Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

For the second year in a row we made a fall trip to River Vista Mountain Village in Dillard to explore the beautiful north Georgia mountains. Last year we explored Black Rock Mountain State Park, visited waterfalls in North Carolina and wandered around Tallulah Gorge State Park.

This year we had adventures in two new places. One day we went to the top of Brasstown Bald. Another day we drove an hour and a half to Blue Ridge, Georgia to take a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.

Our seats were in an open air car for the hour long ride beside the Toccoa River. The train departed the station right on time at 11:00.

As we traveled along at a whopping 10 mph we were able to enjoy the scenery and snap a few photos. A few trees were starting to show signs of autumn but we were too early for the brilliant oranges, reds and yellows that will come later in the season.

Our destination was McCaysville, GA/Copperhill, TN. There was plenty of time to explore the town before the scheduled 2:00 departure. It’s hard to tell which town is which since the state line runs right through the middle of town.

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GA/TN state line

As we wandered around the town we crossed back and forth between Georgia and Tennessee several times. The state line even runs through the middle of some buildings. “Dine on the Line” is the motto for the Copper Grill restaurant where we had lunch. Their address is Tennessee but the state line goes right through the restaurant.

It was nice to sit back and relax on the return trip to Blue Ridge. Before driving back to Dillard we walked across the street from the depot for some fried apple pies from the Mercier Orchard downtown restaurant and store. These pies have been featured on the Food Network and are melt in your mouth delicious!

What’s not to love? A scenic train ride, cool mountain air, beautiful scenery, fresh trout and catfish for lunch, going back and forth between two states just by walking through town, and delicious fried pies! A great day!

Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s Highest Point

Located in the northeast Georgia near Blairsville, Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia at 4,784 feet.

Just getting there is quite an adventure. We drove west from Dillard on beautiful Georgia mountain roads. The last few miles we drove on narrow Georgia Spur 180 with sharp turns, switchbacks, and steep grades before arriving at the parking lot for Brasstown Bald.

The parking lot is located .6 miles below the top of Brasstown Bald. We could either hike up a steep trail or take a shuttle. We chose the shuttle.

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The observation deck as seen from the parking lot

After the shuttle dropped us off at the top we walked up a few steps to the observation deck where the views were spectacular in all directions. On a clear day visitors can see 4 states. It was cloudy that day but we were able to see three states – Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. We also toured the museum and watched a short film about the mountain.

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Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia
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The tower is closed to the public
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View from top of Brasstown Bald
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View from top of Brasstown Bald
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Wandering Dawgs at the top of Brasstown Bald

A favorite campground and Georgia Bulldogs Football

For the third year in a row we towed our fifth wheel  to  Pine Lake Campground in Bishop, Georgia to attend a home football game at the nearby University of Georgia.

There have been a few upgrades to this great campground since our first visit. The new owners have been hard at work upgrading the facilities and are in the process of adding more sites. The staff is friendly and helpful and they always remember us. It’s become one of our favorite campgrounds.

On game day, we always enjoy tailgating with friends before the game on the University of Georgia campus.

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There have been some major upgrades at Sanford Stadium since last football season. There is a brand new scoreboard and the new team locker room is at our end end of the stadium. Now the team enters the field right in front of us.

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Go Dawgs!

 

 

T.E.A.L. Walk Savannah 2018

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Teal is the color for ovarian cancer.

Did you know…

A woman’s lifetime risk of Ovarian Cancer is 1 in 75.

A pap test does NOT detect ovarian cancer.

There is NO early detection test for ovarian cancer.

Symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic/abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full after a few bites
  • Urinary urgency/frequency
  • Menstrual irregularities

Ovarian cancer awareness events take place every September all around the country. Buildings in some cities are displaying teal lights. Teal ribbons and wreathes are on display. Charity events such as runs, walks and races are held in many places.

This year I enjoyed participating in the fifth annual TEAL (Tell Every Amazing Lady) Savannah walk. As an eight year survivor, it was a very fun and extremely emotional day.

It was wonderful meeting other survivors and hearing their stories. And it was very uplifting to see the support these women have from their friends, family and community.

There were many inspirational stories but the one that still brings tears to my eyes is Simone who is going through treatment now. Her family members came from as far away as Tampa and New York to walk with her. I met her cousin who kept saying Simone was a fighter. Simone wore a hooded teal satin cape and boxing gloves to show her fighting spirit.

Camille is another survivor who inspired me. She is currently in treatment and with the support of her two daughters, son-in-law and friends she walked the entire walk.

Children and adults alike enjoyed meeting Wonder Woman and The Little Mermaid Ariel.

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After the walk, Wonder Woman joined some of the survivors for a group photo.

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Survivor Warriors!

My Story

Eight years ago this month I was in the middle of my first three rounds of chemo after major surgery and a diagnosis of Stage IIB ovarian cancer.

I’m one of the lucky ones. My cancer was caught early. Six days after a CT scan showed a large tumor, I was in surgery and began treatments a few weeks later. Thanks to early detection, modern medicine, the love and support of family and friends, and the power of prayer, I’m still here today eight years later.

Many women with ovarian cancer are not so lucky. Ovarian cancer is often called the silent killer because the symptoms mimic so many other diseases that it is sometimes misdiagnosed and the cancer isn’t found until it is in late stage.

I urge all of you amazing ladies out there to learn the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. Know your body and if you suspect anything is wrong, please see your doctor as soon as possible!

From  the T.E.A.L. website:  Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer Louisa M. McGregor Ovarian Cancer Foundation’s mission is to promote public awareness and education of the signs, symptoms and risk factors of Ovarian Cancer, while providing support to survivors and raising funds for research in order to find the cure for Ovarian Cancer.

Please visit their website to find out more about Tell Every Amazing Lady.

Oatland Island Wildlife Center

Located near downtown Savannah, The Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah is a wonderful place to view animals native to Georgia.  Sadly, the center is currently closed after a tornado tore through the center in July, 2018.  All of the animals were safe but many of the structures sustained damage.

When the center is open, there are many educational programs for students. For more information about the center please visit their website.

A few years ago we took our two oldest grandkids to Oatland Island to see the animals. It was such a great day we returned for a second visit a couple of months later.

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Red-tailed Hawk

 

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Red Fox
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Broad-Headed Skink
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Gray Wolf
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Alligator
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Cougar
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Gopher Tortoise

Inspired by Ingrid’s Wandering Wednesday – Zoo