Hiking Sweetwater Creek

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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Monday, October 15, 2012

Although this entry was supposed to describe a whirlwind semi-spontaneous day trip somewhere along the eastern seaboard, I am not at all disappointed with the events of our staycation. Rufio and I had been planning to use my fall "break"/makeup Columbus day off to whisk away on an early Delta flight somewhere in the Northeast to grab a Bourdainesque lunch and sightsee as much as possible before returning home in the evening. Our number one destination was Portland, ME to try a lobster roll at one of its infamous lobster shacks along the coast. Inclement weather and unsavory flight times there and elsewhere left us stranded at home.

I couldn't bear the thought of wasting this short span of free time in my otherwise hectic work and school week. With that, I dug out a Georgia hiking book I had received as a moving gift over 3 1/2 years ago. I am remiss to admit that in those years I have hiked in locations from Hong Kong to North Carolina, but never actually in my own backyard. With gorgeous fall weather and an overly energetic Maho who had spent 9 hours in the car over the weekend (on her first road trip to Tallahassee!), I realized this was the opportune moment. We packed a backpack, grabbed subs on the road and headed to Sweetwater Creek State Park.

We decided to follow the Red Trail which would lead us past the ruins of a Civil War era mill and end at a set of small falls. Along the way my keen boyfriend AND dog managed to literally walk over not one, not two but three snakes, each of which I frantically pointed out as I nearly missed them myself. The first was a venomous cottonmouth, the second and third nonvenomous corn and ringneck snakes. The trek was easy for the first half mile to the mill, then became challenging with steep climbs and maneuvering over rocks for the second half mile to the falls. I was pleased to discover Maho enjoyed the hike and was adept at the covering the rocks. I began secretly plotting our next Georgia hiking adventures as we reached the end of the trail.We took in the beauty of the flora and fauna (excluding the snakes) for a few minutes before climbing up to the blue trail which would circle back through the forest to the trail head.
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