Life, Photography, Travel

Blood Mountain

Jeremy and I hiked Blood Mountain this past weekend! Our friend Jenny joined us and we made two new friends! I had never been camping overnight before so I was a little apprehensive! The hike up the mountain was pretty strenuous. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath but I never felt completely winded. This was a huge change from when I tried to brave Black Rock Mountain a few years ago. That was also pre-boot camp, pre-lifting, pre-running Sunira. It felt good to take on the challenge and come out on top, literally.

We didn’t have proper hiking gear so poor Jeremy got loaded up a bit strangely. I had a backpack and sleeping bag too but Jeremy was the biggest donkey with the most payload. He’s carrying my camera

The trail was green and we saw plenty of other hikers.  The shade was perfect and the temperatures were surprisingly cool for an early August day in Georgia.

After about a mile and a half we started seeing vistas. The trail itself is densely wooded until breaks in the trees due to large swaths of rock face. There were several areas we had to climb over and up rocks. We met two guys, twins, walking up the trail.  They were cool and we hiked up together. One of them, Jeff, was pretty great at “hanging” off ledges.

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We started seeing more scenic overlooks and took opportunities to lay around and appreciate the details of the mountaintop.

Making it to the top sent goosebumps down my sweaty arms. Jeremy was thrilled just so that I didn’t have to ask “Are we there yet?” one more time to which he’d reply, again, “Almost”.

There were just two people atop the summit when the five us arrived. Jeff and James found a perfect hammock spot and we sat around scanning the mountains. A soft blue haze hovered over the late afternoon mountains while we shoveled ungodly quantities of beef jerky and trail mix.

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Adventure Story time.

When Jeremy was a kid, he hiked Blood Mountain and right below the summit is a little cave on the rock face. All the other boy scouts made it through but Jeremy was a chickenshit (his own words). He decided, at this ripe old age of thirty, to (his own words) cork his fat ass through that cave. So he did! Very successfully because he is nothing like a fatass (my words). That made Jeff and James want to do it and they did! Jenny also did it! Then my unwieldy, poorly balanced, crappy finger strength self decided to try it. Success level: -1000.
I fell off that rock like a pro. I have a wicked butt bruise to show for it too. Jeremy won’t let me put my butt photo on the internet, but believe me, it’s awesome.

The rest of the evening was spent gazing at the sunset, the moonrise after, and all the beautiful stars over the mountains.

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The moonrise was spectacular.

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Stargazing on a mountaintop is completely underrated.  A light breeze tarried over the summit as we lay there. It was extremely comfortable.  Doing these kinds of things with my husband is pretty amazing. I can’t believe I have such a good friend in my life.

Our tent was setup in a glade near the summit. Overnight we had plenty of visitors, one that was large and squeaking and attempting to check out the tent. I was honestly fine with it being anything but a bear.

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I’ll admit, I didn’t enjoy sleeping on the ground. I think we made a mistake not buying a proper inflatable sleeping mattress. Also I had just fallen off a rock face so I was kind of sore. I didn’t sleep much that night. I slept in 2 hour spurts until about 5:30am when I had to finally let myself pee. Thankfully Jeremy took care of all the daddy long leg spiders in the privy. :P I intended to get up that early to catch this gorgeous sunset anyway!

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It’s nice to have someone to watch your back while you take photos!


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The horizon started with deep purple and peach coloring and slowly lit up the landscape.
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We drifted back up to the summit to reconvene with our newfound friends and take in the remainder of the sunrise. I have been completely sold on the idea of hammock camping.

That feeling I had while watching the stars glitter the sky, I had again watching the sun wash over the west side of the mountain, casting its shadow over the range.

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Glorious.

We went to Helen to breakfast with our new bearded buddies and I had amazing sausage gravy on biscuits. It was a good reward for a weekend hiking that uphill.  I can’t wait for our next hike!!

 

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