Thursday, September 30, 2010

It was a hot day...but the climb was worth it

But we made it to the top! In the background you can see off to Cartersville. Beautiful view on a clear day...I used to fly from Cobb County airport to Cartersville airport to shoot takeoffs and landings, and on a clear day you can see the runway off in the distance easily and Ladd's mountain that was the landmark to start my turn to Base while landing...

The Petester likes to hike too...

We've taken him with us the last two years to the mountains, and he is a hiking kind 'a dog! He loves it!

The Great Hiking Duo...

Anne is BDs youngest daughter, lives near Charlotte, NC, and comes to visit often. She too likes to hike and when with us last we took her to Pine Mountain. It's only about 5 minutes away from our house near Red Top Mountain, and is a nearly 600' vertical climb in about .8 of a mile. But at the top it's the highest point in Bartow County and the views are wonderful!

North and West towards Chatsworth, Georgia, up Hwy 411

Chatsworth is where the "Chief James Vann" house was built in the early 1800s and still stands as a historical location. He was an early leader in the Cherokee Nation, owning a nearly 1,000 acre plantation on which the house was built. His son, Joe Vann, inherited the home and plantation after his Fathers death and became an even wealthier businessman and planter. All was lost, though, when President Andrew Jackson blatantly ignored the Supreme Court decision against the State of Georgia when the question of Cherokee Nation sovereignty and removal, and the extension of Georgia State Law over the Cherokee Nation, was handed down by Justice John Marshall. The Trail of Tears was the result.

Cohutta mountains and Cohutta Wilderness

This is from the West overlook off of Fort Mountain looking to the East and North to the Cohutta mountains and Cohutta Wilderness. It was a beautiful day and clear skies for the most part. You can look more to the West and still North to Chatsworth, Georgia, the center of power for the Cherokee in these parts prior to their removal. I'll post another picture looking that way...

Don't know if you can read tells the legend of a Welsh Prince, Madoc, who sailed here and built the wall for defensive purposes. Cherokee indian lore tells of this guy too, and even speaks about light skinned, red haired and blue eyed indians that roamed these mountains. Of course, there is the Spanish legend as well, and the legend of the Creek Indians that identified this place as a "honeymoon" spot for newlyweds...still, someone built the wall, though it's genesis will probably never be learned for sure.


You can see the brokes stairs on the lower left that prevents anyone from climbing up into the tower...supposedly, though, in times past, this was a great place to view the Cohutta mountains...

Fort Mountain

This was shot driving up Fort Mountain to Fort Mountain State Park. You an see just the beginning of color in the foliage. We're still about 3 weeks from 'Peak" season here, but it's getting close. Haven't been up Fort Mountain or to the Park in many, many years. It is noteworthy due to an 855' stone wall that legend has it dates back to the 1100s and Welsh sailors walking these mountains. There is also a 38' tall rock tower that is, unfortunately in these litigous times, closed to climbing.

Sunrise Tuesday morning on the back porch...

The low lying clouds add such a "mystical" aspect to being up here...

Morning on our porch...

We were up here last year and rented a cabin across the street from some really nice ones that we thought might have a better view of the Rich Mountain Wilderness Area. We walked down the street to look at them, and decided this year we'd rent one of them. It was a good move...beautiful mornings on the back porch. Cool temps in the 50s, hot coffee on a rocking chair...

Black Rock Mountain on the Tennessee Rock Trail

Sunday and Monday were rainout days. Didn't get to do much except lay around, drive into Dahlonega (one of my favorite little villages up here), and decide what we were going to do when the rain cleared out. First stop was Black Rock Mountain State Park. This looks out towards the Carolina. Black Rock Mountain State Park is in Rabun County in the Northeast corner of Georgia. This trail is one of my favorites...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It is beautiful, though. All this was blanketed with snow until we took the Petester out this morning. He had a hard time...he knew there just had to be ground there somewhere as he had just seen it, and smelled it, yesterday. So he spent his time pawing through the snow, burying his head up to his eyes to smell and find somewhere that would be good to pee on...took some time, but he found a place up in the stand of trees...
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Got 3 inches of really good "powder" snow...just the kind you'd love to ski! Roads are closed of course, but the Interstate is open and I've seen a car make it's way out of the neighborhood. Our driveway, though, is so steep that getting out will have to wait until the sun melts first the layer of snow then the ice underneath...supposed to get more on Sunday evening and I have a plane out Monday at 11AM...I'll park the truck at the bottom of the driveway later today or tomorrow when I can get down the slope.
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Then it started to accumulate. This was around 2 pm. You could see the down the road, but beyond a couple blocks it was all white. The ridge lines behind us to the North and off to the West of us were obscured by the blowing snow
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It started to snow around Noon or so...just a little at first, like a random wind-blown flake. Then it started to increase intensity...
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

St. Simon's Island

We at first were directed to a small (and I mean SMALL) condominium that had it's bedroom window covered in plastic due to construction going on that was NOT supposed to be going on...they then gave us this 3br 3bath, beautiful oceanfront condominium to stay in instead. As you can see, it's right on the ocean and each day, except for today, we've walked in the morning and in the late taken the requisite "vacation" naps while reading...;-)!

