We finally put our pedal to the metal and headed north up to Georgia. We were easing ourselves into it by planning our first stop to be a sandy beach on Jekyll island. We decided to treat Rubix’s love for sticks with a healthy dose from “Driftwood Beach”! The beach was absolutely stunning, sandy shores lined with giant fallen trees, it was something out of a movie and made for some amazing photography. We got up super early to catch the sunrise for some epic shots. The dogs bounced their mouths from stick to stick as we took some photos and got eaten by mosquitos. Well mostly I got eaten. I got a bite on my bum that instantly substituted for a third bum cheek, and made sitting down extremely irritating, literally!
The spanish moss that lined all the trees there really put us in the mood for some forest trails so we decided to head to Skidaway Island State Park (also because of the great name). Tom and I trekked the 6 mile loop with the pups and chatted about life, these are some of my favourite moments. Our life has been anything but ordinary, and our future doesn’t look much different. It’s taken me a bit longer than I would like to admit, but my decision to finally move to the UK with him after our trip is now a definite yes. I still have about a million things to sort out and sell, words can’t describe how excited I finally am about where my life is going. To be honest though, I really don’t know where its going. I have no idea what I am going to do for work, or what my five year plan is, this is the first time in almost 10 years I have had this feeling. I have always had a general plan of what I am going to do, where I want to be or what I want to accomplish. You know what I have learnt from it? That while I was so busy planning for my future, I missed my present. I missed the now. So I have made a sort of pact for myself, to work on the now. One day at a time and I have honestly never been happier. I just feel like I can breathe.
After we skidded away from Skidaway island State park, we headed to another one of Georgia’s dog friendly parks called Chattahoochee! (almost better than Skidaway) Chattahoochee is a national park and was lined with awesome trails and falls, and is also part of the Appalachian trail! First stop was some waterfalls since we haven’t had near enough of them in our trip. We hiked up about 600 metal stairs to get the the top, and after a bit of convincing, the dogs followed close behind us. If you know Rubix, you will know about his slow recovery of his fear of slippery or strange floors. These stairs were a huge step in the right direction of his strong floor recovery program. They were made of metal, and you could see right through them, down below was sometimes 10-15 foot drops, with rushing water. After about his first 20 stairs a few kibbles and praise and he was a pro, sometimes running past us just to show off a little, His cute chubby little thighs swaying back and forth.
We attempted a free overnight parking in the park but were scared the crap out of by the ranger at about 9 pm telling us we couldn’t stay at the park and waited patiently as we got out of there. The park rangers had caught us at a weird moment of inspecting our dogs for ticks, we had them on their backs and were inspecting their ears when we heard the knock on the window. They probably thought we were doing some weird dog torture/seance in the privacy and darkness of the Chattahoochee Forest. The night only got weirder when we tried to find a quiet little side road to park and sleep. We looked on the Gps and found a little spot that looked ok. We turned off the highway onto a narrow dirt road, completely enclosed with thick forest and sweeping moss hanging eerily in the light of the full moon. We headed deeper into the dark forest when after about 8 minutes, we saw a massive bright light shining in the distance. We drove closer, only to find the creepiest church in the middle of nowhere, with lights bright enough to light up the acre of cemetery right behind it! I don’t know if it was the clouds lit up by the full moon that made everything more terrifying than it might have been in the day but Tom and I both simultaneously squealed and Tom floored it as we raced down those dirt roads almost flying into the ditch. We could have died that night, wether it be from some southern backcountry church cult in our imagination that were out to get us, or from the ridiculous speed we had to drive to get out of there safely and alive. Either way, we are survivors.
We went to another trailhead in Chattahoochee the next day, at first we ended up doing a trail that we thought went to a fort, but ended up missing the turnoff, either way it was still cool. The rain came in about half way through and soaked us, but it was an awesome hiking temperature for us and especially Rubix. We found the trail after and ran up the stairs in the pouring rain to the top where there was a lookout tower on the highest peak of the park, It was used to spot forest fires. We made the best use of a rainy day and decided to get on the road towards Nashville.