The Fort Mountain Special--June 13, 2015

in 2015 Articles

 Saturday morning, June13th, our largest group in recent memory (11) met at the Ball Ground Chevron for a leisurely tour toward Ellijay and the beautiful Fort Mountain overlook. We were seen off by Richard who was still jet-lagged from his Turkey trip (thanks for the photo and video, Richard).

We left shortly after 9 in perfect short sleeve temperatures – and with a clear forecast no less! Our route was a “Bob S Special” guaranteed to include peaceful, lightly-traveled backroads. We meandered toward Ellijay on the beautiful combination of Pleasant Arbor / Salacoa / Jerusalem Church/ Swan Bridge, then took a brief “seat break” before heading thru Ellijay.

Traveling west out of Ellijay on 52, we headed into, and up, the mountains, then stopped at the Cohutta Overlook to enjoy the view

. There we discussed the Fort Mountain stop ahead and its awesome westerly overlook. We strategized how we might sweet-talk the ranger into letting us by without paying the state’s $5/vehicle fee (not motorcycle friendly). No dice! Seven of us opted for the park and four decided to rest in the shade. It’s a few tenths mile hike out to the overlook but well worth the effort, but take the unmarked “left fork” in the trail to shave off about a 100’ of up, then down, elevation. The “lucky seven” weren’t disappointed. First-time visitors thought the 1800’ drop-off view was one of the best they’d seen.

 Just outside the Ft. Mtn. park is a turn-out with a southerly view, but Dennis reminded us not to take it in as it sits on the most pronounced decreasing radius turn in our area (we all negotiated it well). From there, it was a highlight-reel ride down the mountain to Chatsworth and lunch at Edna’s.

We weren't expecting a table that could seat our large group, but Edna’s delivered with a large table in a separate room all to ourselves (perhaps to keep us away from the good folk of Chatsworth?). Lunch and service were great and  recommended if you’re in the area.

 After lunch, Mike had to hustle back to a family gathering and Paul and the “West Paulding” gang decided to stay on 411 to Cartersville as their best way home. The rest of the group, being a little weary in the midday heat, decided to save the “Old Federal” backroads for another time and stayed on the faster 411 south to 136, then leisurely traveled eastward on 136 to Jasper, then south on Burnt Mountain and 53 down thru Tate to Ball Ground where we started.

Total mileage was an easy 125 miles – although the “West Paulding” gang added another 150 miles to join us! And we’re glad they did. Hope to see you next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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