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Winter on Forest Road 630

Recently, we acquired a loved, well used, 4×4 Xterra in our home. Which, logically, means we are out exploring some back roads in the Georgia Wilderness. We picked Forest Road 630, which winds through the Cohutta Wilderness following a winding creek for a while before splitting to go to a lake- only open during the spring and summer, or further up towards Tennessee for our first outing. It was a brisk day, with the highs only reaching into the low 40’s, but it was still stunning. I can’t wait for the road to the lake to be open for more exploring. IMG_8319

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Cumberland Island

One of my favorite places to visit to feel completely disconnected is Cumberland Island. I had been reading about the island while seeing all the pictures of the Dungeness remains and the wild horses and instantly knew that during our trip to St Marys, Georgia we were going to hop on the ferry to the island. We picked a day and headed to the ticket office for the first trip out. It was an overcast morning, sticky with southern humidity despite being September, but there was also a nice breeze bringing the clouds in and out. Once on the boat we saw lots of gulls snatching fish out of the water, waiting for the turbulence from the engines to stir up a good snack, and a few egrets in the marshy areas, popping out along the grass like bright stars on a dark night.

After docking, we were greeted by park staff who gave us a briefing on the relevant information for the days journey, such as beach closings and stern warnings not to pet the wild horses. From there, we were free to explore the island at our own pace. We were lucky enough to have a small group traveling to the island with us, and only saw people on the paths a few times, else we were mostly alone; just us, the horses and turkeys, wild and free.

 
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Euharlee Covered Bridge

Nestled in north west Georgia and roughly 12 miles from my childhood home is the small town of Euharlee. If not for Plant Bowen, a Georgia Power coal-fired plant that supplies the southeastern power grid with invaluable amounts of power, the town would remain largely unknown to a vast majority of people, even though the town is full of rich history and is home to an awesome covered bridge. Along side the bridge are the remnants of Burge’s Mill which was constructed on Euharlee Creek in the 1800s. The bridge was erected in 1886 after the old bridge was washed away, uses a build style known as lattices and trunnels, and spans 138 feet. It was used up until 1980 when a new two lane bridge was built to allow traffic to traverse over the creek. It is now a historical land mark and, according to Euharlee.com, is registered as the oldest standing covered bridge in the state of Georgia.

I decided to spend a morning out at the bridge and the creek under the historical site to experiment with the light of the rising sun on a late summer Monday. I hadn’t been to the bridge since high school and had only passed through Euharlee on the rare random drives that lead me through the reaches of Bartow County. Spending a morning in such a sleepy southern town was like home and reminded me of what small town Georgia could really feel like.

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Long, angled beams make up for the lattice portion of the construction.
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Thick wood trunnels hold them in place.
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Well weathered drift wood hangs in the shallow waters of Euharlee creek
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Ivy can be spotted clinging to the bridge supports.

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Late summer dew clings to the railing
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Sunrise light at the end of the bridge
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Pleasant graffiti
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Mill Ruins
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Euharlee Creek has a slow but steady flow
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The sun rises above the bridge
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Rock of solitude, rising above the rapids
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Lattice construction
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A tree lazily leans over the creek

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There are also a few historical buildings on site and nearby, as well as a few options for food. It’s well worth a trip out to see the oldest covered bridge in the state of Georgia and to get a taste for small town southern living.