Please remember these are taken with a disposable camera. I decided not to carry my 35 mm this time because it is bulky and the hike is hard on the camera.
People always say "the picture doesn't do it justice". That is certainly true of these landscape pics. Here you get some sense of the mountains rolling into the distance to what seems like infinity. It really gives a person a sense of the enormity of the universe. I saw a group of men drive up to the Walasi outfitter store, walk over to the scenic view and one said to the group "Did you know such a view existed an hour and a half from home?" Then they climbed into their VERY racy sports cars and roared off. That is not the same as hiking up a 6000 foot mountain, finding a rocky outcropping, and stopping to enjoy the breeze rising from the valley while you try to take in the view.
Although we hiked later in the summer than usual and Georgia has had drought conditions much like Alabama, there were many flowers and various colors of Rhododendron in bloom.
Often I take many pictures and rarely am I in any of them. Here are a couple of pics to prove I was there!
Here is my good friend Joel, taking care of some business via cell phone even in this remote wilderness. Joel is a hard-working man and a great asset to his company and his family.
Here is Joel with his brother Jeff. What a duo!
If a photo can capture the difference in personality of two brothers, this may be it;
Yes, one is standing perfectly still and straight like you are SUPPOSED to even though he cares nothing for pictures and doesn't want a lot of attention. The other is monkeying around, pretending to throw a knife at his brother's back like you are NOT SUPPOSED to, because he loves attention and can't get enough. Below, is Jeff eating raw bear meat off his pocket knife.
We hiked a long way!
It is not a top-quality photo of the men nor of the mountains. But it is a photo of a top-quality friendship. Over time Joel has become a true friend. His brother, Jeff, asked me on the hike how Joel and I became friends--what we had in common to begin with. My answer was that Joel had not only a willingness, but an eagerness to discuss spiritual matters at a deep philosophical level and at a very personal level. Joel has a directness that puts some people off and intimidates some. But that quality makes him a valuable accountability partner. And he allows me to be very direct and personal with him as well. What I share in confidence, I know stays with him. He can count on the same from me. He invites me to step on his toes much more than he steps on mine. And he tolerated my pace on this hike although he worked very hard to be in shape and was able to sustain a faster pace. Largely because of his leadership we held devotionals each day of the hike and were able to show the love of God to a few other folks even in these remote areas. That is the kind of friend I need. Thanks, Joel. I will hike with you anytime.