Fall Branch Falls: The Waterfall So Spectacular It Has To Say It Twice

Buried within the Chattahoochee National Forest, hidden off a very worn dirt road along Aska Road, resides Benton MacKaye Trail. The trail climbs upward along Rocky Mountain for a few miles and has some beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Shane, Julia, and I were content with hiking just to the falls and back as Shane has a herniated disk and his back was bothering him from cutting lumber a few days prior. I chose this hike because it is a short jaunt to the falls and back coming in under 1 mile total (score! I got to see a waterfall and he didn’t have to hike too far.)

NOTE- Before you go: LTE in them thar hills is limited.

I am a techie and an IT manager by trade. I use my phone for EVERYTHING; and glancing down to see “No Service” doesn’t make me overly thrilled when I have: no map, no documented route and no sense of direction. “I ain’t got no map nor directions and I have no earthly idear where we’s at,” flashed into my brain as we trudged along the dirt road. We saw a neat house that had hitching posts out front and the coolest cabin railing (literally made of sticks that seem to be collected from the forest).

We rounded a sharp curve on the packed Georgia clay road and came upon an abandoned shack and a barn that looked like it was about to cave in. My mind immediately took a wrong turn to a horror movie and I said, “This is where the city folk from Atlanta ‘gets it’ by the country folk that don’t like ‘no trespassin‘ on their land’!” This is a whole lotta nope and I looked for a place to turn around to go back to civilization.

Creepy little homestead
This creepy homestead belonged to Forest Warden Garfield Stanley

The road was about as wide as our car and we had no choice but to continue passed the scary dilapidated house. We crept by slowly as “the hills have eyes” watched. Not a single bird could be heard as Julia mentioned that this shack reminded her of “Until Dawn” a horror video game.

Greeeeaaaat… queue the chainsaw sound effect now.

The windows the house were dark and the weeds had grown up over the entrance but we could see rocking chairs sitting abandoned on the front porch. A screen door slapped in the cool autumn breeze.

At this point I just knew we took a wrong turn and my phone continued to flash “Hey you idiot, there isn’t a cell tower up here” A.K.A No Service.

Thankfully, just ahead we saw the white diamond marking the trail head. Whew! we survived. Turns out, with a little research, this abandoned shack is the homestead of Garfield Stanley of the Stanley Settlement that is prominent in this area. Garfield was the warden of this mountain area, and took care of the area until his death.

Fall Branch Falls Marker
Finding this waterfall is quite easy with directions.

We parked and headed to the trail head. You will see the sign pointing to the falls so from here it is pretty clear which way to go. The .5 mile hike to the falls is pretty easy, however the trail is muddy and goes up a fairly steep incline.

2017-09-20 12.23.46 HDR
Path incline. Shane can be seen at the top of the trail

The trails are lined with rhododendron, that bloom in late June. We went in September so the flowers weren’t in bloom but that didn’t change the beauty of the trail. Moss covered the trees and mushrooms peeked up through the soil. The sound of the babbling brook resonated through the trees and there was a soft breeze. The smell of damp earth made us feel in touch with the environment in which we walked. Our legs could feel the strain of muscles being worked and our lungs were filled with the cool morning air.

Along the way we saw two cabins, one appeared to be abandoned and the other occupied. Oh! To have a cabin on a creek with a waterfall at its end.

.4 of a mile you will encounter a fork in the trail. If you take the left trail you will continue climbing Rocky Mountain for fantastic views of Trail marker to Fallsthe Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Mountain range. There is a sign here pointing to the right to the falls. Once you take the right fork the, terrain takes a slight decline and the waterfall is just ahead. The ground has eroded and the trees root system in this area are showing so be careful not the trip. It is much cooler here under the thick canopy. Moss is thick on the trees and the air is damp. The forest floor was littered with colorful fall leaves when we visited. The sound of the waterfall is not deafening like a lot of falls but you can hear the water tumbling over the smooth rocks before you round the bend to see it cascading across the stone surface.

