Marge, Margaret, and Phyllis prep themselves for the 5 mile hike from Amicalola Falls up to the Len Foote Hike Inn. This interesting inn is a great place to be able to enjoy nature and still have most of the comforts of home....without the telephone, television, cellphone, and internet.
The six GWS members who hiked up to the Hike Inn were (left to right) Marge Schweri, Tim Gunter, Chris Bryson, Bonnie Gehling, Margaret Clay, and Phillis Hester.
Most of the photos on this page were taken by Chris. More photos, taken by Tim, are available to GWS members at our Yahoo Group. You need to have a Yahoo account (free) and be a GWS member to join the group.
We took the Hike Inn trail up to the lodge. This was a 5 mile hike up and down the ridgeline. Along the way, Chris spotted 2 snakes....a ring neck snake and a garter snake. The garter snake posed for this photo.
After about 2 1/2 to 3 hours of hiking, you arrive at the front porch of the Len Foote Lodge. After checking in, there are snacks ready for your in the dining room, or you go to your room to prep your bed and unpack. The bedrooms are small rooms for 2, with bunkbeds, a stool, a mirror, a fan, and few pegs to hang your gear. Simple, but adequate...afterall, you are only going to be in the room to sleep.
The other parts of the inn are much nicer....with lots of windows, big wrap around porches with rocking chairs, plenty of books and games, and other stuff to do and see....not to mention great good views and lots of birds.
The Hike Inn is very eco-friendly. There are signs everywhere reminding you to conserve. Lights are rarely needed during the day, thanks to the many windows, they use a self composting toilet system, water saving showers, and solar panels on the roof. The panel shown on the left is used to heat water. In other areas, they have 24 photovoltaic panels that generate electricity. You also are asked to hang onto your glass or coffee mug and use it throughout your stay, rather than running it through the dishwasher everytime. Below, you can see the worm farm. They take most all of the paper waste and food scraps and feed them to several large bins of earthworms. This drastically reduces the amount of trash that has to be hauled back down the mountainside. The worms, along with the composting toilet system produces good fertilizer for the nice gardens that surround the inn.
Sometime during the afternoon, Marge and Phyllis began to have an identity crisis. For unknown reasons, they took on the pseudonyms of Susan and Doris. To that end, here is a photo of Margaret, Susan and Doris enjoying the cool breezes before dinner.
Bonnie and Chris realize that neither has much ability at playing horseshoes. The game took quite some time...and they were only playing till one or the other scored 3 points!
Oh, did we mention the dinner? Beef, mashed potatos, green beans, rolls, mac & cheese, salad, and peaches, cake, and whipped cream for desert. Ahhhhhh...the whipped cream!
The breakfast the following morning was equally as good. Eggs, sausage, biscuits, gravy, grits, and cereal.
Below, a large luna moth was visiting by Marge and Bonnie's room.
On the hike back down, Margaret and Phyllis (aka Doris) decided to return by the same trail. Tim, Bonnie, Chris, and Marge (aka Susan) decided to go a different way....by continuing on the hike inn trail for one mile further, then coming back to Amicalola by the Appalachian Trail's Approach Trail (the trail that you take to get to Springer Mountain).
Speedy hikers made the trip down in about 3 hours and the lolligaggers took about 4.
Below, Chris hams it up for the camera.....but only a little bit. The long downhill portion at the end does put some pressure on your knees and legs.
On the way back home, we were "thrilled" to once again be back in the "civilized" world and as such is the case all too often near Atlanta, we got to sit in traffic for what seemed like an eternity as the rain fell and the traffic snarled.
The rain-free weekend at the Len Foote Hike Inn was nothing like this. Sigh.....We miss it already.
Luna moths, also called Giant Silkworm Moths and Actias luna, are only occasionally seen, although they are actually very common in the eastern US. They fly mostly at night and the adult moth only lives for about one week. During that time, the female moth releases a pheromone that the male follows using sensory cells in his feathery-looking antennae. This is a male moth. Females have not so bushy looking antennae.