Ok, so we just got back from our second family reunion (my mom’s side this time) which was held in Georgia. I was expecting it to be hot because it is (a) the South and (b) August, but it was surprisingly nice, like low 80s, high 70s nice. After suffering through 97 degree weeks in Massachusetts it was a nice, but bizarre, change.
We stayed in a cabin at Amicalola Falls Campground which is where the Appalachian trail starts. (This is only important because when my kids are grown I am going to hike the trail beginning there and ending in Maine). Anyway, it is a very rustic location right next to a waterfall. You can hike up and down the side of the waterfall. It is exactly 600 steps. How do I know this? I counted them (plus this sign):
OK, the sign lies because I counted the steps. Hold on, I have proof:
See, there’s 175 more steps down at the bottom of the falls which leads to this trout fishing hole:
We didn’t catch any trout, but we did catch this:
Right next to the trout pond I saw a blackberry bush so I went over to pick some berries when I saw this and stopped in my tracks:
I am almost positive that is a non-venomous water snake, but for once I was not willing to test my theory.
Even more exciting, later on when I was running around the front yard of the cabin I came within 6 feet of this:
That, my friends, is a timber rattlesnake, the most poisonous snake in Georgia. I learned something important about myself that day: I can fly. That’s right, I can straight up levitate. And that’s exactly what I did. I levitated way the hell up over that snake and kept on going. To get my camera. And take a shot from a safe distance. Thank goodness for the awesomeness of zoom lenses. I took this shot from the safety of South Carolina. Fun fact about timber rattlers: they often rattle after they bite you. Now that’s just bad sportsmanship.
A park ranger told me that the construction going on down the street had most likely caused the snake to move into my yard. Apparently, snakes don’t like big vibrations. I wondered what they were building so I walked down the as-yet unpaved road to go check it out (because asking would be too easy). Anyway, nothing was being built yet but I did see this:
Oh, and we discovered geo-caching which is like a treasure hunt outdoors. People hide little doodads in ammunition boxes and provide the coordinates for locating them. When you find the box you take one of the doodads (we took a toy car from the first one) and then you leave something of equal value (we left an Amicalola keychain). Now I know how I will
get rid of recycle all of the little things that my kids collect from McDonald’s, dentist offices, parties, etc. Here are the kids right before they fought over what to take from the first cache we found:
Kelly used that stick she is holding in the picture as a walking stick. Here’s a close-up:
See the “etching” made by insects under the bark? When I was Kelly’s age my dad told me that it was “Indian writing.” He would even translate it for me.
On the way home we learned that Southwest Airlines is trying to get people to listen to their safety spiel by telling jokes. It worked. I learned how to stop screaming long enough to put on my oxygen mask, and choose which child I liked best in order to help him/her. Oh, and I learned how to put on my life-jacket in the unlikely event that our plane turned into a cruise ship. Life jackets seem to just delay the inevitable in my opinion. What does this look like to you?
All I see is a shark buffet.
And that is what I did during my summer vacation. It’s good to be home.