Vol. 18 No. 1 â€¢ Display until June 20, 2017
NORTHEAST GEORGIA VIEWS Melissa Herndon Publisher/Chairman/Editor-In-Chief
◆ DESIGN & PRODUCTION
A.W. Blalock ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Scott Goodwin ADVERTISING DESIGN
A.W. Blalock Brenda Ritchey CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Mollie Herndon Pamela A. Keene Sydnah Kingrea Sara Powell William D. Powell M.J. Sullivan CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Pamela A. Keene Sydnah Kingrea Peter McIntosh William D. Powell M.J. Sullivan
One day while driving about I happened upon a
storefront that once was home to a folk art gallery and a heating and air business and
which, for the past few years, has been just an empty shell, but something was different ...
DIRECTOR OF DISTRIBUTION
Mollie Herndon CIRCULATION DIRECTOR
There was a boldness, along with color and an inviting entrance, that beckoned me to
stop and go look inside. The old building had been transformed into a happy place teem-
ing with creative energy and color. No One Alike has put a spark of light on Highway 197!
saying “men who kiss and tell”? In this issue our recipes section highlights the men of Northeast Georgia who “cook and tell.” Read on for recipes from guys who know their way around the kitchen. ◆ The Lake Hartwell Spring Lake Homes Showcase is an exciting way to discover your new home on the lake. Check out our story and map for your self-guided tour to paradise. ◆ Spring is the perfect opportunity to take a drive and enjoy the sights and sounds of Northeast Georgia. And who knows what you may happen upon? ◆ Thanks for sharing your time with us. Happy Spring!
2 Northeast Georgia Living
Photo of Melissa Herndon by Mark Herndon; No One Alike by Melissa Herndon
Read our art story to learn more about this eclectic spot in the road. ◆ You’ve heard the
We invite you to share your views on Northeast Georgia Living. Please mail your comments to P.O. Box 270, Franklin Springs, GA 30639, or email us at email@example.com. Visit us at facebook.com/ NortheastGeorgiaLivingMagazine. Northeast Georgia Living, ISSN 1545-5769, is published quarterly in Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter by Marketing & Media Resources at 454 College Street, Royston, GA 30662. 706-246-0856. Subscription price is $14.00 annually. USPS Number 021-578 at Royston, GA 30662. Postmaster: Send address changes to Northeast Georgia Living Magazine, P. O. Box 270, Franklin Springs, GA 30639-0270. The cover and contents are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. Reader correspondence and editorial submissions are welcome. However, we reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all contributed material.
BACK ISSUES CATCH UP ON Northeast Georgia. Back issues of Northeast Georgia Living for Fall/Winter 2000 through Holiday/Winter 2016-2017 are available in limited quantities for $5 per copy. (Sorry, Spring/Summer 2002 is no longer available.) Send your name and mailing address along with a check or money order payable to Northeast Georgia Living, P.O. Box 270, Franklin Springs, GA 30639. Please specify the issue(s) and the quantity of each issue desired.
SUBSCRIPTIONS BRING NORTHEAST GEORGIA home! A oneyear subscription of four issues – Spring, Summer, Fall and Holiday-Winter – is only $14, and gift subscriptions are only $12. To subscribe, visit NortheastGeorgiaLiving.com or call 706-246-0856 today.
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IN THIS ISSUE
52 Arts: No One Alike
AFTER LEARNING THE ANCIENT Japanese art of marbling, Kim Padula began applying the technique to materials such as paper, silk and leather, from which she creates unique pieces like clutches, scarves, journals and totes. Her father, Bill Padula, contributes to their shop on Highway 197 just north of Clarkesville by crafting one of a kind pieces from metal and wood. By Sydnah Kingrea
Trails: Waterfalls of Northeast Georgia
FEW THINGS EVOKE A sense of wonderment and discovery like stumbling upon the strong rush of a waterfall exploding with vibrancy. Immerse yourself in nature’s enthusiasm for life and explore the exciting and alluring waterfall trails that Northeast Georgia has to offer around every corner. Enjoy spring blossoms, the cool mist and fresh mountain air at these 10 waterfalls – some an easy paved hike and some a challenging trek, but all worth the trip! By Sydnah Kingrea
SPRING LAKE HOMES SHOWCASE
WAKE UP TO LAKE HARTWELL! On Saturday, June 17, take a free self-guided tour of eight fabulous homes on one of the largest and most popular recreation lakes in the Southeast. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. immerse yourself in these beautifully planned homes and take in the scenic surroundings while you enjoy the cool lake breezes of Northeast Georgia. By Sydnah Kingrea
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Men Who Cook and Tell
A RENAISSANCE MAN IS defined as one who has vast and exceeding knowledge and who is proficient in a variety of fields. He is cultured, sophisticated and able. These Northeast Georgia men – men who “cook and tell” – are prime examples. They are hardworking, multifaceted renaissance men who enjoy the art of cooking. Meet Bill Bell, Mark Gerrin and Jeremy Jordan as they share their favorite recipes and their enjoyment of the culinary process. By Sydnah Kingrea
5Ks for a Cause 62
IF YOU ARE AN avid runner or just wanting to get into better shape this spring, you can make your exercise even more meaningful by using it to raise money for causes from autism awareness to addressing hunger in Northeast Georgia. A 5K race – around 3.1 miles – is a great place to start. Read about five runs this spring where you can play a part in these important causes. By Sydnah Kingrea
DEPARTMENTS Made in Georgia Spring Favorites
ENJOY OUR SHOWCASE OF wonderfully crafted food, art and more created in Georgia. This issue features Dalton Distillery, Royal Rose Bakery and Wander North Georgia. By Sydnah Kingrea
Spotlight Northeast Georgia Spring Hits
CHECK OUT OUR TOP picks, which include exciting whitewater, dancing for a cause, Georgia football and Easter family fun in Northeast Georgia. By Sydnah Kingrea
Gardening Spring Plant Sales
HART COUNTY BOTANICAL GARDEN hosts its annual fundraising plant sale April 7-8, where plants from regional nurseries – along with sage advice from Master Gardeners – are available for sale to the public. Also check our list for other plant sales in Northeast Georgia. By Sara Powell
THE TYPEWRITER IS ENJOYING a newfound popularity as both an object to be admired and a unique form of personal written expression. By M.J. Sullivan
Vines Kaya Vineyards and Winery
AN INCOMPARABLE RIDGETOP VIEW and fine estate-grown wines await visitors to Dahlonega at one of Northeast Georgia’s newest wineries. By M.J. Sullivan
Eat, Drink & Be Merry Bernie’s Restaurant
HISTORY, HOSPITALITY AND FINE dining have brought patrons back to Bernie’s Restaurant at Nacoochee Valley Guest House over the years, where co-owners Bernie Yates and Chef Monda Dodge serve seasonal dishes in attractive rooms of beautifully set tables. By William D. Powell
Books Cooking On Main
211 MAIN STREET RESTAURANT and Bakery in Lavonia is on the short list of favorite restaurants for many folks in Northeast Georgia. Its newly published cookbook features many recipes from the restaurant along with some from family and friends. By Sara Powell
Destination Southeast Asia
NEVER SAY NEVER, ESPECIALLY when it comes to traveling halfway around the world. Follow our travel writer as she takes planes, boats, tunnels and tenacity to view golden Buddahs, wondrous temples and everyday life in Southeast Asia. By Pamela A. Keene
Let’s Go Somewhere Today Events
SPRING EVENTS INCLUDE FESTIVALS, farmers markets, theater and outdoor fun. By Sydnah Kingrea
Reflections ... on stress meets yoga
AS A FRESHMAN AT the University of Georgia, my biggest struggle was learning how to manage my stress. Then I met yoga. By Mollie Herndon
Cover Notes HEMLOCK FALLS BY PETER MCINTOSH
Spring 2017 7
MADE IN GEORGIA
BY SYDNAH KINGREA
Georgia has an abundance of human and natural resources. Here are a few of our favorite examples of entrepreneurship that result in products you will want to become familiar with this spring.
Royal Rose Bakery
Based in Clayton, Wander North Georgia is a project focused on the north Georgia mountains and the communities that call them home. Two couples, Josh and Alex Brown and Jake and Courtney Scott, moved separately to north Georgia a little over one year ago. After meeting each other at a kids’ story time at the local library, they found their life stories similar and decided to create Wander North Georgia. At its core, Wander North Georgia is a story-telling platform with the goal of better connecting the thousands of visitors to the north Georgia mountains with the local experience by sharing profiles on local waterfalls, hikes, outdoor recommendations and local businesses. You can find their shop and social club in downtown Clayton. Their products are often locally made and range from high quality T-shirts and sweatshirts to bumper stickers, logo mugs, hats and outdoor necessities. To learn more about their “wanderings,” visit their website at www.wandernorth georgia.com or find them on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ wandernorthga) or on Instagram (@wandernorthgeorgia).
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The Butler family has been making moonshine for over 100 years. In honor of the family tradition, three generations of the Butler family came together to create Dalton Distillery, a small craft distillery. Owner Chuck Butler and Master Distiller Raymond Butler strive to keep the American custom vibrant. The distillery offers visitors a taste of the family’s unrivaled corn whiskey recipe. Raymond’s Reserve Cinnamon Whiskey, presented the Triple Gold Medal by the MicroLiquor Spirit Awards, and Raymond’s Reserve Corn Whiskey, awarded the Gold Medal by the MicroLiquor Spirit Awards, are just two examples of the authentic Georgia moonshine offered. Dalton Distillery is the only distillery in the United States that is permitted to make and sell sunflower whiskey. The fermentation process for sunflower whisky begins with malted sunflower seeds and malted corn. Plan your drop-in by visiting www.facebook.com/daltondistillery111.
Wander North Georgia
If you are in search of a perfect little French bakery, look no further. Royal Rose Bakery brings the taste of Provence, France, to Northeast Georgia and uses only the freshest ingredients from local sources. The founder, Mimi, grew up baking with her mother, and after completing a curriculum at the University of Georgia and working in the corporate world, she decided to return to her roots and explore her passion for cooking with her mother’s recipes. All of the gourmet goods at Royal Rose Bakery are baked fresh daily in small batches using all-natural, organic and non-GMO ingredients and are free of artificial colors and flavors and preservatives. You can find their delightful baked items and lunch options at local farmers markets and online at www.royalrosebakery.com or on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/royal rosebakery). Find their store ˆ at some brand, C’est Pret!, local grocery stores.
SPOTLIGHT NORTHEAST GEORGIA
BY SYDNAH KINGREA
Dancing With the Stars for Hope
April 1, 2017 Circle of Hope is partnering with the Habersham Rotary Club this spring to host Dancing With the Stars for Hope. Circle of Hope is a nonprofit agency that provides assistance to those affected by domestic violence. This exciting event is a fundraiser in which 10 teams of volunteer dancers from Habersham County will participate in a dance competition. The event begins at 7 p.m. and will take place in the Habersham Central High School Auditorium in Mt. Airy. For tickets, visit www.dancingwiththestarsforhope.com.
April 1-2 & April 8-9, 2017 Take a ranger-led hike at Tallulah Gorge State Park down to the spectacular Bridal Veil Falls and watch as courageous paddlers gather for this rare opportunity to take on the Tallulah River during a strong current. After a pleasing but strenuous hike down into the gorge, witness as kayakers brave the rushing whitewater. The hike will begin at 11 a.m. and will last until about 2 p.m. Due to the challenging nature of the hike, pets are not allowed, and children must be 10 years old or older to attend. Attendees are encouraged to bring a snack and water. The fee is $15 plus $5 for parking. Register in advance by visiting gastateparks.org or by calling 706-754-7981.
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Easter Bunny Activities
April 15, 2017 Meet at the gazebo in downtown Lavonia to enjoy a day of Easter fun with your family. Kids will love story time with the Easter Bunny, having their faces painted and the balloon animals from vendors. Families can take pictures with the Easter Bunny that they will treasure for years to come! Twister the clown will also make an appearance and is sure to provide plenty of entertainment and laughter for the day. For more information, call 706-356-8781.
April 22, 2017 Itâ€™s our favorite time of year again in Athens! Join other fans at UGAâ€™s Sanford Stadium and watch as the Georgia Bulldogs football team jumps back into action! Celebrate all day, enjoy traditional stadium food, cheer the Bulldogs on and help prepare the Dawgs for the season ahead. To learn more, visit www.georgia dogs.com/sports/m-footbl/ spec-rel/070116aab.html.
