Monday, November 14, 2011

The Pinhoti Trail: Georgia Edition

A couple of weekends ago the philosopher and I trekked to our beloved Pinhoti trail - this time in Georgia, between Rome and Summerville.  We went to Taylor's Ridge, and parked at the Mack White Gap trailhead.  Unlike many of the other trailheads we've visited, this one required no forest service road nightmares, or muddy bogs, or other things most unfriendly to small compact cars.  Yay!

From the trailhead we headed south towards a side trail that goes to Sloppy Floyd state park.  We didn't *quite* make it that far, but it was still a six mile hike in the back country!

We saw wild turkeys (though we weren't fast enough to get out the camera) and some rather creepy fungi:

Of course this one reminds me of Alice in Wonderland...
Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went, `One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.'
`One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT?' thought Alice to herself. `Of the mushroom,' said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.
Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it; and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question. 

I could relate to you the adventures we shared when we were three inches tall and descended into the rabbit hole, but I'd bet you wouldn't believe for One Second that we actually nibbled on a wild mushroom.  My husband was a boy scout - he knows better!  ::grin::

There were also some very cheerful late fall flowers, which were quite encouraging after the mushroom encounter!

But the ground did not hold a monopoly on beautiful things - late fall in the Georgia mountains is a gorgeous sight to see.  Who needs New England foliage when we have the Blue Ridge Mountains and Piedmont?

The trail took us along a ridgeline, and we came across a mountain meadow .  We stepped out from the trees and walked into this clearing.  If the ground hadn't been wet from yesterday's rain, I would have stretched out on the grass in the sun!

So that's our first "real" hiking adventure since we moved to Georgia in the spring.  (State park trails just aren't the same, somehow.)  But I've added a new list to our hiking log, and on those warm winter weekends you may just find us venturing forth to find another trailhead!

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