Fantastic Finale !!! - Monday, August 25, 2014

Today was a fantastic finale to a great couple weeks in the Georgia Mountains!!
Tallulah Gorge State Park and Falls
Tallulah Gorge State Park and Falls was still on our TODOS list in this area.
Karen and Al offered to go with us since they know where they are going up here!!
You can check out their post of our day here.
Al set off on the scenic route. 
He took this turn and that turn through beautiful areas of Blairsville.
Next thing we know,
we were in Amish Country… hmmm seems we’ve been here before;o)))
That’s an inside joke, but rest assured we laughed for a good bit about it!!
We started out early and the weather was still cool
which made for some interesting clouds over the mountains.
25c - clouds on the mountain
It was about an hours ride to Tallulah Gorge SP.
We went into the lovely Interpretive Center for hiking info.
We decided to hit the trails while it was cool and check out the center after our hike.
25d - Interpretive Center Entrance 25d2 - Interpretive Center Inside
We headed first to Inspiration Point (IP) along the North Rim Trail.
Then we  hiked counter-clockwise along the North Rim,
crossed the Dam and hiked the South Rim Trail to Overlook 10.
00 - Tallulah Gorge Hiking Map
From Overlook 10, we had to backtrack to the Interpretive Center. 
The only bridge across the gorge required going down 347 steps and then up 310 steps!!!
We’ll save that for another day;o))
Our total hike was just over 3 miles…very doable on a nice path:o))
00a- Scenic Overlooks Description
The trail was great and the views were SPECTACULAR!!!
I’ll just let the photos do the talking…
Click on any photo to enlarge or hover your mouse on any photo for a description 
25e - North Rim Trailhead
25e2 - North Rim Trail - view of gorge
25e3 - North Rim Trail - view Hurrican Falls Bridge
25f - North Trail to Inspiration Point
25f2 - North RimTrail to Inspiration Point - view of gorge
25g - North RimTrail towards the Dam - Hey Al we found some buckeye   25g2 - North RimTrail towards the Dam - New trail material
25g4 - North RimTrail towards the Dam - View of Hawthorne Cascade and Pool
25g5 - North RimTrail towards the Dam - Overlook 4  25g6 - North RimTrail towards the Dam - Talullah Falls Dam
25h - South Rim Trailhead
25h2 - South Rim Trail - mural   25h3 - South Rim Trail - Karen and Al practicing the 300 step gorge climb
25h4 - South Rim Trail - View of Interpretive Center on North Rim
25h5 - South Rim Trail - View of Gorge
25h6 - South Rim Trail - Group shot with Inspiration Point in Background
The above photo was taken at Overlook 10. 
From this point, we back-tracked to the Interpretive Center.
There, we watched the film and checked out a few of the displays. 
On our way out, we made a quick stop in the gift shop. 
Gotta LOVE this T-shirt:o))
25g - Tallulah George SP - Confidence T-Shirt
It was getting close to 2pm and we were all very hungry.
We drove into Clayton and found a Zaxby’s where we enjoyed some chicken and salads!!
After lunch, we headed back toward Blairsville.
Karen and Al made the suggestion that we stop at Anna Ruby Falls along the way.
That turned out to be a GREAT suggestion!!!
Anna Ruby Falls Trail
Here is a link to Anna Ruby Falls Trail which will give you more info on its history and location.
25 - Anna Ruby Falls - Info and Gift Center
The path to the falls is paved and benches line Smith Creek which the path follows. The path starts out level, until you cross the bridge over Smith Creek. It is a steady climb to the falls from there.  However, it is very doable for most everyone.  Just stop along the way and rest at a bench…. then continue on.  Just use the Up, Up, Rest system and you will make it;o))
I’ll just let the photos do the talking again!!
25a - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - Bridge crossing Smith Creek
25b - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - View from Bridge crossing Smith Creek
25c - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - Oh the sound of rushing, spilling water     25c2 - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - Oh the sound of rushing, spilling water
25d - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - Path goes up along the creek flowing down
25d2 - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - Path goes up along the creek flowing down
25e2 - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - Tree Canopy Above  25e - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - Rusing water below
First View of Anna Ruby Falls :o))25f - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - First view of the falls
 25f2 - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - sign
 25f3 - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - Taller double falls on the left  25f4 - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - shorter falls on the right
Heading back down the trail is just as pretty!!25g - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - just as pretty heading down the trail
Karen found a hornets nest that had fallen from a tree, but was still active!!
We spent a good bit of time trying to get a photo of a hornet coming or going;o))25h - Anna Ruby Falls Trail - Hornet entering the hornets nest
When we got back to the parking lot,
we couldn’t help but admire the pretty trees and flowers.
This was interesting and we didn’t know what it was.25i1 - Anna Ruby Falls - Trees and Flowers - Edible Sweet Chestnut Tree
Found out on Google, that this is an edible Sweet Chestnut.
The same tree that had been destroyed by blight on our previous hike.
The bees were certainly enjoying the beautiful flowers!!
25i2 - Anna Ruby Falls - Trees and Flowers - Daisies25i3 - Anna Ruby Falls - Trees and Flowers - Rudbeckia ( Black-eyed-susan)25i4 - Anna Ruby Falls - Trees and Flowers - The Bees Favorite
I had a fun encounter with a butterfly:o))
I kept trying to get closer and closer without scaring it away…
It never left and it allowed be to give it a little pet before I left!!!
25j1 - Anna Ruby Falls - Trees and Flowers - butterfly25j2 - Anna Ruby Falls - Trees and Flowers - butterfly closer25j3 - Anna Ruby Falls - Trees and Flowers - butterfly closer and closer25j4 - Anna Ruby Falls - Trees and Flowers - butterfly closer and closer

