Friday, November 25, 2005

Raven Falls

I don't know why, but each holiday we decide to go hiking. I'd rather sleep in, have breakfast in bed, and watch movies, especially on a day when the temperature reads 40 degrees.

We had determined to meet some friends on a hike. Trouble is, the trailhead is one an a half hours from home!

The plan was to meet at the trailhead, hike to the falls, have lunch, and hike back together.

But the night before we determined that since November 24th is a day off from work, I wouldn't have to rush around. I could just get up at my leisure, have my tea, read a little, and leave when we felt like it. Even if we missed meeting the group at the trailhead, we could meet them at the falls for lunch.

Of course, I'm used to waking up at 5:30. Even without the alarm my body was up by then. I tried to force it back to sleep. It didn't work. I finally stumbled downstairs for tea and crept back up to bed. Ruth was busy working on her computer. But at 8:30 a.m. that all changed.

To be honest I lost track of time. But Ruth wanted to know why she was downstairs making all the lunches while I was still typing away on my computer in bed at 8:30? I didn't have a good answer to that. I did ask her about the sleep-in clause from our discussion last night but I don't think the language I used was adequate to the task. Because, in the end, it was clear I needed to get up and make breakfast. Which I did.

We picked up our passengers by 10:00 and our van-bus headed to Dunkin' Donuts to pick up some more people. They were late because they were having the same problem I had at 8:30 a.m.

The coffee and donut jilted my system and I was ready to conquer the 2.5 mile path to the falls.

The Raven Falls in north Georgia is as beautiful as it is cold on a November day in the shade. Since Ruth had packed the lunch, she had included some coffee and cookies too. We snapped some pictures and headed the 2.5 miles back out.

I generally bring along my harmonica and separate myself from the main train to spare them my sour notes. Since we seem to hike once a year, I spend the time hiking in remembering the songs I forgot, and the time hiking out eliminating the bad notes from those songs.

We stopped off in Helen on the way back for a dinner. Helen is constructed to look like a Bavarian Alpine village with a Disney twist. The little Bavarian German Inn we ate at warmed us with German cuisine, beer and wine.

Bert, our live entertainment, played keyboard and sang in the background. What's most remarkable about Bert is his green felt hat. He must have had fifty pins stuck into it from places he'd visited around the world. The food was bland but the place was warm and friendly and we had a great time laughing around the table.

I asked the young girl who came with the lighter, what time she usually lit the candles at the table. She took my meaning wrong and thought I was reprimanding her for not coming sooner, for by now we were having our coffee. She said, rather defensively: "Only when it starts to get dark outside sir, and it only now started to get dark out." She was off as quickly as she came when Bill turned to me and said: "Whenever I'm with you I feel like I'm in a Seinfeld episode." We all started laughing and then tried to determine which one of us was George, Elaine, and Kramer. I think the young girl thought we were laughing at her. I felt a little bad. I was just trying to start a friendly conversation with her. Really!

By the time we'd delivered all our passengers we were back at home by 9:00 p.m. and finished the day watching four servings of LOST on DVD. Great show!

Great day.

Exhausting day.

I hope to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.