Monday, October 20, 2014

Amicalola Falls

As I mentioned last week, we visited Amicalola Falls State Park a couple of weekends ago. Craig had read that the falls were pretty impressive and we were anxious to explore yet another beautiful spot in our new home.

We have been studying up on the Appalachian Trail lately because...well, how cool would it be to hike the whole thing?! I mean, you would have to take at least 6 months to do it. Ok, I would have to take that long. An experienced backpacker could do it in a much shorter time, I am sure. It follows all the way from Georgia to Maine...2,108.5 miles! We found out that this place begins the 8.5 mile hike to Springer Mountain - which is the southern end of the Appalachian Trail. That obviously made us legit because we were basically starting the AT right then and there. #badtothebone

Though I have begun to suspect that the really dramatic color changes don't begin until around mid-November here, I am absolutely loving the few bright pops of red, orange, and golden yellow that I do see. Fall is my favorite season for shooting, I think. I just cannot get enough of the colors.

Attention all botanists and green thumbs : what the heck is this?! It is awesome and reminds me of King Koopa from Super Mario Brothers.

Along with the beautiful and unusual flowers that we came across, we also spied some larger-than-my-foot leaves. Seriously, huge.

I'll be honest with you. I may like these small falls throughout the creek more than I do the giant falls. I don't know if it is because there aren't as many people congregating around them so I can enjoy them more or if I just like the sound and peacefulness of them. They are really lovely.

For scale. These rocks boulders were large and in charge. Just call 'em Charles #80sthrowback

Canon is an avid rock collector and found this little gem {no pun intended} to add to his stash.

We finally made it to the falls, and they were beautiful. Of course, you have to stand on metal grates in front of them which freaks me out, but they are worth the time.

Do you notice the glassy-eyed look of this little one?

Yep, his daddy had to carry him up the 425 more stairs {after the 175 that we had already climbed to see the falls above}. 

Craig's reward for carrying a 40 pound little dud up an obscene staircase? This view. Though really we only saw it for a moment because it began to rain. Not hard, but enough that we hurried to our trail connector to ensure that we saw everything before the storm rolled through. {Spoiler alert : it never actually came. Mother Nature is such a tease.}

We walked into the Amicalola Falls Lodge, which boasts breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. Of course, it was so beautiful that I immediately felt out of place and embarrassed that we looked like such a hot mess after hiking all day.Silly, I know, but true. We didn't stick around long, but Craig and I did decide that we are going to stay there at least one night just to experience it.

On the way back down the mountain, we took a different trail for two reasons. 1} We could potentially see more and different beauty on a different trail and 2} we couldn't bear the thought of walking down those 600 stairs. Lucky for you this means that you get a little glimpse into how Canon hikes...he dances. And runs. And jumps from rock to rock. Are you beginning to understand why Craig has to carry him so often on trails? Four year old energy at its best.

We thoroughly enjoyed Amicalola Falls, in spite of the treacherous stairways. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? And anyway my thighs will thank me.

One day.

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