S p e c i a l P h o to s ; Ta l l u l a h G o rge w h i tewate r by B r i a n B oyd ; G - D ay co u r te sy U G A S p o r t s Co m m u n i c at i o n s
Gateways Spring plant sales in Northeast Georgia, like the much-anticipated Hart County Botanical Garden Plant Sale in Hartwell, are perfect for finding unique plants for your home and for meeting other garden enthusiasts. PHOTOGRAPH BY WILLIAM D. POWELL
GARDEN BY SARA POWELL
Spring for a
Plant Sale! Forsyth County Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale March 31-April 1: Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Road, Cumming
April 7-8: Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center, 1855 Calvary Church Road, Gainesville
Plantapalooza April 8: Joint sale with State Botanical Garden of Georgia, UGA Trial Gardens and UGA Horticultural Club; held at the State Botanical Garden, 2450 S. Milledge Ave., Athens
A Blooming Affair Every weekend from April 15 to May 20: Hamilton Gardens, U.S. Highway 76, inside the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee
Earth Day Plant Sale at Elachee April 22: Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville 14 Northeast Georgia Living
s we turn the pages of the calendar to spring, our thoughts turn to sprucing up our landscapes. That might include replacing some plants that have not thrived or that were damaged by the drought. Or perhaps plans include purchasing some new plants or introducing new plants. Hart County Botanical Gardenâ€™s Annual Plant Sale, planned this year for April 7-8, can answer those needs. The plant sale is the major fundraiser for the garden. Plants are selected from regional wholesale nurseries. Gretchen Torrance and Luanne Burgess, co-chairs of the plant sale, visit the nurseries to select plants that are unusual, cultivars of familiar plants that are more suitable for home landscapes, new varieties, some
Volunteers young and old (left to right: Hannah, Elsie and Pam Carter) get Hart County Botanical Garden ready for the Spring Plant Sale, held this year April 7-8. David Seagraves (opposite page) wheels in a load of plants that will make any garden beautiful.
native plants and plants that are not widely available. Possible choices might include smaller varieties of hydrangea, kaleidoscope abelia (which blooms all summer), Fatsia japonica, the blue chip variety of butterfly bush or loropetalum jazz hands. Member-grown plants are
Photos by William D. Powell
Hall County Master Gardeners Spring Expo
available as well and are always favorites of those who come to purchase. All of the proceeds of the plant sale go to the maintenance and enhancement of the garden. Volunteers are on hand to make suggestions and give helpful hints. Friends of the Garden (members) are welcome to shop on Thursday, April 6, and can take advantage of the nice discounts that are available at that time. Anyone interested in that opportunity can become a Friend on Thursday when he or she comes to shop.
Hart County Botanical Garden
art County Botanical Garden is a public garden that was created to be a place of beauty in Hart County for the education, enrichment and enjoyment of all who visit. The volunteers and Master Gardeners who started the garden and continue to tend and develop it are working hard to keep that mission flourishing. In a small community such as Hart County, it takes a coalition of the county and city governments, businesses, community organizations, churches and gardening enthusiasts to bring something such as the garden to fruition. The impetus for the garden was sparked by the late Anne King, then secretary to Charles Rice, extension agent, who asked, â€œWhy donâ€™t we have a botanical
Spring 2017 15
garden?” And so the effort was begun. Located on shaded acreage adjacent to the county’s recreation facilities on State Highway 77 South – also known as the Elberton Road – the garden is actually a collection of many gardens: Children’s Garden, Herb Garden, Camellia Garden, Fern Garden, Native Plant Garden and a number of others. Each garden is curated by a volunteer, and the gardens are always evolving. There are eagerly anticipated additions coming to the garden in 2017. One is an Asian Woodland Garden that will incorporate both plant and architectural elements. Syd Jonson has designed a tea house, and an additional gift from Kate Kirby and Kathy Garner, past co-directors, has funded the charming bridge that will lead into the garden. A grant from Hart EMC also helped fund this garden. One feature of the garden will be the inclusion of many varieties of Japanese maples. These trees are the product of a new initiative, the Commemorative Tree Program, which will invite folks to honor or remember someone with a tree and a commemorative plaque. Another interesting addition will be a Heritage Garden and Bird Sanctuary. The space will be entered through a door that will bring you to your grandmother’s porch, from which you can view an oldfashioned garden. The garden has applied for Audubon wildlife certification. Also in the offing is a Conifer Garden. As President-elect Robert Meaders said, “A garden is a work in progress; it is never finished.” Then he added, “Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts.” In addition to the plants, there is a lovely stream meandering through the six-plus acres. A pergola, a pavilion, a water feature fountain and, most recently, a paved walkway to facilitate access for those with restricted mobility have been added to enhance visitors’ experiences. All gardening enthusiasts are welcome to become members, called “Friends of the Garden,” who pay dues and volunteer to work in the garden. Admission to the Hart County Botanical Garden is free. They are open to the public every day from dawn to dusk unless they have been reserved for a private event. Their excellent website, www.hartcogardens.org, is a good source of information. They can also be reached by email at thehartcounty firstname.lastname@example.org. ◆ 16 Northeast Georgia Living
ANTIQUES BY M.J. SULLIVAN
Just My Type Examining the Popularity of Antique Typewriters
18 Northeast Georgia Living
As the mechanics of the machine were modified and improved, entrepreneurs became interested in the commercial possibilities of this ingenious invention. According to the folks at www.mytype writer.com, the Sholes patents were eventually sold to businessmen James Densmore and George Yost for the sum of $12,000. The two men subsequently convinced E. Remington & Sons to produce a practical commercial typewriter. The first shipments of the Sholes and Glidden typewriters were launched in 1874. These machines typed in capital letters only and were the first to use the QWERTY system of letter arrangement. It is believed that this system was designed to keep type bars from clanking together. Even though this method requires that the left hand work harder than the right, the QWERTY system is still standard on most keyboards and keypads today. Dr. Richard Polt, Professor of Philosophy at Xavier University in Ohio, says the renewed enthusiasm surrounding typewriters is more than just an interest in retro
With the charm of its distinctive clacking, the typewriter is enjoying a newfound popularity as both an object to be admired and a unique form of personal written expression. memorabilia. In his book The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist’s Companion for the 21st Century, Polt offers advice on how to best choose and care for typewriters. In addition, he observes that these unique machines allow the user a private form of expression. In essence the typewriter helps strike a blow for independence and personal privacy since written data is not being stored online. Media response to the book and a copy of Polt’s “Typewriter Manifesto” may be found online at www.typewriterrevolution.com. Polt observed the emergence of renewed interest in typewriters about 10 years ago. He says the typewriter was once considered to be a cold mechanical object
Photos cour tesy Dr. Richard Polt
lickety-clack, clickety-clack, move over computer, the typewriter’s back. After decades of being relegated to basements, attics and closets, the typewriter is making a grand re-entry into the American consciousness. Whether prompted by the charm of its distinctive clacking, its unique appearance or the nostalgia associated with the mechanics of the machine, a fascination with the typewriter is re-appearing as part of a societal infatuation with all things retro. Experimentation with various types of writing machines began centuries ago, with designs emerging from inventors all over the world. Henry Mill, an English engineer, was granted the first patent in 1714. Later, in 1829, an American patent was issued to William A. Burt of Detroit for his early writing mechanism. But it was Christopher Latham Sholes of Milwaukee along with his friend Carlos Glidden who were given credit for inventing the first actual typewriter in 1867. Their prototype is currently housed at the Smithsonian Institution.
used mostly for commercial purposes. But today it has made a comeback, offering the typist an individual, even romantic, form of presentation. Unlike the detached anonymity of cyber-communication, the typewriter enables people to engage in personal interaction through social events, such as type-ins and letter-writing parties. One such activity, hosted by typing enthusiast Michael McGettigan, took place in a Philadelphia pub. Featured at the party were some classic typewriters and an agenda that included a typing contest, consultations with a typewriter technician and letter-writing exercises. From all accounts, it was a “clacking” success. Polt is an avid collector of antique typewriters, owning over 300. He began collecting in 1994 after reading American Typewriters: A Collector’s Encyclopedia by Paul Lippman. Polt, who shops at a variety of secondary markets, including thrift stores and Craigslist, says his most exciting find was online at an auction site in the Czech Republic. “I found an extremely old and rare Fitch machine. I paid only five dollars American and later traded it for an original Sholes and Glidden. That was quite a find.” For decades the world’s rich and famous have created more than just thank-you notes and letters on their personal typewriters. Consider for instance authors Pearl S. Buck and Rod Serling, both of whom worked using their Royal KMM machines. It is reported that Robert Frost favored typing on his Blickensderfer No. 5, while English scholar C.S. Lewis used a Royal Signet #ES 14545. Margaret Mitchell composed romantic drama on her Remington Portable #3, while e.e. cummings was pecking away in lower case keys, preferring his 1940s Smith-Corona Clipper. If an abundance of typewriter-themed paraphernalia for sale is any indication that the typewriter is enjoying a newfound popularity, then a quick look at Amazon.com certainly seems to show that the typewriter is undergoing a successful re-emergence. The site features several pages of items, including typewriter-inspired coaster sets, ornaments, art posters, wall decor, canvas bags, music boxes, jewelry, framed art, bookends, note cards, throw pillows, mouse pads and, of course, T-shirts. So whether it’s being used for personal pleasure or commercial success, it looks like the typewriter may very well be here, again. ◆ Spring 2017 19
VINES BY M.J. SULLIVAN
Kaya Vineyard & Winery n 2014 Bill and Andrea Werkheiser of Roswell were shown the magnificent rolling acreage that had once comprised Blackstock Vineyards and Winery in Dahlonega. Intrigued by the prospect of reviving the facility, they eventually made a commitment to purchase the 90-acre property. Choosing the name Kaya (pronounced Ki-ya), which means “Spirit of the Earth,” for their new enterprise, the couple began the revitalization, and Kaya Vineyard and Winery was born. By 2015 the vineyard had established a new vintage crop from the original grapes, and Kaya Vineyard and Winery began producing wines, opening their doors to the public in June of 2016. According to Kari McCann, tasting room manager and public relations spokesperson, Bill had promised Andrea early on that if she agreed to the vineyard’s purchase, he would name a wine after her mother, Oola. This kept promise may be found on the wine list under the designation “Cabernet Sauvignon-Oola.” The winery currently offers several wines. Crafted from six varieties of vinifera grapes, they include chardonnay, viognier, sangiovese, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and touriga. According to Kaya’s website, the secret of their fine wines is the “meticulous” handling of their grapes, both in the vineyard and during processing. The person responsible for this hands-on care is winemaker Ariel Padawer, who was formerly the winemaker for Blackstock Vineyards. Padawer comes to Kaya with two decades of experience crafting fine wines. He began developing his winemaking 20 Northeast Georgia Living
skills in Israel in 1996. It was there that monks from a nearby monastery taught him the secrets of growing quality fruit and winemaking. After moving to the United States, Padawer continued his craft, successfully practicing his vineyard management and winemaking skills here since 2006. According to Padawer there is more to growing quality wine grapes than just planting the vines and trusting nature to produce a good crop. “The secret of good wine is in the management of the vineyard. You have to pay attention to things like the choice of rootstock, vine placement, proper terracing of the earth, rain patterns, trellising systems, direction of the sun and harvesting at precisely the right time,” says Padawer. He also states that handling the grapes with care both in the growing and in the winemaking process is what allows Kaya to offer their exceptional, complex, exclusively estate-grown wines. Upcoming plans for Kaya include an events center on the property, scheduled to be in operation by November. This center is designed to accommodate up to 300 people for wedding receptions, group meetings, private celebrations and corporate activities. Future development plans include construction of a 22-room hotel and restaurant along with 15 craftsman-style cottages, intended for corporate retreats as well as for private use, making it the largest winery resort north of Atlanta. Recognized not only for its fine estategrown wines, Kaya is also known for its incomparable ridgetop view. At an elevation of 1,600 feet, the tasting room and its
An incomparable ridgetop view and fine estate-grown wines await visitors at Kaya Vineyard and Winery in Dahlonega.
accompanying 2,000-square-foot deck allow guests to experience a 180-degree unobstructed vista of sprawling vineyards and Appalachian Mountain terrain. On behalf of the Werkheisers and the entire staff at Kaya, McCann invites everyone to come out and experience for themselves the caliber of the wines and the picturesque view. For information and hours of operation, visit them online at www.kayavineyards.com, or telephone them at 706-219-3514. ◆
Focused on Estate Grown Wines
EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY STORY AND PHOTOS BY WILLIAM D. POWELL
Bernie’s Restaurant at Nacoochee Valley Guest House
ine dining has been the mantra of Bernie’s Restaurant at Nacoochee Valley Guest House since it opened in 1989. Nestled in trees just off State Highway 17 in Sautee near Helen, the historic 1920 “Crumley Residence” provides a timeless setting. Tables are beautifully set in several attractive rooms that flow together nicely. In addition there are two guest rooms for those who wish to spend the night in this picturesque part of Northeast Georgia. A restaurant is a reflection of the owner and chef. Bernadette “Bernie” Yates and her daughter, Chef Monda Dodge – a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. – operate the restaurant and guesthouse and between them have over 50 years of experience in the hospitality business. Their philosophy is simple: “Start with fresh, whole ingredients, and let the food speak for itself,” says Bernie. And speak it does. Each meal is prepared to order and served with a personal touch. “History, hospitality and fine dining” have brought patrons back over the years, she says. The restaurant is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, tapas, cocktail hour and formal evening dining. Breakfast is only served to those who stay with them in the guesthouse and to the local Rotarians who meet there weekly. The menu is seasonal and features signature dishes culled from customer favorites over the past 28 years. Chef Monda also enjoys trying new things and says she has “creative bursts” that result in tasty new dishes. Soup is a special treat at Bernie’s. Favorite springtime soups include organic carrot/ thyme, spring pea bisque and artichoke lemon basil. Lunch offerings include soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees such as 22 Northeast Georgia Living
History, hospitality and fine dining have brought patrons back to Bernie’s Restaurant over the years, where coowners Bernie Yates (above) and Chef Monda Dodge serve seasonal dishes in attractive rooms of elegantly set tables.