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The double waterfall with falling leaves, mountain laurel, and rhododendron surrounding it is beautiful in the Fall, I can only imagine it in the Spring and early Summer. If you visit during this time please comment with photos!

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Directions to the falls: Hopefully you aren’t like us and are looking for directions and not depending on your phones GPS.  So getting there is easy but first…

IT Manager Pro Tip: While in Blue Ridge go ahead and search for Fall Branch Falls on your phone. If you are traveling to other locations, make sure you add each location to your phone in the order you want to visit them. Leave this app open, do not close it because if you have zero service it will not search, but the phone is smart, it will continue to direct you if it is already open.

Address: Fall Branch Falls, Stanley Creek Road, Cherry Log, GA

From Blue Ridge:

  • Follow Aska Road south for eight miles.
  • You will see a sign on right side of road that says “Fall Branch Falls –>  Toccoa Riverside Restaurant is on the left side of road.
  • Turn right on Stanley Creek Road right before the restaurant.
  • At about 2 miles the road goes from paved to gravel. Keep going.
  • You will see the hitching post cabin on a curve. Keep going.
  • You will pass the scary homestead of Forest Warden Garfield Stanley’s (not so scary now that you have read who it belonged to, right?).
  • The trail head is maybe 100 yards past the homestead. The road widens a little for parking and there is a white triangle on the tree.
  • You can either head left or right down a trail. You will head right if your back is facing the homestead. Look for the sign pointing the way to Fall Branch Falls.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Path of Totality during Solar Eclipse

On August 21, 2017 my girls and I drove to Columbia, SC  to be in the path of totality of the solar eclipse.  It truly was a once in a life time experience and here is why:

  • You cannot see the anything less than 100% of the eclipse without glasses.

Photo Aug 21, 2 00 03 PM

Without glasses it looked like a normal day for the most part.  That means

You see this…

Photo Aug 21, 2 35 44 PM

Instead of this……

Photo Aug 21, 2 37 17 PM (1)

There were a lot of disappointed people who thought they would see the a lot more being in the <99% range but the sad realization is: if you are not in the path of totality you will just notice a lighting change. But put on a pair of glasses and you can see so much more.

Photo Aug 21, 2 38 07 PM

  • It took 1 hour for the moon to travel across the face of the sun. During that time you could only see the eclipse through the filtered glasses.
  • At the start of the eclipse my middle daughter, Olivia, noticed birds flying very high, almost too high to be thought of as normal, a quarter of the way in they began to chirp as if it were morning, but at the moment of totality, I do not remember a single chirp.
  • The lighting during the eclipse is so weird. I saw blue and silver hues and then darkness. Moments before the moon blotted out the sun, the light around us shifted. It became highly concentrated, filtered or polarized. It was a silvery white light and when you looked around it was slightly unsettling. Your shadow is off, not in the right place. During totality it was like 8 pm on a summer night. I am not sure how to explain it. It is nothing like I have ever experienced.

Photo Aug 21, 2 40 26 PM

This photo was taken 40 seconds before totality.  Look how bright the sun was.  It looks like my face is over exposed.  You can see it was hurting Julia’s and Emily’s eyes

  • The shift in lighting or the pull of the gravity made us feel off balanced and out of sorts. As my eldest daughter Emily put it, we felt disoriented.  My friend Lance said, that a happy dread came over him.  It definitely has an psychosomatic effect on you.
  • The moon slid across the final portion of the sun and in a flash of brilliance we witnessed the “diamond stage” where there is a ring around the sun and a bright spot on the edge. This lasted only a moment. One breath and it was gone.  (Photo credit: Instagram jakeihde and Team21studio)
  • The moon slid into place and we sat there in awed silence. It was this amazing flicker and then it was there. My mind told me that I heard a sound but this couldn’t be possible, I could swear I heard a “swooosh”. The sun’s brilliance glowed and danced behind a solid black mass. It was glowing white and shown so brightly but didn’t hurt to look at. The moon looked like a pupil and the sun the iris. This was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Photo Aug 21, 2 45 52 PM

