April 14, 2022

Today, we drove up to Fort Mountain State Park with Nox to do some hiking.

Fort Mountain State Park has several hiking trails.

Map at Park Office/Visitors Center

Bruce wanted to hike to the stone tower. The hiking brochure we had picked up at the Ellijay Welcome Center made it sound like we could go up to the top of the tower.

We parked in the Old Fort Picnic Area. The trail head for the CCC Stone Tower is close to the picnic area.

As we started up the trail, we saw a zebra swallowtail flittering about. It landed a few times and I was able to get a few pictures.

The CCC Stone Tower trail was made up of many stone steps.

CCC Stone Tower Trail

Almost to the tower, there was “the Rocky ruins of an ancient stone wall with prehistoric origin steeped in legend. Generations of archaeologists and historians have unsuccessfully sought to unravel the riddle of this wall, one of several stone assemblages scattered throughout the Southeast.”

There are several theories and legends about who built the wall and why the wall was built. No artifacts have been found to support the theories or legends as to who built this wall on the Cohutta mountain range’s most prominent peak.

The wall’s height is between 2 to 6 feet tall and is 885 feet long. Archaeologists believe the wall was taller, but it has been plundered, reducing the height.

The tower seemed to suddenly appear through the trees.

The park had informational signs about the tower.

The door into the tower was locked. There was a nice view from the balcony.

Nox got tired as we walked back. Bruce put her in the Nox backpack and I carried her back to the trailhead.

A Nox and Julia Shadow

We ate a late picnic lunch at one of the pavilions and washed up at the restrooms.

We buckled Nox into her traveling harness and started driving out of the park. Suddenly, in front of us, there was a black bear in the ditch on the passenger side. I was squealing, “Bear! It’s a bear!” while trying to pull my phone from my pocket to get a picture.

Bruce was not driving fast and he slowed even more as the bear ran across the road in front of us.

I watched the bear the entire time it was running across the road. I was not able to get my phone out quick enough to take a picture of the bear. I am glad I focused on the bear and didn’t look down to see my phone. I would have missed part of the amazing encounter. It was over so quickly!

We were so excited and we talked about the bear for a while. Nox didn’t understand what all the excitement was about and went back to sleep.

20 thoughts on “Bear!!!!

    1. I didn’t realize there was anything like the stone wall. I knew about mounds, but finding out about these stone structures was very interesting to me.

      I am still excited about seeing the bear. I thought it was a large black bear and Bruce told me it wasn’t. He thought it was a cute little bear, about 150 pounds. That seemed like a large bear to me! Bruce has seen larger black bears in the wild. That was my first time to see a black bear in the wild. We saw a grizzly bear in Yellowstone many years ago and it was a long way off.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That is always a problem, trying to get your phone ready to take a photo while also not missing the subject of the photo! I bet you were glad you saw the bear from the car rather than while hiking. I wonder what Nox would have done if he has seen the bear!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. One time when we first moved to the house where we live now on a lake, I was sitting on the porch with our little dog (10 pounds) on her tie out leash. I watched with my mouth hanging open as a coyote walked across the yard. The coyote was did not see Lyla, and Lyla did not see the Coyote. I think it Lyla had seen it and not been on the tie out leash, she may have run after it which would not have been good. As it happened, I snatched Lyla up and tossed her in the house as fast as I could just to be safe.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That must’ve been scary! Coyotes are so dangerous to cats and small dogs. In our neighborhood in Golden, we saw two coyotes in the neighbor’s yard across the street. I find I worry more about my small dog than I did about my larger dog.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Julia,

    Thanks for the tour and update. I must confess that I had never seen that butterfly species before. Glad to hear that you had a chance to see that animal, but just bearly!


    Liked by 1 person

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