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Leaf Peeping

Today was the annual trip to the mountains to view the fall colors. When I emailed a reminder to the membership, I remarked that Donna and I reserved the right to cancel the event if there weren’t at least two other cars going on the trip. So guess how many showed up? Right, two, David Schumacher and the Garners. Should have picked a larger number. There were two other Club couples at the Cracker Barrel eating breakfast too, but they were in OTMs on their way to Florida to view the Caribbean from a large boat instead of dying leaves from a small car.

We had a route planned that went north and west in Georgia, ending up in Walhalla, SC for lunch before turning around and returning south and east in South Carolina. Because Larry & Rita had never been to see the Georgia Guidestones just outside of Elberton and we were going right by, we just had to stop. The trouble with our plan was that we had built in too much time for rest breaks (it probably would have been just right if we had twice as many cars and the temperatures had been 15° warmer like they were supposed to be), so when we got to I-85 and about 20 minutes from Martha’s Marketplace Cafe, it was only 10:30 AM. An adjustment was made to the route that was to take us on a loop northwest to Franklin, NC before coming back into Walhalla.

We were now in the mountains and the fall colors were nice, but noticeably past peak. At a break in Clayton, GA with traffic on four lane US441 heavy, the clock past noon and the distinct possibility that the scenery would not improve we made another adjustment to the route. Someone pointed at the GA map and said, “What’s that little gray line heading due east towards SC and route 28?” GPS’s and Smarty Pants phones were consulted. It was called Warwoman Rd. I said, “Let’s go. I’ve heard Miata.net chatter about that road. And it was good.” No one complained about the lack of fall color on this stretch of the trip. As Larry put it later, “All I saw was a white line on my right and a double yellow line on my left.” Once we got back in South Carolina on Rte. 28 we hit a sweet spot of altitude and chlorophyll-less-ness making the show out the side windows quite nice for about 15 miles or so.

Lunch in Walhalla at the Brian & Donna Pre-Approved Dining Spot was very good. The only negative was the service was slow, but I got the feeling that everything that happens in Walhalla happens slow. The trip home was uneventful and because we traveled about 50 miles less than we normally do on one of these excursions we got home in daylight and at a decent time for dinner at home.

3 comments to Leaf Peeping


    My odometer read 326 miles house to house. I thought that the color was really great on about every twisty, close-quartered road we encountered. And yes, that was SNOW on the NC mountain peaks. We did put our tops down about 3:15 or so for the last little leg home; with the windows up and and the heater on full blast, it was quite comfortable.

  • We ended up with 344 from the start at the Cracker Barrel to the finish in our garage.

  • LG

    Hey, great trip and some good roads. If you had decided to cancel, we had already planned to go it alone. We got 34.5 mpg at fill-up, where-ever that was; and probably that or more on the return trip (downhill). 326 for us too, including to b’fast. I’d like to do the WarWomen road during the summer, great curves and tree covered almost the whole road – glad we took it. Ready for the next trip…