Autumn is hands down (and thumbs up?) our favorite season of the year. Especially in Georgia, where summer seems to set in by the end of April and squeeze us in a humid death grip through September.
Fall is when our fuzzy dog doesn’t go through insta-wilt every time we step outside.
Fall is when when my pyro-husband can exercise his fire-making skills.
Fall is our anniversary.
And this, year — year 5! — we wanted to savor our fall with every possible chance.
CASE FILE 1: In Which We Climb a Mountain, Are Rained Upon, and Nearly Lose a Dog in the Adirondacks
New England fall color is legendary. And as we’d never been to Boston in the fall (a la the Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything), well, we didn’t go to Boston. But we did drive all the way up into the Adirondacks, visiting Dave’s family in Pennsylvania on the way. That’s twenty hours, folks. Each way. And we were still married at the end of it! Though it rained on us almost our entire time there, the color was indeed breathtaking…
Low clouds, mist and all…
…None of which stopped us from climbing Whiteface. A mountain. A Very Tall mountain.
My husband claims he does not photograph well. My husband is wrong.
Four miles of near vertical scramble…
Our crazy dog.
A short time before she disappeared into the wilds of the mountain.
Two thousand miles from home.
With no one else around.
Just as the downpour started.
For thirty Very Long minutes.
She returned, guilt plastered all over her face.
She stayed home the next day.
While we went in search of maple syrup…
Tea (for Dave) and coffee (for me) overlooking Lake Placid. We are a mixed marriage.
Lake Placid in the mist. There are mountains back there somewhere…
CASE FILE 2: In Which We Go Camping with Bears
Dave and I love to hike — but we also aren’t hard-core, climb-Kilimanjaro enthusiasts. So while we have basic camping gear, we’d only been camping a few times. We fall somewhere in the gap between state campgrounds where tents and RVs are on top of each other and canvas doesn’t mask the late-night party next door… and back country camping where everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink gets lugged in on your back in one trip.
Our friends Josh and Mandy discovered the perfect, happy medium. Bear Creek Campground is well out in the midst of nowhere with a small gravel lot and (happily) natural toilets, back several miles of twisting gravel road. Once there, you cross a creek and can spread out in unmarked campsites that cover a half a mile along the creek. We had company, but mostly out of sight, and set up camp in the curve of a creek that caught the drifting fall leaves and swept them downstream.
Josh and Mandy went up a day early and captured our spot. The Davises joined us later in the evening.
Which is one of the key reasons for camping.
Camp cookery at its finest.
Vera taught us all the necessary sign language for “leaf” and “tent”. Good stuff.
Dave and Vera hung out.
Nina is not impressed.
If you think you’ve seen anything more adorable than a sleeping bag for a one-year old, you need another think.
We all did a spot of hiking the next day…
…and crossed paths with the tallest tree in Georgia: the Gennett Poplar.
CASE FILE 3: In Which We Hike In to the Hike Inn
Back in early September, Dave and I hiked the trails at Amicalola Fall and discovered a small sign at the top pointing the way to the Hike Inn. A handy internet search (because what would one do on a hike without one’s iPhone?) revealed that this fascinating inn can be accessed only via a five-mile hike into the back country. However, at the end of the trek, home-cooked meals, hot showers, and comfy beds await. Really, how much more perfect can you get? We called the next day and reserved a night for what we hoped would be peak leaf time.
In actuality, we missed North Georgia peak time by about a week. But we sacrificed color for some incredible views.
Please forward all mail to our new place of residence…
Waiting for sunrise: good.
Waiting for sunrise with coffee: better.
I don’t do puzzles. Seriously. They irritate my OCD tendencies. But Dave conned me into this one, and I actually enjoyed myself.
What in the blazes?
Trees have biceps, too.
The Inn lived up to all expectations and I will now be haunting the interwebs for off-season discounts…
Anyone want to join us?