Hello Friends and Family,

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Georgia On My Mind Again, Part 6

Brasstown Bald is the tallest spot in Georgia and was our destination one day while I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law. We had talked about visiting it on previous trips but never seemed to find the time even though it is not far from their home. This year, we changed that story.

When we first arrived, we found an empty picnic table then proceeded to eat our picnic lunch (sandwiches and beverages of choice) that we had brought with us. All the while we were enjoying this view.

I have to confess that a camera cannot capture the splendor of such views — so I recommend that even after seeing my photos, you should still put this on your must-do list on any trip to northern Georgia.

I love the split rail fence with lichen growing all over it. This is right next to the park's Welcome Center and Gift Shop with plenty of parking for the many guests — specially the overflow crowds that come during the fall to see the beautiful colors that Jack Frost brings to the leaves.

There is a trail from the Welcome Center up to the summit — this photo is of the summit end of that trail. If hiking up a steep trail is not your cup of tea, they also have shuttle vans that will transport you to the top for a small fee.

When you get there, you will encounter the park's Visitor's Center with wonderful views of the surrounding hills and valleys. At one point, this was the location of a park service observation station for spotting fires in the forest area. That function was moved to a nearby peak making room for this current building which provides plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy this spot.

In addition to the observation deck, there is a small museum plus a theater showing a movie with information about the history, flora, fauna and the seasonal changes found at this spot. Interestingly, the winter is surprisingly cold and the summit is closed at that time of year.

Once you climb the stairs to the observation deck, the views will take your breath away.

You can even see the blue haze that gave this area the name "Blue Ridge Mountains". According to Wikipedia, the trees release isoprene into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color.

And when I zoom to 300 mm, we begin to see views that are wonderful to behold.

We were told that if you stand at the right spot (I judged it to be on the south side of the observation deck), at the right time of year (this was not it), that you can actually see the tall buildings of Atlanta, some 100 miles away.

When I look at vistas like this with few signs of modern society, my mind tends to wander to thoughts of what it must have been like before the coming of the Europeans...

This area was then populated by the Cherokee tribe. Wikipedia offers an interesting story — "Cherokee legend tells that a great flood swept over the land. All the people died except a few Cherokee families who sought refuge in a giant canoe. The canoe ran aground at the summit of a forested mountain (now known as Enotah). As there was no wild game for the people to hunt and no place for them to plant crops, the Great Spirit killed all the trees on the top of the mountain so that the surviving people could plant crops. They continued planting and lived from their crops until the water subsided."

The last photo for today is another 300mm shot revealing buildings, roads and a river, all hiding in the haze. Photoshop offers a feature to remove some of the haze but it is one of those things that should be applied with a light touch. I hope this meets with your approval.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com