Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dead Squirrel Hill


Blairsville, GA (high 79, low 63)


It’s much cooler here than it was in Tampa so the weather has been perfect for bike riding.  However, these hills will about kill you!   We can only ride about a mile around the park before we come across some pretty steep hills.    There is one hill that I finally conquered.  I call it Dead squirrel hill because on my first attempt to get over the hill, I struggled and gasped and struggled until I could go no more.  I saw the fur of a poor dead squirrel on the road ahead of me and I didn’t want to stop on the poor guy, but I could go no further and ended up stopping  right over him.  There was not much squirrel left, just fur, but still….

The next time I made it past the squirrel, and yesterday, I am proud to report, I made it all the way up the hill!   Yay for me!    Of course, when you get to the top of the hill, you find there is another hill just like it!   I’ll work on that next.  :)   I’m out of shape, but I’m working on it.  Bill and Nancy are coming next month and I’ll bet they will breeze right up both of those hills!

There are a lot of very strenuous mountain biking trails nearby, but they are really not our thing.  Our friends Stephanie and Barry would love them, but not us! 

There are a lot of roads around that are very popular with motorcyclists.  In fact, we often hear the crotch rockets zooming around the curves, and sometimes we hear ambulances.  Some of the more athletic and brave road bicyclists ride up Blood Mountain.  You would have to be in excellent shape for that one.  We would never compete with the cars and motorcycles to ride that, even if we could!

We planned on a nice hike yesterday and after some back and forth, we decided to go to “nearby” Lake Winfield Scott Recreation area.   It was supposed to be only 9 miles south of Blairsville, so we didn’t think it would be much of a drive.  It turned out that was 9 miles as the crow flies, not highway miles.  We ended up on highway 180 and 60 to Suches, GA.  It was one of those infamous motorcycle routes and was as twisty and steep as you can get.  There were no guardrails, so you really had to watch the road.  To top it off, there was construction which held us up for a long time, then it started raining.  Wet, freshly done asphalt on a curvy mountain road made for some extra slow driving!

It took forever, but we finally got to the Lake.  It was a self pay system with 50% discount with Al’s senior pass.  By the time we got the envelope filled out and ready to walk, it started raining pretty hard.

We saw this interesting sign.  Apparently, this tube is where they put the fist to stock the lake.


The lake was pretty enough, for what we saw of it from the truck.


We drove around the campground.  It was heavily wooded, most sites were small and not really big rig friendly, although there were a few that would work.

After looking at the radar, we decided it wasn’t the best day for a long hike, especially since we forgot our rain jackets, so we gave up on the hiking.

Al didn’t want to drive the Suches loop back the same way we had just come, so we detoured through the city of Blue Ridge.  We made a quick stop at Mercier Orchards.  They have fresh peaches now, but we’re stocked up on peaches so we only bought some fresh bakes apple cinnamon bread.  Yum.

By the time we got home, it was happy hour, so we took a ride on the golf cart.  We considered a bike ride, but it’s hard to have happy hour on a bike!

We rode over to Rivers Edge II.  The off and on rain make for some beautiful views of the mountains.  The mountains around here are called the Blue Ridge mountains.  The Smoky Mountains are nearby, but from what I understand they are all a part of the Appalachian mountains.

Our mountains sure looked smoky yesterday, probably due to the off and on rains we had all day.

Rivers Edge II, clouds on mountain

Rivers Edge II, clouds on mountain

Rivers Edge II, clouds on mountain 

We’re staying home today and planting flowers.  Tomorrow we go see John Berry.  Remember him?


  1. ROFL about the dead squirrel. . .too, too funny!

    After pushing our bikes up most of the Carriage Roads in Acadia NP, we donated them to our son and his love when we arrived back in Texas. . .I know, I know. . .I thought I would really love bike riding. . .but I just didn't. . .oh well.

    I have to tell you, your blog is so organized and clean looking. . .no clutter. I enjoy reading it so much, that I went and restructured my blog. . .cleaned it up. . .thanks!

  2. Can't wait for your Blue Ridge Fall foliage pics!

  3. There aren't enough years left in this century for anyone to get in good enough shape to keep up with Bill and Nancy. Maybe that's why many of their friends have electric booster motors on their bikes... :cD

  4. You are getting in shape good for you, lotsa fun exercising .

  5. Good job getting up the hill. The more you ride - the easier it will be.

  6. I just had to find out what Dead Squirrel Hill was all about!

    Sure is a nice looking spot you have there.


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