Sunday, September 2, 2018

A Solo Adventure Travelblogue with Commentary

A couple of weeks ago, I packed up for a weekend getaway with two other people: Myself and I. I headed over to Blue Ridge, Georgia, where I had my very own hotel room!
With a view!
I decided to venture downtown and find some kind of take-out for an evening of noshing in bed in front of the TV. Something I NEVER do. I didn't know I would find authentic Polish food, served up by actual Polish women. The cabbage rolls were wonderful!
I don't know whether one of the gals was Margo or not. I turned on the TV for about 5 minutes, which caused me to remember why I don't have TV. I read magazines while I ate instead.

Then, because I'm "old," I went to bed, because the morning would bring trail exploration.
Long Creek Falls is an easy hike. Here are a few scenes from along the way.
People pay big money to recreate a scene like this in their yards.
At the end of the day, I'm an Appalachian mountain girl. There's something about rhododendron, tall trees, and a mountain stream . . .
I made it out of the woods and back to my hotel. Of course it was shower and nap time. After all, I had a Saturday night dinner adventure in Blue Ridge to prepare for!

Blue Ridge is a cute little town, but I couldn't help but be struck by how much the culture has changed, possibly over the past twenty or so years (my own observations; no 'science' to back up my claims) Most of those cars you see sported tags from out of town, and mostly from counties like DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb and Fulton. I can't remember the year the main highway into town was four-laned and divided, the better to whoosh the traffic back and forth between the metro Atlanta area and the mountains of north Georgia.
This is a nice example of a "city patio" garden, all done up with containers instead of plants in the ground.
How many of these diners live in Blue Ridge? What do the locals do? Do they hide out in their homes, being grateful for the business of the tourists on one hand, and cussing them on the other? That seems probable.

After dinner, I headed back to the hotel. I was beginning to feel the effects of the hike. Time to rest up. I turned on the TV again (just to make sure) and happened to catch "The Outlaw Josey Wales." I've seen that movie a dozen times, but thought it might not be a bad idea to watch it again. I made it up to Granny's famous 'doodly-squat' line, and the "Missouri boatride" scene before my book started calling to me.

Sunday morning I was up and stumbling to the lobby for my coffee fairly early. (One thing I REALLY, REALLY like about being at home is decent morning coffee that I don't have to get dressed to obtain.) I had more hiking on my mind.

I lazed around as long as I could stand it, then packed my stuff and checked out. I had a trail to find, but on the way, I saw an opportunity to learn yet more about the Tennessee Valley Authority's conquering of the Tennessee River. John and I have been studying this system for several years now, and are coming to a deeper appreciation of this engineering feat. Back in July we spent a day or two in the vicinity of the Pickwick Dam. And now this!

I headed onward to the Rich Mountain Wildlife Management Area and a nice network of trails near the Cartecay River.
Sunday's hike was a bit more ambitious than Saturday's.
For most of the time, I was the only person around. It is something else to be by yourself out in the woods, and to stop and listen to the calm. Such an interesting experience to realize you're the only human around. It's like being on an entirely different planet!
The Cartecay River.
Someone has been thinking of the turkeys, though.
I just love these little streams, with their mosses and ferns and tinkling water.

Well, the day was getting on, and I knew I had to head back to the car and make my way home. I saw this country cemetery and had to stop. I know there's a line in a old-time bluegrass song somewhere about that sweet mountain valley resting place.
My way home would take me through Marble Hill and Tate, two places that have always said to me, "You need to stop and take a few pics here!" Well, I finally did.

Kudzu eats at a remnant of what used to be an entirely different community, one defined by the marble quarry--famous pink marble, y'all! But really, what struck me this day was the kudzu. Kudzu, kudzu, kudzu everywhere.
Like most Southerners, I am steeped in kudzu legend and lore. But guess what! Turns out I've been wrong about several important aspects of this tenacious and--yes, interesting--plant. This article helped set me straight, and if you have any interest in kudzu, and think you know something about it, go here and read, and see what you may not have gotten right after all!

I've always been fascinated by the Tate Elementary School building. On this day, a Sunday, I decided to stop and look at it close up. It's quite impressive, and used to be the high school.

I would be interested to know when the high school moved out (probably to a consolidated county school) and the elementary school moved in. Was it when the school added this "mid-century modern" addition? Well, they tried to make it match the old school.

Always wanted to go to the Tate House, too. Alas, it is not open to the public on weekends.
So, that story will have to wait.

All in all, a wonderful little get-away with Me, Myself, and I.


John Schulz said...

This is interesting and the pictures are beautiful.
I read the kudzu article and found it most interesting.
Keep up the nice commentary

Hallie Marker said...

Lovely and informative.