Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fog, Falls & Screaming Knees

Tuesday morning of vacation week was the thickest fog I think I've ever seen!

It totally covered the mountaintops, looking like the clouds had fallen.

It was beautiful and fun to watch it lifting.

This was our last day in Georgia. We went to Amicalola State Park to see the waterfall. The Amicalola Falls drops 729 feet in seven cascades and is said to be the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi.

It's beautiful and majestic just like waterfalls are supposed to be. Unlike the several falls we visited on previous vacations, there was no chest-pain-inducing hike to see it. Yay!

Where the bottom of the falls is heaviest, before it starts turning into a stream, you can cross over a bridge and watch the water flow under.

There are three ways to access the falls. One is a good hike from the park entrance (we took a pass on that). Another is to drive part way and walk a pleasant path to the location I showed above. And finally, from this point, you can climb the stairs to the very top. How much farther is that, you ask? Scroll down...

Yep - you read that right. 425 steps.

Hubby says let's do it!

I said no way. (why would I want to do that when I was so happy no upward hiking was involved to see this thing?)

He said oh, c'mon and off he went.

And so I began the climb.

Somewhere at 100, where he was patiently waiting, I panted take the camera and go on!

While I rested, a bunch of elderly people passed me. Then some middle aged sisters (yes, all the climbers stopped to chat and we bonded, then they would move on). But when an elderly man with a cane trudged past, wounded pride overcame me and I started the upward trek again.  By that time hubby had long disappeared into the trees above.

And so I climbed. One step at a time, thighs burning; pause on the landings. Repeat.

Then who comes into my view? Hubby! I yell stay there, I'm coming!
But he doesn't hear. He treks down while I trek up and at some point we meet and he says 196!!!

I say 196 what?

He says I just came down 196 steps. You're only halfway - you have almost 200 to go!

Are you kidding me.

And guess what? he says. At the top is a parking lot. We can DRIVE TO THE TOP!

Are you freakin' kidding me.

And so we began the 200 step descent. Which is as hard on the knees as the climb, by the way....

At the very base of the falls, where the hike from the park entrance starts, is a peaceful rest area with a "Meditation Pool". Now I know why.

We explored two more places before heading back to the cabin and the hot tub with a hefty dose of ibuprofen. Oh did the knees scream that night...

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