If you're not familiar with the park it's located just east of Atlanta, Georgia. The park's main feature is the huge granite outcrop that climbs 861' above the surrounding landscape to an elevation of 1,686'.
We left the house at about 9:30am headed for Publix to pick up something to drink and some snacks. He's got a restrictive diet due to allergies but he's a good kid and smart enough to know what he shouldn't eat. We left Publix with some sliced seedless watermelon...which actually does have seeds but they're soft and smaller than regular watermelon seeds. We also got some pretzels, water, and apples. We already had some granola bars from home in the backpack.
It had been about 3 years since I last visited Stone Mountain Park. That trip was with my wife Susan and our older grandson Cody and was dominated by the park's Crossroads and The Great Barn. I don't recall that trip favorably, full of screaming kids high on soda and candy. The park hadn't been the same since 1998 when it was taken over by some Dollywood-esk for-profit corporation during the administration of Governor Roy Barnes. The Stone Mountain Memorial Association also helps manage the park.
We arrived at the park entrance, paid the $10 entry fee and parked at the Confederate Center. The center is located at the start of the trail up the mountain. After a quick use of the facilities we headed up the mountain on the Walk Up Trail.
|Taking note of the trail rules|
|Invasive plants - one of two Bubble Gum trees we saw along the trail|
|Chief navigator making sure we stay on track|
|The tram was not in service on the day of our trek|
|The view from the top|
|Geodetic survey marker|
|The entrance to Crossroads and other park amusements including the train depot|
|The train pulls into the depot|
|A closer view of the train engine|
As we travelled up the mountain I told Jahshua of my adventure in the late 1990's when I drove a minivan half-way up the mountain for my work. The next day I told this story to Chip, my IM training partner, who quickly responded that he had in fact driven all the way to the top of the mountain to work on some National Weather Service meteorological equipment. I guess that explains why he's a full Iroman (Louisville) and I'm only a half Ironman (Augusta).