Day 67 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways
My pecans, cheese, and dates for dinner left me slightly hungry this morning, so I stopped at Burger King for “Free Coffee Friday” and blueberry biscuits for a dollar. If anyone needs to know how to live on $30 a day in America, I’d be the appropriate person to ask! The dogs and I got an early start in the North Georgia Highlands.
I wanted to make sure we got close to South Carolina by day’s end because tomorrow we get the chance to meet up with Walter, an ex-coworker. He quit before me but was more practical and lined up another job. We’ll connect at his family’s farm in South Carolina and/or his lake house in North Carolina as they are only thirty minutes apart. I’m pretty excited about it!
In the meantime, however, we completed our first morning walk along the shores of Chatuge Lake. I just couldn’t help but stop as it looked so spiritual with the low hanging clouds and the colloid rising from the surface. If only the power line didn’t dissect the cloud in my picture.
Moccasin Creek State Park
After only a brief visit long enough for the dogs do their business, we motored on to Moccasin Creek State Park. This North Georgia Highland pars was home to another lake and across the highway from Hemlock Falls Trail. I had two options:
- hike a mile to a waterfall for free or
- pay $5 to see a lake…
Anyone who knows me, knows I did not choose the latter! Instead, the dogs and I took the mile walk along a canopied trail which followed lovely creek. Water seeped from the trailside cliffs as we passed by several small cascades before reaching Hemlock Falls.
The walk was quite pleasant until we attempted to find a geocache above the falls. The terrain, covered in dead leaves, turned quite steep. Given I was alone on slick turf with a 50 foot drop and a phone with sporadic geocache readings, I tried for cache at my next location, Popcorn Overlook.
Popcorn Overlook, part of the Chattahoochee National Forest, was just off the highway. I’m not sure how it got its name, but I’d sure like to know! I found the magnetic cache and took it back to VANilla to sign the log as I was standing in a rather conspicuous location. Dang it! A family of at least six, mostly adults, popped out of their van and posed for photos. I was going to have to wait or come up with a stealthy move to replace the container. They looked like they were going to be a while, so I drove toward the exit, acted like I was taking a CLOSE UP picture of the sign, and quickly slipped it in to its rightful place.
Tallulah Gorge State Park
From Popcorn Overlook, we continued through the North Georgia Highlans to Tallulah Gorge State Park. This park is well worth the $5 “parking fee” that all the Georgia state parks charge. All the overlooks to the falls and gorge are breathtaking. In addition, the park includes several miles of poorly marked trails (I suggest taking a map with you) and a couple of geocaches! Scout, Petey, and I made an afternoon out of it.
The trail system at the park is named for Helen Dortch Longstreet, one of Georgia’s first conservationists who later became Georgia’s first postmistress after the death of her husband, 42 years her senior. Her love, General James Longstreet, was a Mexican War and Civil War Hero who later was appointed US Railroad Commissioner by President McKinley.
After finding one cache at one of the manicured overlook areas, we took a hike on the 1.5 mile High Bluff Loop Trail to find the other. Both had lots of goodies, but neither had travel bugs or geocoins to move along in my travels.
Just before reaching the trailhead, we came across a tower used by tightrope walker Karl Wallenda to cross the gorge laid on the ground. As he crossed the gorge, he also completed two headstands! I’m sick to my stomach just writing about his feat!
Toccoa Falls College
Our last stop in the North Georgia Highlands, before finding a Walmart that must back up to a motor cross facility, was at Toccoa Falls College, a bible school. The College charges $1 to see the 180 foot waterfall that sprays into the pool below. The area was quite tranquil. It’s hard to believe a flood of water surged over the cliff upon the failure of the Kelly Barnes Dam in 1977 killing 39 people. What a tragedy!
What wasn’t tranquil was the Walmart parking lot. The constant revving and shifting of gears as motor cycles circling a track led to a Nyquil night! ETB
Map of My Road Trip Across the USA
For a summary about my road trip across the USA, click HERE. For the interactive map, see the below link.
Other Articles About Georgia You May Like
- Atlanta’s Attractions
- Alternative Atlanta Attractions
- 2nd Largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the World
- Day 66 – North Georgia Highlands
- Day 76 – Georgia’s Colonial Coast
- Day 77 – Georgia’s Colonial Coast – Part 2
Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop. Each card has a travel story associated with it. 20% of proceeds are donated to charity.