Hammocking at Sawnee Mountain Preserve

 

Indian Seats
Rock formation that gave this trail the name “Indian Seats”

A few months ago, I was searching on atlantatrails for a new place to go hiking.  I came across the Indian Seats Trail at the Sawnee Mountain Preserve and wanted to check it out. Dogs are not allowed on the preserve, so I bookmarked the trail for when a human hiking companion was available.

Not too long after, Rachel and I were talking about hiking one day at work. I excitedly told her about all of the trails nearby that we could visit. When she mentioned wanting to hammock that weekend, I came up with a plan.  After an early lunch, we’d drive up to the preserve, hike to the summit, take in the pretty views, relax in our hammocks, read, and then hike back down the mountain when it was time to head home. And that’s precisely what we did.

On our way up the mountain, we explored a side trail of fairy houses. The signs along the trail were cute, but unfortunately, most of the houses were destroyed by the elements . I think it would be fun to make a fairy house to bring to the trail. I enjoy looking at all the cute fairy gardens on pinterest.

Fairy Trail

Next to the fairy trail, were a couple of unique structures on raised platforms that I can only assume were playhouses. As a child, I would have loved playing in the towers and zooming around on the wooden walkways.

Play houses

We encountered only a few people on the trail, but the summit was pretty crowded and windy. We hung out for a bit to take pictures. Rachel even skyped with her dad! I scouted out a place for us to hang our hammocks away from the all the people. There was a perfect spot, just past the viewing platform. But another group had the same idea and beat us to it.

View from Sawnee Mountain

Instead, we hiked farther down the trail along the ridgeline. We found the perfect spot with some good trees for hammocking and a beautiful view of the valley. However, it was super windy! As in, gusts of wind never stopped. Even though I brought my military-poncho-liner-turned-underquilt to help insulate me from the cold while hammocking, I would have frozen within minutes.

Morgan Hammocking
Me, all cozy in my hammock.

I suggested that we set up  on the other side of the trail to escape the wind. As soon as we dipped below ridge, the wind stopped. Unfortunately, this side did not have as pretty of views. It was a trade-off, pretty views, or actually getting to hammock and read without being miserable from the cold.

Rachel Hammocking
Rachel is all cozy in her hammock too! I let her borrow my extra underquilt. They are pretty thin, but definitely help. 

On our way back, we passed by an old gold mine entrance. I can’t imagine going to work in one of those narrow tunnels in the ground. I’ve enjoyed exploring caves before, and even wiggled my way through some tight tubes without problems, but I think I’d get claustrophobic in an old gold mine like that.

Old gold mine entrance

Rachel and I hiked the last section past the fairy trail back to the visitor center. We had a much needed day of relaxation enjoying some of our favorite things: hiking, hammocking, reading, and hanging out with friends. And we even managed to make it home in time for dinner!

Sawnee Nature Preserve Sign
Side note: My phone has a ridicously good camera, which means that my pictures have awesome details! However, that also means that my picture files are huge, which creates two problems. One, I’m going to use up all my available space on my wordpress account for storage and two, it can take pictures longer to load.

To alleviate those problems I’m messing around with (lossless?) compression as well as image resizing and hosting the images on Flickr. At this point, I have no idea what I’m actually doing to my images.

So, I need your feedback. Do my pictures look okay? Are they odd sizes? Do things look oddly proportioned? Are they taking forever to load? Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

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