Sunday, May 18, 2014

Brasstown Bald Mountain

Georgia's Highest we had to see it!  Right?

A couple days ago we set out to do just that.  The temperature was in the mid 60's, we had partly cloudy skies so we our donned jackets and sweatshirts and headed over the mountain (just under 3000 feet) to drive the Russell Brasstown Bald Scenic Byway.  Heading north on highway 75 towards Hiawassee, the higher we climbed the mistier it got and then some rain as we topped the mountain (I think it's Yonah...).  

We then headed west on Highway 180.  All the while enjoying the beauty of this drive even though we kept running through showers and mist rising off the hot pavement. Jim enjoys driving mountainous terrain with the winding, twisty roads.  I marvel at what the engineers had to do to map out and lay down those exact roads.

We arrived at the turnoff for Brasstown Bald and was surprised to see a sign saying 'watch for ice on the road'.  Apparently overnight the temperature was cold enough to warrant this signage!

Again, driving up this mountain was enjoyable, beauty around every curve.  We finally arrived at the gate and parking lot and this is what we saw.

Brasstown Bald Mountain is in the Chattahoochee National Forest and our National Park Pass allowed us entry for free but we did pay for the shuttle service to the top of the Mountain.  Two dollars each to keep from having to walk the half mile or so up to the top.  The weather was cold and nasty or we might have done it.

Looking up from the parking lot you can see the fire tower where I'm told you can see South and North Carolina, Tennessee and half of Georgia on clear days and you're allowed to climb up and have a look.  I'm sure it's quite breath taking.

Once our driver took us up top this is what we saw most of the time.  The rains and clouds came and went so we did get glimpses of the surrounding hills and valleys 

See!  I told you it was cold

This dark eyed Junco is the only wildlife we saw although one man was carrying his dog.

As we were waiting for the van to take us down Jim checked out the trail down and decided not to take it.  By this time the weather was getting worse and I think it was sleeting!

I would love to come back on a clear day to see all this beauty

Back down the road we went and continued our drive on 180 west until we connected up with highway 348 south.  All the while driving through beautiful country.  Of course the lower in elevation the nicer the weather even though it was still chilly for us.

These hills and mountains are part of the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains and the southern Appalachian Trail starts here.  Also, the headwaters for the Chattahoochee River is just south of Brasstown Bald Mountain (4,784 feet)

The drive was wonderful and it was an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.

Since then we've had nothing but rain and cold weather.  Barely reaching the 60's during the day and cooler at night.  You'd hardly believe this is the south.