Baby Tulip Poplar Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Note: The following revised and annotated post is part of our new Retro Roadtrip series. This 3-part post is about an autumn road trip I took by myself from Florida to Georgia and was originally posted November 15, 2008, on my Nathan’s Uncle blog.

On Saturday I drove over and ate lunch at the Unicoi State Park Lodge Restaurant near Helen, Georgia, and then made the short hike to Anna Ruby Falls.

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Does this picture preach, or what?

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Anna Ruby Falls

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Then I drove over and UP to Brasstown Bald. At 4784 feet, it is the highest point in Georgia, and not too far from Pinebox, my mountain cabin. It is quite a hike straight up the mountain from the parking lot, very steep, but a lovely walk if you take your time. A shuttle is available for a nominal fee.

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A view from the top.

I left Brasstown Bald and drove just down the road to my buddy Dan Easton’s house, or rather “houses.” Dan owns two pre-Civil War cabins. He lives in one and rents the other one. Mountain Man Dan, AKA Mr. Blairsville, is a local realtor and owner of Three Springs Realty. If you are looking for mountain property, Dan is the man! Since I’m giving free advertising, I can’t overlook Sarah Davis, the wonderful realtor who helped me find my Pinebox in 2003. Sarah owns Cozy Cove Realty, and she is a lot prettier than Dan! (Just kidding, Danny Boy . . . .)

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Dan’s cabins

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Front porch of the rental cabin.

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Inside the rental cabin.

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This shot at Dan’s cabin reminded me of Tennyson’s poem “Mariana.”

from Mariana
WITH blackest moss the flower-pots
Were thickly crusted, one and all;
The rusted nails fell from the knots
That held the pear to the gable wall.
The broken sheds look’d sad and strange;
Unlifted was the clinking latch:
Weeded and worn the ancient thatch
Upon the lonely moated grange . . . .

—Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

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Dan’s kitchen.

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Dan’s table.

Dan plants a big organic garden every spring and lets the deer eat all they want. Believe it or not, even though it was October, there were still a few tomatoes left on the vine, and I got to make a tomato sandwich. Dan also fried up some Nantahala sausage to go with it. Dan makes pinto beans and cornbread at least once a week. His kitchen smells like my Granny Hinson’s kitchen. Can you say heaven? You should stop in if you are ever in the area.

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Nothing better!

Previous Posts:

Retro Roadtrip: Appalachian Autumn Part 1

Retro Roadtrip: Appalachian Autumn Part 2

Click here for even more Appalachian autumn adventures.

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Helpful Links

Unicoi State Park Lodge Restaurant

Anna Ruby Falls

Brasstown Bald

Three Springs Realty

Cozy Cove Realty

Howard Blount is founder and co-owner of the travel blog BackroadPlanet.com. He has traveled internationally since boyhood and lived abroad in Mexico, Chile, and Paraguay. Now his passion is navigating the roads-less-traveled of this amazing planet in search of anything rare and remote. On the stuffy side, “Mr. Blount” has been a writer, consultant, and published author with the likes of Simon & Schuster and McGraw-Hill. Although his road trips are financed by his day job as a middle school teacher, Howard would much rather be doing anything that includes mountains, waterfalls, dachshunds, gospel choirs, books, restored classic movies on Blu-ray, HDTV, autumn, sandhill cranes, hot springs, Florida springs, rain and other gloomy weather, log cabins, cracker shacks, abandoned sites, unearthed history, genealogy, museums, documentaries, To Kill a Mockingbird, scenic and historical sites, castles, cathedrals, the Civil War, cold sheets, National and State Park Passports, inspirational quotes, the Rambos, Dionne Warwick, Steely Dan, Doobies, Diet Pepsi, Fish City Grill, anything Apple, all things British, Jesus, and lists. And on a random note, Howard is a fourth cousin once removed to Truman Capote.
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