a whitewater raft trip booked on the river where they filmed Deliverance. We did that one once before in 1982 with 13 year old Kenny and his friend James from across the street..
Wednesday we will start the long trek up Interstate 75 to Michigan. We're both feeling it is better to explore a place we've never spent much time than to revisit places we know.