The Hike that Nearly Kill Me
Update: This is a revamped repost from a spring hike I took on April 18, 2011. I wanted to share it again after major edits, featuring larger photos, and linking to prevalent links to learn more about these beautiful destinations in the North Georgia Mountains.
In a previous post, I mentioned going to Fort Yargo State Park on Easter Sunday and what the trip meant to me. In my campaign to become a more enlightened person, I decided that I needed more exposure to the world and to fully experience the joys of nature. I find it difficult to believe that one can become enlightened simply by sitting on the couch watching Family Guy, so I’ve been adding “Places traveled” to my personal folio.
The “Places Traveled” page is kind of sparse, so this is part of what drove me to go hiking at Tallulah Gorge State Park. Last Thursday, my friend Anna and I set out in good spirits. She was happy to be off of work, and I was glad to be out of the house. We started the day with a leisurely stop at The Perk Up Cafe in Toccoa, GA for a little iced coffee and lunch and ended the day with a new respect for hiking trails.
Our itinerary for the day was to go straight to Toccoa Falls,and if we felt adventurous, we’d head elsewhere. If you’ve been to Toccoa Falls, you know the walk is short and sweet, and the waterfall is amazing. Because of the ease of the walk, I afterwards suggested Tallulah Gorge State Park.
We hit the gorge with solid enthusiasm. I was excited, too, because I wanted to take more amateur pictures. This is where I give you a warning to heed if you ever go hiking: If a sign tells you that the path you are about to take is strenuous, take it seriously!
Perhaps a normal person might have been dissuaded by the verbiage of the posted sign, but I was confident. After all, I’d been a great hiker and in terrific shape 15 years before, so I had this hike locked down. Oh, my delusions! I still thought this even after Anna questioned my sanity, and I didn’t question my sanity until it was too late.
If I’ve been physically tortured like I was on that hike–outside of childbirth–I can’t recall when. The hike was grueling. I huffed and puffed and forced myself up those steep, monstrous stairs, dripping sweat, my heart thundering uncontrollably. The irony was not lost on me when Anna wanted to take a smoke break halfway through the hike.
We finally emerged triumphant at the rim of the gorge, and even with my legs wobbling like rubbery noodles, I felt a vague sense of accomplishment under many layers of pain. I did have one really bad moment; I realized that there was no shortcut or alternative to going back except by the same evil stairs and almost started blubbering like a baby, but it passed.
This is the part where I’m supposed to talk about how great it is to set and achieve a goal, but I’m not going to do that. I survived the hike, and that’s cause for celebration, but my take home message is to always pay attention to the signs. It can get ugly when you don’t.
Enjoy the rest of the adventure with these slideshows–particularly the Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center you enter before heading to hike Tallulah Gorge, because of the wonderful historic relics it holds.
Toccoa Falls located on the campus of Toccoa Christian University
Tallulah Gorge State Park and the Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center
If asked to ever go hiking at Tallulah Gorge State Park again, I’ll answer honestly, “Absolutely–just as soon as they install escalators.”
Have you ever been to Toccoa Falls, Tallulah Gorge State Park, or the Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive center? Share in the comments!
Please share this post with others who might be interested in these and other places in the North Georgia Mountains. Thank you!
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