Toccoa Riverside Ramble--August 10, 2019

in 2019 Articles

Saturday morning, August 10th, Dave, Dennis, Larry, Mel and Richard met in Ball Ground for a leisurely ramble to Blue Ridge.  Their early meetup provided beautiful morning temps for their ramble N along Grandview, Sunrise and Double-head Gap (perennial favorites).  Their rest on the porch at Van Zandt’s in Dial was extra peaceful since the owners were on vacation and the joint closed.  Oh, well, lunch is just around the corner at the renowned Toccoa Riverside Restaurant on Aska Rd.  But first, why not check out a waterfall just a couple miles away from the restaurant off a supposedly-paved road?  So they headed up Aska to Stanley Gap Rd.   They were pleasantly surprised to find Stanley Gap road nicely paved until just a ¼ mile from the Benton MacKaye trailhead (the road bikes had no issues with the gravel, thankfully).  The trailhead was quite busy with area vacationers.  The hike was about ½ mile (uphill!) and they were feeling the day’s extra heat and humidity.  The Fall Branch Falls were rather light (which is odd with all the rain we’ve had this summer).  Our recommendation is to save this one for after a large spring deluge.

At the restaurant, they gave thanks for… strong air conditioning and not being asked to sit outside (yep, it was a sweaty hike).  Lunch was fish tacos and trout salads – not our typical fare but very much appreciated and worth a trip if you’re staying in the Blue Ridge area.  And try the peach cobbler too.

The ride back was uneventful, until… after a rest break at an apple house E of Ellijay, Richard’s scooter wouldn’t start.  We deduced an electrical issue that a jump start wouldn’t solve, but luckily were able to source a quick replacement battery from Ellijay.  The time spent on the field repair served them well as it allowed a couple afternoon popups to slide by.  Mel split off for Athens and the rest continued home via Yukon Rd and Burnt Mountain - mostly in the dry.  The little rain they encountered was just enough to cool them down without requiring them to break out their (hot!) rain gear.  The Lord provided… a great day of riding (about 200 miles) and safe returns for all.  Join us next time!