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Leaf Peeping

Saturday, October 28th, 7:00AM
Attending: Brian & Donna Bogardus, Autumn & Dave Schumacher and Rudy Wilmoth & Patti Letizia.

The six of us devoured enough breakfast at the Cracker Barrel to sustain us for a week in the Amazon before setting out in search of chlorophyll challenged leaves. The first 11 miles were Interstate, but after we got to two-lane blacktop 2/3 of the tops folded down. The sun was just beginning to peek over the tree tops and the temps were in the low 60’s so the windows and wind blockers were still up.

After our first pit stop and because one couple had yet to experience them, we made a stop at the Georgia Guidestones, AKA the American Stonehenge. The journey then continued up the eastern edge of Georgia. A quick dip into SC before ending up at Black Mountain State Park back in north Georgia. Two years ago when we did this trip we were about two weeks late and the vistas were of a uniform brown. This time we hit at just about peak and the mountains were very colorful.

Lunch was at the renown Dillard House just up the road from the state park. The six of us devoured enough food at lunch to sustain us on a circumnavigation of the globe. After eating we took a winding road to Highlands, NC where we lost, we thought, one car to shopping in the downtown. Donna and I, along with, the appropriately named Autumn and Dave, gassed up and headed down the mountain and back into SC.

Highway 28 from Highlands back to the flatlands is a great Miata road full of twists and turns and all manner of decreasing radius bends. I won’t mention any names, but one of this crew really regretted the amount of food they consumed at lunch. About halfway through the good stuff we came up on a Mazda Tribute (the mini-SUV) who obliviously didn’t get zoom-zoom memo. He was going around the turns so slow we could have passed him on a skateboard. With no place to really pass and with two cars to boot we played whip with him for about 20 miles, alternately slowing way down letting him get a “big” head start and then charging back at a more appropriate Miata speed.

Over 400 miles and 11 hours later we are home and just a little tuckered out. Awesome trip, but a long day, so I’m glad we only do it once a year.