Thursday, February 3, 2011

Know Where To Park In The Park

MST – Day 39 - 10/22/10 –Devil’s Garden Overlook to Stone Mountain State Park – 9.9 Miles

Last night Danny and I did the usual car shuffle, leaving her vehicle at the park office of Stone Mountain State Park. At the time we did not suspect that this simple decision would reverberate into the next day. We had a good meal and slept soundly at a little hotel in Sparta.

Devil’s Garden Overlook is significant to us because here the Mountains-to-Sea Trail leaves the Blue Ridge Parkway for good, dropping down into the Piedmont of North Carolina. We have already hiked the bumps of the Sauratown Mountains.
The sign that greets us seems old and no longer necessary (the trail to the right is very overgrown) but who’s going to go to the trouble to tear it down? This trail is the kind a completist loves, no great revelations along the way but it’s a trail section on the list and our job is to hike it. The descent is five miles of creaking knees on old and steep forest roads.

One point of interest was this dilapidated house. We walked all around it, taking photos from all sides. How many more years before the forest obscures it and hikers pass by unaware?

Another colorful day for us

Stone Mountain State Park is a great place to visit any time of year
At the bottom of the descent we passed through a parking area and began walking the paved road through Stone Mountain State Park. Danny and I both have been here multiple times. I brought my book club friends here for a frosty hike in January 2010.

After a couple of miles we turned onto the Stone Mountain Loop Trail that passes by the Hutchinson Homestead and along the base of Stone Mountain.

We followed the trail past Stone Mountain Falls, picked up the paved road again and walked to the park office. I was happy to see Danny’s car, knowing we had successfully completed another three days of the trail. Then we saw the piece of paper on the windshield.

Read Danny’s story of the day here and read about the paper on the windshield here. Lots of food for thought.

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely. ~Auguste Rodin