Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Desoto State Park, Al

Hello again dear readers, friends, neighbors, and lurkers (yes I see you there in the shadows, it’s ok). I (once again) apologize for missing last week. Things around here got a little crazy and then I fell under the weather. Still am, actually. A sinus infection and an ear infection. However, we are moving forward! As promised, this destination would make a great addition to my previous destination.

Today takes us to Desoto Falls State Park. It is 8 miles north of Fort Payne, Alabama and covers over 3,500 acres. Desoto Falls (104 ft tall) is the state’s highest waterfall and is located 6 miles north of the main park. It was named after Hernado de Soto and was developed in the 1930’s be the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park has 25 miles of hiking trails, 11 miles of mountain bike trails, a CCC built lodge and cabins, restaurants, camp sites, chalets, motel, swimming pools, and a nature center.

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The boyfriend and I went here after stopping at Little River while out on the bike one day. It’s a beautiful drive from Little River to Desoto State Park and the park itself is lovely. The drive in the park up to the main falls is one of my favorite. You go on the edge of the mountain and wind up above Mentone, Al.

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Waterfall chasing seems to be a big thing on the Facebook lately and I promise if you are anywhere close to DeSoto, it’s worth the trip. We also browsed the store and nature center while here. We didn’t have time to eat but the restaurant menu sounded delicious and we really want to go back and try it. We did find a geocache while here. It was right under our noses but I’ll be darned if it didn’t take us a good 15 minutes to land on the right location.

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There are so many trails and waterfalls to see here that you need to spend more time here than we did. I highly recommend making a solid day or two of it. I hope to update this post more later, once we go back. Have you ever been to DeSoto? What’s your favorite part?

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“There is a fable in the forest Whispered by branches as they blow, A tale about the truth of leaving Things that no longer help you grow. For on the surface it looks simple; Like you need only lace your boots, But there is nothing quite as painful As untangling your roots. And proof is found in tree stumps Of the price some pay to flee, That they would cut their lives in half To cut the time before they’re free. Yet from the little left behind Life has been known to grow again, For unless you take your roots A part of you will still remain.” – e.h.

How is it so easy for you to be kind to people he asked Milk and honey dripped from my lips as I answered cause people have not been kind to me.” – rupi kaur

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.” – Dalai Lama

“Be the person you needed when you were younger.”

“She was a forgiver. Her heart was so large she didn’t know hot to give up on people, because she always believed the good in those she loved. It was until she was walked on so many times, she had no choice but to let go of those who burned holes in her heart.” – C.R. Bittar

“Learn to say “No” without explaining yourself.”

“she woke up every morning with the option of being anyone she wished. how beautiful it was that she always chose herself.” – tyler kent white

 

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Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Little River Canyon, Al

Hello again dear readers, I apologize for missing last week. It’s been super busy at work. But we’re back at it this week! We’re crossing the state line into Alabama! This has quickly become one of our favorite trips on the bike. Next week’s destination ties into this one in what can be a lovely day ride or a fun weekend trip.

Our first destination for today is Little River Canyon. It’s also on Lookout Mountain but is in/near Fort Payne, Alabama. It’s a 15,288 acre preserve that protects what is said to be the nation’s longest mountain top river, Little River. The canyon is said to be the deepest east of the Mississippi. Prior to being handed over to the National Park Service, it was actually the southern-most part of Desoto State Park.

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It’s said to be one of the cleanest and wildest waterways in the South. It’s undammed aside from a small and derelict hydroelectric project at Desoto Falls. The sandstone walls are up to 600 ft tall in places and  can be seen from the 11 mile long  Little River Canyon Rim Scenic Drive (AL176) which I HIGHLY recommend. We made a trip there just to drive the scenic parkway.  It has many great pull offs with great views of the canyon and the state’s highest waterfall, Grace’s High Falls.

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There’s a nice boardwalk from the pull off on the right side of the bridge you see here. You can walk around it down to the rocks where you will see people sunbathing and playing in the water.  Just beware that you aren’t supposed to get within 100 ft of the top of the falls. This doesn’t stop people but be aware that if a ranger sees you, it’s a hefty federal fine, as this is a national park, not a state park. You can also walk across the bridge, as there is a fence diving off the walkway from the road.

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There’s a pull off for Martha’s Falls (Hippie Hole) a little up from here that is a really popular swimming hole. I haven’t been there but from my understanding, it requires a small hike.

Have you ever been here? I’d love to see your pictures or hear about it!


