It’s been several months since I posted a blog post detailing a single adventure or trip; right now, blog posts tend to feel like an afterthought — primarily as a means to summarize and share images both for those without social media.
It’s also nice to be able to have a place I own — a site that I can (and have) cultivated and added to so that if one day I pursue photography professionally again, I can share both social media AND a website with a portfolio in it.
That’s all an aside.
As I mentioned above, not since my Georgia Guidestones post in April, or before that, since my trip to Tallulah Gorge with M. in August of LAST YEAR, have a dedicated a post to a single location, trip, or adventure.
So I figured it was overdue.
With the outer bands of rainfall of now- tropical storm Sally passed, Thursday afternoon I debated heading up to one of Georgia’s prized state parks — Cloudland Canyon. Located in the very northwest portion of the state, the main draw and namesake of the park is its location the 1000′ deep gorge cut by Sitton Gulch Creek. However, I’m a sucker for a good photogenic waterfall, and the park is home to at least three. As with many waterfalls, the flows in this region are typically just a trickle in the summer months, and tend to peak and be highest over the winter. I was gambling on the several days of rain having from Sally increasing the flows, and crowds being limited on a weekday evening just before sunset.
Unfortunately, only one of those bets was correct — and it wasn’t the one I wanted to photograph.
I arrived around 1750 hours, and based off a sunset of 1945, decided to hurry down to the canyon floor where the waterfalls were located, first, to make sure I got the pictures I wanted, and then I could return to the rim trail(s) and snag some sunset pictures.
As with Tallulah Gorge, Amicalola Falls, and Duke’s Creek Falls, descending from the trail head into the canyon is extremely steep, and rather than dealing with unending erosion issues, Georgia DNR installed stairs, following the natural rock formations into the gulch.
Once at the bottom, I followed the trail towards the waterfall I wanted…only to be greeted with a trickle…
Nonetheless, the rocky forest was still beautiful, with positively archaic geology to be observed.
If you. the astute reader, haven’t noticed, I also broke out the 24mm lens for the first time…well, probably for the first time since the adventure in Tallulah Gorge, and I’m quite glad I brought it.
More than a bit disappointed about the lack of visible flowing water, I climbed back out of the canyon, and decided to head around to the west rim and west rim trail for a bit before heading back to try to catch the sunset as planned.
Gotta throw in an “EDC” (every day carry) pic that’ll go up on Reddit eventually. PLUS, the views were good enough that I gave a self timer shot a try.
With the sun setting quickly, I hoofed it over back to the overlook trail on the east side of the canyon, but not before getting a slightly closer peek at the rock face under the overlooks. If you look closely you can see the railing(s) on the top of the canyon rim.
But now, with just twenty or so minutes to decide what I wanted to do and frame for the sunset, I really did hightail it back.
There’s a joke I’ve seen floating around the internet, which is the title of this blog post: “Georgia, or Georgia?” And it can reference all manner of both political, social, or geographic things. Here, as with some of the other geography and nature that I’ve seen in north Georgia (USA…haha!), it’s surprising: for someone who was maybe MODERATELY well-travelled, but a natural-born Floridian, and not much of an outdoorsman, it was certainly a surprising area. And this state park was another pleasant surprise.
In reading up about Cloudland Canyon before driving up, I came across a video (that appears to be either incorrect or unsubstantiated) that claims that part of the 2018 Marvel hit movie “Black Panther” was filmed in Cloudland Canyon State Park, for part of a scene in the fictional African land of Wakanda. I couldn’t find any additional proof of that, though lots of the movie WAS filmed in the City of Atlanta. Even if it’s not true, standing on the top of the canyon looking west at sunset, you could imagine a world in which the deep drop below you WAS included in a depiction of some fictional, fantasy land…or perhaps that it wasn’t a depiction of fiction at all…