  • 2 minutes went by in a blink of an eye and we witnessed the diamond stage again on the other side.
  • There is a change in the vibrations and the frequencies of the energy on the earth. You can feel it. Some feel emotional. Some feel exhilarated. This is scientifically proven. I felt emotional looking into the eye of the sun. I felt in touch with the galaxy. I was in awe of God’s creations.  I teared up with emotion.  My youngest daughter Julia said it was the coolest thing she has ever seen or felt.
  • Towards the end of the totality a red ring came around the moon.  My Aunt Anne gets credit for this photo.  At this point, I was too busy sitting there gawking at this site.

anne

  • In a quick flash, it was over.  Our eyes were blinded by the sun’s rays again and we had to quickly look away.
  • The moon made its retreat and for the next hour it slowly moved away.
  • Photos taken don’t even come close to what we saw and words just can’t describe the beauty of it.
  • All four of us had a slight headache afterwards. Our eyes felt sore like muscle strain. By the time I got home, I just wanted to close them.
  • I felt a bit of vertigo. Emily felt sick, her tummy was in knots. Olivia got into the car and immediately went to sleep. Julia was full of energy. All of these are symptoms that have been documented of people after watching an total solar eclipse. We couldn’t understand why we were feeling the way we were so Emily did some research and found this neat article. Sure enough everything we felt was discussed. It may seem like a bunch of hooey but if you were in the path of totality. I know you felt what we felt and can accept that we are all connected to the earth, sun and moon. All four of us felt the connection.

It is a once in a life time event to be in the path of totality. The next solar eclipse to hit the USA will be in 2024 and I will again, be in the path of totality, this time with my husband who couldn’t attend this one because of work. I urge you to get inside the path of totality it is amazing.

 

Keep the Lust for Wandering Ya’ll

Fran

 

Thank you to Anne Townsend for her wonderful photo of the red ring around sun.

Thank you to the city of Aiken, SC for the beautiful photo of the diamond phase.

Thank you to http://foreverconscious.com/effect-solar-eclipse-mind-body-soul where we retrieve information on how we were feeling after the eclipse.

15 Things to do while at Lake WestPoint – Georgia

My friend, and the most fabulous hair stylist in the world, asked me to find her things to do while camping at Westpoint Lake in LaGrange, GA.  Well, I aim to please so, Christina this is for you.

Biblical History Center

bible

Encounter the ancient biblical world through its history and culture.  Through authentic archaeological replicas, Biblical meal presentations,  artifacts, lectures, ancient Middle Eastern life comes back to life today

  • 130 Gordon Commercial Drive – LaGrange, GA 30241
  • 706-885-0363
  • Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM
  • Donations accepted

River’s Bend Winery and Vineyard 

Get your wine on!

  • 692 Adams Rd – West Point, GA 31833-4725
  • 706-645-1181
  • Thursday-Saturday 12:00-7:00pm Sunday 12:30-6:00pm
  • Tasting prices vary

Hills and Dales Estate

Tour the 13,000 sqft home and garden of the Callaway family which is considered one of the best preserved 19th century gardens in the country.  Built in 1916 it is rich in history. If traveling with children ask for the Earle’s Great Hunt tour which is catered towards them.hill

  • 1916 Hills & Dales Drive – LaGrange, GA 30240
  • 706-882-3242
  • Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • $15.00/Adult $7.00/Students

Fort Tyler Historic Site

Fort Tyler was the scene of a desperate last stand by Confederate troops on April 6, 1865. Command of the city and Fort Tyler fell to Brig. Gen. R.C. Tyler, a Confederate officer. His death during a heroic last stand at the Battle of West Point made him the last general of either side to be killed in the Civil War.

