Who Goes Down Must Come Up

Thursday, October 30, 2008 Road Junkies 0 Comments

Finally the time arrived for our visit to The Lodge at Cloudland in the Appalachian foothills. We found this little slice of heaven back in the summer after scouting the area around Lake Guntersville. Built many years ago as a family retreat, the lodge is situated on the eastern brow of Lookout Mountain between Menlo, Georgia and Mentone, Alabama near the site of the once-thriving resort town of Cloudland, Georgia. A grouping of adirondack chairs around a firepit on the point offers panoramic views of the the surrounding area and distant mountains. (We actually took this particular photo back in the summer when we scouted this place. There was some nice autumn color from this view this week.) After unpacking all our groceries and gear, we set off for our first experience at "extreme letterboxing." The box was hidden at the end of the Lower Two-Mile Trail in the Little River Canyon National Preserve near Fort Deposit, Alabama. Leading from the canyon rim down to the river, the trail is less than a mile long, but extremely steep and undeveloped. In fact, there are no blazes or other trail markings, leaving us wondering frequently whether we were still on the trail or not. (Thank goodness cell phones have cameras today. We forgot to take the camera down this trail and there was no way we could have gone back down to get a photo.)We were very happy to find the letterbox and to survive the trip back up, actually locating our car when we made it to the top.

On the scenic highway through the Little River Canyon we made our way to Mushroom Rock. Legend has it that a road crew constructing the original scenic drive saved this canyon landmark. Plans called for the rock formation to be removed, but the construction staff refused to blast it away, building the road around it with one lane on either side.