<Note: To make the type look LARGER, press the keyboard <Ctrl> Key and the <+> Key (above the equal “+” sign – use a Shift key for this) at the same time. To make the type look SMALLER, press the keyboard Key and the “-” Key (minus sign – on my keyboard, it is on the left of the plus sign) at the same time.
On the pictures at the bottom of the narrative, click on any picture to make it larger and enable the ‘forward’ and ‘backward’ navigation. To end the gallery viewing, click on the ‘X’ character on the top left or hit the ‘ESC’ (escape) key on the top left of the keyboard. Note: The “gallery” feature allows many pictures to be shown. However, the initial post takes a LONG TIME to display on the internet when slower speed connections are used. I cannot do anything to improve the speed because of the picture thumbnails that load to the post. A lot of viewers are using mobile devices. It is my opinion that the pictures are best seen on a larger display device.>>
It is about an hour and forty-five minute drive from Atlanta to Copperhill,TN. However, I had a few stops. My first stop was for gas in Jasper,GA. The second stop was at Wal-Mart in Ellijay for ‘provisions’ – various food items needed. The third stop was at Grassy St corner store in Copperhill for ice. It was pouring rain when I was driving down the forest road – which means that the road was partially flooded. The road is a well-packed, granite rock, one-lane, mountain, curvy road. I’ve previously been down this road when it was used more. A few months ago, the Forest Service closed the camp and now called it a ‘dispersed’ camp – that means that there are no picnic tables, no firerings, and that the ‘pit’ toliet has been closed, in addition to no ‘bear-proof’ trash cans. One other side-effect that I discovered on my drive was that the road is not cleared as well as it used to be. Several trees had fallen over the road, and either the Forest Service or a benelovent ‘local’ had used a chain saw to cut the trunk across the lane so that a car may drive through the middle. The gravel road has many potholes and the drive is slow. The thing about driving that road in the rain, is that you can’t see the potholes as well because there is so much water on the road. Fortunately, the road is only 2 miles long.
After unpacking the ice and food, I talked more with Cuz Dick, our host – and, other campers, Dan and JR. We sat under the tarphouse and Dan ‘diverted’ water running through camp with a shovel and making small canals in the dirt. After the rain stopped, I found a parking spot near the others. One ‘nice’ thing about dispersed camping is that you may park anywhere – i.e., the rules of 2 cars per camping spot are no longer valid. Dick cooked the group a wonderful ‘shepherd pie’ for supper. I was still unpacking and forgot to take a picture – however, I remembered to take pictures of some of our other meals. By the way, in the National Forest, dispersed camping is free. In this part of Georgia, registration is not required, although the usual rules apply – stay 14 days maximum, respect the land, etc.
The summer heat in Atlanta has been a ‘normal pattern’, = in the high 90’s Farenheit and rain clouds may pass over at any time. Very humid all of the time. The higher you go in elevation, the cooler the air and the camp that we visited was about 1700 feet. I looked up the elevation of Atlanta and it is about 1000 feet. The temperature in camp was very comfortable (most of the time). When we got ‘hot’ in the afternoon, we found a spot near the ‘artifical waterfall’ – i.e, the road culverts. There was a lot of humidity in the spot and an occasional breeze across the creek caused a noticable coolness in the air temp. Besides, if we got too hot, we could always jump in the creek!
Using the Apple iPhone maps, the location where we were is considered McCaysville – which is in Georgia. Previously, I thought that the camp was part of Copperhill – but, on the drive to camp, I crossed the river back into Georgia.
Dan left on Monday and JR left on Tuesday. Rita came Tuesday, so the camping group is ‘fluid’. Since Dick is our host, we co-ordinate the camping (and needed provisions) with him.
For completeness of my report, I have to tell of a large negative to the experience = I received several bugbites – that itched and were uncomfortable. I learned that more bugs were out about dusk, so after eating supper, I retired to my van. At night, there was a forest full of lightning-bugs. They were all over and it was amazing to see them. During the day, butterflies would float through camp and one day, I captured a couple of them on the ground. You could hear the circadas in the trees singing in cadence to each other.
It was too hot to wear more clothing. Once the sun went down, the temperature dropped and sleeping was very comfortable. We had a few small rain clouds during my visit, and afterward the temperature dropped.
Rita is a mushroom hunter and I went with her one afternoon to a nearby area where she picked some. She cleaned them and put them on a drying mat for later use. The large white ones were not familiar to her – she looked the variety up in her book, but she wasn’t comfortable with us eating them.
I took a few pictures of what I call ‘forest mis-use’. There are people who don’t appreciate the forests that we have and therefore, don’t respect them. I took a couple of pictures where someone had damaged a couple of tree trunks – one was a small tree, and another was a mature tree near the creek on the campsite that we used. I picked up as much trash left by others as I could. Even when driving down the forest road, there were several aluminum cans thrown out of a window. I consider all of this to be “VERY DISREPECTFUL” of our land and wish that others would do as the Boy Scouts do when they camp — that is, “Pack out what you pack in“. That means – take out your garbage!
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Note: When I go camping, I am often without internet service. I try to use my cellphone data plan sparingly as charges may be increased with usage. Therefore, I often let emails collect in my box and try to catch-up reading them when I return home.>>