hiking

#GoodMorningAtlanta: Photos from 11/10-11/14

In October 2014 I began posting a photo every weekday morning with the hashtag #GoodMorningAtlanta. The goal? To inspire, enlighten, or just plain help others start their day with a smile. See each week’s photos by clicking on the #GoodMorningAtlanta category, and view the daily photo by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

I remember my utter delight the first year I moved down south.

Accustomed to seeing the leaves change colors in September and October, I could not help but be pleasantly surprised when the fall foliage appeared in Atlanta in November.

This week, one final look at the fall colors, this time from Georgia’s Cloudland Canyon and Red Top Mountain State Parks.

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#GoodMorningAtlanta: Photos from 11/3-11/7

In October 2014 I began posting a photo every weekday morning with the hashtag #GoodMorningAtlanta. The goal? To inspire, enlighten, or just plain help others start their day with a smile. See each week’s photos by clicking on the #GoodMorningAtlanta category, and view the daily photo by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

This week’s theme? Snow. In Georgia. In November.

It happened … and I naturally chose to hike in it.

The fall colors of the north Georgia mountains faced a mighty challenge this past weekend from four inches of white. Snow fell atop the highest points in Georgia, and it created a beautiful winter wonderland. Enjoy: (more…)

#GoodMorningAtlanta: the week’s photos from 10/27-10/31

In October 2014 I began posting a photo every weekday morning with the hashtag #GoodMorningAtlanta. The goal? To inspire, enlighten, or just plain help others start their day with a smile. See each week’s photos by clicking on the #GoodMorningAtlanta category, and view the daily photo by following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

This week’s theme? The fall colors in northeast Georgia. The photos below are from October trips to Black Rock Mountain State Park and Tallulah Gorge State Park, both of which are currently seeing peak fall foliage. (more…)

Letters and life lessons along the Appalachian Trail

The following post has little — at least directly — to do with journalism or storytelling.

Just life.

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I found myself with a rare opportunity this past week. Having filled in for a coworker on the Saturday morning shift, I was given as compensation a day off the following Monday.

That meant a day off … during the week … with no responsibilities or errands to run.

I instantly headed for the mountains.

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I arrived in Atlanta five years ago and quickly became enamored with hiking in north Georgia. Having grown up in the far less scenic state of New Jersey, and spent my early adult years in the relative flatlands of Chicago, Sioux City, Ia., and Buffalo, N.Y., I reveled in the majesty of the mountains, filling my early Atlanta weekends with whatever hikes I could find. By my third summer down South, I had hiked nearly every major trail in Georgia — and some, to boot, in South Carolina and Tennessee.

But in recent years, I had begun to slack off, facing more pressing commitments on the weekends and simply losing some of my early hiking momentum. Aside from that, my knees had become a nagging concern, which made me more hesitant to take on the mountains with the same cavalier spirit of years prior.

Earlier this month I downloaded Bill Bryson’s classic travel book, A Walk in the Woods, in which Bryson and an old friend attempt to hike the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail from start (in Georgia) to finish (in Maine). This is a classic “holy grail” trip among hikers; every year hundreds of hikers take half a year off and make the trek. Bryson, I soon discovered, is every bit as masterful a writer as I had heard, and he presents the famous trail as a truly fascinating, fulfilling experience.

Turning the pages of his book, I quickly regained my desire to scale the north Georgia mountains.

And I suddenly found myself with just the day to do it. (more…)