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Thu, Aug 23 2018 - Mason Mill Park Sunset Hike via new PATH Trails and old Creekside Favorites (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Charlie Cottingham
Participants:Charlie Cottingham, Lynette Shenefield, Mary Reed, Dan Reed, Kym, Mark W, Steve K, john everly, Huiling, Harry Keller, Sue M., Fred J, Joyce T., Lisa, Vicki B, Betsy R, Teresa Libbey


Click for Album
Write Up:

Thanks to the 16 other AOCers and 3 frisky canine companions who joined me for this festive and "mostly off-the-beaten-path" outing yesterday evening!  Joyce and Sue kicked things off by announcing that this was my 900th event with the Club - surprising everyone including me.  Joyce brought nice commemorative gifts, including a custom-made "900" poster and a hand-painted "900" skipping stone.  (See our group photo below, and for lots of other colorful shots that Joyce took during the outing click "Photo Album" above - or try this link:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157143475120260&set=a.10157143473240260&type=3&l=dcd42367a4&theater)  I had advertised that this would be an "adventurous" hike and feel sure that it lived up to its billing in that respect.  We generally avoided the heavily traveled stretches of wide "PATH-style" pavement and concentrated instead on junglelike single-track trails that wind along the various creek banks.  We began on a beautiful wooded trail near the Library that includes two narrow "homemade bridges" of questionable safety! (I had accidentally discovered his little jewel of a trail only yesterday morning while exploring the east bank of what I call "Zalik Creek" - it was Richard who first introduced me and others to Mason Mill Park in 2009.)
  Another adventurous part of the evening was fording South Peachtree Creek over to Ira Melton Park and back via the massive stepping stones and gated stairs that adjoin the historic Decatur Waterworks ruins.  Just upstream of the far side of the main creek we had a good view of its confluence with Burnt Fork Creek.
  After hiking from Mason Mill to Emory's Candler Lake at Lullwater Park via the new creekside connector trail (under Clairmont Rd) we were almost surely the first hiking group ever to traverse the high new boardwalk between the the lake at "Clairmont Place"
 and the creek.  Nearing its final stages of construction, this massive new PATH boardwalk will likely will be officially opened this fall as a key component of that very nice new trail.
  As twilight set in we had fine views of the almost-full gibbous moon in the eastern sky and a colorful sunset in the west (~8:15 PM).  Seven of us enjoyed extending the hike a bit by hiking together in the darkening twilight through dense foliage in a hairpin "lollypop loop trail" where South Peachtree Creek abruptly reverses directions.
  A big "high five" to all you AOC friends for helping make this event such an unforgettable "#900" with our fine Club!  - Submitted by Charlie, Fri Aug 24th

p.s. Thanks to Joyce for this much-appreciated postscript of her own that appears above her above-linked Facebook album: "This was a special event for Charlie - - his 900th AOC event! It was certainly a good cause for an hour drive across town in afternoon rush-hour traffic. Charlie has unselfishly given his time and effort to the AOC for many years. He deserved to be recognized! We had three dogs on the hike - - Smokey, Romeo, and Zorro. They had some hefty challenges havigating some steep, rock hills and a couple of creek crossings. (As a matter of fact, we all did!) Congratulations, Charlie, on your 900th!"