  • 1111 6th Ave, West Point, GA 31833-1128
  • The battle here took place 7 days after Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

callCallaway Memorial Tower 

  • Cypress St, LaGrange, GA 30240
  • This monument to textile magnate Fuller E. Callaway was built in 1929 and is patterned after the Campanile of St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy.hone: (706) 884-182

Rodeo Races

Rodeo races are held at the Pyne Road Park Arena. Twenty to fifty riders compete in barrel races, pole bending, Texas Barrel, flag races, and arena races.

  • 4194 Roanoke Rd, LaGrange, GA
  • First Friday of every month from March through October, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Admission is Free
  • Concessions available

Cascade Falls

cascPack a lunch and hike the Pine Mountain Trail,  a 3.7 miles around trip, to and from the waterfall inside FD Roosevelt State Park.   Visit Atlanta Trails for a map and directions to the falls.

  • 2970 Georgia Highway 190 – Pine Mountain, GA 31822
  • $5 dollar parking pass for day

Callaway Gardens

Blooms, Beaches, Butterflies, Birds, and Bridges.  Callaway has so many things to see and bfly 093do you can spend several days here!  You can zip through the tree top on zip-lines, relax in the spa, have fun on the rope course and see the beautiful gardens.

  • 4500 Southern Pine Drive Pine Mountain GA 31822
  • 800.852.3810
  • $20.00/adults $10.00/children

DinoVillage

Pine Mountains newest attraction may not be open yet.  Call to see before going!

dino

  • 214 South Main Ave. Pine Mountain, GA 31822
  • 706-489-3466
  • Wed 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Thu – Fri4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Sat – Sun12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • $19.95\person for unlimited rides and fossil dig

The Little White House

LWhFDR first came to Warm Springs in 1924 hoping to find a cure for polio. His hopes was the 88 degree waters would heal him.  Visit his home and see the unfinished portrait that he was posing for when he had a stroke and passed away.

  • 401 Little White House Road – Warm Springs, GA 31830
  • 706-655-5870
  • Daily 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
  • $12.00\Adults $7.00\Children

Wild Animal Safari

Drive through the park where animals roam free and come right up to your window to feed.

  • giraffeGo early! It’s hot and it gets crowded.
  • Animals eat in the mornings so it is when they will be most responsive.
  • 1300 Oak Grove Road – Pine Mountain, GA 31822
  • 706-663-8744
  • Hours Vary by day – check site
  • $76.95 – Includes 2 adult tickets and 2 children’s tickets or $21.95/adult $18.95/children

Butts Mill Farm

Check out the go-carts, bumper boats, archery, beach area, creek swings, train ride, gazebo, covered bridge, horse shoes and so much more!  A great family place.

  • Go early it gets crowded
  • 2280 Butts Mill Rd – Pine Mountain, GA 31822
  • 706-663-7400
  • Open only on weekends Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm
  • Ages 10+\$15.95 Children 3-9 \$13.95

Horseback Riding @ Roosevelt Stables

Take a trail ride on horse back.  Reservations are requested, walk-ups are available basis.  You can take a guided ride or bring your own horse.

  • 1063 Group Camp Road – Pine Mountain, GA 31822
  • 706-6287463
  • Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – last ride out at 4 p.m. Sunday – noon – 4 p.m.
  • Prices vary check site

GRUB

The Irish Bred Pub

  • 727 3rd Ave., West Point, Georgia 31833
  • 706-645-2600
  • Mon-Wed 11am-10pm, Thur-Sat 11am-2am
  • Check the website for nightly entertainment such as Bingo, trivia, and Karaoke

Cakes by Debbie

  • 1201 2nd Ave Westpoint GA, 31833
  • (706) 501-1400
  • Tuesday–Friday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
  • Winner of TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off in 2010-11 sells pastries and lunch boxes for picnics!

Charlie Joseph’s Famous Hot Dogs and Hamburgers

  • 2238 Westpoint Rd – LaGrange, Georgia, GA 30240
  • (706) 884-0379
  • Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 10-4, Closed Sun
  • Charlie’s has been serving hotdogs in LaGrange for over 90 years.

