A Blue Ridgey fall, day 1: Stone Mountain State Park

After a chaotic departure from home Monday morning (leaving Scott with the dishes in the process–sorry, dear) and what felt like an unnecessary amount of driving, Sasso and I arrived at Stone Mountain State Park.

It was worth it.IMG_6325

The leaves weren’t quite at peak yet; in the park it still felt like early fall, aided by brilliant blue skies and pleasantly warm weather.  The warmth of the yellows and oranges mixed with the lushness of the greens, and the colors were made even more striking by their contrast to the large expanses of rock.

My good friend Alison gave me a copy of Hiking North Carolina when I moved here, and being my constant companion has rapidly made it dog-eared and world-weary. That book recommended the Wolf Rock-Cedar Rock loop trail as being spectacularly scenic but less traveled than the Stone Mountain loop.

So off we went, staring at the golden canopy soaring above our heads.IMG_6319

The we passed through sunny, grassy foresty fields:


Until we reached Wolf Rock. Standing on Wolf Rock is like standing on the moon, only instead of Earth surrounded by the void we saw green Appalachian hills brushed with a hint of gold.IMG_6328

And after Wolf Rock, when I thought it couldn’t get any more surreal?

Cedar Rock, with a view of Stone Mountain.


Stone Mountain looks like a cereal bowl dropped, upside down, by a giant. But that in no way diminishes its beauty.


It was only on the way down that I began to see signs like this:


And also this:


Maybe it’s just as well I didn’t see the signs at the beginning.  I’ve been known to worry . . . every now and then.

Near the end of the trail we ran across the Hutchinson Homestead, huddled (or luxuriating, I imagine, depending on the season), at the base of Stone Mountain.


There were informative displays about life at the homestead, but Sasso dragged me away after reading this one:


A ratter as valued as a hound dog? Sasso sniffed in disdain.


3 thoughts on “A Blue Ridgey fall, day 1: Stone Mountain State Park

  1. Pingback: The mountains are calling | The North Carolina Project

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