Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter Break Getaway

We took a little trip to Amicalola Falls over the weekend and had a great time just getting away.  On Friday, we went out for a "small" morning hike to see the falls.  Little did I know that really the only way to see the falls good was to go on the trail with steps.  Lots of steps.  604 steps.  We started at the top, since going down 604 steps sounded easier to me than going up them. 

View from the top of the stairs.

I'd like to say that I stayed behind with my little one to help her, but it was really the other way around.  By the time this picture was taken, all of the other kids were at the bottom while I was probably only about 100 steps down.

Really, though, the view was worth it.  Isn't it beautiful? 

Once we made it to the bottom of the 1 mile trail, my son found a map that showed several other ways to the top.  Since I wasn't too keen on climbing back up those stairs, I was willing to let him navigate.  I wish I had paid better attention to the map myself, or maybe listened to my son a little better, because the 1.5 mile hike through the woods up the mountain took us back to ..... the bottom of the 604 steps.  Lucky for me, the trail met up with a parking lot next the road before it met the stairs.  A lady happened to be there when I came huffing out of the woods and felt sorry for me, so she drove me up the rest of the mountain to our van.

Notice the short sleeves and tank top .... what a crazy "winter" we are experiencing here in Georgia. 

Taking one of my many rests during that hike.
After eating a nice lunch and getting my energy back, my sister, Kim, and her family drove up to visit us.  Can you guess what we did together?  That stupid trail next to the falls.  Since Kim doesn't do going down stairs well (she takes them like a toddler, where both feet have to meet together on each step .... I don't blame her, she took a pretty nasty fall down some stairs several years ago that ended in a pretty bad break complete with rod and screws in her leg) I decided to go up the trail with her from the bottom.  I ended up climbing those 604 steps after all.  You wouldn't believe the soreness I experienced the next two days after all that hiking and all those stairs. 

The day we left, they had some animals at the visitor's center!  This vulture was out front and I thought he was pretty cute .... for a vulture.

The little guy below is Gizmo, a screech owl.  I thought this picture was hilarious, because I think Gizmo looks a lot like Dale. 

You can see how tiny and cute he is compared to my son's head.  Or .... the owl could be normal sized and my boy has a crazy big head.

They had several snakes behind glass that the kids enjoyed looking at, and one of the employee's brought Elvis, the king snake, out to let them pet. 

We also saw a beautiful Great Horned Owl (above).  We have an owl that hangs out around our neighborhood and when I told the people what it's call sounded like, I found out that my friend is a Barred Owl, like the one below.

It was a great trip, and I'm looking forward to the full use of my legs again.

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