Tue, Jul 4 2017 - 4th of July Stone Mtn Hike + Picnic + LaserShow Fireworks Spectacular: We meet outside Park to beat the traffic! (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Charlie Cottingham
Participants:Charlie Cottingham, Huiling, Gayle M., Tim Lo, Melissa M, Mandi S, Adel

Write Up:

Last night's Independence Day hiking outing + mountainside music, fire & lights extravaganza was something that I doubt any of us will ever forget.  The special holiday LaserShow was "over the top" and the bright gibbous moon just above the mountain made a fitting companion for the almost nonstop laser beams, rocket bursts, hot plumes of fire and synchronized glowing drones. Gayle, Melissa, Adel & Mandi deserve a big high five for braving the traffic jams which were worse than I had predicted in Stone Mtn Village and its connecting streets and intersections.  Luckily we had no problem finding plenty of free public parking there.  Despite a light shower between 6:30 and 7:30 pm the skies cleared beautifully and the rain-cooled mid-70s temperatures were delightful.  We arrived at the "great lawn" in plenty of time for the LaserShow and had a perfect unobstructed spot for experiencing it, thanks in part to a friendly family who shared their hillside space with us.  Kudos to Huiling and Tim for having no problem hooking up with us there below the giant Civil War carving after driving into the Park via the main entrance.  After relaxing and snacking a bit there we resumed our hiking acventures and before the big show began enjoyed exploring some of the Park's "hidden gems." The first of these was a rugged rocky area at the base of the steepest part of the mountain where the massive granite wall abruptly meets the undisturbed forest.  It's just a 5-minute walk east of the carving via the Cherokee trail and a pretty little spur path in memory of "American Pen Women."  Tim and Adel got a thrill out of scaling the giant boulders there.  We then hiked across a little-known old granite quarry (near the skylift base) and along R. E. Lee Blvd to the marina on Stone Mtn Lake.  There we had a nice view of the historic World's Fair carillon tower at the end of a pretty wooded peninsula - also were treated to some cool evening sights & sounds - fireflies flashing and frogs, katydids & birds chirping.
  It was a special treat to have new members Mandi and Tim with us - for Mandi her very first AOC event.  A big "high five" to Tim, a first-time visitor to Atlanta from Hong Kong and the Univ. of Houston.  After discovering our Club the other day Tim has already managed to explore more rugged outdoor places in Atlanta than most newcomers do in several years!
  I look forward to sharing some of our best photos and links to our online photo albums here as I receive them!  
- Submitted by Charlie, Wed AM July 5th

Thanks to Melissa for sharing this nice shot of Tim atop a boulder at the "Pen Women gem spot"!