It’s That Time of the Year
The media and my inbox light up like a Christmas Tree with a constant stream of promotions and sales ads. It’s a time of celebration with family as well as the lure of amazing deals. I’m very lucky in the fact that I can safely ignore most of the Mayhem and spend my time outside with the family.
I read an interesting post from Penny at shepicksuppennies.com that reminds me to balance any criticism I may have otherwise had regarding those that participate in Black Friday. I do realize that I am operating from a position of privilege in being able to ignore it.
With that said, we took the opportunity to hike to DeSoto Falls in North Georgia.
As I mentioned in my post Friday Thoughts – Pre-Holiday 2016 Edition, portions of N. Georgia, W. North Carolina, and E. Tennessee have had issues with wildfires. We wanted to get up into the mountains but needed to pick an area that would be relatively free from the side effects of those fires.
We chose the DeSoto Falls area for a couple of reasons. First, it’s just a little over an hour from the house. I didn’t want the children to spend more time riding in the car than hiking. Second, it’s a short enough hike that the children can handle it but long enough (around 2 miles round trip) that the adults will get something out of it. Finally, it’s close to Dahlonega where we can stop in for dinner when we’re through and enjoy a little mountain town action (even if it was a little over-touristy that evening).
It turned out to be a beautiful afternoon for getting outside and hiking. The weather was warm enough that we really didn’t need jackets. We started out on the quarter mile hike to the lower waterfall first.
On the way up, I was trying to use one of those gestures to start the camera on my phone and ended up throwing it on the ground. That’s the first time I’ve ever cracked the screen on a device and luckily it’s only a single crack along the bottom.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to see at the lower falls due to the conditions. It was barely a trickle.
The hike to the upper took a little longer since it’s a three quarter mile trail. The youngest started complaining about his legs being tired with less than a tenth of a mile left before we got there. He made it OK and enjoyed being silly for some family photos. Interestingly enough, after having a snack we didn’t hear any complaints on the way back to the car.
The Effects of Drought
The Southeast US has been very short on rainfall the past couple of months. In our area, we hadn’t had rain in 66 days until yesterday (Thank You Nature!). The effects of the drought were immediately obvious when we arrived at the lower falls.
When we got home, I compared photos from our last trip in May, 2014. You can see the difference.
Here is a shot of the upper falls from 2014
A Little Bit of Peace
Despite the low water levels, we were able to get out and enjoy the day. The area wasn’t too crowded and I was able to capture a little bit of waterfall video. The sound of falling water is always meditative for me. Good for the soul.