Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Stone Mountain...

As promised in yesterdays post I set out today to conquer our local landmark, Stone Mountain! Armed with a year long park pass ($35) I was eager to get my hike started. As I started my ascent to the top of Stone Mountain I regrettably had flashbacks to when I was a 1st year college student. In those days I ran to the summit in about 15 minutes, this was not the case today!

While the hike up was only 1.3 miles (2.1 km) it took me about 32 minutes to reach summit. I won't lie, I was breathing heavy a good portion of the hike. The granite rock was slippery wet since it had rained the night before and to be quite honest we weren't sure how long it would be before another downpour would occur. But lets stop the whining and set the record straight...a 7 month pregnant woman beat me to the top and as I was happily panting my way to the summit an older gentlemen, "Dale the plumber", had the audacity to ask me if I thought he was taking so long to climb the mountain because he was overweight? Folks, did I mention he was in FRONT of me?? I couldn't stop laughing. I have a long spring of training ahead of me!

                        Below are some snapshots along the trail I thought you would enjoy.
Cactus at the base of the mountain.

Slippery and uneven rocks on your way to the top.

The trail to the summit is marked by this yellow line.
 At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 ft (513m) and 825 ft (251.5m) above the surrounding Atlanta metropolitan area. On a clear day, minus smog, I am sure you can really make out the Atlanta skyline. The sunsets up here must be incredible as well. As a matter a fact, according to Wikipedia "Europeans first learned of the mountain in 1597, when Spanish explorers were told of a mountain further inland which was "very high, shining when the sun set like a fire." You see... those Spaniards know a good thing when they find one!

Even on a cloudy day the view was wonderful!
BTW, that is "Dale the Plumber" in the picture. :)
 It felt good to out in the "elements" this morning. Looking forward to heading back out again tomorrow, although tomorrow I may do the 5 mile walk around the base of the mountain and work myself up to a solid "take II hike" on Friday.

On our way home we even saw this Beetle on the road that just made me smile. The Beetle had one sweet eyelash and she winked at me. ; ) All in all, it was a good 1st try.

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