Day Four. Hiking the Other Stone Mountain.
March 16, 2011 § 2 Comments
On day four, I planned to do something with my dog. I decided on Arabia Mountain State Park, touted as Stone Mountain without the cheese. No rides, no trains, just a whole lotta granite.
We started on the first marked path at a suggestion of a co-worker of mine who visits often. The marked trails are noted by a little pylons of stones built up. Very unobtrusive, and it kind of felt like a scavenger hunt. The mountain itself is just a mass expanse of granite, similar to Stone Mountain, but not as elevated and much less touristy. I think we only saw a few people when we walked up.
One of the most striking elements of Mount Arabia is the expanse of bright red patches in little pools and divots. A most informative sign told us this was called Diamorpha and it is quite fragile. I immediately regretted carelessly traipsing over this weird beauty of a plant. Closeup it looked almost alien-like, strange pods of Valentines colors sprouting from a vine. From afar, it was quite lovely.
We made it to the top of the main granite hill in no time. The distance was less than half that up Stone Mountain, and the views were equally as spectacular, without all the fences and skylift obstructions.
My original idea was to take my little map and kind of wander until I found my way back to some semblance of a trail. There were only two main marked trails, and several lines indicating unmarked ones, ones I hoped were at least easily identifiable. We ended up walking in a sort of series of loops before we found what looked to be one of the unmarked paths, but could very well have been a drying up creek based on the amount of water pooling down its spine.
We got lost and found our way back (clarification: I got us lost), returning to the parking via a newly constructed bridge path. I think I was most impressed with Murphy on the journey. Although not technically permitted, we let him off leash during the trek across deserted granite and he did quite well. We even let him lead for a bit, which is probably how we found the trail and ended our loops.