No Thanksgiving Shopping In Nature, Part 1

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As I have said before, on Black Friday, I sit on my happy ass at home and I pay no attention to the economy or the crazy people that the government counts on to get out and act like total fools.  This year, that day was spent at home with the other half and our close friend from Alabama.  We did venture out later in the day to have some Red Robin.  That was great enough to pull anyone out of their hiding place.

After a calm Friday at home, I decided that Saturday needed to be a day of adventure….and that adventure screamed of the North Georgia mountains.  The main attraction to our hungry stomachs was The Dillard House in Dillard, GA.  Folks, let me tell you!  I, for one, can eat until I near bout explode.  Serving bowls and plates are brought to your table of two or more people filled with fantastic country favorites such as green beans, peas, cabbage with cheese, collards, sweet potato casserole, fried okra, country ham, ribs, and the best fried chicken.  You also have small bowls of a southern salad made of chopped tomato, cucumber, and sweet onion in a vinegar, water, and sugar mixture that is perfect for a summer day.  It’s a southern classic that will make you wonder why you’ve never had it before.

After filling ourselves to near catastrophic levels, we paid our bill and while standing there, I asked the cashier where a waterfall was that I knew was in the area.  She gave me directions and we headed north toward North Carolina.  Going to a different state in one day sounded crazy, but within less than 5-10 miles, we were crossing the border.  The road was a winding path through the mountains and one that could easily make someone car sick.  Thankfully, neither of us had that issue as we traveled into the Nantahala (Nan-ta-hey-la) National Forest.

The views along the road were fantastic and mesmerizing.  Tall trees, small houses, and small community stores dotted the hillsides.  We turned a curve and the other half pointed out a sign for Glen Falls.  I was caught off guard and quickly turned onto the road by the sign.  The road I turned onto was not the road to the falls.  It was a paved road with a dirt road leading off to the right…at a 360° turn.  With some backing up and turning around, we traveled down the white dirt road until we reached a parking area and a sign (pictured above) telling us we were at a trail.  The subject of a hike had been discussed while driving and, after speaking to others in the parking area, we decided we would hike this trail.

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The trail was a gradual decline down the side of the of the mountain.  It was one of the nicest trails I had hiked as over time, people had laid down landscaping timbers to make steps.  I thought it was a fantastic thing to do for the conservation of the trail and to fight erosion.  It also provides a great leg workout.  The others with me probably did not see it as a workout as much as I did.  My goal was a peaceful hike and a feast on nature’s beauty.  As you can see from the pictures, Glen Falls was a blessing on the senses.  The visual of the water cascading down the cliff woke me up, accompanied by the sounds of water hitting the rocks and stream below.  A slight breeze every now and then carried the mist to my face and filled my breath.  At that moment, I honestly couldn’t think of a better place to be.

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At the bottom of the trail, there was an even better view of the falls.  The sun was at the perfect angle to create a rainbow for those taking in the moment and the scene.  The water was flowing at a decent rate despite the fact that we haven’t received the normal amount of rainfall one would expect this time of year.  I’m sure that with a good amount of rain, the falls would be more than impressive.  I’m hoping it will rain soon and maybe we can take another trip there to witness its effect.

After taking in the sites, it was time to work our way back up the hillside.  Walking down worked out the front of the legs and walking back up was about to take care of the back or hamstrings.  The three of us waged our war on the hillside and took off, stopping every now and then to take a breath.  We didn’t take any water with us, resulting in dry mouths and dry throats in a not so cold but not so warm environment.  GlenFalls6-MountainViewIt was one of those days where the coats we took were a tad warm and thick enough to protect us from the cool breezes coming around the mountain.  We reached the beginning of the trail and I was able to take a picture of the beautiful view of nearby foothills.  Being a country boy from some of the flattest land in the country, I love being in the mountains.  The air is crisper and thinner making it easier to breathe. 

We exited the trail and headed back to the Santa Fe, jumping in and taking off on our return trip to somewhat civilization.  We found a nearby little country store and we stocked up on water and Cheerwine.  If you go to North Carolina, it’s a must that you try Cheerwine.  It’s not alcohol, but a red soda in a glass bottle.  It’s worth every cent.  Trust me!  After getting stuff to drink, we took off to find more waterfalls.

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