Maryland crab cakes, fresh mountain trout and beef bourguignon. Signature dinner dishes include crispy roasted duckling, steak au poivre, seafood and New Zealand rack of lamb. Perennially favored desserts include lemon apricot nectar cake, triple chocolate ˆ ` ganache cake and creme brulée. A dessert featured in spring is French custard with strawberries smothered in zabaione sauce. Thursday night is Italian night. Always served is Bernie’s “Mama Leon’s” lasagna, but other choices frequently include seafood manicotti, carbonara and lobster ravioli. Tables are elegantly set with linen tablecloths and napkins, sterling silver and fresh flowers. Chef Monda is sensitive to the differing health needs of patrons. She offers vegan,
vegetarian and gluten-free meals that are tasty and made with fresh ingredients. A large part of the business at Bernie’s is rehearsal dinners, weddings, receptions and special events. Often the whole house is booked for these events. It is best to call and make a reservation to ensure that they are open to the public on any given day. Make Bernie’s a destination stop and come prepared to enjoy delicious food and wonderful camaraderie with Bernie, Monda and their staff. ◆ Bernie’s Restaurant at Nacoochee Valley Guest House is located at 2220 State Highway 17 in Sautee. Visit their website at www.letsgo tobernies.com for hours or call 706-878-3830 for reservations.
BOOKS BY SARA POWELL
n the short list of favorite restaurants for many folks in Northeast Georgia is 211 Main Street Restaurant and Bakery. Located at its named address in Lavonia, the restaurant is owned and operated by Bob and Trish Toews. Trish has delighted restaurant patrons and others alike by producing a cookbook, Cooking on Main, that features many recipes from the restaurant along with some from family and friends. The book is subtitled “A Collection of Mennonite Recipes,” and it is that. But the book also includes many sayings that reveal the deep and abiding faith of the Toews and the warmth of friends and family, and this imbues the book with much of its charm. Colorful photographs of much of the food and the Lavonia area enhance the visual pleasure of reading through the book. The recipes are divided into four sections: breakfast and brunch, lunch, dinner, and desserts. There is an introduction to each section, and each section is subdivided into appropriate categories. For instance, the lunch recipes are divided into soups, salads and salad dressings, and sandwiches. Although all of the food at 211 Main is delicious, the restaurant is especially wellknown for its scrumptious desserts. When the Toews were getting started with the restaurant, Bob, who is the chief cook and 24 Northeast Georgia Living
baker, was particularly interested in establishing the reputation of the desserts – always his favorite part of any meal, even breakfast. And he has certainly succeeded; 211’s desserts are admired and purchased by many near and far. So the dessert portion of the cookbook is a special treat. In light of today’s concerns about dietary restrictions, Trish included a number of gluten and/or dairy-free recipes, supplied by one of her daughters-in-law who needs to heed those restrictions for her family. Another daughter-in-law whose family is serving as Mennonite missionaries in Ghana supplied Ghanaian recipes. These recipes, along with others supplied by family and friends, are an additional facet to the book that adds appeal. The motto for 211 Main Street Restaurant and Bakery is “Where friends meet,” and that feeling of friendliness permeates the cookbook, as it does the restaurant. In the same way that customers at the restaurant come not merely to eat but to “break bread” with friends, it is Trish’s hope and prayer that the sharing of these recipes will do more than entice readers to cook. As she says in the introduction, “I hope a sense of people, places and warm hospitality comes through the pages of this book.” ◆ Cooking on Main is available at 211 Main Street Restaurant and Bakery in Lavonia and at Market 50 on the square in Hartwell.
DESTINATION INSIDE SOUTHEAST ASIA STORY AND PHOTOS BY PAMELA A. KEENE
Unfamiliar Lands Made Friendly
ever say never, especially when it comes to traveling halfway around the world. Late last summer, I ate my own words as I boarded a plane from Atlanta to Bangkok, a daunting journey in itself that involved a 15-hour nonstop to Seoul and then five more hours to Bangkok. I had sworn I would never take any trips longer than about eight hours after my foray to Kenya, but that’s a story for another time. Skip to, by the clock, two days later, when, around midnight via taxi to my hotel, I arrived. Morning came without the dreaded travel time warp, and I’d made it to Southeast Asia for my three weeks with Overseas Adventure Travel. From Thailand and its inspired golden temples to Lao (the natives leave off the “s” that was added decades ago by the French) and stories of the “American War,” to Cambodia and the world wonder Angkor Wat and finally to Vietnam and the Mekong Delta, the trip took us deep into the lives of the people by boat, oxcart, van, canoe and pedishaw (reverse rickshaws powered from behind by men on high-wheeled bicycles). Bangkok bustles as any big city would, 26 Northeast Georgia Living
but around every corner you can see golden Buddhist temple and palace spires (called stupa or chedi) or smaller impromptu street-side shrines bedecked with stands of yellow marigolds and filled with statues. By boat, we visited a massive floating market, a true visual feast of everything from native foods to clothing, kitchenware to souvenirs. A walk through a Muslim village brought us to a family making candy from hand-pulled palm sugar and wrapped in the Thai version of a crepe. A visit to the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace and nearby Ayutthaya’s centuries-old ruins provided a base for understanding the diverse history and culture of Thailand. A short plane ride brought us to Luang Prabang, Lao, a World Heritage Site. A small village on a peninsula between the Khan River and the Mekong, it’s charming and filled with friendly people. Again, temples were the order of the day, but our visit included early-morning almsgiving to the Buddhist monks, a cruise along the Mekong and a trip to a school and village supported by the travel company’s Grand Circle Foundation. Lao’s capital of Vientiane was larger and had more temples and provided a
Clockwise from above: Flowery Branch journalist Pam Keene visits Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, one of the seven wonders of the world. The temple was originally clad in gold leaf. A gold-clad sitting Buddha towers over the interior of a temple at Bangkok’s national cemetery. The canals of a floating market near Bangkok are jammed with wooden boats filled with fresh fruit, handbags and locally made wearables. In a temple in Laos, dozens of Buddha statues are draped with saffron-colored cloth. The cuisine varied between countries in Southeast Asia, but all were memorably plated.
chance to talk with a 20-something-yearold monk who spoke very good English. He told of his life in the temple and his life choices. Another plane ride took us to Cambodia’s Phnom Penh. This segment of our
trip was a sobering experience, as we learned about this country’s perspective on the “American War.” After the U.S. soldiers left in the mid-1970s, the Khmer Rouge, led by infamous Pol Pot, took over and instigated the massacre of millions of Cambodians
from 1975 to 1979. We visited the Killing Fields, where millions of people were murdered and buried in mass graves. We talked with Chum Mey, an 85-year-old survivor of the massacres, and heard of his ingenuity and will to live. (Continued on page 29) Spring 2017 27
Our time in Siem Reap, Cambodia, took us to a floating village where we met a woman, her midwife mother and their family. We learned about health care in their cluster of floating homes on the river and about how they govern and support themselves. For many, the highlight of the trip was the visit to the massive grounds of the temple at Angkor Wat, less than 10 miles by van from the heart of Siem Reap. Thousands of tourists swarmed the grounds and ruins, climbing steep steps and towering hand-laid stones to see one of the great Seven Wonders of the World. No words can describe it. Our final destination: Ho Chi Minh City, otherwise known as Saigon, where cars, trucks and thousands of scooters filled the streets, sidewalks and alleys, zooming around like buzzing dragonflies. Lunch at a modern shopping mall – you could see the vast American influence in the stores, the cuisine and the design – and visits to a history museum, a brick replica of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral and a massive and crowded central market where the locals shop for jewelry, clothes, home goods, food and decorative arts further immersed us in the ways of Vietnam. Our group spent a morning at the Cu Chi Tunnels, now a national park that has preserved the network of underground mazes once used by the Vietcong. We ventured 10 feet below the surface to walk, bent at the waist, through tunnels that were often hidden beneath trap doors. It put into perspective the difficult times of the war. On the final night, our group of 15 said farewell over a traditional Vietnamese dinner and exchanged small gifts with each other and our guides. We reflected on our three weeks together, strangers at first in a strange – to us – land, and on how we became friends, not only with each other but with the people of the towns we visited. All along the way, this trip was about the history, the culture and the people of Southeast Asia. We met them in their homes, we talked with them at their open-air markets, and we stopped to see how they lived at their roadside houses and farms. For me, it was a life-changing experience and one that I would gladly repeat, despite the three weeks of jet lag I experienced once I returned home. It was a small inconvenience in return for seeing life on the other side of the world. ◆ Spring 2017 29
SPRINGFEST JACKSON COUNTY Braselton Antique & Artisan Festival: April 21-23, downtown Braselton. Friday 2-7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Contact Donna Cannella at Countryside Antiques.
FRANKLIN COUNTY Spring Festival: May 6, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., downtown Lavonia. Enjoy live music, tours of historic homes, a train depot open house and food & drinks from local vendors.
HABERSHAM COUNTY 55th Annual Mountain Laurel Festival: May 20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., downtown Clarkesville. Enjoy a festival full of crafts, food, beverages and fun! For information, please visit www.clarkesvillega.com.
UNION COUNTY Spring Arts & Crafts Festival: May 27-28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., town square, downtown Blairsville. Artists and craftsmen from the area gather on the square surrounding Union County’s historic courthouse to exhibit their talents. You and your family can enjoy a variety of food and drinks while listening to musicians both inside and outside the old courthouse. Learn more at www.unioncountyhistory.org.
TOWNS COUNTY North Georgia Highlands Seafood Festival: June 2, 3-9 p.m., June 3, 10 a.m.9 p.m. and June 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mayors Park, Young Harris. Eat excellent seafood, listen to live music and stroll through over 50 arts & crafts booths. Visit www.mountaintopga.com.
BANKS COUNTY North Georgia Folk Potters Festival: June 17, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Banks County Recreation Department, 607 Thompson St., Homer. Meet potters from all over north Georgia and purchase your very own unique pottery pieces. Collectable pieces are also offered.
