Tuesday, July 08, 2008

TO THE CABIN IN THE MOUNTAINS.....

It was dark when we arrived at the cabin in the mountains. Set amongst the trees it was difficult to see what a delightful retreat it was at first..... Very quickly welcoming lights were on, luggage unloaded and supper was soon fixed. We sat around the kitchen table enjoying our meal together..... we talked and talked until about 2 am...... Goodness didn’t we sleep well that night..... at least until about 4 am when we woke..... and just sat looking around our pretty bedroom hardly believing where we were. We were so eager to explore our surroundings that John and I got up very quietly, made coffee and sat on the porch in one of those wonderful rocking chairs..... rocking away until dawn broke with a chorus of bird song that was a quite different to what we hear back home.

As it got lighter, we crossed the wooden bridge over the creek and walked out to the open meadow to the bench swing.... here we sat enjoying the freshness of the morning air and recalled where our amazing journey had brought us...... it all seemed a far cry from leaving Manchester UK on Sunday morning......


Guests are greeted by this little fellow who stands on the doorstep......

The cabin is almost hidden in this cool leafy glade. If you click on the picture it will enlarge for you to see the swing bench to the right and to the left is little wooden bridge over the creek that opens up onto the meadow bathed in sunshine.

I just love this picture of the rockers assembled in a line.
Dappled sunshine glints through the trees that surround the cabin

At the end of the porch the deck opens out allowing a wonderful area for a BBQ

The bridge, the creek and the swing bench.... We are all ready to start a new day of adventure....
Out on the road the heat of the day becomes intense, what a blessing air conditioning is.

Nestled in the Appalachian foothills of N E Georgia are the Sautee and Nacoochee Valleys.... this is Indian land. I believe that the first inhabitants to settle here were the Cherokee Indians who crossed the Southern Appalachians from N Carolina to settle in this valley. As we drove along I soon became aware of the wonderful old Indian place names that live on in this area.

We made a stop Old Sautee Store...... and what an amazing place! The Old Sautee Store was built in 1872 and after almost 136 years this old trading post still retains much of the character of the old days when it was used as a general store by local residents for their food and farm supplies. Today it meets the needs of the traveller and stocks a great selection of goods from old fashioned candy, fizzy drinks (we all had a bottle of their delicious black cherry soda), freshly baked items from their own bakery, many cheeses, gifts, clothes and shoes, yes, I was so delighted to discover their good selection of shoes and bought myself a pair of Crocs..... a pair for John too, the style of which we hadn’t yet seen in UK. I did so enjoy our visit here, it was like stepping back in time......


Then, onto the pretty town of Helen.... Alpine Helen. Hmmm! you could well mistake your location here and believe you are in Bavaria, Austria or even Switzerland.... but no, you are still in Cherokee land.

Gold was discovered in this area in the early 1800s and it became the centre of the great Georgia Gold Rush when thousands of pounds of gold was mined. When the gold mines became exhausted the area became a valued source of timber, great saw mills were established and railroads built. The town was actually named after the daughter of the railroad surveyor. By the mid ‘60s the town fell into a decline..... that was until someone had the brilliant idea to completely remodel and renovate it into the village we see and enjoy today.


From Helen we made our way to Dahlonega.... don’t you just love these names. Dahlonega is another pretty town set in the mountains that prospered from its gold mining in the 1800s. Here we were on a mission tho’...... Betty had established that there was a store in town ‘Woodland Edge’ that sold Karma Earth shoes. These shoes are not easily available in Wales, so I wanted to take advantage of their availability whilst in US. I was not disappointed with my purchase....
For those not aware of Earth shoes.... they are designed with a unique ‘negative heel’ technology which improves posture and so reduces back problems. As the assistant in the store rightly informed me, they take a few minutes to get used to, at first you tend to feel you are tilted slightly backward, but after a minute or so you regain a new balance and posture...... I have to say, they are brilliant. I wore them immediately! We found an nice Ice Cream Restaurant almost next door where we had a lovely lunch and then into The General Store.... what a time we had in there, it was Amazing!!!..... so much to look at. John even found an old piano! No he didn't buy the hat, just borrowed it and the piano, well, that played by itself!!!! It looks good though doesn't it??