 

 

 

Georgia Solar Eclipse Viewing Parties

The Best place in Georgia is at to catch 100% totality of the upcoming solar eclipse is:

12 Spies Vineyard Solar Eclipse – Rabun Gap, GA

12 Spies Vineyards is ground zero for the upcoming solar eclipse which means we will have the longest period of darkness during the eclipse on the North American continent! With that said, by resounding requests from our friends and guests, we have planned a solar eclipse event on the 12 Spies Vineyards grounds.  You better call ahead to see if there is still availability 706-490-0890.  Cost is 100.00/couple 60/single

If you can’t make it up to to 12 Spies Vinyard, here are some other parties happening for the eclipse.

Best small town party and 2nd place runner up goes to:

2017 Eclipse Across America – Lavonia, GA

  • Path of Totality 100%
  • http://www.exploregeorgia.org/listing/60630-2017-eclipse-across-america
  • Come to Lavonia, Georgia to experience the 2017 Solar Eclipse. Beginning around 2:45 p.m. EST in beautiful downtown Lavonia, we will be hosting a celebration of this rare solar event. There will be music, refreshments, educational items and protection glasses for the first 100 arrivals. (you might want to go ahead and buy a pair just in case)

Third place is awarded for the best theme party name:

Total Eclipse of the Park – Blairsville, GA

Honorable mention for a great theme party name goes to:

The Grape Eclipse Wine Tour

If my top 4 don’t catch your attention check out these other viewing parties.

Totally Toccoa Eclipse 2017

Rabun County’s Georgia’s Total Solar Eclipse ‘OutASight’ Viewing Party

Park Tavern – Atlanta, GA

Solar Eclipse Kayak, SUP and Canoe Rental Extravaganza – Stone Mountain, GA

Eclipse Weekend at Timpson Creek Farm

Solar Eclipse Family Friendly Fun – Andy’s Trout Farm – Dillard, GA

University of North Georgia Solar Eclipse Program – Dahlonega, GA

Grayson Branch, Gwinnett Public Library – Eclipse Party – Grayson, GA

Tallulah Gorge Solar Eclipse Festival

Blairsville Eclipse Experience

Fernbank Science Center Great American Eclipse

Black Rock Mountain State Park Total Eclipse

Smithgall State Park Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse by Kayak – Elijah Clark State Park

Eclipse Paddling Trip – Fort King George State Historic Site

Eclipse Excursion – Panola State Park

Final note check out this awesome site that will show you what you can expect to see at any given location in Georgia.  

http://shadowandsubstance.com/2017/02.html

 

Keep the Lust for Wandering Ya’ll

Fran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Moon on Monday – Solar Eclipse is Coming!

Where are you going to be on Monday, August 21, 2017?

white_light_coronaAre you going to be working in an office?  Or will you be seeing the sight of a life time? The countdown is on!  To steal a quote from one of my all time favorite movies, “LadyHawke”.

In 26 days, in Columbia…

there will be a day without a night…

…and a night without a day.

In less than a month a small portion of the United States will be experiencing a total solar eclipse. While eclipses happen somewhere on the planet every year, the path of totality (total solar eclipse) hasn’t swept across the U.S. in 99 years and this time it is making a transcontinental cut straight through the center of the country.

I will not be in an office in Atlanta (even though you will see a partial) on this day, oh no no.  I will be in South Carolina in the path of totality and I urge you to take the day off and hit the roads to catch a glimpse of stars in the middle of the day.

The last time the U.S. had a total solar eclipse was in 1991, and was only visible from Hawaii.  Before that, in 1979, the total eclipse that hit the mainland was only visible in the Pacific-Northwest, and would be 40 years before the next big one. The time has finally arrived and it indeed is big.  It hasn’t been since 1918 that a total solar eclipse made it’s away down the middle of the Continental U.S.!  The time is now because as you can see it is going to be a few years before you have a chance to witness it again.