LET’S GO SOMEWHERE TODAY BY SYDNAH KINGREA
EVENTS ATHENS-CLARKE COUNTY www.visitathensga.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-549-6800; Convention & Visitors Center: 706-357-4430 or 800-653-0603)
Classic City Band: April 2, 2-3 p.m., Visitors Center, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens. This is a free event. Listen as the Classic City Band performs their spring concert, which will feature nautical-themed pieces. UGA International Festival: April 8, College Avenue, downtown Athens. Cultural displays, traditional costumes, dances and international bands. Visit isl.uga.edu to learn more. Plantapalooza: April 8, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., State Botanical Garden, UGA Trial Gardens and UGA Horticulture Club, Athens. The sale will include an assortment of garden plants that thrive in the Southeast. Horticulturists, volunteers and master gardeners will be present. Visit plantapalooza.uga.edu. 22nd Annual Classic City Brew Fest: April 9, 2:30-6 p.m., Graduate Athens hotel complex, Athens. The event will include 400 of the greatest world-class
Get ready for the harvest at a farmers market near you!
craft beers from around the planet. The Classic City Brew Fest is a benefit for the Athens-Area Humane Society. Visit www.classiccitybrew.com/brewfest.html. G-Day: April 22, Sanford Stadium, Athens. Georgia Football will be back in action! See page 10 for details. Twilight Criterium: April 28-29, downtown Athens. The 38th annual Twilight Criterium in downtown Athens. Visit athenstwilight.com. Swing Dance Night in the Garden: May 30, 8-11 p.m., Visitors Center, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens. Free. Visit www.athensswingnight.com.
BANKS COUNTY www.bankscountyga.org (Convention & Visitors Bureau: 706-677-5265; Chamber of Commerce: 706- 677-2108 or 877-389-2896)
Family Fun With Georgia’s Performing Arts: April 13 & May 11, 6:30 p.m., Banks County Primary School, Homer. In April, bring your kids to enjoy Beatin’ Path Rhythm Events. In May, bring your family to watch as Queen Emerada performs “Magic Garden” stories. The programs are free to the public. Jaemor Farms Spring 2017 Date Night: May 13, 7-10 p.m., the Shed at Jaemor Farms, Alto. Enjoy a night with a loved one including a farm-to-table-style meal, u-pick strawberries, live music, a guided farm tour, s’mores and farm games. $100. Visit www.jaemorfarms.com/date-night.
Spring festivals celebrate art, music, antiques, seafood, pottery – and mountain laurels – in Northeast Georgia. CONTINUED ON PAGE 32
30 Northeast Georgia Living
SPRING 2017 EVENTS BARROW COUNTY www.cityofwinder.com www.winderdowntown.com (Chamber of Commerce: 770-867-9444; Auburn: 770-963-4002; Bethlehem: 770-8670702; Carl: 770-867-1308; Statham: 770-7255455; Winder: 770-867-3106)
Annual Golf Tournament: May 23, alternating venues at either the Georgia Club ˆ in Statham or The Legends at Chateau ` Elan in Braselton. The Barrow County Chamber presents the second most prestigious golf tournament in north Georgia! Sponsored by Brand Bank.
DAWSON COUNTY www.dawsoncounty.org www.dawson.org (Dawson County Chamber of Commerce & Office of Tourism Development: 706-265-6278)
Easter Egg Hunt: April 15, 11:30 a.m., the football field at Veterans Memorial Park, Dawsonville. Children’s activities, face painting, train rides, Easter Bunny photos and a hot dog eating contest! Concessions will also be available. The activities begin at 11:30 a.m. The Easter egg hunt begins no later than 2:30 p.m. and will feature over 20,000 eggs. Please arrive at 2 p.m. to participate in the Easter egg hunt. Visit kareforkids.org.
ELBERT COUNTY www.mainstreet-elberton.com www.elbertga.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-283-5651; Main Street: 706-213-0626; Bowman City Hall: 706245-5432)
“Forget Me Not”: May 20 & 26-27, Rock Gym, Elberton. Sponsored by Savannah River Productions, this event is the world premiere of a new musical written by Kay Legg and Jamee Floyd. The musical tells the story of Mary Musgrove and is set in colonial Georgia. Creek Indian dancing, storytelling and British songs will be featured.
FORSYTH COUNTY www.cummingforsythchamber.org www.cumminglocal.com (Chamber of Commerce: 770-887-6461)
8th Annual Boulder Dash 5K/10K Run/Walk: April 29, 8 a.m., Northside Hospital-Forsyth and Bluegrass Materials Company, Cumming. Enjoy an environmentally responsible race through an active hard rock quarry. The Bluegrass Spring Fling awaits you at the finish line.
FRANKLIN COUNTY www.franklin-county.com www.cityofroyston.com www.canongeorgia.com www.lavonia-ga.com (Franklin County Chamber of Commerce: 706-384-4659; Royston DDA: 706-245-7577; Lavonia DDA: 706-356-1923)
Farmers Market: beginning April 1 and continuing through the spring, downtown Lavonia. Enjoy fresh produce and homemade offerings from the locals. Easter Bunny Activities: April 15, the gazebo in downtown Lavonia. Bring your family for a day of Easter fun. See page 10 for details. Easter Egg Hunt: April 15, Royston VFW, Royston. Visit www.cityofroyston.com for event time. Easter Sunrise Service: April 16, the gazebo in downtown Lavonia.\Main Street Music: April 21, May 5, May 19 & June 2, the gazebo in downtown Lavonia. Bass Fishing League Worldwide Tournament: May 6, Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia. www.gastateparks.org/tugaloo. Canoe Tour: May 13, Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia. Enjoy a scenic canoe tour of the park on beautiful Lake Hartwell. Visit www.gastateparks.org/tugaloo. Childrenâ€™s Craft Day: May 20 & June 17, the gazebo in downtown Lavonia at the Farmers Market. Car Show: May 20, Royston Wellness & Community Park, Royston. See beautiful classic and vintage cars and have fun in the park! Visit www.cityofroyston.com. Movie Night: May 20 & June 17, the gazebo in downtown Lavonia. Enjoy a family-friendly movie night. Storytelling, Geocaching & Music: May 21, the train depot in downtown Lavonia. Bring your family for stories and live music. Geocache with friends! CONTINUED ON PAGE 34 Spring 2017 33
SPRING 2017 EVENTS “Land of Spirit” Folk Life Play: June 16-25, Lavonia Cultural Center, Lavonia. Join Land of Spirit for their 10th season! Enjoy a live show that includes colorful costumes, singing and concessions. Visit www.lavoniaga.com/aboutlandofspirit.aspx. Paddleboard Clinic: June 17, Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia. Learn the ins and outs of paddleboarding. Visit www.gastateparks.org/tugaloo.
HABERSHAM COUNTY www.habershamga.com www.habershamchamber.com www.corneliageorgia.org www.clarkesvillega.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-778-4654; Better Hometown-Cornelia: 706-778-7875; Clarkesville City Hall: 706-754-2220; Cornelia City Hall: 706-778-8585; Demorest City Hall: 706-778-4202)
Dancing With the Stars for Hope: April 1, 7 p.m., Habersham Central High School, 2059 State Highway 197 S, Mt. Airy. See page 10 for details. Habersham Community Theater presents “Leading Ladies”: April 21-23 & April 27-20, Habersham Community Theater, Clarkesville. For tickets, call the box office at 706-839-1315. KCBS Apple Blossom BBQ Competition: April 21-22, downtown Cornelia. Barbecue teams from all over the country come to town to compete in this KCBS-sanctioned qualifying event. Admission is free. Contact Jessie Owensby at 706-778-8585, ext. 280. Greater Mt. Pleasant Gospel Choir Showcase: April 29, 1 p.m., downtown Cornelia. Admission is free. Bring your own chair. Contact Jessie Owensby at 706-778-8585, ext. 280.
HALL COUNTY www.hallcounty.org www.gainesville.org (Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce: 770-5326206; Convention & Visitors Bureau: 770-5365209; Main Street Gainesville: 770-297-1141)
Spring Chicken Festival: April 29, town square, downtown Gainesville. Walk or run in the 5K, watch the fun Chicken City Parade, enjoy the cook-off and be entertained by live music. An upcycled art market and kids’ zone will be there
too! Visit www.gainesville.org/ spring-chicken-festival to sign up as a cook or to participate in the parade.
HART COUNTY www.hart-chamber.org www.hartwellmainstreet.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-376-8590 or email@example.com; DDA: 706-376-0188) Annual Plant Sale: April 7-8, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Hart County Botanical Garden, Highway 77 S, just past Hart EMC, Hartwell. Visit www.hartcogardens.org. Lake Hartwell Antique Boat Festival: April 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Hartwell Marina, Hartwell. Beautifully restored antique boats, arts & crafts show, antique & classic car show, kids’ activities, food and music. Free to the public. Contact the Hart County Chamber of Commerce at hartchamber @hartcom.net or 706-376-8590. Come & Cruise In: April 22, Hartwell. Antique and classic car owners are invited to cruise in at the Antique Boat Festival. There is no cost; just meet at 9 a.m. at the Belk parking lot for parade lineup. At 9:30 a.m. the Hartwell Police Department will escort you to the Hartwell Marina for parking. A trophy will be given to the People’s Choice Top Car. Contact the Hart County Chamber of Commerce at hartchamber@ hartcom.net or 706-376-8590. “Annie Get Your Gun”: April 28, 29 & 30 and May 5, 6 & 7, Hart County Community Theatre, 83 Depot St., Hartwell. Enjoy this classic musical. 39th Annual Lake Hartwell Dam Run: May 6, Big Oaks Recreation Area, Hartwell. The event includes a 5K Run/Walk and a 10K Run and is sponsored by the Hart County Running Club. Register at www.active.com. For more information, call the Hart County Chamber of Commerce at 706-376-8590. 10th Annual Cars & Guitars Festival: May 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., town square, downtown Hartwell. Antique, classic and custom cars and trucks; antique and vintage memorabilia booths; classic rock ‘n’ roll music and activities for kids. Contact the Hart County Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-376-8590. Spring Lake Homes Showcase: June 17, Hartwell. If you have ever dreamed of owning the perfect lake house, here is your opportunity to find it. Take the tour CONTINUED ON PAGE 36 Spring 2017 35
SPRING 2017 EVENTS through eight luxurious and beautiful lake homes to find your match. Call 706376-8590 or visit www.hart-chamber.org. Dancin’ on Depot: June 23, 7 p.m.-11 p.m., Depot Street, downtown Hartwell. Show off your moves at the dance party. 41st Annual Pre-Fourth Craft Extravaganza: June 24, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., downtown Hartwell. This huge craft fair takes over the downtown square and is sponsored by the Hartwell Service League. Pre-Fourth Fireworks: June 24, 5:30 p.m.9:30 p.m., Hartwell Dam’s Big Oaks Recreation Area, Hartwell. Bring your family for food, kids’ activities, patriotic music by The Community Band from 8 to 9 p.m., and fireworks at about 9:15 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY www.jacksoncountyga.com www.cityofhoschton.com www.commercega.org www.mainstreetcommercega.com www.cityofjeffersonga.com www.mainstreetjefferson.com www.braselton.net (Chamber of Commerce: 706-387-0300; Commerce DDA: 706-335-2954; Jefferson Better Hometown: 706-215-3345; Jefferson City Hall: 706-367-7202; Braselton City Hall: 770-654-3915)
Easter Parade: April 15, downtown Commerce. Bring your kids and enjoy the parade and food & drink offerings. Cruisin’ Commerce: April 15, downtown Commerce. See numerous vintage cars and listen to live music. Braselton Farmers Market: April 21 & May 19, 3-6 p.m., Old Cotton Gin on Davis Street, downtown Braselton. Enjoy local goods and community fellowship at the Braselton Farmers Market. Visit www.downtownbraselton.com. Summer Concert Series: May 5, June 2 & Aug. 4, downtown Commerce. Listen to your favorite local bands play this spring and summer. Email to main email@example.com to learn more. Toast to Braselton: May 11, 6-9 p.m., Braselton Stover Event Center, downtown Braselton. Enjoy this dinner and auction sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Braselton Weekly Farmers Market: June 2 and every Friday throughout the summer, 4-7 p.m., downtown Braselton. Take a tour 36 Northeast Georgia Living
of the Old Grist Mill on Frances Street, see vintage tractors and stock up on fresh local veggies, baked goods and more! Movie Under the Stars on the Green: June 17, dusk, Braselton Town Green, Braselton. A family-friendly movie will be shown.
LUMPKIN COUNTY www.dahlonega.org (Chamber of Commerce: 706-864-3711 or 800-231-5543; Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Visitors Center: 706-864-3513)
Springtime Festival: March 31-April 12 excluding Mondays, North Georgia Zoo & Farm, Cleveland. Weekdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Play with baby animals, plant flowers and enjoy other fun kids’ activities. Savoring the Square Food Tour: April 1, 2-5 p.m., downtown Dahlonega. Taste all the delicious food Dahlonega has to offer! Tickets can be obtained from the website www.savoringthesquare.com, through Facebook or by calling 706-482-8795. The Return - A Beatles Tribute: April 1, 8-10:30 p.m., Holly Theater, Dahlonega. Four friends recreate Beatles classics. Get tickets at www.hollytheater.com. Bear on the Square Mountain Festival: April 22-23, downtown Dahlonega. Celebrate Southern Appalachian culture with live bluegrass and gospel music, an artists’ marketplace, free music workshops, storytelling, classes for string musicians, mountain dances and kids’ activities. Visit dahlonega.org.