  • “one day you’ll make peace with your demons, and the chaos in your heart will settle flat. and maybe for the first time in your life, life will smile back at you and welcome you home.” -r.m. drake
  • “I made my life an arrow, The tip a deadly sharpened point, So people never came so close, That I may disappoint, I’d sit and watch in silence, As the world would pass me by, Wondering how far I’d fall, If I ever tried to fly, You watched me with such interest, Like it was me you tried to find, As though you knew all of my secrets, And the thoughts within my mind, You looked like all the others, But what I did not know; Was while I’d made myself an arrow, You had made yourself a bow, And apart we’d both been useless, But we’d finally worked out why; Since you need someone to pull you back, If you ever want to fly, So you aimed me with precision, And I flew straight from the start, Until I landed with a solid thud, On the target of your heart.” – e.h.
  • “Watch carefully, the magic occurs, when you give a person, just enough comfort, to be themselves.” – atticus
  • “Books are many things; lullabies for the weary, ointment for the wounded, armour for the fearful, and nests for those in need of a home.” – Glenda Millard The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk
  • “She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.” – Ariana
  • “do you remember the first time you were called annoying? how your breath stopped short in your chest, the way the light drained from your eyes, though you knew your cheeks were ablaze? the way your throat tightened as you tried to form an argument that got lost on your tongue? Your eyes never left the floor that day. you were 13. you’re 20 now, and i still see the light fade from your eyes when you talk about your interests for “too long”, apologies littering every other sentence, words trailing off a cliff you haven’t jumped from in 7 years. i could listen to your forever, though i know speaking for more than 3 uninterrupted minutes makes you anxious. all i was you to know is that you deserve to be heard. for 3 minutes. for 10 minutes. for 2 hours. forever.  there will be people who cannot handle your grace, your beauty, your wisdom, your heart; mostly because they can’t handle their own. but you will never be and have never been “too much”. “- unknown
  • “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead. Some come from behind. But I’ve bought a bat, I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me.” – Dr. Seuss
  • “Every time they’re at sea, The oceans start to weep, wishing they were half as wide, As his love for her is deep.” – e.h.

Wanderlust & Wordy Wednesday: Helen, GA

Hello Friends & Neighbors, and welcome back for another Wanderlust and Wordy Wednesday! I know I’ve been absent this week, and I will eventually finish all the prompts from Writing 101, but today is not that day. It’s been a literal emotional roller coaster in my world this week, and it’s only Wednesday. So I feel that keeping with this regular feature, that I enjoy, will help me keep blogging and also calm me down.


Today’s wanderlust is going to take you to another North Georgia town; Helen, GA. This town is about 90 miles north of Atlanta. What makes Helen special? I’m glad you asked. Helen got it’s start as a logging town that found a way to turn it all around when that started going south. Helen made itself a replica of a town in the Bavarian Alps, only in the Appalachians. The design is now mandated so every building built must follow the classic South German style, even the national franchises (like the Huddle House).  As you can imagine, Helen is a really popular destination in the fall and winter. It’s popular for motorcyclists because of the excellent curvy mountain roads that surround it. It’s popular for a lot of people because they celebrate Oktoberfest every year (September thru November). It’s, of course, a very popular place during Christmas too. The whole town is decorated accordingly. Catch it before they close up shop for the worst part of winter. The town basically shuts down as temperature and tourism drops.

In addition to great food (try Hofer’s for baked goods and an awesome breakfast or The Troll Tavern under the bridge) and shopping to be found, the Chattahoochee River runs right through downtown. For around $5 per person, you can spend a few hours “tubin’ the ‘hooch” It’s a good time and I recommend it, just be warned, if the water’s low you’re gonna scrape your butt a little.

Helen is also surrounded by many natural wonders. Unicoi State Park is immediately north-northeast of Helen. It’s over 1,000 acres with a 53 acre lake. It’s part of the Chattahoochee National Forest. It’s also hiding the gem, Anna Ruby Falls. The paved trail is about 1/2 mile but it’s great. There’s also a trail called the Lion’s Eye Trail that goes along the creek and is meant to help those who are visually impaired experience and learn about the park. There are hand rails and braille signs.

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Helen is a great little town surrounded by tons of natural beauty. Whether you go for the food, environment, shopping, downtown carriage rides, hiking, waterfalls, or tubing, if you ever get the chance, you should go. Whether you stay at The Castle Inn or rent a secluded cabin, you’ll find an enjoyable weekend ahead.


  • “She was a liar and he was a thief, Suspended inside different stages of grief, When nobody listened despite how she sung, She learnt to twist truth on the tip of her tongue, His pockets were laden with diamonds and keys, So no one would notice the blood on his knees, They lived worlds apart but one thing they both knew, “I’m fine” sounds the same even when it’s not true.” – e.l.
  • “I am sending you this post card, From the dark side of the moon, So you know I got here safely, And that I will be home soon, For today I held our planet, Between the fingers on my hand, And learnt there’s more stars out here, Than our earth has grains of sand, So now the life I ran from, Doesn’t seem like such a wreck, When the town that I grew up in, Isn’t more than just a speck, And although my life feels tiny, As I look back at our home, I’ve realized we’re the only ones, Who don’t live it alone, That sometimes even shooting stars, Send pieces down to earth, When their solitary beauty, Starts to cost more than it’s worth, I am sending you this postcard, From the silence of the skies, To remind you that there’s beauty, In our microscopic size, So I hope next time you feel alone, The moon shows you you’re not, And how lucky we all are to find, Our home on this blue dot.” – e.h.
  • “I promise you, these storms are only trying to was you clean.” – Jessica Katoff
  • “When they called you a heartbreaker, there’s no way they could have know, That you’d left no heart more broken, Than the way you’d left your own.” – e.h.
  • “Just like the loss of love, it ain’t the bullet that kills you – it’s the open space it leaves behind.” – Michael Xavier
  • “Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” – David G. Allen
  • You can’t change what you refuse to confront.
  • “And there were always those nights where she preferred the rain over people. Because the rain would remind her of how she should feel and people would remind her of the things she always wanted to forget.”- R.M. Drake
  • “Perhaps we only leave So we may once again arrive, To get a bird’s eye view Of what it means to be alive. For there is beauty in returning, Oh how wonderful, how strange, To see that everything is different But know it’s only you who’s changed.” -e.h.