Friday, June 30, 2006

Week Two of Summer Break 2006

Oh what a delight. I only made it on three hikes this week. Stone Mountain I did the day after my critique and I can't show any pictures from that hike because I'm over my monthly photo limit with flickr.com. Here's how the week went down:

Monday: Too damn rainy to do anything. Just as I was waking up and thinking about how nice it was going to be to go on a morning walk after a week of not walking, I hear thunder. Crap. In the afternoon, I was able to squeeze in a walk despite the sprinkles I felt as soon as I stepped outside. Not being a pessimist, I took advantage of the rain and used my inside time to apply for a student loan to cover my second year of school.

Tuesday: Amicalola Falls! This hike was about 60 miles from Atlanta. I didn't quite realize that. The drive was beautiful, though. I saw some cows and it reminded me of home (minus the mountains). The hike was great. The falls were beautiful. I started in the middle of the falls and headed down to the bottom and to the visitor center. I would have climbed to the top of the falls but I would have had to climb 475 stairs (after just climbing down and then back up 175 stairs). I decided I'll do that next time. One of the most interesting things about Amicalola Falls is that it is the starting point of the Appalachian Trail. Of course I had to get a picture next to the Georgia-shaped rock.

Amicalola Falls.

Amicalola Falls

Start (or end) of the Appalachian Trail.

T at the AT Trailhead


Wednesday: Heritage Park. I got spooked at this hike. There weren't that many people around and it was fairly wooded. The trail went beyond the mill, but it turned from this super-nice trail to a trail that had that trail-behind-the-middle-school-where-kids-smoke-after-school feel. Since I was already spooked, I turned around after the mill.


Concord Mill.

Old Mill

Thursday: Tired. Wednesday night, after reading about what trails I wanted to go on, I decided I was too tired to immediately do another. I spent this day doing chores like carrying my laundry over to the laundry room where the friendly laundry service people washed, dried, and folded it for me. Then, I had to carry it back to my apartment. I also worked on the student loan application (which most of you will recognize is a long process). I walked to Tanyard Creek Park which is pretty close to where I live. I've walked there once, but I decided to explore it a bit more. The sign on the tree pretty much says it all. The park is pretty small and funky. The smell of the creek reminded me of the funky river in Lansing. I didn't stay there very long.

Sewage Spill Sign at Tanyard Creek Park.

Funky Water Sign

Friday: Ready to hit the trails again. I went to High Falls Trail with my roommate. It was a nice place. The trail got us a bit too close to nature. We had some close encounters with some mean looking spiders. About halfway through the two mile hike, we armed ourselves with a stick and swung it in front of us so that we could knock down any spiderwebs. Despite the tremendous number of spiders, the falls were really pretty and we saw a couple of cool lizards.


Waterfalls on Towaliga River.

High Falls Trail

High Falls Trail: Check out my fancy pants.

On a rock


So far my favorite hikes are Stone Mountain and Amicalola Falls. Amicalola Falls is really in the woods, but there are minimal spiders. Stone Mountain is nice because it's close and it's a nice climb (about equivalent to the Butte), but it's civilized--there are about four emergency phones along the way. I'm thinking about buying an annual parking pass to Stone Mountain and climbing it once a week much like I did the Butte last summer. Next break, I'll probably try out some new trails.

Enjoy the pictures!

-T

Friday, June 23, 2006

Welcome to my new "blog." I'm trying out blogger.com to see if it's a better alternative to my msn space. People were saying that they weren't able to see my photos and hopefully, this will take care of that problem. Please, let me know what you think.

Week one of my Summer Break 2006 is over. It was a fabtasulous week! Here is how it went:

Monday: I woke up early and headed off to the Red Cross to donate some good ol' American blood. They had a hard time getting the blood to flow. I think it was because I didn't drink a lot of water before going. I pretty much got out of bed and went--no time for drinking. They got the full pint, though, and now I've got my name in a drawing for a gas card.

Here's my bandaged arm. Notice the tan. Oh baby! I've never been so tan in my life!

Blood donation

Tuesday: I woke up early again and headed out for Savannah by myself. Oh how good it felt to put Pinkley in cruise control, crank up the tunes, sing along, and play "Blown Out Tire or Roadkill?." The trip down wasn't too eventful. I did see a guy at one rest stop who was selling watermelons out of the back of his truck. I was very tempted to buy one, but he looked angry and I didn't want a watermelon rolling around my hot trunk for a day. So, instead I took a picture of his watermelons.

WATERMELONS!

Watermelons at First Rest Stop

Once I got to Savannah I headed to the visitor center and got directions to Tybee Island. The best part about the short drive out to Tybee Island was the turtle crossing signs. At Tybee Island I saw the Atlantic Ocean and got a vial of it for Ma Mère. I got my tootsies wet in the water. Watching people in the water, I don't think I could ever get more than knee deep in it. I got a wee bit sunburned on the shoulders--I missed that area with the sunscreen. I spent that night in a Days Inn.

The Savannah Visitor Center.

Visitor Center 2

The Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic 1

Soakin' up the rays.

Tybee 10

Wednesday: I woke up even earlier and headed back towards the historic part of Savannah. There I was able to get free parking because I was taking a trolley tour. I boarded a trolley and was on it for about 90 minutes touring historical sites. Some of my favorite sites were the place where Forest Gump's bench was and a haunted house. Unfortunately, many of the pictures I took on the trolley didn't turn out simply because we were constantly moving. Oh well.

A trolley much like the one I was on.

Trolley

The site of Forest Gump's Bench.

Former location of Gump's Bench

The Waving Girl.

Waving Girl

After the trolley tour, I got on the road back to Atlanta. (Notice I didn't say "back home.") This time, I took it easy. I made 5 stops. I stopped at 3 visitor centers: Metter, Million Pines, and Dublin. Then there was a rest stop and a Target to use the facilities.

This duck was such a ham! I met it at the Metter Visitor Center. I didn't feed it, though.

Duck Ham

Thursday: Originally I had planned to go on a hike, but once I got home from Savannah I couldn't even think about going on a hike. It wasn't so much the hiking part that I couldn't think about, but the fact that I'd have to drive around and find a site I've never been to--I was too tired from doing that going to Savannah. Rest assured, I will still do some hiking. Once I fired up my computer after I got home, I caught a virus. It took 2.5 hours and $70 to have the virus removed from my computer. That was the highlight of Thursday.

And that ends the first week. Next week I've got hiking on my list (I'm hoping I can hit at least four trails), I also have to apply for another student loan (oh sweet joy), and I just may hit the High Museum (because I am a member).

Until then,
T. Budnik