MADISON COUNTY www.madisoncountyga.org (Danielsville Chamber of Commerce: 706-795-3473)
Annual Spring Plant Swap: April 13, Madison County Library, Danielsville. Avid horticulturists and hobby gardeners alike are welcome. Children’s Programming Story Time: Every Wednesday throughout the spring, 10:30 a.m., Madison County Library, Danielsville. Ages 5 and under are welcome. The Lego Club meets at 4:30 p.m., and Pajama Story Time is 7 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month. Other family programs like needlecrafting and calligraphy are offered weekly and monthly. For scheduled times call 706-795-5597. CONTINUED ON PAGE 38 Spring 2017 37
SPRING 2017 EVENTS OCONEE COUNTY www.oconeecounty.com www.oconeechamber.org (Oconee County Chamber: 706-769-7947; Welcome Center: 706-769-5197)
22nd Annual Southworks Juried Art Exhibition: April 7-May 5, 34 School St., Watkinsville. The Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation’s annual national juried art exhibition showcases talent from across the nation. Visit www.ocaf.com. The 2nd Annual Oconee Garden Tour: April 29, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Oconee County. Locations will be determined at a later time. Visit www.oconeeconnection.org.
RABUN COUNTY www.gamountains.com www.downtownclaytonga.org www.explorerabun.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-782-4812; Civic Center: 706-212-2142)
Black Rock Mountain Camping Trip: March 31-April 2, 8 p.m., Black Rock Mountain State Park, Mountain City. Hosted by Wander North Georgia, this event will include group hikes, a morning yoga session and several group activities. Admission is $25. Visit www.face book.com/wandernorthga. Whitewater-Watching Hike: April 1-2 & April 8-9, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tallulah Gorge State Park, Tallulah Falls. Attend this ranger-led hike down to Bridal Veil Falls to watch brave souls paddle the Tallulah River. No pets; kids must be 10 years old or older. Register in advance. The fee is $15 plus $5 for parking. Call 706-754-7981. Sunset Hike: April 22 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., May 24 from 7:45 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. and June 21 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Tallulah Gorge State Park, Tallulah Falls. Take a ranger-led one-mile hike to the highest point in the park to watch the sun set over Tallulah Gorge. Call 706754-7981 to reserve your spot. Admission is $5 plus $5 for parking. Annual Celebrate Clayton Festival: April 29-30, downtown Clayton. Saturday’s hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday’s hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This is an arts & fine crafts event for all ages. Visit www.celebrateclayton.com. Full Moon Lake Paddle: May 9, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., June 9, 9 p.m.-11 p.m. and Aug. 6, 8
p.m.-10 p.m., Tallulah Gorge State Park, Tallulah Falls. Join in a ranger-led paddle around Tallulah Falls Lake. No pets; kids must be 8 years old or older. The fee is $15 plus $5 for parking. Register in advance by calling 706-754-7981. Gorge Floor Hike: May 27-29, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Tallulah Gorge State Park, Tallulah Falls. Explore the stunning gorge on a strenuous ranger-led hike. No pets will be allowed. Kids must be 10 years old or older. The fee is $15 plus $5 for parking. Register in advance by calling 706-754-7981.
STEPHENS COUNTY www.mainstreettoccoa.com www.toccoagachamber.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-886-2132)
Toast of Toccoa: May 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., historic downtown Toccoa. Artist’s booths and food and drink vendors. Visit www.mainstreettoccoa.com. Toccoa Train Day: May 13, 6:15 a.m., historic Toccoa Depot, downtown Toccoa. Visit www.mainstreettoccoa.com. Summer Movies at the Ritz: every Thursday in June and July, 10 a.m. & 7 p.m., the Ritz Theatre, Toccoa. Admission and concessions are $1. Movie schedule at www.ritztheatretoccoa.com. Ida Cox Music Festival: every Saturday evening in June & July, historic downtown Toccoa. Admission to all concerts is free. Visit www.idacoxmusicseries.com.
TOWNS COUNTY www.mountaintopga.com (Chamber of Commerce: 706-896-4966; Towns County Tourism: 706-896-0589)
2017 Wine Highway Weekend: March 24 from noon through March 26 at 5 p.m. and March 31 from noon through April 2 at 5 p.m. Purchase your “passport” and receive your souvenir glass at any of the 21 participating wineries. You will receive five tastings at each winery. Enjoy live music. Visit www.georgiawine.com/ events/2017-wine-highway-weekend. Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival: March 31 & April 1, Young Harris College, Young Harris. Appalachian stories, musical performances, children’s events and workshops for all ages. Visit www.yhc.edu/storytelling. A Bloomin’ Affair: April 15-May 20, Saturdays & Sundays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., CONTINUED ON PAGE 40 Spring 2017
SPRING 2017 EVENTS Hamilton Gardens, Hiawassee. Enjoy a scenic garden stroll as you admire over 2,000 blooming flowers. There will be access to several plant sales and special events every weekend. Get details by visiting www.fredhamiltongarden.org. Lake Chatuge Classic Golf Tournament: May 5, 8-4 p.m., Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, Young Harris.Visit www.mountaintopga.com for details. Home & Garden Show: June 10, 10 a.m.5 p.m. and June 11, noon-5 p.m., Towns County Recreation & Convention Center, 150 Foster Park Road, Young Harris. Visit expomanagementinc.com.
UNION COUNTY www.blairsvillechamber.com www.downtownblairsville.com (Chamber of Commerce: 877-745-4789 or 706-745-5789)
The Georgia Mountain Metric Century: May 13, 9 a.m.-noon, Pat Haralson Memorial Civic Center, Blairsville. Join up or watch riders prepare for the 23mile ride over the “big three gaps” – Hog Pen, Unicoi and Jacks gaps. Visit www.georgiamountaincentury.com. Mother Nature’s Bounty Lecture & Garden Tour: June 9, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the Cannery Interpretive Center & Ethnobotanic Garden on the grounds of the Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center, Blairsville. Learn from well-known Ila Hatter, an interpretive naturalist teaching the cultural heritage of native plants. Visit www.gmrec.uga.edu. 14th Annual Blairsville Scottish Festival & Highland Games: June 10-11, Meeks Park, Blairsville. Enjoy traditional games, Highland music, sheep herding, falconry, dancing and food with a Scottish flair. Visit www.blairsvillescottishfestival.com.
WHITE COUNTY www.whitecountychamber.org www.helenchamber.com www.helenga.org (Convention & Visitors Bureau: 706-878-5608; Helen Welcome Center & Chamber of Commerce: 706-878-1619; White County Chamber of Commerce: 706-865-5356)
28th Annual Helen Trout Tournament: March 25. Register at the Helen Festhalle CONTINUED ON PAGE 42 40 Northeast Georgia Living
Spring 2017 41
SPRING 2017 EVENTS on Friday, March 24 from 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. or on Saturday, March 25 from 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. The entry fee is $20 and open to all ages. The entry fee includes two raffle tickets for prizes, plus contestants get a T-shirt, while supplies last. Emory Jones Book Signing: Through Dec. 9, second Saturday of each month, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Hardman Farm Historic Site, Sautee Nacoochee. Emory Jones will read excerpts from his book, The Valley Where They Danced. Hear excerpts prior to the tour and then ask Mr. Jones questions afterward. Call 706878-1077 for more information. Spring Bierfest: April 22, noon-6 p.m., Helen Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss St., Helen. Visit Helen for a Biertasting event! Enjoy tastings until 4 p.m. and then come back to the Festhalle at 6 p.m. to enjoy a live German band and traditional German dancing for a sample of Oktoberfest. Food and beverages will also be offered. Admission is $25 per person for Biertasting and $7 per person for the evening event. Bavarianfest 2017: May 27, 6 p.m.-11 p.m., Helen Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss St., Helen. Admission is $7 per person. Active and retired military and veterans plus a guest get in free. Beer, wursts and dancing. Visit www.helenchamber.com. 44th Annual Helen to the Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Race: June 1-3, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Helendorf River Inn, 33 Munich Strasse, Helen. This year is the 44th annual Helen to the Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Race. Balloon pilots from around the world come to the Alpine Village of Helen to fill the sky for a three-day display. The Helen to the Atlantic is the only long-distance hot air balloon race in the United States of its kind. It is also the oldest balloon event in the South. Visit www.helenballoon.com. â—† TO LIST EVENTS IN future issues, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail hard copies to P.O. Box 270, Franklin Springs, GA 30639. Deadline for the Summer 2017 issue is April 10, 2017. Please include events covering the period from June 20, 2017, through Sept. 20, 2017. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our listing of scheduled events. For additional information and for confirmation, please call either local sponsors or chamber of commerce offices.
42 Northeast Georgia Living
BY SYDNAH KINGREA
Wake Up to Lake Hartwell! 44 Northeast Georgia Living
TOUR FABULOUS LAKE HOMES Saturday, June 17, 2017
Kayakers and sunrise by William D. Powell
athedral ceilings, hand-set stone fireplaces and detailed crown molding welcome you into these extravagant and immaculate lakeside homes. If your dreams are made of posh interiors and custom cabinetry, you will soak in every moment of the Spring Lake Homes Showcase. As if the expansive window views werenâ€™t enough, these homes also feature tastefully tiled screened-in porches and cookout-friendly decks located right on the edge of serene Lake Hartwell. Immerse yourself in these beautifully planned homes and take in the scenic surroundings while you enjoy the cool lake breezes of Northeast Georgia. On Saturday, June 17, join us for a detailed tour of eight fabulous lake homes. Sponsored by the Hart County Chamber of Commerce, Pinnacle Bank, Northeast Georgia Living Magazine and WLHR 92.1 and in association with Coldwell Banker Fort Realty, Charlene Lee Realty, Spot on the Lake, Exit Landmark Realty, and Keller Williams Lake Hartwell, this informative event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A map will be provided and refreshments will be available as guests meander through a self-guided tour of elegant homes. Admission to this lakeside affair is free and door prizes will be given away. For more information about the Spring Lake Homes Showcase tour call 706-376-8590 or visit hart-chamber.org.
