Posted by: JennyRain | August 24, 2010

The Continued Journey: Part 2 (Repost)

Learning along the journey of hiking.

These posts have been calling to me the last few weeks so I decided to share. I know many of you are on a journey with God… not sure where you are going… so I pray that these next few days encourage you to remember that God can be found all through the journey if you look for Him along the trail.

The hiking posts help me to unwrap the beauty of life and God through simplicity of nature.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

 ***

Upon my return from Zambia, what began as a casual day hike through the foothills of Georgia has turned into over forty miles covered in three state parks in less than fourteen days.

Were my toes not completely covered in blisters, hiking would have been on today’s agenda too. I am still baffled as to what is driving me on these hikes through the mountains but I have decided to enjoy the impulse and search out the desire while it lasts. Who knows what I might discover.

Tallulah Gorge

Most of my two-hour drive to the Tallulah Falls and Tallulah Gorge area was uneventful, but as my journey drew me nearer and the mountains began peeking out in the distance, I became very excited. I love the mountains. They invite me into peacefulness and adventure and captivate my attention while I am immersed in them. As I drove closer, the excitement grew because I could see a vision of where I would be hiking.

As I began my hike, I could hear the falls whispering their soothing melody, beckoning me to come and take a quick peek before my hike through the backcountry of Tallulah Gorge’s Stoneplace Trail.


I purposely saved the jaunt around the falls for the final stretch of my hike as a reward for the tougher part of the journey and as a inspiration to finish the twelve mile round-trip path of Stoneplace Trail and High Bluff Loop.

Map: Hiking Map of Tallulah Gorge

The woods were much less intimidating on this trip than they had been three days previous at Ft. Yargo. Though all but thirty minutes of my hike had me completely enclosed in woody shadows, I did not experience any claustrophobia. Only relief from the pounding sun.

Ten minutes into my hike on High Bluff Loop I had the vague sense that I would see a snake somewhere along my journey. Five minutes later a ground-colored reptile slithered across the path in front of me. Because I was prepared, I was not startled. My thoughts then turned to bears, but I quickly brushed those musings aside.

As I reached the mid-point of High Bluff Loop, fear gripped me.

I seemed to reach a swampy-bottom point on the trail that eclipsed all sound and movement like a black hole. The air blanketed me and I entered a pocket of stillness that seemed to war against my invasion of movement. Even my own breath caught in my chest. I quickly exited its clutches and listened as the silence seeped back on itself like gooey pudding after you remove a spoon. I did not take High Bluff Loop on my return trip.

Most of my journey was uneventful save for the sticky spider-webs that wrapped themselves around my face and arms every two or three steps. On the journey out I spent most of my time battering gnats and webs. My return trip, however, rendered a glorious absence of bug-life.

This journey had an end point – Lake Tugalo.

It was only reachable by foot path and when I arrived I was awe-struck at how the water laid so peaceful and hidden, securely nestled between an enclosure of mountains that continually embraced it. One lone fisherman sat enjoying the lake with his dog. There was no clutter of people or cars to mar its natural beauty. It rather reminded me of the lake our Guatemala 2003 trip had enjoyed.

My hike ended with a jaunt around Tallulah Falls where I saw three sets of waterfalls including Oceana Falls, Hurricane Falls, and L’Eau d’Or Falls (Water of Gold). Each was lovely and the powerful sounds of the falling water invaded my senses.

Though it was not quite like my Victoria Falls experience in Africa, I still enjoyed the majesty of the sound of Tallulah Falls and the rugged beauty of the Gorge.

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Responses

  1. Sounds like your hikes are like my drives…God takes us to get away to get to us.


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