So - after THAT little adventure, we finally got on the road and pulled over into a Walmart parking lot just south of Atlanta for overnight. The next morning we got up early, made it through Atlanta (always a relief!) and got up to Marion County shortly after noon. We love this park, but unfortunately the weather is NOT very nice. We pulled in on Friday and just kind of hung out - and then it started raining - and raining and raining and raining. It rained Friday night, absolutely ALL day Saturday and most of Saturday night. And it's pretty cool - Saturday's high was in the upper 50's and today (Sunday) it barely hit 50 - QUITE a change from 85. We MAY have made a mistake leaving when we did... But, as usual, we'll just make the best of it. It's probably a good way to get re-acclimated before we deal with Michigan!
So, anyway, yesterday we did go out for a little ride in the afternoon and then went out to dinner (the Western Sizzler, where we both stuffed ourselves mercilessly). One of the places we stopped was the Visitors' Center for the South Cumberland State Park. The park is actually ten separate areas, all under the "umbrella" of a single state park. There are some wilderness camping areas scattered throughout the areas, but the main attractions are the hiking trails through the various areas - with beautiful waterfalls, gorges, overlooks, caves, pools, etc. The trails vary from very short - just a short walk from the parking lot - up to a maximum of twelve miles. Some are rated easy, some are rated moderate, and a couple are rated difficult or strenuous (which I wouldn't tackle for anything!). I definitely wanted to try a couple of them while we're here, so today (Sunday) I took Brandi and we went to the Foster Falls area. There is a very nice overlook right off the side of the parking area, which I plan to bring Dave to tomorrow, but you really need to do a little hiking down to the base of the falls to get the best view. The hike to the bottom is a little tough, especially with a dog PULLING you the whole way, but definitely worth it. The path involves crossing over a little suspension bridge, which Brandi found to be kind of challenging. It was cute to watch her trying to figure out what the HECK was going on with this thing! The weather wasn't great - cloudy and cool - so my pictures aren't too good because there's no sunshine, but I'm attaching a couple anyway. The walk was fun to do, and the view from the base of the falls was beautiful. I really enjoy getting out on these hikes - I always feel GREAT afterward.
So - we aren't sure how long we're going to stay, but we'll probably go visit our land one of these days, and maybe hit a tourist trap or two, and if it's even halfway decent Dave will do some fishing and I'll do some more hiking. We'd love to get in a campfire or two, but we'll just have to see how the weather goes. In the meanwhile, we're keeping an eye on the Michigan weather via the weather channel and sometime within the next week or so will hit the road for the last leg of our trip. Hard to believe. But, as I mentioned last week, it won't be all bad to get home - eventually we actually DO begin to get a little homesick. And it'll be nice to see our family and friends again. But we will NOT come home if it's snowing - and that's FINAL!