297 Lakeshore Drive • Hartwell
Dignified columns and a brick exterior make a grand statement as guests arrive at this 5-bedroom, 4.5-bath custom-built lake home located minutes from town. Featuring a spacious screened-in patio, a large two-story dock with a covered upper level, and a two-car garage, this roomy 4,260-square-foot home has plenty of space for family, friends and lake toys. A vaulted great room with a stone fireplace, a gourmet kitchen with richly colored granite countertops and a quiet cove location are only a few of the qualities that make this the perfect lake home. A paved cart path gently winds down to the water’s edge. $795,000 Exit Landmark Realty – Christy Chitwood 706-377-3948 or 706-717-1557
120 Ponderosa Drive • Hartwell
This massive 5,666-square-foot beautifully decorated 6-bedroom, 4.5-bath home on Lake Hartwell features three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms on the main floor, along with a fireplace, a well-lit living area and an open-plan kitchen and dining space. Three more bedrooms and two bathrooms are located downstairs along with a large deck for entertaining on the lake. Hardwood floors, wide baseboards, crown molding and custom cabinets offer luxurious touches throughout the home. A downstairs area recently completed with stained concrete includes a wet bar and a rec room for lake gatherings and a full concrete porch. A quick walk through the plush grass leads straight to the dock. $699,000 Charlene Lee Realty – Pam Fields 706-376-5100
Spring 2017 45
11 York Shores Drive • Hartwell Enter this spectacular 5-bedroom, 4.5-bath home situated on beautiful Lake Hartwell. With showstopping features on the main level, including a spacious open kitchen with sizable granite countertops and a convenient bar area, visitors will be immediately taken with this home. A large dining area with five floor-toceiling windows makes for a perfect place to sup. A huge family room with a stone fireplace and vaulted ceilings and a private office complete the spacious living areas. Also on the main level a roomy master suite offers a walk-in closet, a garden tub and a separate shower. Two additional bedrooms and one and a half baths can be found on this floor. An attractively finished basement holds a second kitchen, a theater room, two “bonus areas,” two full baths, two bedrooms and a flexible space that can be used as a sixth bedroom. Several storage areas complete the basement. Two well-built balconies and a free-standing patio overlooking a level walk leading to a covered dock on Lake Hartwell can be found attached to the outside of the home. $698,900 Coldwell Banker Fort Realty – Jeanna Foley 864-933-0878
96 Robin Hood Lane • Hartwell
Move right into this charming furnished 3-bedroom, 2-bath waterfront home on Lake Hartwell. With striking wooden beam coffered ceilings and lake views from almost every room, this is quintessential lake living in a cottage-style home. Hardwood floors, light-washed cabinets, and an open kitchen, dining, and living room provide a spacious feel on the main level. The master suite and the tiled master bath with a garden tub and a walk-in shower are also situated on this level, while the remaining two bedrooms and a full bath make up the second floor. The main-level living area opens to a walk-out screened porch and a deck with an enclosed gazebo for entertaining or enjoying a peaceful day. A short concrete walkway through the wooded lot leads to the covered boat dock. A 2006 pontoon boat comes with the house and is the cherry on top. $485,000 Charlene Lee Realty – Charlene Lee 706-376-5100
46 Northeast Georgia Living
814 Reed Creek Point • Hartwell A welcoming front porch and spacious two-car garage lead into this house on the point with unending views of the water and zero corps lines. Be greeted by hardwood floors and beamed ceilings throughout this home. The openplan kitchen, dining and great room areas access a huge deck that overlooks the main channel. A separate den with a stone fireplace and the master suite, complete with a garden tub and a walk-in shower, are also on the main level. Upstairs, a multi-use common area is flanked by two bedrooms and a full bath. The terrace level has stone floors, a full kitchen, a second dining space, a cozy sleeping area and yet another full bath. Outside the terrace level is a gorgeous screened-in porch with slate flooring that leads to a stone pathway accessing the two-level dock. Catch a sneak peak of this house by visiting https://youtu.be/E3jZsjm8t6A. $650,000 Spot on the Lake – Tom Miller 678-469-9917
231 Chandlers Trace • Hartwell
This modern custom-built 4-bedroom, 2.5bath home includes 120 feet of shoreline, a large deck with beautiful views of Lake Hartwell’s Reed Creek and a double-deck boat dock and lift, making it a waterlover’s dream. Hardwood and tile floors, plush carpeting, high ceilings and large windows offering lake views from almost every room create a comfortable, spacious and airy feel. A convenient attached two-car garage allows easy entry, rain or shine. A covered downstairs patio offers a relaxing area for a quick respite or a large space for lively entertainment. $499,000 Keller Williams Lake Hartwell – Bob Bedgood 770-778-4040
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555 Panorama Drive • Lavonia This impressive 5-bedroom, 4.5-bath home features 160 feet of frontage on deep lake water and beautiful views of Lake Hartwell in every direction. A formal, airy living room with prestigious tray ceilings and a fireplace, a music area or sitting room, and a formal dining room can be found on the main level. A large eat-in kitchen with an island features a breakfast bar, granite countertops and sleek appliances and is also conveniently located on the main level. The master bedroom with a sitting area and fireplace, a large walk-in closet, and a master bath with a garden tub, separate shower and two separate vanities, plus a second bedroom and a powder room, make up the remainder of the main level. A stairway leads to the loft bedroom, which offers its own walk-in closet, a bathroom and skylights for plenty of natural light. The terrace level has two more bedrooms, two baths, an office/bedroom, a family room with a wood burning fireplace, and an exercise room. The ceilings throughout this home are soaring at 9 ft. to 15 ft. and the floors are quality hardwood, tile and marble. A laundry room and breezeway lead to the spacious three-car garage. Most rooms in the home have French doors leading to either the lakeside screened porches and patios or to a path to the covered dock. $1,149,000 Coldwell Banker Fort Realty – Georgeanna White 706-436-3320
132 Knox Drive • Lavonia
This private 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath brick home on 1.39 +/- acres features an expansive dining room area, a vaulted great room with hardwood floors and a fireplace, and a large kitchen with a breakfast area. Tall windows in every room create bright natural light. An open-air deck with lake views extends from the living area. The upscale main-level master suite features its own private fireplace, a tiled master bath with a double vanity, a jetted tub, and a separate shower. Two additional bedrooms and a full bath with separate vanities can be found on the upper level. An oversized rec room with its own kitchenette or bar area is located in the finished basement. An additional fireplace, sitting area, bedroom and full bath are also located on this level. Outside the downstairs living area is a covered patio that makes for relaxing evenings overlooking the lake. A private covered single-slip dock, a cute cottage storage building and a stone fire pit are also on the property. $450,000 Exit Landmark Realty – Christy Chitwood 706-377-3948 or 706-717-1557
48 Northeast Georgia Living
ARTS NO ONE ALIKE BY SYDNAH KINGREA
THE VIRTUES OF
50 Northeast Georgia Living
ately began experimenting with breaking the rules. Her own marbling is more freeform or “abstract” marbling. The process requires distinct, calculated steps to be taken and will ultimately create a beautifully unique design. Water and seaweed are first mixed in a small tub to create a gelatin. Then, acrylic paint is dropped onto the surface of the gelatin, and the dots begin to unfurl. Kim manipulates the surface to create her own stunning pattern. Materials from paper to silk or leather can be set into the tray upon which the pattern prints. Before those materials are united with the marbling solution, a laborious process to prepare the materials is undertaken, and once the design has set, more work is performed to protect the newly designed belts, clutches, scarves, journals and tote bags from damage. Each piece is designed for daily use, so the art can be worn without worry. “I fell in love” was Kim’s answer when I asked how her story brought her to Northeast Georgia. “I first found this area late July of 2013 through a connection from my alma mater, Juniata College,” Kim says. “I was invited to help fire an Anagama kiln (an ancient Japanese-style wood kiln) at Piedmont
After learning the ancient Japanese art of marbling, Kim Padula (above) began applying the technique to materials such as paper, silk and leather, from which she creates unique pieces like clutches, scarves, journals and totes. Her father, Bill Padula, contributes to the shop by crafting one of a kind pieces from metal and wood.
College in Demorest, Georgia. Along with studying mixed media art and theater production as part of my undergraduate degree, I studied ceramics. This ancient kiln firing process is a weeklong labor-intensive
he words “No One Alike” boldly and instinctively draw you into the charming cottage shop and studio of artist Kim Padula and her father, Bill Padula. The yearning to be unique and different and to be cherished for these qualities is ingrained in each of our souls and echoes the mission of art itself. A visit to No One Alike connects you with these all too often buried desires. The strikingly vibrant colors and shapes created by Kim’s marbling technique speak to the wild, unencumbered nature that is often lost in the busyness and day-to-day tasks of life. A walk through the shop will take you past scores of marbling creations and handcrafted wooden knives and bangles, no piece alike. What you choose to take home, you’ll never see a duplicate of. Marbling, one of the biggest themes in No One Alike, is an ancient technique that originated in Japan in A.D. 1400, according to Kim. From Japan, the marbling technique made its way to Turkey and Florence, Italy, before arriving in the United States in colonial times. The traditional style of marbling maintains a uniform pattern throughout every square inch. Kim discovered the technique, and within 30 minutes of learning, immedi-
effort that must be maintained 24/7. She continues, “During that week I found a strong artisan community and felt at home. I met potter Cody Trautner, who is the new owner of Hickory Flat Pottery, and now four years later we will be married this October.” No One Alike and Hickory Flat Pottery are 50 feet away from one another, and a path between the two has been established. “No One Alike stands out in an area rich with potters; we offer a different take on utilitarian art,” finished Kim. When he is not at his corporate job selling metal recycling machinery worldwide, Kim’s father, Bill Padula, contributes to No One Alike by crafting one of a kind knives, bangles, cutting boards and pens out of maple and Osage orange wood from Northeast Georgia. Using his contacts in
the recycling industry, he also works with repurposed materials and sources rescued purpleheart wood from Barbados landfills and ironwood from New Mexico for his projects. Burls – bulbous growths on trees that will eventually kill them – can be removed and cut to create beautiful designs in wood art. This technique is exemplified in many of his pieces. Bill Padula stabilizes all the wood he uses in his art. The process requires the wood to be vacuum-heated and epoxied, and this adds to the plasticity, endurance and longevity of his pieces. It also provides the wood with more of a defense against moisture and warping. Color can be added to the vacuum to create even more unique contrasts. “My father has made almost every cabinet, table or shelving piece for our store himself, as well as my numerous marbling trays. We mostly work separately, and then our finished products stand together,” answered Kim when asked about combination projects. She continued, “I have plans to create lamps together. Leather-upholstered furniture is in our future as well. This spring we will be introducing marbled candles with hand-turned wooden stands. Our
mediums complement each other because they are both organic. The patterns in my marbling mimic the patterns of the Damascus steel and spalted maple lines in his hand-turned knife handles.” Kim offers custom marbling, including custom wall pieces for living rooms and bedrooms, in addition to her No One Alike store offerings. Kim and her father stress that it is important to find the unique and one-of-akind in the mass-produced environment we live in. They believe art can be utilitarian and functional and still express the uniqueness of the individual and extol the virtues of individuality. No One Alike epitomizes this belief superbly. ◆ No One Alike is located at 13430 Highway 197 N in Clarkesville, Ga. From January 1 to March 15 they are open on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. From March 16 to December 15 they are open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, visit no1alike.com or find them on Instagram (@noonealike) or on Facebook (No One Alike). Spring 2017 51
TRAILS WATERFALLS BY SYDNAH KINGREA
pring is a time of growth and discovery. A time when flora and fauna alike waken from their winter torpor to find new, vibrant life. Few things evoke this sense of wonderment and rediscovery like stumbling upon the strong rush of a waterfall. Waterfalls explode with vibrancy, and the ecosystems that surround them provide a haven for new life, from lichen and ferns to newborn animals. Immerse yourself in natureâ€™s enthusiasm for life and explore the exciting and alluring waterfall trails that Northeast Georgia has to offer around every corner. Open your eyes to the beauty and mystery that surrounds. Enjoy the new blooms, cool cascade mist and fresh mountain air and realize what makes Northeast Georgia special. Happy trails!
Helton Creek Falls
BLAIRSVILLE, GEORGIA Beginners, casual hikers and those with children will love the short and easy 0.4mile in-and-out hike to Helton Creek Falls. The trailhead is only 2.2 miles from the entrance to Vogel State Park on Helton Creek Road, and a quick walk will allow you a view of the lower and upper falls. Two of the more striking cascading falls in Northeast Georgia, the Helton Creek Falls are wide and high: the lower falls drop 30 feet, and the upper falls drop vertically 50 feet. The lush forest surrounding the falls makes for a rich framing of sloping beauty. You can enjoy the view from the comfortable observation decks conveniently located at each set of falls.
Helton Creek Falls BY PATRICIA ADAMS 52 Northeast Georgia Living
DAHLONEGA, GEORGIA One of the crown jewels of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, DeSoto Falls’ three waterfalls – Upper DeSoto Falls, Middle DeSoto Falls and Lower DeSoto Falls – cover a combined distance of 480 feet. The trail, which runs alongside Frogtown Creek, makes for an especially charming spring hike because of the wildflower and rhododendron blooms. This moderate trail is a little over 2 miles long round trip. First, venturers will pass the lower falls, a 35-foot segment of cascades that empties into a small but deep spring pool. From here, the trail passes through lichencovered rocks and under the shade of strong old trees to a rolling ascension. After passing through the forest and crossing a wooden bridge over a creek, you will reach Upper DeSoto Falls. The elegantly stacked cascades flow gracefully over jutting rock, giving the falls a tiered appearance.
