After a fairly snowy winter in Indiana, I'm ready to hit the road in search of signs of Spring. After considering several different possibilities, Emily and I decided to head to the mountains.
We will start our road trip at Berea, KY and head south on SR 421 through some beautiful foothills of the Appalachian mountains. In the spring, the morning dew tends to hang in the hills waiting for the sun to get high enough in the sky to burn it away.
Continuing south, crossing into Tennessee, we will head to Sevierville/Pigeon Forge - entering into the Great Smoky Mountains. Before lunch, we hope to do some horseback riding through the woods. (http://www.smokymountainridingstables.com/)
Then we'll enjoy a lazy drive through the Smokies, stopping here and there to catch some great photos. We may stop at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, near Cherokee, before heading over to Asheville, NC.
The following morning we plan to visit Black Mountain College Museum. (http://www.blackmountaincollege.org/)
Emily is writing a contrast paper regarding Black Mountain College and Berea College, compared to the traditional colleges in the late 1800's - early 1900's. These two colleges had a radical vision and mission that departed from the traditional expectations of higher education.
After lunch we will leave the southern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains and drive south into the Chattahoochee National Forest. We will spend the night in Helen, Georgia - known for it's pseudo-Germanic architecture. (http://www.helenga.org/)
In the evening we'll drive over to Dahlonega, Georgia to enjoy the local arts and music. Maybe even have time to hang out at the Crimson Moon Cafe - www.thecrimsonmoon.com
After a fun-filled evening, the next morning we will head over to Amicalola Falls (http://www.amicalolafalls.com/) for a vigorous hike. This is where the Appalachian Trail begins. During this time of year there are hundreds of hikers that begin their adventure at Amicalola and hike all the way to Maine, following the Appalachian trail from one end to the other! From what I've read on blogs and such, it takes 5-6 months to hike the entire trail - depending on how far you hike each day! Anyone want to give it a try?
In the afternoon we will head down to Atlanta and check out the Museum of High Art, as well as the Dogwood Festival at Lenox Square. More arts, music and food! Atlanta has so much to see - we had to keep it simple this time around.
Finally on our last day, we'll hike up Stone Mountain - http://www.stonemountainpark.org/ - which happens to be celebrating it's 50th anniversary! The forecast is for sunny skies, high of 71F. Hopefully we'll get a great view of the city and surrounding areas. Then it's time to start our drive back to Berea, KY. This time we'll be taking I-75 straight north.
So, check back after a few weeks - we should have some great photos to share!
Until then, happy trails to you...until we meet again...