Monday, September 6, 2010

July Travel Log -- Rabun County, Georgia

Last year we took a driving trip with the goal of staying at The Dillard House. Dillard is a city at the far northeast corner of Georgia, right at the border of North Carolina. We had visited this area almost 20 years ago and eaten at The Dillard House for one of their famous family-style meals. Family-style is where you don't really order anything, they just start putting down platters and platters of food. For dinner, we had fried chicken, ham, potatos, fresh biscuits, green beans, and about a dozen other things. For breakfast, you've got to try the homemade donuts and the peach turnovers. We realized last year that 1) the food was still amazing, but 2) we didn't have to actually stay there to enjoy the great food. The accomodations are a bit pricey. But last year, we really loved the whole Rabun County area, so we visited again.

This time, we stayed down the road in Tiger, pop. 189. We found a great group of cabins, called The Tiger Creek Falls Inn. We stayed in Cabin #8, which was more like a 2 bedroom/2 bath condo. Not rustic at all. You could walk down a path or down stairs to get to the creek. The creek was private and refreshing. We relaxed in the water after a long day hiking. That's our new favorite place, and hopefully we'll make it back there next summer.

We liked the Town of Clayton, with its main street. There's a great independent book store and a folk art gallery that we love. We also went through their small history museum, which is always fun to do when you're visiting a new town.

While in Rabun, we visited the Tallulah Gorge. You can hike down to the bottom of this gorge, by walking through the woods and walking down 560 steps. We did it last year, and the kids decided once wasn't enough, and they wanted to do more. My son discovered that if you get there at 8 in the morning, they give out passes to the first 100 hikers to go all the way to a sliding rock. So -- after you do the 560 steps, and did I mention you cross a suspension bridge, 1000 freet up from the floor of the gorge?, then you can be part of the 100 who get to cross boulders and go over steep terrain for another 3/4 mile to reach a sliding rock. And when I say "cross boulders," I mean you have to jump across some pretty wide stretches. Easy for my monkey children, kind of scarey for me. I soon realized that if my son went first then turned around and held his hand out to me, it was easier. I just needed that hand to jump to, and it gave me more confidence. This photo is at the very beginning, which was some of the widest areas we had to jump across.

Here we are on a rather steep spot. I'm holding on for dear life, and my daughter is climbing way out of range.

We reached the sliding rock, all hot and sweaty. It was such a sense of accomplishment. At this point we're not thinking of the boulders we have to cross again, the 560 steps we have to take UP, and the suspension bridge we have to go across again.

I slid down the rock once, in my clothes, then spent the next 2 hours trying to dry off. My kids did it about 30 times, each time getting braver and crazier. It's a bit scarey how the water pushes you down. But after a few times, my daughter was standing, dancing, and high-fiving people as she went down.

This is the water you get dropped into. Isn't it beautiful? I could have stayed there all day, if we had thought to bring a lunch. We brought lots of water for the hike and a few snacks. Unfortunately, on our hike back up, we lost a water bottle as it rolled down the steep side into a waterfall. We were pretty darn thirsty after we went up the 560 steps. It felt good to say we did it, and we had loads of fun. But I may put this in the category of done it once -- don't need to do it again.


RuffHaven said...

Way back before digital cameras and compurters, my DH and I were in that very spot. With Niki our husky malamute. Dogs were not allowed. But it was off season and we took her anyway. Everything DH did, Niki had to do. It was fun watching a dog slide down the rock.
Thanks for bringing back such good memories.
And you're right....once is enough for me too. My legs hurt just thinking about it.

Kim Henkel said...

I would love to try it - even if it is just once!