“Go where you feel most alive.”-Anonymous
I think we can all agree that 2020 sucks. From countries on fire, to the potential of World War 3, and now a plague 2020 can kiss my ass. We wanted the Roaring Twenties, before the stock markets crashed. Guess we’re just skipping ahead. Doesn’t help that in the state of Georgia it started raining on New Years and hasn’t stopped. Thanks for adding the gloom to the doom, Mother Nature.
So now, we’re stuck social distancing and watching the world fall apart from our couches. If you’re like me and not at all a homebody, this is whole stay at home and look at the same four people every day thing is hard. I’m doing it though, because I’m not a selfish jerk who wants to go party on the beach (looking at you Spring Breakers). Doesn’t mean it sucks any less. Thankfully, there are ways to get out of the house when you’re two seconds from destruction. It’s one of our favorite activities too: hiking!
“Oh no, not physical activity!” Hush, we’re all couch potatoes now, we need it.
In case you’re like Jared Leto and have no idea what’s going on in the country, the National Parks have all been made free access to encourage people to go outside…at a safe distance from other people. In other words, do not go to the famous parks and forests. We, thankfully, are fortunate to live near a few different National Forests. One of which, is Chattahoochee National Forest. We spend a good deal of time there and there are plenty of hikes that are never crowded. On Thursday, we had a rare day where everyone was home (guess those won’t be as rare anymore) and it was decided that some good, fresh mountain air was needed. This was after I drove out to Dahlonega and back the day before because I was pacing the house in an anxiety ridden circles, but that’s a different story.
So we packed up a picnic, laced up our hiking boots, and headed out. First stop? Helen, GA. If you’ve never been to Helen, I’d recommend going during the off season or during a pandemic. Y’know when there’s less people. It’s an adorable Bavarian styled town smack dab in the Georgia mountains. When we got there, we were lucky enough to experience it just as the town was waking up. Hardly anyone walked the streets and the shops were empty. 10/10 recommend.
From Helen, we headed out to Brasstown Bald. It’s a good spot for a picnic with some fantastic trails around it. We ended up heading down the Jackson Knob trail. It’s a moderate trail with some steepish areas and drops you off in a National Wilderness area. The best part to this trail is the view it opens up to.
Down a small path off the trail, the trees part and give you a view that leaves you feeling like you’re at the top of the world. Take a minute to sit there, listen to the sounds of the wilds around you, and relax. I had been sick for the past week, and while normally a trail like this would have been easy, I needed the break. This spot was well worth the heavy breathing everyone had to endure from me. Sorry guys.
Other than the people we saw at the very beginning of the trail, there was absolutely no one else around us. It was a spectacular way to social distance and get my stir crazy ass out of the house before I was voted off the island.
If you do plan to go out, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
- Per the CDC, stay 6 feet from people.
- No more than 10 people in a group
- Avoid the more famous hiking spots, pick one off the beaten path
- For the love of all things, stay home if you’re sick. Don’t be rude.
Got ways to keep from getting bored during this crazy time? Let me know your ideas in the comments! Normally, I’d sign off with “travel well and travel often,” but considering the world is shut down…social distance well and social distance often.