This past week has been a wonderful whirlwind. Wednesday we confirmed my sneaking suspicions that this babe is in fact a she! It feels so good to be able to use her name. Rosalyn Virginia. I cannot wait to meet our little Ros come February – or March depending on how much she likes her current digs.
Thursday we packed up the pups and made our way up to North Georgia for a long weekend. We stayed in a small, two room cabin that was rough around the edges in all the best ways. Upon unpacking it was realized that we had plenty of hiking fixin’s and yet the hiking backpack was nowhere to be found. The nearest store was at least 45 minutes away but the vision of Rachel huffing & puffing her way up a mountain with a Target bag in hand was enough motivation to get back in the car. It ended up working out for the best and we found a really great deal on two hiking packs with 2L water bladders (yes, I did take every opportunity to sneak the phrase “water bladder” into conversation – its too much fun to say). The real adventure came on the drive home when a missed turn was realized 20 minutes too late. With no service my phone was relegated from GPS to flashlight. For what its worth, we DID have a map but maps are completely useless when there are no lights, no signs, and approximately three million trees. Did you know not one church located near a mountain will miss the opportunity to use the name “Mount Zion _________ Church”?? Oi. We eventually made it back though, and the sweet new hiking gear eased our frustrations (WATER BLADDER!).
Friday was hiking day. I spent some time researching the different options; with Robin being as anxious and reactive as she is its best for everyone involved if we stick to quieter areas. You know what I didn’t think of though? The “path less traveled” is HARD. Whoa, logic. I knew we wanted to use the Indian Grave Gap trailhead along the Appalachian Trail. I wasn’t sure how long of a hike we’d feel up to however, so we picked a few marks of varying mileage. The shortest option was Indian Grave to Tray Mountain, a round trip of 5 miles. Now, here’s the second thing I didn’t think of: ELEVATION. In the couple of miles it takes to reach Tray Mountain there’s an elevation of about 1500 feet. In case you don’t have a mind for number estimation, much like myself, that translates to, “steep as shit”. My goal was accomplished: we passed a total of five people during a very popular hiking season. Gee, I wonder why. Robin, you don’t even know the lengths (and heights) we go to for you. In the world of hiking, 5 miles clearly isn’t a huge deal. But it was the farthest we had ever taken the dogs and my asthma + shortness of breath combo warranted quite a few breaks just to be safe. It’s funny looking at how much water and food we packed, just in case we wanted to an 8-mile or even 12-mile jaunt. LOL NOPE. Post-hike was a well-earned shower followed by dinner in Helen, the best hot chocolate in the world, and people-watching all the lederhosen-clad Oktoberfesters. We were one of those Oktoberfesters this time last year. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss a good brew but I guess hot cocoa will do for now…
Saturday was spent sleeping off a monster dehydration headache and babying my protesting muscles. Relaxation was aided by an unexpectedly fancy cabin bath set-up with double opposing shower heads. I felt conflicted with the simultaneous thoughts of, “This is an incredible waste of water… BUT I AM A SHOWER QUEEN!” Coincidentally, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law Scott & Summer were also cabin-ing this weekend not too far away from us. So we met up for lunch in Helen for more lederhosen-watching plus a trip to the Christmas Shoppe (anyone else pronounce this “Shop-ee”?) to expand our ornament collection. If y’all don’t already have yourselves a Christmas Pickle then you need to remedy that situation this year.
Later that night we hunkered down for a campfire and s’mores — an experience that quickly turned into a couples therapy exercise as we figured out we hadn’t really built a real fire since, like, never (thanks, gas fireplace! you da best). Veni, vidi, vici and we got to enjoy our mallows (blackened and melty, there is no other way) in the company of no less than twelve hundred billion stars. Stars like God intended. A humble reminder that we’re the tiny ones, not them. Air that clear and fresh is worth having to bundle a blanket around your pajamas. Pineapple print, naturally.