Sat, Sep 20 2003 - Hike Amicolola Falls /Train ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||Bruce, , Amanda Easley, Sharon Baldwin, Priscilla Nation, Steve Henderson, Paige Shee, Michael Aubertine, Brian West, James L. Kuro, Kari Salomon, Sandy Butterworth, Sidney Perkowitz, Tiffany Paul, Gicelle Souza, Maria Lorente|
It was a beautiful and comfortable day to drive up to Amicalola Falls State Park. We all drove up to the trailhead loop parking lot (after brief visit to the park office) and began our hike on the ‘Mountain Laurel’ loop trail to the ‘West Ridge trail’. It was a mile and half warm up walk in the woods; preparing us for the much steeper walk up to Amicalola Falls on the paved trail and many stairs. Because we did it fast enough, including taking pictures; we all earned more punishment up some 100 plus more stairs to the top of the falls to the valley overlook from the top. After a brief rest at the top (and a few more pictures) we returned down to the trail, with legs made of jello—very wobbly from the stair master workout previously (‘jello legs’ attributed to Michelle—a good description).
The temperatures in the shade of many trees remained comfortable on the walk to the bottom again, and was only warm in the open sun of overlooks and upper parking lot crossed to get to the ‘West Ridge’ trail to the bottom.
Reaching our cars early enough to offer people ten minutes to stop at one of the many apple orchards on Hwy 52 back to Ellijay provided many of us apples and apple cider, etc to help with midday, kind of lunch, to help with our hunger.
Thank God all got over the awful typo, mileage error provided by the fearless leader, but sloppy typist, made on our direction sheets (3.9 miles instead of 13.9-that still hurts); and made it to the train depot on time to board comfortably in our open train coach. Two expected guests-only going on the train ride joined us; and two unexpected and very late mystery guests joined the train just before departure. This made up for the four we lost after the hike (that needed to be home early for various reasons.)
It was a beautiful day for the train ride, that was much warmer than the earlier hike and trail. The train that mostly follows the Toccoa River provided many nice views and waves to local residents, and provided some, including myself with a well earned sit down and rest. The stop and layover in McCaysville, GA/Copperhill, TN provided many of us with some new meaning to ‘slow food’ service at a local deli, with nice sandwiches. Many including Michael and Sidney earned points for choosing this restaurant with a nice location by the Toccoa River. While ‘dining’, I got points for the nice way that the trip was going from Sidney and hopefully ‘movie points’ for concurring on my appreciation for the movie Five Easy Pieces, as a movie with lasting power and exceptional acting. But the largest ‘points’earned by far was the great experience of sharing this trip with another good, large, fun loving group, that all enjoyed the glorious day we were granted.
Written By: Bruce Aldrige
Photos From: Michael Aubertine