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.
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.
The we passed through sunny, grassy foresty fields:
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.