Back at the cabin after a day of wonderful experiences and three pairs of shoes, yes! I did buy another pair along the way...... We set too and prepared a BBQ out on the deck. Edward cooked the delicious steaks he had bought, whilst Betty and I attended to salads etc.......

Oh what lovely memories we have of our last evening at the cabin......
There are so many interesting features in and around the cabin. Such a pity that no one thought to take pictures inside. Here a hangs a brace of wooden ducks and underneath on the small table are a collection of shells I had brought with me.... collected from our local beach back home in Wales......

All too soon its morning and the sun shines on a new day...... we take a last look around at all that has become very dear to us during our brief but enchanting stay at the cabin in the mountains...... We simply had to take pictures of us all on the bench swing, then......


......Edward and John went off to explore the old barns that belong to Edward’s relative who also has a house nearby. John was thrilled to discover this old International Farmall tractor, similar to the one his father used on the farm many years ago when he was just a lad. He fondly recalled the times his father would tuck him up on the seat alongside as he ploughed the fields.... what memories it evoked.

A short distance away from the cabin is a house that belongs in Edward’s family. What a wonderful place and what a setting it has amidst the trees..... We were fortunate to take a look inside. Goodness! its gorgeous.... and it’s for sale too! Hmmm! we start getting ideas!!!!

Well, it is true..... all good things come to an end.... so with the car loaded up.... which was a work or art in itself!.....

Betty makes a phone call to the family saying that we are about to set off on our homeward journey.....

....... and we reluctantly have to bid a fond farewell to the cabin in the mountains.....














Here is a little posy that John gathered for me before we left...... it travels with us. And so my story with continue.......

11 comments:

Flip Flop Floozie said...

Boy that is beautiful country!! That is where i would love to live!! I love trees and mountains so I would be in Heaven almost!! I have always wanted to go up there. I want to go to Gainsville. It is right up there where you were. Maybe someday. We do not get to go very much with Mike's working so much!!

Sandy

ellen b. said...

What beautiful photos. My husband's grandmother was part Cherokee. We have never been to this part of the US. We really should visit there sometime in the future. thanks for your little tour and to think you came all the way from Wales to show me :0)

Wild Rose said...

Hi Marion,

It sounds like a wonderful trip and what a beautiful part of the world to visit.

How peaceful to sit on the porch and listen to the dawn chorus.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday and have a safe journey home.

Marie x

Something White said...

Those mountains are fantastic; beautiful area! And the wooden house seems to be very cosy and inviting. I envy you :)
Have a good summertime, Marion! Love, Marjolijn

Barbara said...

Just what I have been waiting for and glad to go along with you. Reminds me so much of the Smokey Mountains.

Betty said...

Dear Friend Marion,
What wonderful this posting evokes! I wish we were experiencing them all over again.....

Looking forward to the next installment....Love, Betty

Sara said...

Hello Marion, I've enjoyed your jaunt into the Georgia mountains....and was happy to see Helen, of which I have heard but have never visited. What a beautiful part of the country that is! That little posie is intriguing...I had to enlarge that to get a closer look at those unusual blossoms.

Willow said...

Lovely post about a wonderful time you had! The area is truly beautiful!


Do you know any history about the Cherokee Nation? I taught US History and learned so much along with my students.

Mountain Mama said...

Your pictures and descriptions made me feel as if I were there with you. I could almost taste the steak too!
You certainly had a lovely time.
I think your flower may be Mountain Laurel. Not certain though.

Southern Lady's Vintage said...

I am so happy that you enjoyed your trip to the north Georgia mountains. I frequent the Old Sautee store monthly as I can not do without their awesome Farmer's Cheese! If you haven't tried it, you simply must! You can order it on line too. I just got my sister hooked on it and we were up there last weekend and also in Helen, Georgia. I love living here! You should visit in the fall! October is beautiful here! Stop by my blog sometimes as I have photos up too!! So nice to meet you! I hope you will come back to Georgia again!

Kerri said...

What a wonderful, tranquil setting. Your stay here sounds so wonderfully relaxing. Thanks for sharing some details and the wonderful pictures.
I enjoyed seeing all your cozy decorating touches in the previous post too. You have such a gift for pretty and elegant decor.