Labor Day at Yonah Mountain

Labor day seems like it was so long ago. I suppose it was about two and half months ago. Ah well, who said I would be prompt in my blog posts? Labor day, back when it was warm enough to hike in the rain, I wanted to hike somewhere new. While looking up hiking trails online (atlantatrails is a wonderful resource) I remembered that my dear friend Nancy told me about hiking at Yonah Mountain with her brother. I looked it up and decided it was the one! Yonah Mountain is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest and a popular rock climbing location. The army hosts training there throughout the year. A quick call confirmed that the mountain was open.

As soon as I brought my pack downstairs to fill with water, Gauss started to get excited and followed me around as I finished getting ready. He knows my hydration pack means I’m going on a fun adventure, and he wanted to stick close to me so I didn’t leave without him. All packed up and ready to go, Gauss literally hopped in the car with me for the drive up.

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My trusty hiking companion and the aforementioned pack of fun adventures.

As I pulled into the parking lot at the trailhead, I was a little disappointed to see that there were so many cars, but since it was Labor Day, I wasn’t too surprised. After skirting a large group of people, Gauss and I started the climb up Mount Yonah. Round trip, the trail is about 4.5 miles. The first half is up the mountain; the second half is the return trip down.

About a mile up, there was meadow with tall grass and shrubs, that provided one of the best views of the hike.

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Almost to the top, it started raining. At first it was a drizzle. I started looking for overhanging rocks I could hide under to escape the approaching afternoon storm. Unfortunately, the stretch of the trail we were on had no overhanging rocks. As the rain steadily increased, I gave up searching and settled for waiting out the rain under a small, shelter pine tree. Not a good as a rock, but it kept me from getting drenched. I also took advantage of the stop to eat a snack: crackers and chocolate hazelnut butter!

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Goose waiting for the rain to stop.

 

Thanks to the rain, Guass and I had the bald of Yonah Mountain all to ourselves. Guass had a blast frolicking through the tall grass.

 

There is a trail in the trees just below the bald that circle around the top, and gives some pretty amazing views.

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From the top, I could see the parking lot, waaaay down below. If you look closely, you can see that one of the cars is vaguely blue tinted. That’s my car. This picture was taken with my camera zoomed in all the way.

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I also saw, about five birds of prey (hawks perhaps?, I’m not sure) circling round and round on the air currents. It was awesome to watch them swoop and soar. I tried to take a picture, but they were too far away and moving too fast for my to get a good one. So, I figured I could at least take a selfie.

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As we were walking along the rim taking in the gorgeous views, it started to rain again. This time I found just the rock I was looking for! Gauss and I hung out for a bit, but it was only sprinkling this time.

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Why couldn’t I find one of your brethren when it was pouring before?

After we finished the circle at the top, we hiked back down the mountain. It took much less time to go down than to go up. Gauss happily jumped in the back of the car when we reached the bottom and promptly laid down. I’m pretty sure he took a nap while I drove home!

 

 

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