Denton Branch Falls BY PETER McINTOSH
Denton Branch Falls
Toccoa Falls BY MARK WESTLUND TOWNS COUNTY, GEORGIA Surrounded by Hemlocks, TOCCOA, GEORGIA fern-filled forests, lush underDropping sharply and vertically 186 feet from a flowing creek growth and moss, Denton above, Toccoa Falls is one of the tallest free-falling waterfalls east Branch Falls reign spectacuof the Mississippi River. Truly a sight to behold, the falls are only lar, falling 25-30 feet. As you a short 100-yard walk down a graveled path from Toccoa Falls tread through the quiet forest, College’s Gate Cottage gift shop. All ages are welcome here, and the sounds of the waterfalls the path is handicap-accessible. It passes beside a babbling stream grow louder, and you quickly to the roaring falls, which can be heard before they are seen. Huge stumble upon the secluded boulders surround the base of the falls, providing a sharp conDenton Branch Falls. This trast to the graceful plummet of the waters. Standing near the trail can be found near rock formations, you can feel the mist of the falls on your face, a Clayton and Tate City off of refreshing experience on a warm spring day. This is a popular, an unmarked road (some naturally beautiful destination for weddings and ceremonies. argue it is called Denton Branch Road) just past Chapple Lane on the LAKEMONT, GEORGIA right. Because Minnehaha Falls in Rabun County is a quick yet this is an rewarding hike and a local treasure. The trail, unmarked dirt lined with fragrant trees and shrubs, is shaded road, many peoand cool even in the midst of spring and sumple miss it, leavmer. It parallels Fall Branch Creek and has a ing the trail to be refreshing wading area at the end. As the elevafound only by tion gradually increases, you will see a pleasant those who persesmaller cascade that is only an introduction to the vere. Once you falls to come. At nearly the 0.4-mile mark, you find the trail, it is will hear and begin to see Minnehaha Falls. The only a short waterfall cascades down 100 feet over scattered 0.2-mile trek to boulders and widens as it reaches the pooled the falls. Minnehaha Falls base, mimicking the pattern of fireworks. BY PETER McINTOSH The small free parking area off the side of Bear Gap Road near Lakemont is easily missed, but you should see a hand railing and trail leading into the woods near this location. This is your trailhead. The roads that lead you to Minnehaha Falls pass by the lake and wind deep into the Rabun County mountains. The hike is a short trip from Clayton and Tallulah Falls and is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.
DeSoto Falls SPECIAL PHOTO
CONTINUED ON PAGE 54 Spring 2017
Anna Ruby Falls
HELEN, GEORGIA A pleasant and familyfriendly hike, the Anna Ruby Falls trail is less than half a mile one way and is considered easy to moderate. A brief handicap-accessible paved walk with a progressively steepening incline follows alongside Smith Creek, crosses wooden bridges and continues past several smaller enchanting cascades to two observation decks and sitting areas where the double falls can be fully appreciated. The waters that rapidly plummet in Anna Ruby Falls come from natural underground springs and the joining of Curtis and York creeks, which begin their journey on nearby Tray Mountain. A satisfying experience any time of year, a visit to Anna Ruby Falls is particularly enjoyable in the spring because more greenery and shade are available. This path is conveniently located next to Unicoi State Park, so more trails are nearby if you hope to make a day of your trip.
Hurricane Falls SPECIAL PHOTO
TALLULAH FALLS, GEORGIA Tallulah Falls is composed of six separate waterfalls within the Tallulah Gorge: L’Eau d’Or Falls, Tempesta Falls, Hurricane Falls, Oceana Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Lovers Leap Falls. While all of the falls can be seen from various spots along the rim of Tallulah Gorge, the Hurricane Falls Loop trail, which skirts the gorge rim and descends to the gorge floor, is the most popular route that visitors take. The Hurricane Falls Loop trail at Tallulah Gorge will bombard you with stunning views, but this rigorous hike takes true grit. The trail departs from the Interpretive Center and skirts the north rim of the gorge, where you will enjoy
L’Eau D’Or Falls SPECIAL PHOTO
steep views of the suspension bridge deep within the gorge and see the gorge’s Bridal Veil Falls from unrivaled angles. The trail then descends a strenuous series of steep metal stairs to the suspension bridge and the gorge floor, where visitors come face to face with Hurricane Falls as it crashes into the boulders of the ravine.
The moderate to difficult trail returns up the metal stairs to the suspension bridge where it then veers left to the south rim of the gorge. The hike ends back at the Interpretive Center after descending and ascending 1,099 steps and covering a little over 2 miles. The North Rim Trail can be accessed from behind the Interpretive Center and is rated slightly less difficult than the Hurricane Falls Loop. Three quarters of a mile one way, this trail has five scenic overlooks, one of which offers the best southern view into the gorge. From one overlook, Oceana Falls and Bridal Veil Falls can be seen; from another, an enchanting view of L’Eau d’Or Falls, the Tempesta Falls and the Hawthorne Cascade is offered. Overall, you will enjoy a pleasant yet moderate hike that includes some stairs and unbeatable views. From the opposite side of the Interpretive Center, you will find the South Rim Trail. Like the North Rim Trail, this trail is approximately 3/4 mile one way. This trail also contains various scenic overlooks that offer views of the Hawthorne Cascade Pool and the top of Tempesta Falls as well as long-range views of Hurricane Falls, Oceana Falls and the Caledonia Cascade.
BY BRIAN BOYD
Anna Ruby Falls BY DAVID GREEAR PHOTOGRAPHY
54 Northeast Georgia Living
Amicalola Falls SPECIAL PHOTO
DAWSONVILLE, GEORGIA At 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast. Views of the falls are available from pathways accessible to hikers with less experience or from a more rigorous 1mile trail with over 600 metal steps that is appropriate for more skilled hikers. Other popular trails intertwine with the Falls Access Trail, including the southern end of the Appalachian Trail and the 8.5mile trail leading from the park to Springer Mountain, providing other opportunities to explore while visiting. Guests can also pay a visit to the rustic Len Foote Hike Inn via a 5-mile hike. The trek from the visitor center to
the Amicalola Falls summit follows a rubber-paved trail up a fairly significant incline that will take you by boulder-laden streams rich with greenery that gradually give way to white, misty cascades falling from a towering height. You can view the falls from platforms near the bottom and from a bridge that crosses the midway point of the cascades. If you wish to continue from the platforms to the top of the falls, there are steep stairs that will take you to a level, paved path and an area where you can view the abrupt drop of the falls into the lower creek and the peaceful pond at the base. CONTINUED ON PAGE 57 Spring 2017 55
High Shoals Falls
Hemlock Falls BY PETER McINTOSH
CLARKESVILLE, GEORGIA The waters of Hemlock Falls crash over a sheer vertical cliff before plummeting to an idyllic pool below, where the water flows through a series of boulders, creating small cascades. The moderately difficult Hemlock Falls trail is lightly used, and the road to the trail begins just south of the entrance to Moccasin Creek State Park. Two miles in and out, the trailâ€™s path alongside Moccasin Creek provides a scenic prelude to the final production, the spectacular falls.
HIAWASSEE, GEORGIA High Shoals Falls is actually a progression of cascading waterfalls. A little over 1 mile one way, the dog-friendly and moderately difficult High Shoals Trail wends its way alongside High Shoals Creek to observation decks, crossing multiple wooden bridges and continuing past a few rustic campsites before reaching Blue Hole Falls. Named for the deep blue abyss into which it plummets, Blue Hole Falls is a beautiful introduction to the coming High Shoals Falls. Unlike other trails, this one seems to descend more than it ascends on the way in. After moving deeper into the tree canopy, you come upon the 50-foot High Shoals Falls. The falls gently cascade down brightly mossed rocks into a cool mountain pool. While the descent on the way in is relaxed, the steady ascent on the way back is more challenging. To reach these cascades, take State Highway 75 south from Hiawassee for approximately 10 miles and look for Indian Grave Gap Road on the left. Follow the road for 1.5 miles to reach the trailhead. â—†
Spring 2017 57
Menand WhoTell Cook
A renaissance man is defined as one who has vast and exceeding knowledge and who is proficient in a variety of fields. He is cultured, sophisticated and able. These Northeast Georgia men – men who “cook and tell” – are prime examples. They are hardworking, multifaceted renaissance men who enjoy the art of cooking. In addition to the admirable skills they display at their day jobs, they have cooking skills – skills they make use of for the benefit of their loved ones, the delight of their communities and the pure enjoyment of the culinary process. BY SYDNAH KINGREA
FRANKLIN SPRINGS BILL BELL, A FRANKLIN Springs resident, is a retired teacher who taught industrial arts and technology at Hart County Middle School. He taught for 30 years and now dedicates his time and talents to the community. He moved to Franklin Springs from North Carolina 45 years ago, after he married his lovely wife, Sue. He attended Emmanuel College. Bill has served on the City Council for over 25 years and has been a deacon at Franklin Springs Pentecostal Holiness Church for several terms. More recently, he has taken to delighting locals by preparing elaborate dishes for community events. As a cooking connoisseur, he is constantly experimenting with new recipes, adding or taking away ingredients to make them his own. Bill Bell’s cooking has become so popular in 58 Northeast Georgia Living
These steamed oysters are simple to prepare and divine to eat. Bill often batters and fries the leftovers until the batter is crispy and golden and serves them at another meal. 12 fresh whole oysters 3-4 cups water Hot sauce of choosing Classic Saltine crackers Salt, to taste Clean and scrub the oysters, discarding any that are damaged. Bring the water to a boil. Set a steam basket or metal colander into the pot of boiling water and add the oysters. Steam for about 10 minutes or until the shells begin to open slightly. Carefully shuck the oysters and remove the top shell or allow guests to do so, as desired. Serve with hot sauce and Saltine crackers for a classic pairing.
Blackberry Wine Cake Bill Bell’s Blackberry Wine Cake is famous in the Royston/Franklin Springs area and is often requested at church functions and community events. Cake: 1 cup pecans, chopped. Extra if you prefer nuts in the batter. 1 Duncan Hines white cake mix 1 box blueberry fusion or black cherry Jello 1/2 cup blackberry wine* 4 eggs 1 cup oil Heat the oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Place the chopped nuts in the bottom of the pan. Combine and mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Pour the mixture over the nuts
the area that he even created a Facebook page dedicated to sharing his recipes and food photos with the public. He has a knack for finding just the right recipes to try and sharing his results with the community. You can see more of Bill’s unrivaled recipes at www.facebook.com/bill bellsrecipesfoodandcooking.
Mark Gerrin’s Sauteed Mushrooms, Cheesy Camping Potatoes and Caribbean Glazed Pork Loin in the pan. Bake at 325 F for 50 minutes or until done. Glaze: 1/2 cup blackberry wine* 1/2 box granulated sugar (should equal 1 cup) 1/2 stick margarine
Caribbean Glazed Pork Loin by Sydnah Kingrea
Bring all ingredients to a boil. As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, pour half of the glaze over it. Wait a few minutes or until the cake has slightly cooled, turn the cake
out of the Bundt pan, and pour the remaining glaze over that side. The cake will taste best after a day or two, and it freezes well. *If you prefer not to use wine, black cherry cola works just as well.
Shrimply Delicious Shrimp Salad This delightfully easy-to-prepare shrimp salad would pair wonderfully with the steamed oysters, or make an excellent appetizer on its own. 1 pound large peeled and deveined cooked shrimp, chopped 1 cup chopped celery 1 large carrot, shredded 1/2 cup chopped onion 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped 3/4 cup mayonnaise Salt and pepper, to taste In a large bowl, toss the shrimp, celery, carrot, onion, eggs and mayonnaise until well combined. Season the salad with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill until ready to serve.
Mark Gerrin DEMOREST
M ARK IS A H ABERSHAM County native who has served in the Clarkesville Fire Department for 10 years, both as a volunteer and as an employee. He has also been a career firefighter with the Norcross/ Gwinnett Tough House Fire Station 11 for the past six years and counting. He and his fellow Tough House firefighters work grueling 24-hour shifts in the depths of the metropolis, serving the community and saving lives. While on duty, they take turns in the kitchen, each having a “meal shift” during which they prepare a prompt but fulfilling dish for the station crew that can be eaten quickly before the next crisis call. Mark has grown to enjoy this time cooking for his fellow men and the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen. His crew looks forward to the new combinations Mark comes up with. They please the palate and prepare them for their next emergency rescue. In his spare time, Mark works on numerous building projects in the Demorest/Clarkesville area. When he Spring 2017 59
Men Who Cook and Tell is off duty, he often prepares gourmet meals for his wife, Cameron, and his friends. Mark is a real-life superhero with many talents on duty and in the kitchen.
Caribbean Glazed Pork Loin Mark’s Caribbean Glazed Pork Loin is a showstopper. This recipe is incredibly simple yet sophisticated enough to serve for a fine dining experience. 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork tenderloin Rub: 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon pepper Glaze: 3/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce Heat the oven to 350 F. Drizzle an iron skillet with olive oil and heat on medium. Whisk together the rub ingredients and sprinkle the mixture all over the pork loin. Gently massage the rub into the meat. Place the pork loin in the heated skillet and brown for 3-4 minutes, turning the meat throughout to sear all sides. Mix the glaze ingredients together and spread over the tenderloin toward the end of browning. Transfer the glazed meat to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Pork loin should reach a temperature of 160 F. Cut the finished tenderloin into 1-inch-thick slices and use a spoon to drizzle the warmed glaze from the pan onto the meat.
