We kept last weekend plan-less because we thought we might have lots of pre-wedding things to do but ended up with just a plan-less weekend and no big tasks at hand. Even though there was plenty of activities happening around Atlanta (Red Bull Soap Box Derby, Porch & Pies party..) we wanted to keep things slow but not boring. So, on Saturday morning we got up early, packed our camping gear and drove up to North Georgia for an overnight stay in the woods. Once in Cleveland (GA) we decided to first head to Dukes Creek Falls, that was until we took a wrong turn trying to avoid traffic heading to Helen and wound up passing by the Sautee Nacoochee Vineyards and pulled right in!
The vineyard was adorable! Though small in stature they had a lot to offer; tastings, live music with an outdoor seating area and even wine slushies! I opted for the chardonnay blend-just the right amount of tart and smooth.
Next we set out to hike Dukes Creek Falls for sights and a relatively easy 1.9 mile round trip hike.
This is the view from the parking lot!
The Falls are huge! There are multiple platforms for viewing so you can see all the angles of the waterfall and creek bed. It’s really breathtaking.
Seriously could not get over the colors! Ooo’d and ahhh’d all weekend long!
After our beautiful hike, we went to Raven Cliffs Falls to see if there were any spots to camp and while it was pretty packed out, we found a spot near a creek that was perfect.
Couple trips to the car and back and we were set up!
Which called for wind down beverages; wine for me and beer for Dustin!
We brought a bundle of firewood and foraged for small pieces. “Better safe than sorry if the area’s been picked over!” -D
We didn’t hike to the falls of Raven Cliffs mostly because we both had sore backs as we’re still recouping from our car accident in May and flare ups are rare for D but, unfortunately frequent for me. I’m working on it though, through PT and massages. Plus we had already seen it together. Next time I’d like to see it again, it’s a longer hike but when you get to end it’s so worth it! Post about that trip, here.
Dustin grew up in Boy Scouts and finished as an Eagle Scout so he knows the way around a fire and is patient with all my poking and feeding-even when it probably doesn’t need a new log! Fires are my favorite part of camping!
Ingles really brought it strong with their muffin game, this pumpkin muffin was to die for! Not pictured is the cinnamon apple one we devoured, also bomb, so moist.
After a solid breakfast we set out for home. Then…we saw signs for a wild animal reserve and had to see what that was all about!
When we parked our car we were greeted by a fallow deer named Lucky. As a youngin he was struck by lightning leaving him with lopsided antlers, which added to his cuteness! I shared my banana with him :P
We got the reserve’s history from the little girl who’s dad runs the place. She said that it started with one animal needing rescue which led to another being handed over then people just started dropping animals off! Some of the animals have been seized by the court and given to the reserve because the owners were treating the animals poorly. So if you ask, is it sad? Nope! They are being well taken care of and some are living the better half of their lives inside the Chestatee Wildlife walls!
Across the lot from Lucky were two grizzles, one of which had bad arthritis so it walked with a slow pace and a limp and seemed to love soaking in the little pool.
The coolest experience was attracting a herd of zebra over and feeding the striped beauties! Look at those ears and mohawk!
After hanging with all the animals we thought, why not continue the festivities and hit up a corn maze! We went to the Tomato House off Cleveland Hwy which had everything you could ever imagine a roadside shop having! Seriously, the place is packed with stuff; candy, knickknacks, every genre of toys and housewares..I could go on, it’s bizarre how much crap (sorry..) is in this place! Anyways, they had a bunch of really cool pumpkins and squash –
If you’ve been to a corn maze, you’d probably agree how it’s both pretty and creepy at the same time. There was a slight breeze making the tall plants sway back and forth, crinkling against one another. Besides the noise of cars in the distant, it was fairly peaceful.
Bought this Stetson hat for the honeymoon but wore it all weekend. Love it! Lightweight and very comfortable. Took some getting used to the rigid bill, figured that out quickly when getting in and out of the car, doink!
Find it here.
While this wasn’t the slowed down weekend we originally expected, it was a freaking awesome adventurous time! Love me some spontaneity!!
CREEPY RIGHT??? Happy Halloween week!
Oh and it’s also my wedding week! Ahhhh