Sunday, September 16, 2007


It was just too nice of a day to not get out in the convertible with the 'Big Camera'. Temps in the 70s, I scooted north on I-575 towards the mountains. First stop was breakfast, where I glanced over the EOS Digital Rebel manual and enjoyed a cup of coffee until my breakfast arrived.

I love getting out and not knowing where I am going. That's how most of our best trips begin: "You want to try to go get lost?" Except this time it was just me and my Richard Petty straw cowboy hat with feathers while my husband was on the other side of the planet.

I saw a sign with grape clusters and an arrow pointing left off of the highway so I made the turn. Hmmm, nice day to check out a small vineyard. The turn was worth it when I crested a hill and saw beautiful green pastures and an old farm down below. About 5 miles down the curvy country road, I found the Sharp Mountain Vineyards. Pulled in and went inside for a t-tiny tasting of two different bottles of their wines. Both were good so I picked 4 different bottles and made my purchase.

Back on the road, let's see, where to go next? I drove another 20 miles or so and took the turn to Talking Rock, GA (population 49, no joke). We've been there before and I knew there were lots of cool little antique shops. I pulled into the first one I saw and looked around. Not much in the shopping mood, I got back in the car, hair up in hat, sunglasses on, top down and music up, I ventured up Hwy 136. I just kept following the signs not knowing where it would take me. That's the thrill of exploring.

What a nice surprise when I drove up to this beautiful scenic view.

I stayed a while as a few other explorers stopped, snapped photos, breathed in the fresh air, soaked in the sun and then went on their way. Just as I was getting ready to leave, a woman in a van pulled up by herself. When she got out she exclaimed "I had no idea I was up this high!" I could tell in her voice that she was very excited to find such a great stop. We got to chatting and she'd just moved from out west. She's been around mountains all her life and needed this communing with nature to set her mind right. I totally understood.

I asked her if she knew where the road went that we were on (still not having looked at a map once) and she told me that she thought it went to Amicalola Falls. We talked about it being near the trail head of the Appalachian Trail and how we both would like to section hike the AT. Then we talked about travels, and both having lived in Montana and California, etc... I'm not sure what it's called when you happen upon someone like that but we both enjoyed the chance meeting and exchanged emails.

A little further up the road there was another scenic stop. When I got out, I looked far ahead but was reminded of what stood right at my feet as I could smell the sweet grape-like blossom of the invasive kudzu vine. I mentioned it to another couple who was standing there and they'd both said that they had never known what that wonderful smell was until now.

Back on the road, with the wind in my face and the cool air of the mountains all around me, I ventured on. I guess it was about 20 or 30 minutes more and I started seeing signs for Amicalola Falls State Park. Right before I got to one of the entrances of the park, I saw this HUGE pumpkin farm. It was just too tempting to not stop. I was thinking it would be a great photo opportunity.

So in I went to Burt's Pumpkin Farm. Amongst some of the largest pumpkins I have ever seen, sunlight dancing all around, the smell of fresh baked pumpkin bread was driving me crazy. I could barely concentrate. I started taking pictures, snap here, snap there, bending and stretching to get just the right shot. Wondering if I should take a break and get some of that pumpkin bread or wait until I was done I noticed the message. The tiny little message on the LED screen that I had obviously been ignoring up until this point. NO CF CARD. No card. Nothing. Nada. Not one photo was captured from the entire time I left the house. Nothing.

Oh well, it happens. I had neglected to put the card back in the camera after I took the rainbow photo the night before. No one to blame but myself. Perfect time to take a break. I went back to the car, got the card out of the camera bag, placed it in the camera and went back for my pumpkin bread and "more" photos. It was a great day in spite of my oversight.

Granted my foot is only size 6, but here's one for size comparison.


Katie said...

Your adventure sounds like fun! And those pumpkins are amazing. I am so ready for fall. Looks like I'll be visiting a pumpkin stand or farmers market this year because ours didn't do well in the drought. Too bad because I had some Blue Moon and some White pumpkings planted.

Jamie said...

The southern drought and the Easter freeze was hard on everyone this year. The vintners at the little vineyard I stopped at told me that they were expecting 5-6 tons of grapes and only got 550 lbs! It will take them about 3-4 years to recover.

Too bad your pumpkins didn't make it. I love the blue and white ones. I never knew they were called "Blue Moon" - they are so beautiful.