Atop a Mountain: Brasstown Bald, Georgia
There’s something about standing on top of a mountain. For some it may be a sense of conquering the world; for others, a way to meet with God. Whatever it may be, from atop a mountain, nothing is out of our sight.
My choice to head to Brasstown Bald wasn’t spiritual, but just a matter of looking for a fun day-trip to get out in God’s creation. And why not a mountain? Brasstown Bald is the highest peak in Georgia at 4,784 feet. A parking lot near the top and paved path to the summit make it an easy family hike rather than a daunting explorer’s climb.
Being January, it was cold. Not as cold as other places of the country, but cold for Georgia. We made the near two-hour drive, at one point passing a group of dark-brown, winter-coated does and fawns. The last few miles were somewhat nauseating switchbacks up into the North Georgia Mountains. And as we climbed the road up the Bald, the dashboard thermometer continued to drop until it steadied at 37 degrees.
As soon as we opened the car doors, a great and strong wind blew through the car. And perhaps the thought “why are we here?” blew into our minds. The roar of the wind was just as impressive. Being on a high peak looking out over miles and miles, you could hear waves of wind bursts roaring like invisible clouds over the peaks and valleys. And it was cold; windy cold; clothing-piercing cold. In fact, “due to subzero temperatures” (from a sign posted on the locked lavatory doors) the mountaintop facilities were closed. But we climbed the trail to the peak nonetheless.
As we left the exposed parking lot with the wind ripping across it and entered the tree-lined path to the summit, the cutting edge of the wind was dulled. Icicles hung off the small rock outcrop ledges near the path’s edge. The paved trail was a mere sixth-tenths of a mile, but with the 18 pound pack on my back, I admit I was left a bit breathless. Upon reaching the top, we climbed the partially ice covered steps to the top of the lookout platform for the view.
What a gorgeous sight, looking far into the distance. Perhaps it is the view that draws man to the mountain? From the summit, we can see further than our normal sea-level view allows. That is what is so special about a mountain: from here, nothing is out of sight.
Photo credits: William Wise.
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