21stCenturyNorthAmericanEclipses.png

The Path

Are you in the path?  NASA states that most of the country should catch a small portion of the eclipse but to see the total eclipse you need to be in the direct path.  The path of totality is only 60 miles wide, so it is very narrow. On this interactive map you can plug in your zip code to see if you are in the path of the eclipse, the animation is pretty cool, it will show you how much you will actually glimpse.

Visit Farmer’s Almanac to see where you can see partials and total’s and the times table.

map

“You suddenly feel as though you can see the clockwork of the solar system. Where you think you lived doesn’t look like the same place anymore. We kind of know — in the back of our minds — that we live in a giant ball and it revolves around a hot ball of gas, and we’re floating in space. But you don’t really believe it until you see something like a total solar eclipse, where everything is all lined up and you go whoaaa. Other planets pop out. You got instant nighttime. And you can see Mercury and Venus usually. And sometimes Mars and Jupiter. … It looks like the pictures from the textbook. It’s not entirely a science thing anymore. … It’s mostly a thing where you have a better appreciation of where you are in the solar system.” – Ernie Wright, NASA

Where Can You See the Eclipse in the South?

You can check out all the areas by visiting http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/maps.htm  For my friends and family living in Georgia, you have a few options for viewing.

As stated above: Atlanta will see a partial eclipse.  “Partial” sounds so blase but even if you can’t take off to witness the total eclipse, you will still be able to see a large portion of it, 97% according to Farmers Almanac.

Atlanta 1:05 p.m. 2:36 p.m. 97.0% 4:01 p.m.

So if you are in your office, you may be wondering why it got dark at 2:36 in the afternoon.  97% partial is very dangerous on the eyes to look at as the moon is not covering the entire sun.  Eclipse glasses are a must in this zone. Start time is 1:05 and end is 4:01.

There is a tiny area in north Georgia (Toccoa, Blairsville and Clayton) that is in the total eclipse path.  (does anyone else start humming Total Eclipse of the Heart when you read that?)  Clayton has the longest totality time (how long the sun is completely covered) because it is almost dead center.  North Carolina, like Georgia has a tiny little portion of the state, but Tennessee and South Carolina has quite a few towns in the path.  Click the images to see up close.

 

If for some reason your boss has you chained to your desk during the small window of the eclipse. Fear not you can stream it live.

Eye Safety

Looking at an eclipse directly will damage your eyes.  Don’t do it.  Purchase glasses. Please read how to safely watch the eclipse here. I picked my glasses up at the Planetarium at the University of South Carolina in Aiken, SC for 2 bucks.

safety_2

Phone Apps

There’s an app for that!

 

Resources:

I urge you to read more.  It is fascinating! For more information please visit:

I hope you find a spot to see this phenomenon.  Lots of cities have events, and the areas are going to be packed.  I will be in the woods somewhere in South Carolina.  I am not telling you where, find your own spot! 😀

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran

It’s Hotter Than #$@* Out Here!

Some Things are Not Meant to be Hot

How to Stay Cool In Summer Months

Potatoes should be hot, chicken pot pie should be hot, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts should definitely be hot (There’s an app for that!).  Human beings are not meant to be hot!  I really want my family to camp with me, but if going into it, I told them it was going to be hotter than #@$@ out there, I would get a big ole’ “nope”.   I mean seriously, who likes to be hot?  As I am always saying,

You can put layers on to get warm, but you can be butt nekkid and still be hot!

15107276_10154664063142591_325089207861669979_n

This was tested while we were living in Germany 1992.  It was August, it was hot, humid and we were living in the attic of a non-air-conditioned apartment building.  I stripped down to my skivvies and walked around the apartment like this all month and as a result we have this kid.

