This was such a beautiful time of year to see this area. Although the thousands of Rhododendrons that lined the roads must be spectacular in the spring and early summer, these fall colors really warmed my heart. Here is a shot from the bridge we crossed to on the way to our campground –
One of the amazing views from our mountain drives.
View from Brasstown Bald Parking lot (where we had left the camera).
And turning around, here is the parking lot. The lookout is there on the left.
OK, so they don’t quite fit together, but it pretty much describes the day! We started the day at the Anna Ruby Falls in Unicoi State Park just as the mist was beginning to rise. The half mile walk to the falls (VERY UPHILL) left our hearts pounding, but the walk and the falls were worth the trip. Of course, pictures (taken by me) rarely capture the beauty of waterfalls, but here are a couple to try and show how pretty it was).
As we paused on the way up….
It was much prettier than this – I couldn’t get it all in the picture!
Oh, and here we are…see, we ARE still friends!
From there we traveled to Dahlonega – the site of the first Georgian Gold Strike. Or, the home of Magical Threads Fabric Store. Yes, once again, Gary took his beloved wife out to touch fabric! And yes, she managed to purchase just a little to remember the day. It was a delightful shop – tho I had trouble finding any fabric under $8.00/yard. Yikes! As we headed back to Helen we passed the Shoal Creek Cloth Shop (and vegetable stand!). I made Gary turn around for that one! It had very little of interest, but it did have a couple of nice cottons – for $2.00/yd. How could I resist buying some??? I didn’t. =)
A quick stop in Cleveland, GA – the home of the Cabbage Patch dolls. The Babyland Hospital is right there in town, so we stopped by (with memories of long lines at area stores trying to secure one for Lara many many years ago!). Unless you want to adopt a true Cabbage Patch doll for a around $200.00 or are intrigued by women dressed up as doctors and nurses “birthing” babies out of heads of cabbage, it’s probably a place you could miss. (Sorry if that sounded a little jaded…..)
And since Helen is all about being an Alpine village we felt we needed to sample the German cuisine that is offered everywhere. With glowing recommendations we went to the Edelweiss Country Inn just outside of Helen. Great German food (though I was disappointed that they didn’t serve Spaetzle until after 5PM and we were too early!!!)
Although this Inn is outside of town, the entire town of Helen, GA really does look like this!
I can’t say we’ve seen ‘em all, but we are beginning to get opinionated about campgrounds in general. Too big usually means too impersonal. We don’t like to be nickel and dimed to death (one campground charged $4.00 for incoming faxes and $10.00 for a bundle of wood). Pay showers are another turn off. And of course, dirty rest rooms and laundry rooms just send shivers down my spine. So, imagine our complete delight when we stumbled upon Creekwood Resort outside of Helen, Georgia. I know I mentioned them earlier, but it was just such a pleasant experience that I wanted to add a little more detail. There are only 18 sites, all nestled in the trees around just one loop. On the road above are three lovely cottages (3 bedrooms, Jacuzzi, the works). A clean bathroom and laundry room where you pay for the wash, but the drier is included. Our friendly hosts, Melissa and Robert, helped us park, delivered firewood, and gave great suggestions for sights to see and places to eat. Our neighbors were all friendly and I’m sure if we had stayed a couple of more days, we’d all be good friends!
Tonight we’re at an “OK” campground outside of Chattanooga. Rest rooms are clean and it’s pretty quiet. But it certainly doesn’t have the friendly feel of our delightful discovery in the mountains of Northern Georgia – Creekwood Resort.
Here we are – Nestled in the woods.
After a quiet weekend in Unadilla enjoying a free weekend camping (in exchange for listening to a “pitch”), we began our trek north. Well, not too far north! We stopped at the Aviation Museum in Warner Robins (if you love military airplanes, this is a must!), found a Costco outside of Atlanta so we could stock up on “stuff”, and headed up to a Super Walmart outside of Gainesville. Early today we headed to Helen, GA – a little town in northern Georgia that about 35 years ago decided that they would become a little Alpine village. And it really seemed to have worked! Right now they are having their Octoberfest – from October 1 through November 6th! It is a very quaint town – everyone seems to have “bought into” the Alpine Village theme – and it is working very nicely. Helen is located just where the Appalachian Mountains begin. After a month amongst the cotton field and pecan orchards, it was delightful to see mountains and FALL!!! We are staying at a lovely small campground, Creekwood Resort, that is just outside of town, and are enjoying the views, the cable TV, the friendly folks, and the beautiful setting. There’s even a farm stand across the street where we got some great tomatoes (sometimes it is the little things!).
Today we went to Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia. Although it was a beautiful day, and they say you can see four states from the observation deck (and we were there), the camera was back in the car so you’ll have to take our word on that! I’ll work on getting some pictures posted that I did take.
Right now Gary is sitting outside enjoying the campfire and watching the Red Sox beat St. Louis. I don’t think he thinks it gets any better than this! =)
Ok, so these are more “staying in one place” pictures than Travel Pictures, but I wanted to share with you some of the great folks we’ve been working with these last three weeks.
Here we are with the Dick and Sharon Brittell (our SOWER co-workers) after we did Chapel for the school. We talked about how we are all different parts (tools) of the Body of Christ. We had a great time doing it!
And here we are at the TerriLynn Pecan shelling factory – hair and beard nets and all!
And then there are our friends at Faith Christian School –
Here are the little guys ….
Here’s the middle size gang-
And then there’s the big guys….
Here are all the teachers in their “new” resource room – it was a project that Sharon and I worked on. Considering that you could barely walk in the room, we think it’s a great improvement (cracks on walls notwithstanding!)