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Arabia & Bradley Mountain

I've been looking for Arabia mountain for quite a long time.  When I started my flying career back at 15 years old, I happened to fly across a dome of rock that looked curiously like the famous Stone Mountain in east Atlanta.  This rock, looked rather large and I managed to spot it now and again from the air, usually from the passenger seat of a Delta airliner. While I knew more or less where it was, as it was relatively under final approach for the westerly runways for Atlanta Hartsfield, I struggled to find this place until a couple of years ago.

 
 
Black Mountains Tour

No foray into Appalachia should overlook the opportunity to scale the highest peak east of the Mississippi.  Here we have Mt. Mitchell, situated in the Black Mountain range in Western North Carolina.  Known for the Spruce trees which grow in the last couple of thousand feet nearing the summits of the multiple peaks in this range, the spruce give the mountains a rather blackish color as compared to surrounding mountains.  The color, from which the range is named, can be seen in satellite maps and even by driving by from a distance. 

 

 
 
Blood Mountain (Appalachian Trail, GA)

"A Reward At The Top"

Sometimes in order to understand certain things, it helps to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes.  That’s why this particular write up I’m going to reference a blog written by my good buddy Michael Wright, whom I joined on this adventure.  Perhaps knowing and understanding others and their journey is a key ingredient to the big lasagna of life.
So, cuddle up for a couple of minutes and join my friend Michael.  Dive into an experience of a man finding himself on a journey, not just up a mountain, but through a life.
-Rudy Vaughn

 
 
Mt. Mitchell

No Eastern US hiking itinerary would be complete without a visit to Mt. Mitchell, NC. Mt. Mitchell is the highest of a chain of mountains called the Black Mountains, located just northwest of Asheville, NC. At 6684 ft. Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak in the US, east of the Mississippi river. When Andre Michaux and Elisha Mitchell explored the Black Mountains in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, they documented forests with an extraordinary variety of plant species. Red spruce covered the upper slopes, and Fraser fir dominated the peaks above 6,000 feet. Hardwood forests, including majestic stands of American chestnut, oaks, and hickories, populated the slopes below 5,000 feet, and rhododendron thickets cloaked forest streams. There literally is nowhere...

 
 
Rabun Bald, GA

Rabun bald is the second highest peak in Georgia after Brasstown Bald.  One of the nice things about Rabun, is that it is less touristy then the aforementioned highest peak.  It also offers one of the most spectacular 360 degree panoramas in the state.

 
 
Standing Indian Wilderness Area

According to Cherokee mythology, Standing Indian Mountain is the remains of a warrior who turned to stone because he failed to remain at his post. This Indian warrior had been sent to the mountaintop to keep a lookout for the winged monster which came from the sky and stole children. The winged monster was captured and then the Great Spirit destroyed the monster with thunder and lightning. However, because the Indian warrior became afraid and ran away from his post, he was turned to stone for his cowardice. The Cherokee called Standing Indian Mountain Yunwitsule-nunyi, which means "where the man stood."

 
 
Volcan de Agua, Guatemala (Water Volcano)

Located in Central Guatemala, the Volcan de Agua is a stratovolcano that is in the top twenty highest mountains in Central America.

 
 
Winter Star Mountain and Deep Gap

 

"In memory of my faithful, albeit ornery hound Blackjack. I'll miss you, and Craig will miss you... not so much.."

 

A Winter hike up to one of the highest peaks in the Eastern U.S., rising above 6200 feet, is ranked #22 on the South Beyond 6000 list.  Craig and I, and the dogs decided on a weekend trip up to climb Mt. Mitchell from the North side as the Park Service had closed all the roads to Mt. Mitchell.  We set out on a Friday, arriving well after dark, somewhere near 11PM, deciding to start a hike at that hour and in rather frigid temperatures, we debated on camping right there just inside the woods, where, mind you, you will find a number of attractive campsites, though we didn't scout for water...

 
 
 
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