Moon Landing

Our destination was Angel Mountain Lodge in Ellijay, GA, at the foot of the Appalachians. This beautiful four-bedroom residence sits atop Angel Mountain, but you can’t find it with any navigation system. So we were delighted when we got directly to the house following the rental agency’s lengthy directions*. Our relief quickly turned to angst when we tried to navigate the steep driveway. It was a quarter mile long and had the same pitch as the Palisades Cliffs along the Hudson River. And to increase the challenge, it was graded with crushed stone that had settled into a series of potholes a foot deep. But after an agonizing ride of slipping, sliding, bottoming out, wheel spinning and near stalling, we got to the top without rolling down into the 300-foot ravine.

The Sistis, the Lopez’s and the Mardens all arrived within an hour of each other between three and five PM, and were delighted with the rugged beauty of the huge house and the surrounding mountains. This left only Maryanne Harmsen among the missing. Sara called her to determine her location and ETA, but she wasn’t in the right state. She was actually in a state of anxiety. She was just crossing into Georgia near Clayton, and was nervous about arriving before dark. She became borderline panicky when Sara warned her about the driveway. Now she knew it was imperative that she arrived during the daylight hours. So she hit the gas pedal and started blowing by all the rednecks on the road driving in their pickup trucks.

But back at the house we had our own issues. Lulu used the bathroom off the kitchen and locked herself in. As Hugo grabbed an ax, and prepared to tear the door down, cooler heads prevailed. Chip walked up to the door and opened it from the outside without effort. It was definitely time for cocktails. By the time Maryanne showed up at 7:30, the lasagna dinner was ready and everyone was beyond mellow.

The trip turned out to be a great experience, where we enjoyed the beauty of the Georgia mountains, and the colorful local population. Even the attractions were different. For instance, there’s a park where you can rent a tank and crush cars and anything else that gets in your way. We also noticed that everything had a strange name.

*Landmarks encountered along the way: Cherry Log Mountain, Hayfield Cut, Swamp Creek Road, Split Rock Pass, Dam Road, Dead Mule Track, Bytemyass Landing (OK. I made that one up.)