Saturday, January 09, 2010


This morning at 5:58AM...8.3 degrees outside and only 61 in the house (didn't turn the heat up much last night...ooppss!!). At around 7AM it had dropped to 7.9 degrees, where it stayed until it began to recover around 8AM or so with the Sun peeking up over the cloud bank to our Southeast. It is cold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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A few years ago we had a late Winter storm and we lost a lot of our Azaleas. They should, actually, stand through the Winter and come back well in the Spring. The problem back a few years was that they had started to bloom when the cold snap hit in April. This year they have bloomed for late Fall (they bloom Spring, Summer and Fall...called an Encore Azalea they are beautiful and display their beauty three times a year) and I think that despite the snow covering they recieve they'll bloom as expected in least I hope so!
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You'll notice no dog pawprints...Petey most definitively dislikes snow. When I carry him out to tend to a call of nature, he stands with one front paw in the air, looks around at the snow, literally hops like a rabbit to shallower depths, does what he needs to do and hightails it back to the porch. I went out this AM with him and after I decided to feed the birds and leave some critter food for the squirrels. The Petester wanted nothing of that, so he stood by the door so BD could see him shivering on the porch so she would let him in...he doesn't like cold, and doesn't care for snow despite the beauty of it's presence.
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We are susceptible to a little snow a time or two each year. But usually it falls, looks pretty in doing so, then melts in a matter of hours as the temps rarely allow the ground to get cold enough to support the snow to accumulate. This year, however, has seen the temperatures dip into the teens and stay there for more than a week, which doesn't happen very often. We get a cold snap for a few days, then back to the average temps in the low 50s. Not this past week or two...staying in the low 30s and high 20s, lows at night in to the teens, and single digits last night. We're supposed to be above our average high of 51 by mid week (I sense a ride coming on...), but then another system is headed out way...just in time for our yearly trip to the coast next Sunday, the 17th where it's supposed to be in the 40s during the day and 20s at night...
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This was the view out our bedroom French Doors to the porch yesterday, Friday AM. We had about a half inch, but it was the temperatures that really caught our attention. The snow that fell Thursday night/Friday morning of course packed into ice, and since out driveway is pretty steep we didn't venture out until late Friday afternoon. This morning, Saturday, the snow is still with us and the large, level "pad" at the top of the driveway, leading into the garage, is again packed snow/ice...we'll be homebound for several hours today as well...Petey's not liking that.
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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunrise January 4th, 2010


The sunrise this AM was almost spiritual...
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Thursday, December 24, 2009


Petey got a haircut Tuesday for the Holiday visitors. He was getting really scraggly...but he so enjoys it when Brian or Anne come to visit...
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I don't remember where we got these two...but they've been perfect for sitting over the entry way and providing security for the tree and presents when we're not here...;-)!
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"And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there..." There are 5 hung on the each for me, BD and Anne, then the two others for Emerson and Hoss...Gertie, as you can see, is in the Christmas spirit!! She's been dressed for the Season for two weeks!
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Anne, BD's youngest daughter, is down for Christmas and her and BD were baking away this AM. They made homemade cinnamon rolls, with raisins for her family and without for me (I hate raisins...), a Red Velvet cake for me for Christmas dessert, and they're are going to finish off the day with an apple pie. You can also see the Christmas stuffed animals on the 'em everywhere.
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You can see the scrabble game unwrapped under the tree. On Saturday BD and I wrapped gifts. I was in our bedroom and she was in the guest room. We promised to announce forays into each other's wrapping arenas...;-)! Anyway, BD said she was coming in, so I put the Scrabble game under the bed...and, you guessed it, forgot I had done so and failed to wrap it. When BD came to bed that night she said she was a bad, bad girl and I should agree to her saying so. I had no earthly idea what she was talking about until she said she could have ignored the game and not told me that she saw it...but she decided to let me know she saw it and demanded that since it was a "discovered" gift, unwrapped, it was fair game to play prior to Christmas. Sometimes I do the dumbest things...
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We got the tree up last weekend. It is "bowed" in the middle, but straight at the bottow and top. We were going to buy a shorter tree this year, try to stay around 5' or 6', but when we went to the tree place this one just reached out. It's actually a couple feet shorter than last year, but I still had to have the 8' step ladder to trim it and put the angel on the top.
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We bought 8 chairs to go with it. I didn't think they were very comfortable when sitting in them at the store, but now that they're here they are very, very comfortable...
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