I did try to identify it, but couldn’t;o)) 
However, I did learn that it is a butterfly and not a moth.
I found out the butterflies antennae are club-shaped with a long shaft and a bulb at the end. 
So you just have to get close enough to see the end of their antennae;o))
This next little bit of information has nothing to do with today's fun.
However, it does have to do with getting close and identifying things.
This is specifically for my good friend GAIL, who isn’t too fond of snakes;o((
Gail...   from now on,
before you panic when you see a snake,
I want you to look it in the eyes!!!
If the pupils are round….   don’t panic…   it’s nonvenomous:o))
Snakes - venomous vs non-venomous
If the pupils are elliptical….   PANIC   it’s venomous:o(((((
Better yet,  just go find a Bear;o)))
Enough of this nonsense… back to the Georgia Mountains!!
Today’s hikes and our hike to Blood Mountain Summit were our favorites!!
The Georgia Mountains are really wonderful. 
We had no idea how pleasant the weather would be in the heat of the summer!!
Bill and I search out the hikes, but there are plenty of other things to see and do.
If your looking for a pretty place to relax and cool off,
It is a great spot in a wonderful location!!!
Next, we head back to the South Carolina Coast.
Buck Hall Recreation Area and then Family Time at Pirateland Campground in Myrtle Beach :o))


  1. I had to add all these waterfalls to our bucket list. We love hiking to waterfalls and hike everywhere we can find an easily accessible waterfall (i.e., no bushwhacking!). Thank you for the your wonderful blog post.

  2. I'm not going to get close enough to a snake to look it in the eyes to see their shape. Just sayin'.

    Nice to have personal tour guides. :c)

  3. I like that shirt too! Al has one that says something to the effect of "Most Visits to the ER start with "Why don't we...."; applicable for his past ambulance duty career :-). I agree with Paul and Marti: not getting close enough to a snake to see its pupils!! Really nice area you've shown us, will have to get there one day.

  4. I could tell the photos that were taken with your little wide angle camera, and they sure looked nice. I might need to get one. What is the make and model of it?

    You neglected to tell the story of the goofy picture of Al and I walking up the steps. Now everyone thinks we're very strange!

    Nice photos. We had a LOT of rain last night, so I'll bet the waterfalls will be flowing nice today.

  5. Oh Nancy! You are such a wealth of information! I'll just send the bear to check out the eyes, thank you very much!!
    Something tells me that you are not finished with this part of Georgia. You still need to do all of those steps :)

  6. Hysterical about the snake! I'm with Gail on this one! What a beautiful area, definitely on our bucket list.

  7. Looks like you enjoyed some great hikes! I think we definitely need to put Georgia on our list of places to go next spring/summer! I'm with the others . . . NO WAY am I getting close enough to look a snake in the eye!!

  8. I see you've been very busy for the week I've been without internet. I'll bet Gail is not going to hang long enough to check out the snake eyes! LOL. About as long as Karen would if a frog were around.

    Really nice to have some folks who know the area to suggest things even if they do have a bit of trouble getting there. Too funny! But both those hikes look wonderful. That first one is pretty high up for Bill. He seems to really be doing great with the mountains and overlook thing. Oh and I'm pretty sure that chestnut is the Horse Chestnut. Not the American Chestnut which still has the blight and for which there is still a lot of research being done to try to bring it back. Fabulous pictures as usual. Love those waterfalls!! So glad to hear it is cool. 92 today, 93 tomorrow in Utah. September obviously hasn't heard about cooling off here.

  9. Great update and as always fantastic pictures.

  10. Your butterfly looks like a Great Spangled Frittalary to me, we see a lot of them here in Wisconsin.