Sunday, October 7, 2007

She'll be coming 'round the mountain

Spent the weekend in the North Georgia mountains up by western North Carolina. The mountains are so densely wooded, you could see how Eric Robert Rudolph, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic (and abortion clinics and lesbian night club -- seeing a theme here?) bomber could have hid out there and evade capture for years.
Anyway, Husband arranged a nice little getaway for my birthday. He knows I like the mountains, and lakes, and the crafting, so we went to Hiawassee, Georgia on Lake Chatuge. North Georgia is under drought conditions and all outdoor watering has been banned. Here's a picture why:
This is the view from the top of the boat ramp. Under normal conditions, you back your boat trailer to the bottom of the ramp, and the boat would float. You can clearly see that lake levels have dropped so much.
We were going to go boating but never did. We did a lot of driving instead (yes and adding more emissions into the air, making the global warming problem worse). All the roads in the mountains are very, very windy, hence the title of this post. Husband did all the driving, which gave me time to knit (carefully). My take along project was Cosmic Pluto's easy top-down raglan cardigan, using Manos del Uruguay yarn and size 10 US needles. By the end of the trip this is what I got done:
It's for Sister, who chose the colors. The blue and orange stitch markers indicate where to increase at the arms.
Husband chose Hiawassee because of the lake, and on the other side of Lake Chatuge on the North Carolina side is the John Campbell Folk School and it's annual fall folk art fair. We had a late start to the day Saturday because Friday night is grill out night, with the attendent beer consumption and gin rummy card playing. I won by the way.

Anyway we got to the Folk School at 4pm, the folk art fair ends at 5pm. What I wanted most was to see the facilities, because I've heard they offer great pottery classes. I did get a look at their facilities, which are fine. But they're no better, as far as I can tell, than the Cobb County parks and recreation facility 3 miles from my house that I use now. For cheaper.
For dinner we went to the Old Hiawassee Grill at the Ridges Resort. Husband looked up the Ridges' fancier restaurant, Sequoyah, but it was on the other side of Lake Chatuge, in North Carolina, where we just were. D'oh!
Still it was a very nice dinner, we sat outside and looked at the sad, low-water-level lake, and enjoyed prime rib and grilled trout. Both entrees, with salad and bread, came out to $15 each. $15! You can't get those kind of prices with the same ambiance in Atlanta! On the other hand, I'm not going to drive 2 hours to Hiawassee everytime I want a nice $15 dinner.

Sunday we went to Moccasin Lake state park where the water was higher, but the one jon boat was rented out. So we visited the attached fish hatchery. Unexpectly, I quite enjoyed that.
There are these long concrete troughs with swarms of different sized trout (all the 4 inch babies together here, the 6 inchers there, the 9 inchers ready for release in yet another trough). I took many pictures, but you can't really get the scale of the thing.

Here's a poor, dying fish -- see the white scales, unlike the others? Every once in a while, the other fish would attack it and all you'd see is a swarm of them thrashing around. Husband said they were speeding up the dying process, so they could eat it.

Here's the 9 inchers which will eventually be released into the lake:

And here's the one I want for dinner:
We finished the trip by going to Tallullah Gorge. Here's the entrance to the Jane Hurt Yarn center. Jane hurt yarn? What did the yarn do to deserve it? I just had to take a picture:

The falls in Tallullah Gorge were very pretty, here's the view of the second water fall, from Overlook 2. The trails, by the way, are paved/lined with recycled tires, making them nice a springy.

Now we're home and veging and having salad for dinner, to make up for all the vacation calories.
Another nice thing? No cell reception in the mountains. So I had time to compose what I wanted to tell the board members to give them a heads up about Complaining Employee. Fortunately, no one's freaking out about it, and we'll just see what happens.
Hey, you know, I'll be able to get around that mountain too.

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