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  1. #1
    Senior Member Steve D's Avatar
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    A Couple of Nights in N. GA & Ashley's First Overnight

    I had to be at Young Harris College in northeast Georgia for a meeting at 11:00 Friday morning. Rather than leave early on Friday and try to beat the Atlanta morning rush, I decided to take half a vacation day, head up a day early and camp for a night. Also, since my older daughter Ashley is a freshman at YHC I thought it would be fun to take her and a couple of friends camping Friday night.

    I bolted from the office at 1:00 Thursday after accomplishing what I needed to get done for the day and headed up GA 400 toward the mountains. The Varsity, an Atlanta icon, recently opened a Varsity Jr off GA 400 near Dawsonville so a stop for a couple of chili steaks and an order of rings was mandatory.



    With my appetite satisfied I headed on north. I'd decided to camp at Unicoi State Park in order to take advantage of a hot shower before heading on to YHC for my meeting. There were quite a few folks occupying the campsites designed for pop-ups, campers and motor homes but the walk-in tents sites were virtually empty. Of about 40 sites only three, including mine, were occupied...



    It didn't take me long to get set up...



    I had a bit of help. This is LB.



    Connie Lou gave LB to me about 25 years ago just before I headed off for a seven-week trip to South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana for geology field camp. Afterward he traveled all over with me for with me for quite a few years until he disappeared when we moved to the house we're in now about 11 years ago. Fortunately for LB, I found him as I was digging through some of my boxes in the basement last week and I liberated him from his dark cardboard cell...after eleven years in solitary. Now he's my travelin' buddy once again...and he already wants me to make him his own hammock.

    Thursday evening was relatively uneventful. I did a bit of geocaching around Helen, grabbed some supper and headed back to camp to build a fire and chillax (a word learned from my 13 year-old) for the evening...





    I had the best nights sleep I've had in weeks. I do need to work on replacing my sleeping bag with a top quilt some day but for the time being it works quite nicely.

    Friday morning found me up early as usual and by 8:30 I was packed up, showered and ready to head on to Young Harris. My 11:00 meeting went well and I even had a few opportunities to catch up with a couple of old friends while waiting for Ashley and her friends Jared and Hunter to get off work and/or finish classes.

    By 5:30 we had made it to the Forest Service campground at Horse Trough Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Unicoi Gap north of Helen. I was a bit excited as this would be Ashley's first overnight hammock camping trip and the second or third overnight trip for Jared. Hunter, on the other hand, has spent a bit more time in the woods and in a hammock. We started setting up and Ashley just couldn't wait to get in (check out the orange ENO on the right)...



    I didn't take long for all of to get set up. We found a near perfect campsite and had 4 hammocks attached to 5 trees...



    I sent the kids off to round up some firewood while I got some supper going. If I couldn't say anything else good about car camping, I'd have to say we eat well. A pot of chili hit the spot on a cool fall evening...





    We spent the evening sitting around the fire and talking. Its always interesting to listen to college kids and to compare how things are now to how they were back in the day (I'm a 1985 YHC grad myself).



    The fire finally died down, eyelids began to droop and we decided to call it a night. Our campsite, like most of the sites in the campground was beside a creek...



    The creek sang us to sleep that night but the running water woke nearly all of us up to answer nature's call before the sun came up. Aside from waking up a bit earlier than expected everyone seemed to have a fairly good night. Ashley has already asked me when I could make her an underquilt to replace her CCF pad.

    Breakfast was breakfast casserole made in a dutch oven, a family favorite. Unfortunately I got the cheese topping a little overdone...but it didn't seem to slow anyone down...





    After breakfast we finally made it up to the falls...



    The drive back to campus, while uneventful, included a stop for ice cream and with the kids safely back on campus and their gear unloaded, it was time for what is always the worst part of any trip back up to YHC...leaving again.
    Last edited by Steve D; 09-18-2011 at 07:50.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for sharing, looks like everyone had a good time. Great photo's

  3. #3
    Senior Member ShadowAlpha's Avatar
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    varsity, food by the camp fire w/ family, hammocks, Waterfalls - live is good!

  4. #4
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    Awesome trip!

    Thanks for sharing the details and pics.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bhinson's Avatar
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    Great trip report thanks for posting
    This is your one stop shop for all Hammock knowledge

  6. #6
    STinGa's Avatar
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    Looks like a good weekend

    Great trip report. It was cool that you were able to combine two trips into one.

    I loaded the gang up and headed to N. Ga. Sunday afternoon for some exploring. Low Gap was behind a road closed barrier, but we played in the creek for a while before heading over to Andrew's Cove. We have usually stayed in the state parks, but are starting to hit the forest service sites to get away from the crowds. Although, it looked like you had your pick of sites there.

    Since I usually head up 985, I didn't realize The V had a new location over there. I may have to alter one direction of the trip to load up on some yummy food.

    Can't beat camping and quality time with your kids.

    STinGa
    Sarcasm is a dying art.

    Eagle Scout September '85 Troop 339 Smyrna, TN

  7. #7
    Senior Member Steve D's Avatar
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    I originally considered Low Gap but had read on the FS website that the lower end of the road was closed so the FS could remove some of the storm damaged timber from the area. Andrews Cove was my back-up.

    I wasn't too surprised the walk-in area was almost empty at Unicoi since it was Thursday. Probably had quite a few more people over the weekend. What did surprise me was the number of people camping in the CNF, both at the campground and at primitive campsites along the road. Some were hunters (archery season for deer and maybe bear started last week) but quite a few were families.

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