Had some work to finish up in Georgia the week before Mardi Gras, which took me on a driving tour from Columbus to Macon, up through the East side of metro Atlanta and finally toward Chattanooga. When I finished I found myself in the NW part of the state near a park I had always wanted to check out in person – Cloudland Canyon, which is on the western part of Lookout Mountain. It was late in the day and I had about two hours left of daylight, but the folks at the front office assured me I had plenty of time to see the sights. They were spot on too because in no time I was treated to this view.
Cloudland Canyon was full of scenic vistas like this one at the top of the canyon. Being a sucker for waterfalls I hiked the waterfall trail which was basically a there-and-back trip down to the bottom of the canyon. It was a breeze going down, but I had to take my time coming back up – lots of stairs. It was a really cool trail though with a lot of exposed rock.
Daniel Creek lies at the bottom of the canyon and looks like it would be fun place to sling some flies. I’ll bet it has it’s share of redeye bass. It also boats a couple impressive waterfalls that I’m told become trickles in the summer – so I got to see them when they had decent flow. I’m sure they rage after a storm. Daniel and Bear Creek meet a short ways downstream at that point of my first picture as they flow through Sitton’s Gulch, views extend over both canyons via an overlook trail.
Cloudland Canyon made for a nice end to my sojourn through Georgia, definitely worth a visit if you ever find yourself up that way – it is not too far off of I-59 near Trenton, GA. After I left the park I made my way down to Attalla, AL to have a beer with my buddy Josh before I made the drive home the next morning. He told me that those crazy Jacksons run Bear Creek when it has enough water. Wasn’t too hard to find some film of this:
My wife has been wanting to go skiing for probably as long as I’ve known her, I was a little hesitant. I’ve spent my entire life in the South, so the idea of cold weather flat out scares me. The only thing I knew about skiing was that it was expensive. I mean I would certainly entertain the idea if the timing was right. Finally the opportunity presented itself with a friend of our’s 40th birthday. He wanted to go skiing and was able to convince 14 friends to join him. I still don’t know how we got that many to go or how we were able to stay pretty coordinated for the entire trip, but I gotta say, we had a blast. We passed on formal lessons, instead relying on our buddy and I picked it up without much of an issue, Amanda wasn’t as quick, but she was an expert on the greens by day three.
We started the trip off with some snow tubing then a visit to a local brewery. No shortage of those in Colorado. Snow tubing was a great intro to winter recreation.
The next three and a half days were spent in Breckenridge trying to avoid major injury. I’m happy to report that everyone made it back to Louisiana unscathed. Breckenridge is a cool town with tons of ski options. Everyone was without child for 5 days, so we lived it up. We certainly can’t party like we did back in college, especially after skiing all day, but we had a great time.
I chickened out on bringing fly equipment and according to a couple of the fly shops I stopped in that may have been a mistake, but packing ski equipment and fishing equipment would have been a chore. I’m glad I didn’t because I really didn’t leave myself any time to fish, I had too much fun skiing. We’ll do it again in the future, after all we own proper clothing now, it would be a shame to see it only used once. I am hoping to make it out West again when it is quite a bit warmer and fishing is the primary activity. I’m also happy to report the cold weather didn’t bother me, I was very comfortable, even on the slopes. That Columbia makes some damn fine clothes, for any activity.