More Right Here Close to Home!

Trip Start Aug 09, 2009
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Trip End Oct 23, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Monday, October 26, 2009

I hit a twofer this week in terms of great Georgia scenery.  One visit up this way to Raven Cliff Falls wasn't enough for me, so I brought a friend back up here today for some more exploration.  She had never been north of the burbs and didn't even know all this beauty existed outside our urban wasteland in the good ole ATL.  Yes, life does exist beyond all the strip center sprawl, rows of fast food joints, high crime, traffic, and massive parking lots.

One thing is for sure about coming up here though...I sure do feel like an outsider.  It's funny how I can travel to the ends of the earth and still feel connected to my surroundings wherever Air Asia or the chicken bus take me.  Being the only white dude around for miles doesn't even feel strange when I am off the beaten path in the third world.  The local people are just as curious about me as I am about them, and I enjoy diving right into something new.  But here...oh wow.  I am all of what, maybe 80 miles north of home and I feel like an outsider.  I get that stare from people like they know I don't belong and I can sense the distrust.

It's amazing really.  We are from the same state really not that many miles apart but we may as well be from different planets.  Honestly, I am not here to tour rusted out trailer parks, sample the latest vintage in moonshines or taste noxious and slimy boiled peanuts so the people here can have all that mess to themselves.  I am here to take in some Mother Nature and relax my mind.  When I think about it, it's interesting I have the desire to roam 9,000 miles from home and soak up everything I see but the culture not even a hundred miles north is nothing I want to even be a part of peoplewise.  Is that bad to say?  Then again, they want nothing to do with Atlanta so I guess the distrust is mutual.  Strange how it is easier to overcome total language and cultural barriers in Sri Lanka than it is to become an "insider" in my own backyard.

Finding what we came for in the backwoods, I figured the short three mile or so roundtrip to Dukes Creek would be good for someone new to hiking and mountainous terrain like my friend and my instincts once again proved oh so correct.  The trail steeply drops about 600 feet down to the water and in this case what goes down must come up at some point.  And up we came at a glacial pace.  At least we enjoyed the tall falls that come tumbling down both Dukes Creek and Davis Creek for over an hour and a half.  The sight of two different falls crashing down into the same creekbed from two separate directions is pretty neat if I may say so.

Cascading water must be an aphrodisiac for some because we walked up on a teenage couple making out on one of the benches down by the falls.  They didn't see us come along but we sure did get a good view of his hands feeling her up. Watching the skinny little redneck dude maul his doughy girlfriend while deftly dangling a cigarette from his mouth was a sight to behold and I can say he hasn't quite learned the art of finesse yet.  Even so their parents must be so proud to have raised such angels.  My friend made a coughing noise and his hands abruptly stopped their exploration of her muffin top and chest as he realized this wasn't a private room at the NoTell Motel.  Muffin Top Girl just said, "Oh, we aren't doing anything.  How are y'all doing?"  The dude looked dazed and confused like he didn't know which way was up or down as he nervously sucked down that cigarette.  Ah, yes, horned up teenagers in love. 

A nice breeze carried the mist over to where we were standing and I can only imagine how good this would feel on one of our insanely hot summer days.  I wish I could say we discovered somewhere awesome that no one else knows about but several already have beaten us here.  Hernando DeSoto explored the area all the way back in 1540 and the first Gold Rush in America began in 1828 when Frank Logan discovered gold here.  Yeah...I have no idea who Frank is either.  I just report what I learn.  About the only gold I found today was the leaves changing color and that was pretty enough.

So I know this isn't Borneo or Kosovo or Malta or other places far flung that I have brought home to you guys in my journal here, but I at least wanted maybe inspire you to visit a place beyond the computer screen that is an easy journey from Atlanta.  A few gallons of gas may be all that separates Dukes Creek and Raven Cliff Falls from Atlanta but these are whole worlds apart.  The mountains here may as well be a different country compared to what we see day in and day out around the city.  And best of all you don't need a passport or a ten hour plane ride to get here.
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