Blog entry #9 (March 31, 2004) Tense Moment in Little River Canyon, AL

 

Unquestionably the most memorable 15 miles of the return trip was a trip around the rim of Little River Canyon in northwestern Alabama.  Boldly disregarding a sign that contained the words “WARNING”, “Steep, Winding” and “Impassable”, we set off in our 72 horsepower, fully laden, shoe brake, top heavy wagon to explore this thin, wiggly red line on our topo map in a drizzling rain.  The need to stop, back up, and attack the first incline in first gear did nothing to dissuade us from our intended path.   The journey was just moderately challenging until, having passed over a bridge crossing a side stream we encountered what appeared to be a vertical concrete wall with horizontal grooves cut into it.  This was our road making its way back to the rim of the main gorge.  We stopped, put the Jeep in first gear and assaulted the hill with confidence.  After all, there could not be a road so steep that it could not be conquered in first gear.  Well, two thirds of the way up what must have been a 50-foot climb, it became apparent that this was going to be close.   As the little power plant strained, I could visualize the gasoline shifting to the back wall of the carburetor bowl killing the engine and forcing us to roll backwards down the hill using brakes that would be barely adequate in the forward direction, much less reverse.  Fortunately, our 4 cylinder, 134 cu.in. “Hurricane” engine chugged on, displaying its characteristically “superior” low-end torque.  When it had pulled us close to the crest of the hill, we used an old bicycle trick and cut sideways to reduce the climb angle – and made it over the top.  After a few minutes to collect ourselves, we continued to cruise along the ridge of this picturesque canyon with a new respect for the ability of our little wagon.

Figure 30. Warning sign at the entrance to Little River Canyon Rim Parkway,

northeastern Alabama. (March 31, 2004)

Figure 31. View into Little River Canyon from Little River Canyon Rim Parkway,

northeastern Alabama. (March 31, 2004)

Figure 32. Gold Museum in the old Lumpkin County Courthouse,

Dahlonega, Georgia. (April 1, 2004)

Figure 33. Tour guide in the Consolidated Gold Mine,

Dahlonega, Georgia.  (April 1, 2004)

Figure 34. Historic Traveler’s Rest, Toccoa, Georgia. (April 1, 2004)

Figure 35. Liberty Lodge, Walhalla, South Carolina. (April 2, 2004)

Figure 36. One of the frequent stops to check fluids on the Biloxi, Mississippi  roundtrip.

Figure 37. Winding our way toward home on Route 11 in northeastern

South Carolina. (April 2, 2004)

Figure 38. Dinner at the Blue Mist Diner east of Asheboro, North Carolina on the final leg

of our two-week trek to Biloxi, Mississippi. (April 3, 2004)

 

Blog entry #8 (March 29, 2004 – April 3, 2004) Sites in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Blog entry #10 (April 3, 2004) Home-Sweet-Home, Cary, NC.