Another weekend, another adventure. "Don't go to Cloudland Canyon, you don't have time," I'm told... 5 minutes later I'm in the car calling my stepdad for our morning meeting. "Where are you going?" he asks. "Cloudland Canyon," I reply. Amicolola is already an hour from the nearest Starbucks and google laughs at my attempt to find a publix, so it's lodge coffee and half a bag of sweet and salty popcorn I left in the rental car. Cloudland Canyon is about 50 miles from amicolola but driving time is 2 hours across back country roads. What does that mean? Car Karaoke! An hour and a half later (because you know how I drive... safely) I pull up to the park entrance. "Hi! I've heard of two waterfalls near here, Hemlock and Cherokee falls. Have you heard of them? How far away are they?" "Ma'am," he says with a pause, "they are the waterfalls in the park...there's a sign right there." I look over at the oh-so-obvious sign and flash a smile as I say thanks and remind myself I know what I'm doing. The view from the top definitely isn't bad. But that's not why I'm here. I'm here for the waterfalls and to see if theres anything else to justify this drive and possibly missing s'mores. The stairs leading down to the bottom will make you question every step and seem to be never ending. But I get to the first fall and have it all to myself! eeeeeeeeeeeeeee! One fall down, on to the next. You know what that means? More stairs.
Fall number two. But wait, I see more stairs, where do they go? Down is certainly easier than up so why not? I have another hour before I have to leave to make sure no one steals my veggie burger, which let's be honest, is in no real danger, so I head down the stairs.
Finally, actual dirt trail! I didn't plan on this, let's see where it goes. Apparently I'm not the only person that hasn't heard of this trail because there is not another soul on it. Which is a good thing. So then when I go off the trail to explore that waterfall at the top of that perilous ledge no one can tell me "hey, you're not on the trail!" I know... that's clearly the best part of why I did this, also, it's a short-cut. Ok, so that waterfall might have been a bad idea with lousy footing which is why I don't have a picture of it. Also true that I may have been stabbed by a pointy rock. So back to the trail.
This river does't have a dull moment. It's fall after fall and when it opens up, the water gathers in the most crystal clear beckoning pools. A walk a few miles and decided to turn around. I make it back just in time. Everyone is already setup for the cookout and as suspected, no one has touched my veggie burgers. We stand around the fire, drink beer, trade stories and find out which of us is secret pyros. Then finally Sarah brings out what we've all been waiting for... Skewers. Ok so skewers, marshmallows, Hershey's and graham crackers. I don't even like s'mores and I'm allergic to chocolate but who doesn't love making one! So I make two and go up to the guys, "look what I made you!" I say as I forcibly hand them a s'more and walk away before they can say anything.
Keywords: adventure, amicolola, backpacking, bay, bbq, beach, blue, camping, canon, climbing, cloudland canyon, cookout, explore, fall, fall colors, georgia, hike, island, lake, lake rabun, landscape, milky way, national park, nature, outdoors, paddle board, paradise, park, photography, s'mores, star gazing, stars, sunset, trails, travel, wanderlust, waterfalls, weekend
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