Monday, December 7, 2009

Georgia Mountains and Waterfalls

When I flew home for Thanksgiving, Mom, Dad, Ben and Harley met me at the airport and we headed for the mountains - the Georgia mountains. They had gone a couple of weeks before to see the waterfalls in the area, and knew how much I would enjoy it so we made another visit. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't quite as nice as they had - Sunday was quite cool and rainy. But we all enjoyed seeing nature's majesty and marveling at God's creative handiwork.

Our first stop was Unicoi State Park to see Anna Ruby Falls. It's actually two different falls that run together - very pretty. It was rather late after that, so we decided to spend a little time in Helen, GA, a quaint little German-style town with tons of charm. We explored the little shops, especially the Christmas Shoppe (our favorite), and enjoyed the Christmas decorations that already filled the town square.

(I wish the next pic wasn't blurry. It would make a great Christmas pic!)

We spent the night at my aunt and uncle's "cabin." It was my first time to see it - wow! I could handle living there. :) The next morning we hit the trail, determined to see some waterfalls in spite of the rain (yes, it rained on me, again!). First stop was Minihaha (hilarious name but one of my favorite falls). We had to hike through the woods, in the rain and mud, to get to it, and we didn't spend much time once we got there, but it was worth it. Looks like steps!
We drove what is called "the loop," seeing a number of waterfalls that are right by the road. They are

  1. "Dam" Falls (pic 1 below) - actually we don't know the name, but this is what Dad called it. Very picturesque.
  2. Cullisaja (pics 2 and 3 below)
  3. Bridal Veil Falls (pic 4 below) - the road actually goes under this one so you can drive behind it!

One of the most memorable waterfalls is the very inappopriately named Dry Falls. There's nothing dry about it! This one requires you to walk down to it, but it is so worth it, because you can actually walk behind the falls on a pathway through a cave-like area. So cool! Of course, the mist from the falls meant even we weren't dry, but we didn't care.

We did a good bit of riding around in the car on this trip, enjoying the scenery. Higher up, the mountains were shrouded in fog, so you could barely see at some points. But further down, the fog lifted and the mountains "came out."

Our last waterfall, Toccoa Falls, was definitely one of our favorites. It required a very short walk, and when you round the corner, wow! This huge waterfall greets you. By this point the rain had just about stopped, so we took lots of pictures and enjoyed the view.

Quick story about this next pic: I set the camera on Dad's mini-tripod on a rock, and then ran to join my family for a full-group pic. But as I ran, I got going too fast and started skidding on the mud. We all thought I was going to end up in the waterfall! Dad grabbed me, and I turned around just in time for the shutter to snap. We were all laughing, and the pic turned out great. I love how Mom is holding on to Ben's jeans like he's the one about to go in the water. Too funny!