Hello, my friends! How in the world have you been doing? Have you all been able to survive without me for a little while? Oh good, I was worried, I know how much you need my wise words!
It was brutally hot in the Atlanta area this past weekend. Let's see, it was 105 degrees when we were out and when we came home, our house seemed as if it was getting hotter. Our air conditioning was not working! Luckily, we were able to get a repairman quickly and all was well within a few hours. (Thank goodness!)
What a difference a week makes! The weekend before was really gorgeous, the high was only in the 80's and since there had been a bit of rain, it was overcast. THAT was the Saturday that I did the Moonlight Hike on Panola Mountain! Want to see? Sure you do!
I am sorry for the quality of these photos. Richard was not able to go with me so all of the pictures were taken by me!
You shouldn't worry about me going by myself, our group was a nice bunch of folks, twenty eight in all, plus two guides! We met and then drove our cars down a small road and then, walked to the base of the mountain. The weather was pleasant, it had rained the day before and the air smelled wonderful under the pines. (To be fair to this area, just beyond these pines, it is almost all hardwood trees and they are truly wonderful! Panola Mountain State Park has some great specimens of trees. I wish they would do a Tree ID Hike! Hint, hint to Panola Mountain State Park!)
Okay now, I tend to get distracted by my trees and flowers, don't I? Where was I? Oh yes, ready to climb Panola Mountain for the Moonlight Hike on June 18th!
Look! Here is the famous "butt slide", so called since the hikes often come down the mountain on this side. (And very often, people will come down like a crab, on their feet and hands.) This time, we went UP the butt slide. The young man behind me when he saw my face at the thought of going up this rather steep slope said to me, "I've got your back". As we climbed up (and hey, I didn't have a problem at all with it!) , he laughed and said, "Why, you don't need my help!" I guess all my years of clambering over these monadnocks have paid off! Thanks anyway to this sweet guy and really I have to say, all the folks on this hike were just a great bunch of people!
Ideally on this hike, you will see a beautiful sunset on the Atlanta skyline and then, watch the moon rise on the other side.
We saw a pretty sunset but the moon was mostly hidden behind clouds, but sometimes, it would peek out and when it did, it was a gorgeous sight. (The hikes are always on a Saturday closest to the full moon.)
We all had flashlights to light our way. I loved to see the mica sparkling under our feet, as if we were walking on diamonds. At the very top of the mountain, as we admired the sunset, we heard the most unusual birdsong, the sound of the whippoorwills. I didn't want to leave!
At the base of the mountain, beside the lake there was a fire waiting for us and we toasted marshmallows and "s'mores". If you look at my header photo just now, you will see the lake and you can see the area in front of the photo where the fire area is located. Now, as I was walking back to my car, I thought to myself how much I enjoyed this hike and it would have been perfect if I could have just seen the beautiful moon...
Wait! What do I spy with my little eye? Hello, Mr. Moon!
Ahh, a moonlight hike at Panola Mountain...will I go again?
What do you think?