What does one do when you wake up early and stare at the sunrise with a cup of tea warming your hands and the day is just full of a promise of the fleeting Georgia spring? One gets in the truck (yes, we have a truck now...long story), opens the sunroof and drives to the place they've never fully explored - Tullulah Gorge.
The rim of the canyon didn't get above high 60's in temperature *happy dance* but the gorge floor was much warmer due to the rocks soaking up the sun. And when you spend 45 minutes climbing over boulders that are slick as glass you work up a sweat. Luckily there are some freezing cold, and I do mean COLD, swimming holes that you can brave. In your underwear. Because you're classy like that. And alone.
I'm honestly astounded that we hiked the gorge floor (and skimpy dipped, as I've started calling our stripped-down-but-still-somewhat-clothed shenanigans) because you have to have a permit to do so and they are usually gone within a few minutes after the park opens. Seems that today no one but us chickens were willing to brave the trails or take a dip.
And I must admit that I'm so, so, so sore right now thanks to this 6 hour adventure. Brady and I have a tendency to take a chance on hiking particular trails that inevitably lead us to cool places BUT they come with unexpected hours added to the trip or a weird rainstorm or a shit ton of climbing to do or something like that. We actually laugh about it but it still catches us off guard every single time. We never learn and today was no exception.
If you're thinking of visiting Sliding Rock and Bridal Veil Falls at the Gorge then be prepared! It's a strenuous hike to-and-from the area and it's very slippery on the rocks. Do not bring anything you don't want to get splashed (my camera barely made it out and only did because I crawled on my knees with it held above my head to cross the streams) and be sure to bring lots of water. I also do not recommend this with younger kids or anyone with any medical issues. It's actually a bit dangerous if you're not diligent. They'll tell you it's a 2 hour hike round trip. THEY LIE. It's at least 5 hours to complete the floor and the rim. But it's all worth it to slide down the Sliding Rock into a cold pool of water while hawks circle overhead...