Cheesy Camping Potatoes The beauty of Mark’s camping potatoes is that they are just as delicious cooked over a camping fire as they are roasted in the oven. 60 Northeast Georgia Living
Jeremy Jordan’s Green Pea Pesto and Ricotta Crostini With Prosciutto 3-4 potatoes, sliced thinly Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste 4-5 pats of butter Shredded cheddar cheese Cooked and crumbled bacon, if desired Set tin foil on a cookie sheet and mist it with cooking spray. Spread thinly sliced potatoes out over the foil. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place 4-5 pats of butter throughout the potatoes. Wrap up the potatoes in tin foil until they are completely enclosed and bake at 350-400 F until potatoes are tender, approximately 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and open the foil. Sprinkle shredded cheese and crumbled bacon over the top and serve once the cheese has melted.
Sauteed Mushrooms Sautéed mushrooms are an easy side that offers a lot of bang for your buck. One 8-ounce package white or baby bella mushrooms Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or red wine Combine the ingredients in a heated skillet and sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms are soft, about 8-10 minutes.
Jeremy Jordan WATKINSVILLE
A step down memory lane takes you to the story of the origin of Jeremy Jordan’s cooking skills. Jeremy Jordan, a successful Financial Advisor with Country Financial in Watkinsville, prepares culinary masterpieces in his spare time, and fine cooking runs in his blood. Jeremy’s great-grandfather started the family cooking tradition by opening a restaurant in Eatonton decades ago. His great-aunt, Annie Ruth Hallman, carried on the tradition when she ran the famous and beloved Magnolia Room in Rich’s flagship department store in downtown Atlanta during the Magnolia Room’s heyday in the 1950s. Jeremy carries on the family talent today by cooking for and serving others in his community. Jeremy experiments in the kitchen, developing new, delicious recipe combinations that most people would never think of – an art that could only be inherited.
Green Pea Pesto and Ricotta Crostini with Prosciutto Jeremy’s Green Pea Pesto and Ricotta Crostini with Prosciutto has been requested time and time again. The combination of prosciutto, ricotta and green pea purée may sound strange to some, but it marries wonderfully and is exquisite when topped with the balsamic glaze.
One 8-ounce bag frozen green peas, thawed 1 cup fresh basil leaves 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Twelve 1/4-inch-thick slices French bread baguette, toasted 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese 1/2 ounce very thinly sliced prosciutto torn into 12 equal pieces 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Balsamic glaze (store-bought) Combine the green peas, basil and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 8 to 10 times or until the mixture is almost smooth. Spread the pea mixture evenly over toasted baguette slices. Top each slice with 1 teaspoon ricotta cheese and 1 piece of prosciutto. Sprinkle evenly with black pepper. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately. This recipe is a beautiful appetizer or party dish.
Salmon Brioche Burgers Jeremyâ€™s recipe, Salmon Brioche Burgers, puts a luxurious spin on a traditional burger. Jeremy has prepared this recipe for friends who donâ€™t usually enjoy salmon, and they found themselves going back for seconds. 2 pounds fresh salmon, skin removed 2 egg whites 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (1 slice white bread, ground in a food processor) 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil (if cooking on a stovetop) 4 brioche buns, toasted Mince the salmon, then place half in a large, sealable plastic bag and use a flatsurfaced meat pounder or a rolling pin to mash it. Then place all the salmon in a large bowl and combine with the egg whites, Dijon mustard, bread crumbs, salt and dill. Form 4 patties, each 3/4 inch thick, and place them on a medium-hot grill. Cook the patties for 4-5 minutes per side. (To cook on a stovetop, heat the olive oil in a grill pan over medium heat and cook the patties for 5 minutes per side.) Top with Greek yogurt-style coleslaw, if desired, and serve on the brioche buns. â—† Spring 2017
BY SYDNAH KINGREA
CAUSE THERE ARE COUNTLESS OPPORTUNITIES available to benefit causes that are important to you, from physically offering your services to providing financial assistance. Make exercise even more meaningful by using the opportunity to raise money for autism awareness or cancer research or to stop hunger. 5Ks for a Cause in Northeast Georgia raise consciousness about these issues and many more and bring in muchneeded funds for organizations that offer assistance. A 5K race (around 3.1 miles) is shorter than some others, so it is a great place to start. If you cannot participate by running or walking, these causes are still in need of volunteers. Visit the websites listed to play your part in these important causes. In Northeast Georgia, the opportunities to explore are unlimited.You can enjoy your exercise in state parks, nation-al forests and scenic locations all over Northeast Georgia while benefiting a cause of your choosing.
5th Annual Fun Run Toward Sustainability Athens • March 25, 2017 The Small Dreams Foundation organizes this unofficial 5K in order to raise money for the foundation, the UGA Office of Sustainability and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. The event features a mild course through the State Botanical Garden suitable for runners, walkers and children alike that provides an excellent opportunity to explore the paths of the botanical garden. Along the course, participants will learn about sustainability and what an important part of our future it is. To register for the 5K or to learn more, visit www.smalldreamsfoundation.org.
7th Annual Run Your Mouth 5K Athens • March 25, 2017 A trip to the classic city can benefit the UGA Speech and Hearing Clinic if you participate in or donate to the Run Your Mouth 5K. The 5K will take participants through the notable streets of Athens while offering views of stately historic homes and a glimpse of the Stegeman Coliseum and Sanford Stadium, among many other UGA landmarks. This rain-or-shine event will be a moderate, mostly paved trek. Awards will be given to the male and female winners as well as to winners in each age group. Register for the event at www.active.com by searching for Run Your Mouth 5K.
Celebration of Nursing Scholarship 5K Run
Run 4 Hunger 5K at Atlanta Motorsports Park 62 Northeast Georgia Living
Visit the rolling hills of scenic Dahlonega while donating your time and energy in support of two noble causes. Hosted by the Tau Psi chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, the Celebration of Nursing Scholarship 5K Run benefits students who cannot afford an education by raising funds for the Kathleen Smith Spirit of Nursing Scholarship. The 5K also donates proceeds to the Parkinson’s Association. The race takes place on the safe and picturesque campus of the University of North Georgia and leads participants into shady, charming downtown Dahlonega. To register for the race or to donate money and receive a T-shirt, visit runsignup.com/race/ga/dahlonega/allisonclappmemorialfunrunwalk5k.
Dahlonega • April 8, 2017
Autism Speaks 5K Atlanta • April 30, 2017 The Autism Speaks 5K is an annual event that brings people together who support the cause and hope to raise money for autism research. The walk is noncompetitive and family-friendly and is only about 2 miles long. This is the largest fundraising event for Autism Speaks. The research on autism is limited, and every day families struggle to find ways to effectively support those with autism. If you or someone you know has autism and you are searching for a way to help, join Autism Speaks. To keep up-to-date, visit www.autismspeaks.org.
Run 4 Hunger 5K Dawsonville • June 10, 2017 This Dawsonville 5K raises proceeds for the War Hill Community Outreach Program. Through the program, food is distributed twice a month to those in need. Throughout the year, the program also operates the Grocery Garage, which sells much-needed groceries at a drastically discounted price to those who cannot afford the normal cost of feeding their families. Part of the registration fee for the 5K will go toward the cause, but you are also invited to bring nonperishable food items with you to further support the mission. This exciting race will take place in the evening, and participants are welcome to sport glow-inthe-dark paraphernalia. The race will be held on the level track of the Atlanta Motorsports Park. Children ages 10 and under are welcome to participate in the Kids Fun Run, which begins right before the adult event. There will be prizes awarded to the overall male and female winner. The top three finishers in each age group will also receive an award. Come early to enjoy the pre-race family-friendly events, games and food. You can register for the race at www.raceentry.com/races/run-4-hunger/2017/register.
In addition to these events, at www.rungeorgia.com you will discover more 5Ks for a Cause you can participate in this spring, like Run 4 the Rescues, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and Racetrac’s Run for Research 5K, and the Race for the Orphans 5K, among many others. As you run or walk for the cause, consider venturing into other, longer races that have a large impact. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Run for the Water, and Run 10 Feed 10 are other popular opportunities for improving health worldwide while improving your own health. Not participating in any 5Ks this spring but hoping to in the fall? Use the opportunity provided by the beautiful spring weather to become readapted to running or walking regularly. ◆ Spring 2017 63
REFLECTIONS BY MOLLIE HERNDON
... on stress meets yoga
s I sit curled up on the couch in my parents’ living room watching TV on a lazy Sunday morning, I cannot help but think, “This is so nice.” A year ago, I would not have appreciated this nearly as much as I do today, but a year ago, I was not a freshman at the University of Georgia. Like many freshmen, I arrived in Athens on move-in day with a car loaded down and a mind teeming with excitement. I had all kinds of plans and expectations for this new adventure; after all, I had been thinking about this day since I was 7 years old. With the help of Mom and Dad, I moved into Payne Hall within a couple of hours, ready to take on the world! Now in January, as I reminisce about that sweltering August day, I can’t help but laugh. I had absolutely no idea what the next four months would hold. What all could I have possibly learned in just one semester, you may ask? In short, a whole lot. For starters, I learned that driving in Athens at 5 p.m. is nearly as stressful as college itself. I also learned that dining halls can be your best friend and worst enemy. Finally, I learned that there is nothing more exciting than yelling, “Gooooooo dawgs, sic ‘em!” on a hot Saturday afternoon in Sanford Stadium. However, there were other lessons that required a little more time to learn. By far, my biggest struggle was learning how to manage my stress. The transition from living at home in the foothills and farmland of Northeast Georgia to living in a bustling city was stressful itself, but combined with schoolwork and my newfound taste of independence, I found myself often frazzled. Prior to living in Athens, a home-cooked dinner and some time spent playing with my dogs could solve a little stress. In a new environment, 64 Northeast Georgia Living
I had to create new coping mechanisms. Naturally, I first turned to food – specifically, sweets. I was no stranger to the Krispy Kreme “Hot Now” sign. I quickly learned that food would only make me feel worse, and that’s when I began to think changing my attitude toward health and fitness may be the answer. I was nowhere near gaining the dreaded “freshman 15,” but I could definitely notice slight changes in my body: sluggishness, fatigue, lack of focus. I decided that since I was entering my prime years, there was no reason I shouldn’t be as healthy as possible. I began in October with running; it became an everyday goal. Would I run for two minutes longer than yesterday? Five minutes longer? Running became a way to focus on something other than the everyday stresses I tied myself to. While I would otherwise think about 10 different things in under a minute, all I could think of while running was, “Okay, push through one more minute.” Running soon developed into weight training, which further developed into better eating. It felt good having a hobby that benefitted my health and got my mind off school. I sleep better now, I have less bloating, and I have so
much more endurance. Most of all, my stress levels have decreased. A few weeks ago, a friend invited me to go with her to a guided meditation session at a small yoga studio in Watkinsville. I hesitantly agreed; I didn’t know much about yoga or meditation other than what I’d seen on television. We pulled into a hidden gravel drive and immediately came upon a quaint red barn adorned with a small sign that read, “Let it Be Yoga.” I was instantly charmed by it; it reminded me of my family’s cabin in the north Georgia mountains. We left our shoes by the door and walked in, and I first noticed the smell. It was a calming smell of wood mixed with a faint scent of what I believe was patchouli. We joined the group, and our guide began talking us through different methods of breathing and encouraging us to center our minds on the present rather than on our hectic everyday thoughts. For a while, we just sat there in silence, the only sounds being our breath and the occasional car passing by. Apart from my friend, strangers surrounded me, but I felt like I knew these people somehow. It was a tranquility I never expected to find anywhere near Athens, and I knew I would be back. Though I’ve only been once, I definitely want to add yoga and meditation to my fitness and stress management routine. Overall, living in a new city and attending a university that is home to 30,000 students has been nothing short of amazing. While stressful at times, life in my new home has proved that it can give me insight into new approaches to my physical and mental health. As I begin my second semester of college, I hope to have the motivation to continue pursuing a healthy lifestyle while enjoying the remainder of my freshman year to the fullest. ◆