|Toddler. Sand. Nuff said.|
In the midst of all of it, I managed to carve a few hours out for some solitude, taking half a day for myself to revisit old haunts on Kennesaw Mountain.
At 1,808 feet in elevation, the boulder-strewn, woodsy slopes of Kennesaw Mountain are in my childhood backyard. I wasn't much of a hiker growing up (really at all, if I'm being completely honest), and I fondly remember the trails of Kennesaw being tortuously steep as a fifth grade kid forced to climb them on various Girl Scout outings.
Weird to think that the area, newly surrounded by half-million dollar homes with backyards directly adjacent to many trails, is now a national park.
Starting at the visitor center, I carved out a roughly ten mile jaunt down to Cheatham Hill, finishing the hike with a climb up Pigeon Hill, Little Kennesaw, and finally the summit itself before completing the loop. Surrounded by red Georgia clay and barren woods, I felt like I was in Walking Dead territory most of the day.
|the final leg of my day, up Pigeon Hill to the summit|
I took away an appreciation for the area I didn't have before...the history of the Civil War battles, complete with preserved earthworks and cannons still evident on the hillsides. The park itself also affords wonderful trail-running and hiking opportunities in an area otherwise horribly overrun by suburban sprawl. It was a nice change of pace and a new outlook on the area I grew up in.
|deep woods, deep trail past Burnt Hickory. Walking Dead territory.|
|Pigeon Hill. This place holds both fond & torturous memories for me|
|winter woods, nearing the summit of Kennesaw|
Completely different from my somewhat-solitary-day-in-the-woods, Mom and I took an afternoon to visit the massive Georgia Aquarium before I returned to Portland. Between elbowing the crowds, watching a dolphin show and oggling exhibits, it took us about five hours to walk through the place.
It was like a Hollywood viewing of Finding Nemo. Plus whale sharks.
|school o' fish|
|I speak whale|
|swimmin' with the jellies|