Being a 9th generation Florida local, I think of Georgia as a separate country, a backwards place where all the billboards are either about Jesus, abortion or homophobia. There are a lot of big pickup trucks and they always seem too close to your rear bumper for comfort. Let's not forget about the clay, it's so strange it feels like you’re on another planet, not just another state.
Recently though while traveling to Macon on business, I got a chance to see what life was like away from the freeway truck stops. On my next to last day before going home I took a little detour to High Falls state park about 30 minutes north of Macon. I decided to get some exercise by doing a 1.6 mile trail run. After a little searching I found the trail head and started off, but within 30 feet I stopped dead in my tracks. Before me as I rounded the first bend was a wide open vista, filled to the brim with soft rounded cliffs, lush green pines and cascading waterfalls. How was it possible that something so beautiful be only a few miles off a freeway I had traveled my entire life? My "run" took about 2 hours; mostly because I kept finding neat little side trails and huge rock boulders I just had to climb. I had completely forgotten about my back pain, my upcoming 34th birthday and my sore knees; I was a ten years old again and lost in the magical Georgian wilds. After a while it started to sprinkle and then Rain; I didn't even care. I spied a white flash from the trees and realized I had spooked a little doe, I gave chase but was easily outdistanced in moments. I started to gain an appreciation for the contrast of the red clay against the dark green foliage, I was soaked to the bone and shivering as I summited a boulder easily 30' tall, I sat Indian style and just watched as the rain came down in thimble sized drops that caused the leaves of the shrubs and vines to jerk and drop suddenly making the whole wood look alive. It eventually started to get dark and I headed back to the trail head. (continued below)
On my way out of the park, I noticed a cool little hardware store and pulled in, in search of a memento of my little adventure. As I entered the front door of Clint and Co hardware I was approached by the stores hospitality manager, a cute little dachshund named Oscar. He approached cocked his head to the side as if to say, "Well son, are you goin scratch my head or what?" I scratched his head then his belly. I soon met the owner, who was strumming an old guitar behind a glass counter filled with camping relics of the past. He asked me what I needed and I said that I was just adventuring and he regaled me of some of his and his son's adventures and bought me bottled water while we talked.
my Apologies Georgia