It’s Hot and Humid in Georgia, Y’all!hot

Did I mention it is hot?  There is no way of avoiding it.  If you do not live in the southern part of the United States you have NO IDEA how hot and sticky it gets. We have two seasons here.  “Warm-ish” from October until March and “Get behind me Satan” hot from April until September!  I swear the devil himself has us by the big toe and is pulling us straight into the fiery pits of Hades.  Summer usually means the thermometer will push 98F/36C.  But the temperature isn’t the only bothersome issue. Humidity: oh how I loathe you!  Imagine living in a sauna. That is what it is like for us in the deep south.  By the time August gets here there is no point in styling my hair every morning because I walk outside and the humidity immediately styles it like a French poodle.  Shane really hates the humidity.  He can not stand feeling sticky.   When he was a small boy, his mother used to have to sprinkle baby powder on his hands and arms to stop him from complaining.  Today he just sits there quietly, brooding over how hot he is.

So How Do You Stay Cool?

I have read blogs from people camping all over the world and even if you don’t have high humidity, the heat gets to people.  The dry heat, un-shaded climate in Nevada, New Mexico isn’t fun either.

Cool down ideas:

  • Swimming in the lake or pool or splashing in a stream
  • Cave exploring
  • Kayaking
  • Venture into a small town for some shopping.
  • Grab an ice cream at a local shop.
  • Have lunch or dinner at a local grub hub (restaurant)
  • Showers: Thank goodness for showers because it does immediately cool you off and get you ready for sleeping.  Your hot body inside a tent will make for a miserable sleeping arrangement.  So take a shower before heading off to slumber.
  • Take a wanderlust trip:  Taking a look-see drive in your car to cool off is my favorite!  I love to get in a vehicle and pick a direction and go.  Have no direction just drive.  You find the neatest shots of cool things by just taking a back county road.

I snapped this photo of a old farmhousemill and windmill from the side of the road that we were exploring. My girls hate it when I turn around for these kind of photos but I don’t care! It makes me happy and Shane is more tolerant, so he indulges me and stops for a snapshot. The best when I am thumbing through photos and one of these gems pops up.

So if you see something neat, stop!  If you see a sign that says, “Natural Bridge” in Virginia.  Get off and go see it! *Ahem* (jab at my sister, Tracy.)

So how do you stay cool while camping during the sweltering summer heat?  Let me know in the comments below!

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran

There’s Rain in the Forecast!

Rain can totally destroy your plans of camping out, trail blazing, bird watching or any outdoor activity.  But what do the terms, “isolated “, “scattered ” and “thunderstorms:” mean on weather reports?

weather

Isolated showers or storms = 25% or less chance of getting wet at any given location. If isolated storms are in the forecast, it’s smart to keep an eye to the sky and on radar, but chances are you’ll stay dry.

Widely Scattered Showers or Storms = 30-40% chance of rain.  It’s more likely than not storms will avoid you in this scenario, but watch radar.

Scattered showers and storms = 40-60%.  Whether you get rained on or not is anyone’s guess, you better watch the radar.

Rain or Thunderstorms = greater than 60 percent – most of the area will be affected. This is not a good day for an outdoor adventure unless you like the rain.

storms

Hiking in the Rain

Hiking in the rain means you will be cooler because your are wet and this makes some people happy.  However, according to my husband (and several other sources) hiking in a rain shower could drop urushiol on to your clothing.  What is urushiol?  That is the substance found in poison oak, ivy and sumac.

Make sure you are not standing in a poison ivy shower.

Picture this:  You gear up in wetlong pants and a rain jacket and head out to the woods.  It is pouring rain and you love how the rain drops feel as they hit your face.  You look up towards the heavens allowing the droplets to sprinkle your face.  As you trample through the woods your pants brush against leaves and twigs, but no mind you, after all you are in pants.

The problem here is that every raindrop that falls on your face and hands contains urushiol.  Water will also seep through  your clinging clothing to your skin.  If you are smart enough to wear rain gear, urushiol will remain on the outside, but can drip down into your socks.  What happens when you take the non-porous clothing off?  Can you be certain you are careful enough not to touch any of the wet areas?

Did you know?

Georgia State Parks websites have a link to check the local weather for each of it’s parks. So before you hit the trail, visit http://gastateparks.org/ to see how the day is going to turn out.

weather report

 

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran