Saturday, November 11, 2006

Soul Food

Yesterday C and I took Barker for a ride up into the mountains of Northeast Georgia, and for a hike along Duke's Creek. It was a lovely day: beautiful blue sky and temps in the high 70's. Global warming? Probably, but we were happy to be outside and enjoying the unseasonal surprise. On our way, we drove through the small town of Helen, Georgia. This used to be just another small town and then in the 70's somebody had the "bright" idea to turn it into a Bavarian destination. It's quite schlocky, if you ask me, but maybe you didn't. This lightpost and sign tickled my fancy:

Ya know, I think that November 10th is a tad bit early to be decorating for Christmas....and also a tad bit late for Okterfest signs....just my humble opinion.

Our first destination was to Fred's Famous Peanuts. We try to get to Fred's at least twice a year, Spring and Fall, so as to enjoy his goodies. I first stopped there years ago while attending a church retreat at nearby Unicoi State Park. Several of my companions (including our Rector who also happened to be named Fred) wanted some good boiled peanuts, and they said Fred had the best, bar none. Well, being of Yankee stock, I was not about to stoop to the lowliness of a boiled-in-the-shell legume of any sort, but let me tell you, those suckers are WONDERFUL!! Since that fateful day, I've eaten my fare share, and then some.

So here's Fred's Famous Peanuts, in all its glory. We bought boiled peanuts, fried peanuts YUMMMM, freshly pressed apple cider and some mutzu apples. Then we said good bye to Fred and headed on up the road to Duke's Creek, where we enjoyed our picnic lunch and then set out along the trail to the falls.

Barker was having a great time! There was another couple with a beautiful and friendly female Boxer who started their walk just a few minutes before us, so Barker was hot on the trail of that little girl!

It's only about a mile walk along a very well mainted path down to the falls, and it is really lovely.

The falls look pretty dinky in my pics, but believe me they are massive and LOUD! I stopped along the way to snap a lot of pictures, and look who was waiting for me at the observation deck.

After our little walk in the woods, we headed north along the beautifully scenic Richard Russel Parkway...who would believe that Georgia has such mountains! It is so picturesque!!! C was on a mission to find his beloved Nantahala sausage. It seems that the aforementioned is made in North Carolina, and only a small portion is shipped over the state line into Georgia. So, we were on our way to the Ingles supermarket in Blairsville, in hopes of finding said sausage there. Here we are at one of the major intersections leading into Blairsville:

Remember, this is Deliverance country!

This is the Union County Courthouse, in the center of the square in Blairsville. I think I've told you before about how all of the 159 county seats in Georgia were laid out pretty similarly, with a central square and the courthouse in the middle. Since the Civil War, or war of Northern Aggression as it is often referred to in these parts, there is ALWAYS a statue of Old Joe on the square, and he is always facing north, to guard against future invasions!

Fortunately for me and Barker, C was successful in his suasage quest, and next thing we knew, we were heading south, towards home. We took a different route, avoiding the downtown Bavarian schlock of Helen, and instead drove through Dahlonega. We passed over Stonepile Gap and C told me and Barker the old Indian legend. I thought he was kidding, because he is so good at that and also because in the 26 years that I've lived in this little corner of the world, I'd never before heard that story. You can go here to see a picture of the gap and to read the legend.

After listening to a couple of John Updike short stories and enjoying the scenery, we were back home. What a great day....and such wonderful food for my hungry soul.

More pictures of our day will be posted on Flicker.


Maria said...

That indian legend was great to read about =) They do the same thing in Iceland, build around graves and elfstones coz it's too "dangerous" to move them...

Eva said...

Your pictures reminds me of Maria's and my visit to you back in November 99 when we were walking down to the DeSoto Falls. We made a trip like the one you and Craig did yesterday. Right now I don't remember all the other names and places we stoped at on the way up there, but I do remember the peanuts because I didn't liked them. Sorry!
Anyhow, that trip and walk was worth to remember. I have pictures some place and Maria has a big photoalbum at her place. It was very BEAUTIFUL and interesting wherever we went and did that day! Waterfalls, apples, trees, peanuts, pumpkins, mountains and so on. Our host and hostess was and is, very nice people ;-):-D =):-)

Elle said...

Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed seeing the pics of your day!