Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
We left our lovely view and followed some nice signage until it led us to Talladega Scenic Drive.
I was dreaming of a breakfast buffet all night, and we planned to consume large quantities of food at the restaurant in Cheaha State Park, a short side trail off of the Pinhoti.
We arrived right as the Cliffside Restaurant was opening their doors. Unfortunately, there was no buffet. They only do that when there are large quantities of patrons, which there was not. We were the only ones there. It all worked out though. The food was still good, the portions were large, and we had a stunning view as we ate. The restaurant reminded me an awful lot like the one we ate at in Shenandoah National Park while hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT).
Once our bellies were full, we climbed the steep hill to Alabama’s highest point, Cheaha Mountain.
There was a lookout tower, but the view was hindered by the phone towers and the numerous cables holding them up. However, my goal was still accomplished. Peak Bagged!
Shortly after the uninspiring scenery, we were back on trail. There was poison ivy everywhere as we silk blazed the path.
Speaking of spiders, there were these sharp, long seeds that resembled spider legs, or cat whiskers that would cover our shoes and clothing as we passed through the grasses they came from. Not fun.
Frisbee caught a quick glimpse of a bear before we took a lunch break seven miles in by a water source. Then we had our work cut out for us. There were steep ups and downs that felt oh so familiar to the challenging AT.
When we got to the cushy pine needle covered sections, my shoes would keep slipping, getting no traction as I walked uphill and slipping when going down.
We hiked along narrow ridges, passed a couple waterfalls, and would pick copious amounts of ticks off of ourselves (I can identify three varieties now), before hitting our 100th mile.
We ate dinner at a nearby campsite, then hiked a little less than two miles more to the last one for the night at mile 104.5.
20.2 miles (32.5 km)