One of the advantages of living in the mountains is there is always new terrain to explore. When it was too cold to do anything outside and we needed a change of scenery, me and my boyfriend, Daniel, would hop in his truck on the weekends and travel down forest roads in the area. Surprisingly, there are a lot of dirt roads surrounding the town of Young Harris—you just have to be looking for them.
One of the roads Daniel and I explored started in Hiawassee and bypassed the mountain road to Helen. Travelling the mountain to Helen from Hiawassee usually takes forty minutes, but by dirt road, it took us almost two hours! Despite it being a longer drive, it was much more entertaining because it was unpredictable and we could take our time and enjoy the trip.
During another adventure, I had the feeling we weren’t going to make it back onto a paved road. There’s a lack of cell phone service in the middle of the woods. It had recently rained, so we were splashing through large puddles farther into the middle of nowhere. We came to a puddle that covered almost the entire road. We were unsure how deep it was and there was no room to turn around. Daniel hopped out of the truck and grabbed a stick to see if he could measure how deep it actually was. He said we could make it, so we started plowing through despite my skepticism. We finally made it across—much to my disbelief—and back to civilization with mud covering almost every inch of the vehicle. We spent several hours the next day washing it off and preparing for a new adventure.
Driving the dirt trails isn’t the only exciting thing to do. A lot of the roads have designated campsites along the way. It’s nice to escape from everything and enjoy the company and views surrounding you. When my friends who are YHC graduates visit, they often want to go camping because it such a unique things for college students to be able to do so close to the campus.
The north Georgia mountains are known for cold weather and, unfortunately I fell victim to this a few weeks ago. I decided to go camping with several of my friends, and I, naively, didn’t wear or pack many warm clothes. I spent all weekend in my sleeping bag, huddled close to the fire that doubled as my heat source and s’more maker. Despite the chilly temperatures, being out in nature is one of my favorite aspects of living in the mountains. Whether I am cruising a new trail or staked out at a campsite, it’s always refreshing to get away for a little while to enjoy your surroundings. I love exploring these beautiful mountains I call home.
Now, go find your own adventure!
Until next week,