Highest Peak in Georgia - Zero Visibility...

Highest Peak in Georgia - Zero Visibility...

brasstown bald georgia
Top of Brasstown Bald

Brasstown Bald

My favorite part, by far, of our Georgia trip was our attempt on Christmas day to reach the summit of Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in the state.

At only about an hour drive away from the lodge, I bravely took to the wheel. For most of the trip Chris had been at the helm -mainly for two reasons. First, my mother's driving was making us all sick; me being car sick was normal, but when Chris got queasy... it had to change. Second, my last time navigating the curvy mountain roads was during my trip to Nashville where I spent most of the time driving well under the speed limit. My experience before and after that has been on flat, straight Florida roads.

The morning was bright and warm; the fog had cleared, but the weather reports still called for rain. I desperately wanted to wear shorts, but peer pressure pushed me into another day with jeans. Jackets were tossed in the back covering Chris' camera bag and a few snacks as we drove along admiring the countryside dotted with houses and the occasional creek.

First Impressions

Google's GPS led us to the park entrance at the base of the mountain. Everything seemed in order, no signs saying closed or barricades, so we trekked onward. Steadily, the road inclined steeper, with trees on either side as I followed cautiously along the sharp curves.
first rock slide
First Rock Slide
second rock slide
Second Rock Slide
rushing water rock slide
Rushing Water
After a while the road became damp and fog started to float down around us. My speed dropped, unintentionally, as my visibility lessened. "What's that?" I pointed out ahead, pebbles were strewn across the road as water trickled in between them. Slowly, I drove over top, avoiding the larger and pointed rocks. Around the next bend we encountered another patch of fallen pebbles, but then... I stopped. A rock slide sat in front of us. Jagged chunks of mountainside about half the size of our tires sat in a flowing stream directly in front of us.
pile of rocks
Pile of Rocks

rushing water rock slide
Rushing Water
At my mother's suggestion, she and Chris jumped out of the car and started kicking the rocks across the road. Five minutes went by before they came back into the car, freezing after having stood in the ankle deep water. We turned on the heater and drove triumphantly on.

Nothing to See

Never before had I driven in such low visibility. We came to a guard station, but couldn't see if anyone was in it, then drove to the nearest parking spot. Wind whipped violently us as we hurriedly put on our jackets and gloves while enveloped in a white cloud. As we started off into the void, we found the map kiosk; it was nice to not only see what was there, but also take shelter from the wind.

On a nice day, there were several trails and a visitor's center, but unfortunately for us, those were lost into the abyss. Chris volunteered to drive back down, giving me a chance to snap some shots of the passing rock slides. He began by circling the parking lot of purgatory as we clutched our seats tightly, hoping to not slip and go tumbling down off a hidden cliff, but we made it down safely, even passing another vehicle making it's way to the summit.
Brasstown Bald Georgia Parking Lot
Brasstown Bald Parking Lot