Tag Archives: industrial

an Arabia Mtn hike

P bought this book, 60 hikes within 60 miles of Atlanta, and I must admit I was a little skeptical. Honestly, I’m not used to moving at the pace of my hiking boots, i prefer wheels, but I’d forgotten how much there is to see on a real, down-to-earth hike.

The shape of our hike was “2 connected loops” or something like that, as opposed to the “loop” or “there and back” forms of others in the book. Indeed it was and my only complaint with the book was that despite its detailed descriptions, “take the wide sandy path that veers off to the right after the bridge,” we got off track because the maps were incredibly lacking in information. I’m sorry, but the shape of our path on a gray background just does not help me figure out where i am. That aside, we got quite a kick out of the narrative which directed us to stand at the top of Bradley Mtn, face Arabia (that white rise over there) and look downhill to our left, see those 2 trees? (out of a forest) head toward them and you’ll find a low box with glass over the top (and writing inside that tells you about the flora of the area, aka, an exhibit? or sign??); however, if you don’t see the 2 trees, don’t worry, just head down to the treeline and walk along it until you see something that looks like a path through the woods and take it. The book had a good philosophy—”don’t worry too much”—after all, while there was good chance of not making it to all the points you intended to, there was very little chance of actually getting lost in this area. At any rate, we did find the “low box with glass on top” and a path that led us to cross the road eventually, we did make it to the quarry house (albeit by a different route) and the little lake. P even found the loblolly pine the book pointed to with some interest at the bottom end of the lake, when i asked what it was like (i failed to notice it, too busy looking at the moss) he merely indicated all the other pines that we were walking through.

landscape ii

But what there was to see! We covered a little over 5 miles and the day was gorgeous for it. I think i even got a little sunburned. Besides all the pine trees, there was thick green moss in the forests, clover-like lily pads in the lake, and dried moss (at least 3 kinds of fungi/moss) on the rock surfaces. We began and ended on the rocky monadnock(s) of Bradley and Arabia Mtn. A monadnock is an isolated hill or lone mountain that has risen above the surrounding area usually by erosion (wiki). Stone Mountain is, of course, Georgia’s prize monadnock, a prominent dome of quartz monzonite, granite, and granodiorite (trust wikipedia). Arabia mountain is not so prominent, it’s surface has been carved up by excavators and it’s height is such that it is mostly hidden by the surrounding trees. The vast sheets of rock occur throughout the region however and are particularly intriguing to one who comes from a state with no true rock whatsoever (sandstone, a mere sedimentary rock, not included). Yes, these monadnocks (Kennesaw mountain being another in the Atlanta area) formed most likely by the eroding away of softer sedimentary rocks like limestone and shale, leaving the more resistant, volcanically-formed igneous rock standing alone. That’s the end of your geology lesson for the day though.

The rocky plains made for an industrial-looking site which still bore the marks of, well, industrialism. Most interesting were the hunks of granite already perforated for breaking into blocks, but abandoned when, I suppose the conservation area was formed. Looking around the top of Arabia mountain at this stepped landscape does make you wonder HOW much higher the peak used to be…


adv #584

ATLANTA’S BELTLINE AT LAST

P and R’s visit provided a great opportunity for me to explore Atlanta, we accidently happened upon the beltline exploration as we wandered around by Trader Joe’s, but it became a 2 day adventure. We started out behind the Landmark Theater and strolled south in search of something interesting. Once the interesting things started popping up (sidetracked by the back door of Paris on Ponce, then crossing Ponce on the RR bridge and coming upon an Andy Goldsworthy-esque picnic table, on to a fantastical woven hut, and a bridges of graffiti, skateparks, and before we knew it we were in Inman Park. Oh well, let’s stop for ice cream at Jake’s, and then back to our car. Everything was so close via the beltline path! who knew! why have i just now come to it??!

Last night we (and J too) sampled the cocktails at H. Harper Station, a fancy restaurant and bar in the historic Atlanta & West Point rail station. We examined the materials used to refurbish the building and determined that, really, the drinks were better done. How historic this station is i have yet to find out. Point is though, this station, now on Memorial Dr, is alongside the beltline and the next morning, this morning, we picked up our explorations there.

We hiked south on the stretch that runs through Ormewood Park to south of Grant Park (park). After examining the cool methods for moving sand near the cement plant at Glenwood, there was mostly new construction or projects in the vista near the tracks and high overpasses like that over Ormewood. Then it was back to the car where P guided me on a driving tour around the south and to the westside of the route. We found other RR tunnels, more piles of sand and decidedly did NOT find a way through an enormous rail yard (Tillford?) but we did see all there was to see there.

After a paleo brownie (meaning “dinosaur appropriate diet”) at Urban Pl8 we hiked up the hill in search of a stretch of the proposed beltline that should run near the Goat Farm. It was, we discovered, still in commercial use and always would be, but that meant there were REAL TRAINS going by! R was so excited.

I am seriously considering a switch from a highway 78 tour to a guided tour of the American Built Environment along the Beltline.