Overnight Camping at Brushy Mountain, Georgia
This is a beautiful, quiet ride despite its proximity to metro Atlanta. One of the longest paved bike paths in the U.S., it has very few road crossings, even in densely populated areas; the trail goes under or over most roads, utilizing old railroad rights of way.
Once you get up around Paulding County, the trail traffic all but disappears (except for a few more dedicated riders). Up there the trail runs through large tracts of conservation land, and the trailheads are few and far between. There are a couple of long, high railroad bridges.
Shot taken from a bridge, looking down at the treetops and creek flowing beneath them.
I got up to the tunnel early in the afternoon. It was hot out, so the tunnel provided a nice break; it always has chilly air inside, like it is refrigerated.
I mismanaged my water supply, finding myself wanting to camp with the nearest access to water 10 miles down the trail. But I managed, rationing my supplies with no great hardship.
This was the first time camping with my new hammock, which proved to be a great way to spend the night in the woods. I found a place near the tunnel, just off the trail on a Forest Service road that looks like it might get bush-hogged once a year. The spot was nicely hidden in the woods.
I slept great in the hammock. Camping where there’s not a nicely manicured, clearly defined campsite is where the hammock shines. No need for a smooth, flat surface to create a comfortable place to sleep. Setting up is significantly easier than with a tent, too. It worked great, and was easy on my back. I felt like I was rocking in Momma’s arms through the night.
If I’m just finding a place to sleep in the woods, it’s also important to me to minimize my impact. With the hammock I don’t need to clear a campsite. When I leave, one could hardly tell I was there.
Next time, though, I need to bring my big rain fly or else take along food that doesn’t need to be cooked. I got lucky on this trip, but wouldn't have had a way to cook out of the rain if it were falling.
For my ride home the next day, the forecast said 90 percent chance of thunderstorms. I managed to avoid them for the most part, except for about a half hour in the rain.
Back in the city again! I like nature, but I like the city, too.
This story originally posted at Walter's blog.
Tips for this adventure: When camping, end the day with at least enough water for the evening, morning, and the morning's ride to the first water source.