Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Amicalola Falls

  Last year in November, when I wasn't blogging very much, Michael and I took a trip with his family to Amicalola Falls in North Georgia. He was very excited because that is where the beginning of the Appalachian Trail starts. I don't remember when Michael really got into wanting to hike the AT, but maybe that started about 6 months before this trip? He was watching a lot of videos on YouTube of hikers who would document their trek from Georgia to Maine, if they went the whole way. And we enjoyed a date to see A Walk in the Woods at the theater at Artegon last September. I miss our $5 Tuesday movie dates there.

  I wanted to post these because there are a lot of good pictures of me and Michael together. I feel like I don't get to see him as often these days, since he is still working every single day! He has been doing that for at least five months now: three days a week at Universal and four days a week at VAMP. And when I do see him, we're just running errands together. He has been asking me since the beginning of the year to get time off from work so we could go on a camping trip. I wasn't able to request time off most of this year because I was in Teletype training, but on Monday I was able to get five days off approved during the last week of September. However, today he found out that VAMP is going to officially open and have classes begin on September 26th, the day after we were planning to leave for our trip.

  I feel so bad for Michael. He has been working so hard and when he finally gets a bright light of time off for a trip he's been wanting to take for over a year, it gets smashed so suddenly. I'm really hoping something will post-pone the opening and the trip will work out. He is so happy being in that environment. After that trip, he was seriously wanting us to move up there. He talked about how he would be a park ranger so he could spend all his time on the trail and how we would raise our kids. I always want him to be that happy. He is usually pretty happy, but that was very happy. You can tell from his amazing smiles in these pictures ~ all taken on my iPhone 5s. These first 13 pictures were taken one of the days when we hiked the smaller trails around the cabin and lodge. We walked the 604 steps down to the waterfall and back up. Phew our legs were burning, but it was worth it for the beautiful views we had! 
  ^^ In front of our cabin we stayed in. It was a cute 3 bedroom place.
 The last evening, I told Michael that I wanted to do a 10-minute photo shoot. And I'm glad I did because we got some really pretty pictures. We both just looked really good! ;) He also took a handful of pictures wearing his wolf Spirithood, but I don't have those posted here.
 ^^ That arch is the official start of the approach trail, at the bottom of the mountain where the gift shop is. But since we already walked down the waterfall and back up, we started along a different trail that was about 1/2 mile closer, near our cabin. We left at 8AM one morning and hiked 8.5 miles to Springer Mountain, which is the official beginning of the Appalachian Trail, if you're heading North. Some people choose hike the 2,200 miles heading South, starting at Mount Katahdin in Maine. That day we made it to Springer Mountain around 11:30 (which was incredible timing considering the signs said it would take 8 hours for beginners to get one way). We stayed for about 30 minutes and had lunch before heading back. It was fun for most of the time. Michael did a great job distracting me from my complaints by talking about skinny pioneer babies- my three favorite topics.
  ^^ The view from Springer Mountain. It was crazy being on one mountain, then pointing at another saying we were just there! Below is a special picture that Parker took for me. In October of last year I started getting really serious about wanting us to have a baby. It wasn't just another phase anymore. Michael told me on this trip that if I made it all the way to Springer Mountain, then we could start trying for a baby on New Years Eve. I quickly turned away and began sprinting- enough to get a good laugh out of him. So since I made it, this was us making the deal official. There's my big smile!
  Tonight Alana was suggesting that Michael and I spend the night at Lake Louisa State Park over a weekend if we can't make the 5 day trip that he wants. I found some very pretty portrait photos from there. (You can see my favorites on Shutterlife. If Michael and I ever want a "real" photographer to take our picture, I want to contact them! Miriam has already offered to take maternity pictures of me/us in the future. The second favorites I found are from Best Photography FL.) This November we are going to stay in a different cabin (a cabin mansion from the pictures his mom showed us!) in another part of North Georgia. I'll have to bring the Canon then.

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