I need to take a couple of steps back in time to bring everyone up to speed.
On Friday night my parents, my Aunt Becky, my brother's girlfriend BB (but strangely enough, not my brother), my cousin, and I all went out to Stone Mountain Park to celebrate my birthday. It's been a month and a half since my real birthday but since I was out of the country my fam and I decided to celebrate it on Friday, the first time in a month that we weren't all off doing something else. Now, this is in no means a total representation of my family but it sufficed for me.
If you've never heard of Stone Mountain then let me give you a crash course. Stone Mountain is a granite dome that naturally protrudes out of the earth. It's located about 20-30 minutes outside of Atlanta which makes it a pretty big attraction. That might seem odd, that we would make an attraction out of a rock, until you see the thing rising 1600 feet out of the ground. Apparently there is a bigger granite "rock" in Yosemite but Stone Mountain is unique in that, on the northern rock face there is an enormous relief of three Confederate generals: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis all on horseback. It's the largest low relief sculpture in the world and is the size of 3 football fields. On summer nights they use lasers to put on a show on top of the relief. It's really a unique thing to see.
There is a walk-up trail on one side of the mountain that you can take to the top. It's about a mile long but the view from the top is really cool. You can also take a cable car up to the top on the north side that passes very near to the carving. If you know where to look though, you can take little side trails right up to the mountain on the unclimbable sides. It just kind of gives you a perspective of things.
The scenery around the park is beautiful. One thing I always hear about Atlanta is that no one has ever visited a greener city. I've flown in to only a few major US cities but I would have to say, those people are right. There are trees all around. The park is home to the Georgia oak tree and the Confederate Yellow Daisy flower, two very rare plants as well as clam and fairy shrimp that live in pools of water on the mountain face.
There are walking trails all around the park that lead you up the side of the mountain, down by the surrounding lake, and over old covered bridges.
A train also runs around the base of the mountain starting from a place called Crossroads. Crossroads is a little retail and eatery area that also has a theater and some homegrown craft stands. It's meant to help preserve the folklore and crafts of the southern United States.
There's a lot more to see and do at the park. The management is re-doing the water park area so next year it will be nice and new. There is Confederate Hall which is a Civil War museum. There's an antebellum plantation that was actually in use at one point (It was transported from another area of the state to be put on display). There's a carillon, a steamboat, a covered bridge, and a grist mill. Also, tucked away in a little corner is a little homage to the men who used to work the granite quarry. All very interesting.Mom, BB, and I went for a little walk back into a hardly discovered corner of the park where there is a little writers garden (I believe it may be the Daughter's of the Revolutionary War or the United Daughter's of the Confederacy who founded the garden, can't remember which) and up to the side of the mountain. I wore a very special shirt to show my love of both mixed martial arts and crafting :)
And, yes, there was knitting. I started a Warm Woolies sock at my parent's house and knit on it while I waited for my dad to cook some burgers. I finished it up yesterday. I had to go by JoAnn's to pick up some new yarn since, for some odd reason that I'm still trying to figure out, my stash seems sadly depleted right now. I had a dream about shopping at a yarn store the other night so maybe that's a sign...