Weâ€™re getting ready to pack up and head to Nashville, TN (and since it’s pouring rain, we’re not pulling out just yet)â€“ but I wanted to share about our time here in Chattanooga, TN and Lookout Mountain. Chattanooga is rich in Civil War history, being the site of a decisive â€œBattle above the Cloudsâ€ that opened the way for the Union armyâ€™s march to Atlanta. We visited Point Park on Lookout Mountain (part of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Historic Park) where we could view the entire scene. Lookout Mountain is very beautiful â€“ a great scenic drive and spectacular views. Lookout Mountain is also the home to Covenant College, where many of our friends had attended college. Gary had been there in the early 70â€™s, so you know there were many many changes. It is a beautiful campus right on top of the mountain. But the most special thing we did while we were in Chattanooga was look up the children of our friends Jeff and Esther Talley. I was pretty sure that they had said (before they returned to the mission field this summer) that all four of their children were in the Chattanooga area. I did my detective work, and tracked them down. In Godâ€™s good providence, they were all in town and had been planning a family dinner that very night! They invited us to join their evening which we gladly did. It had been many years since we had seen them, and it was so very good to reconnect. We were very blessed by the evening! Here is a picture of these dear children of dear friends â€“
Janet, Laura, Melinda (wife of Matthew), Matthew.
Kyle is missing from the photo â€˜cause he left before I pulled the camera out!
The rain has stopped – must be time to finsh up the outside chores and get on our way!
See ya’all later!
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 donâ€™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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ for $2.00/yd. How could I resist buying some??? I didnâ€™t. =)
A quick stop in Cleveland, GA â€“ 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 â€œbirthingâ€ babies out of heads of cabbage, itâ€™s probably a place you could miss. (Sorry if that sounded a little jadedâ€¦..)
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 didnâ€™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 canâ€™t say weâ€™ve seen â€˜em all, but we are beginning to get opinionated about campgrounds in general. Too big usually means too impersonal. We donâ€™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 Iâ€™m sure if we had stayed a couple of more days, weâ€™d all be good friends!
Tonight weâ€™re at an â€œOKâ€ campground outside of Chattanooga. Rest rooms are clean and itâ€™s pretty quiet. But it certainly doesnâ€™t have the friendly feel of our delightful discovery in the mountains of Northern Georgia â€“ 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 â€œpitchâ€), 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 â€œstuffâ€, and headed up to a Super Walmart outside of Gainesville. Early today we headed to Helen, GA â€“ 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 â€“ from October 1 through November 6th! It is a very quaint town â€“ everyone seems to have â€œbought intoâ€ the Alpine Village theme â€“ 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 youâ€™ll have to take our word on that! Iâ€™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! =)