September 19, 2003
The hills are in my blood, so I enjoy going back to them every fall. I especially like Blood Mountain Cabins because it is plopped down right there on the side of the hill with a beautiful view of the mountains. I can walk about 100 yards down a path through the woods and be on the Applatchian Trail. I can walk less than a mile in the opposite direction and see three waterfalls. Or, I can sit on the porch and drink wine while I read a book and watch the chipmunks play among the rocks in the stream below me.
I am about 20 miles from civilization in all directions, but I can be in Cleveland, Helen, Blairsville or Dahlonega in thirty minutes, depending on which way I want to go. Hell, other than the Super Wal-Mart, I am MORE than twenty minutes from civilization where I live now.
The only thing I don't like about the cabins is the fact that Highway 128 makes a 180-degree semi-circle around the place on a VERY STEEP uphill grade for 18-wheel trucks in the right lane going up and a VERY STEEP downhill grade for 18-wheel trucks in the right lane going down. You can hear a lot of gear-jamming at night and early in the morning.
In some ways, that is music to my ears. I would rather hear silence, but if I've got to put up with noise, then the sound of big trucks grinding gears and cars screaming their tires on horseshoe curves on mountain roads are what I prefer to hear. I remember listening to the coal trains in the switchyard at night when I was a six year-old boy. That sound reminded me of thunder as it echoed through the mountains. I listened and nestled tighter under my quilts. It was a comforting sound. So are the sounds I hear at Blood Mountain Cabins.
I can't wait to go. I may catch the leaves just right this year.
Train whistles in the night are SUCH a great sound. They seem to evoke some kind of yearning inside, as though the soul wants to travel.
Blairsville, GA. Boy does that place bring back memories.
20 years ago, I lived in Chattanooga and serviced medical equipment for a living. There was a small clinic in Blairsville, that I had to drive to about every other week. The route I took was always the same. I-75 to Cleveland, US-64 along the Ocoee river and on into North Carolina to US-19. US-19 down to Blairsville. The return was exactly the same only in reverse. It was a gorgeous drive, but it took all day (and evening) to get there and back again.
I remember one time in the fall of '82, I followed a funeral procession along that route for so long that by the time they all turned into the cemetary, I felt I should go on in and pay my respects as part of the family.
When the BC was pregnant with Quinton, we went walking around Blairsville, near the square in the middle of town. People stopped their cars in the street and motioned for us to cross no matter where we were.
We were looking for a radio to listen to a Braves playoff game. I found a small Radio Shack store, but guess what? They were SOLD OUT of cheap radios. (don't get me started about going to a "Radio Shack" that has no radios). The clerk said, "If I were you, I would check the five-and-dime across the street."
Yes, Blairsville has a five-and-dime store and a very sweet lady sold me a radio for $15.00. The BC and I listened to the game that night after a great steak dinner that I cooked on the back-porch grill, and enthuisastic sex in the loft bed.
Those were the days...
I'll never understand how I believed that I had the best friend I had ever known back then when she pretends to have never known me at all today.
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