Saturday, December 28, 2013

Birchmore Trail, Athens, Georgia

Instead of walking along streets, we walked a nature trail for a change.

The start of the trail which is in a park not too far from the University of Georgia in Athens.

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The walk climbs up beside a small creek that eventually flows into the North Oconee River.

As we climbed the path, I was reminded of walking across England. It really feels good to get away from roads and to walk through nature.

Nature never produced that ball on the left.


Bridge over the creek.

Vines covering the tall tree trunks. Compared to Maryland, there was a lot of greenery.

Ground cover.

More about this pine tree can be found here. The bark is quite unusual.

The last leaf of Fall.

The creek has carved out quite a canyon.

Some flatter land. Much of Athens would have been built on land like this.

More fungus.

At the highest point on the walk you come to a wall. It was built by a bloke called Fred Birchmore who was a renowned local adventurer who died in 2012 aged 100. He rode around the world on a bicycle in the 1930's and you can read about it here.

Birchmore started to build the 'Great Wall of Happy Hollow' when he was 75 and it took him over five years. I suppose that means I have a few more years to think about emulating his feat. It took 12 train box cars of large rocks.

It is a beautifully constructed wall.

At first I thought there was no mortar to hold it together like the stone walls in Cumbria and Yorkshire but he did use some mortar.

To give you some idea of the height.

Looking up to his white house on the left. The wall surrounds his property.

Finally a very elegant bridge with a curved deck that reminded me of the famous bridge at Monet's Garden.

The walk is probably only about a mile long but it was a very pleasant walk.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Pulaski Street, Athens, Georgia

The day after Christmas, Boxing Day, was a pretty lazy day. However later in the day we went for a walk along another of the more interesting streets in Athens.

We started off at this impressive looking entrance to a church.

Initially, the houses are mostly old and probably with little insulation. many of them are painted in unusual colours.

I don't know why the large concrete blocks were stacked up.

The trees are mostly deciduous and somebody needed to get up there on the roof to clear them off. They block the gutters and drains.

Stairs to nowhere.

After a few hundred yards, the old houses start to give way to new houses.

This new house had very small windows. We presumed that this would minimize the heat in summer.

On our way back we noticed a couple standing there looking at the foundations of their new house.

The fence was interesting. It was primarily a chain link fence where black plastic strips had been threaded down through the chain links. It was quite effective.

In the left hand corner you can see a sign for REM. The band was formed here in Athens and you can read more about the music scene here.

Large shed for the Southern Cotton Oil Company. I suspect it is now used by an artists colony.

Passenger trains no longer stop at the Athens train station. A freight train passed soon after I took this photo.

Marianne remarked that this house would not look out of place in an Australian outback town.

We then walked into another section of modern 'eco' houses. 

This was a very interesting walk. I was quite surprised by the variety of colours and house styles.