A nice loop trail up Blood Mountain is to start on Jarrad Gap trail from Lake Winfield Scott, then go on the Appalachian trail and return to the lake via the Slaughter Creek trail.
Tallulah Gorge State Park would be fun to go kayaking. But even from the rim it’s very pretty in the fall.
Here’s the Tallulah Gorge South Rim Trail.
North Rim Trail:
Trail to Inspiration Point:
Brasstown Bald is the highest peak in Georgia. There’s a short 0.5 mile hike from the parking lot to the summit which we have done more times than I can count. It has really nice views in the fall.
Fall is the best season to go camping and hiking. And I love the fall colors you can see in the mountains. So once again we headed to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a couple of weeks ago for some camping, riding, hiking and driving.
We had three black bear sightings in the smokies this time.
Here’s the trail to Laurel Falls.
Here’s the trail to the observation tower at the top of Clingman’s Dome which gives a nice view around.
The hike from Clingman’s Dome to Andrews Bald was great and the views from a bald are always the best.
Free maps from Open Street Maps in Garmin format as well as points of interest were really useful during our vacation in Italy.
We returned from a fun vacation to Italy a couple of days ago. I’ll have an account of the vacation along with photographs soon but first some technical notes.
I checked air fares on Expedia and Orbitz but in the end booked on the Delta website since they were marginally cheaper. Also I was using frequent flier miles to get one ticket for free. The only way I found to book one award ticket (bought with frequent flier miles) and other regular fares was to first reserve the award ticket (since they are less common), then buy the regular fares on the same flights and finally book the award flight.
For hotels, I checked reviews and prices on Trip Advisor to shortlist a few and then used the hotel websites to make reservations.
I took my Garmin 60CSx GPSr with me. I found that Open Street Maps had maps available in Garmin format. The ones I liked the best were OpenMTBMap since they were routable and could route for hiking or mountain biking instead of cars. That was a huge success for us in Italy. We never got lost and we used the maps to go everywhere and find restaurants etc. near our location. It made life much easier and even when we wanted to walk around in the back alleys in Venice we could do so without any fear of really getting lost since whenever we wanted to go back we could use the GPS.
The maps came with lots of POIs(Points of Interest), but I wanted some specific ones too: the hotels we were staying in, train stations for travel between Rome and Venice, restaurants, Cafes and Gelaterias that I wanted to go to specially and some important sightseeing. So I used Google Maps to locate these places and saved them to My Maps there. Google Maps’ My Maps allows you to export the list of placemarks in Google Earth (KML) format. Then I used GPS Visualizer to convert the list to GPX format and used Garmin POI Loader to transfer the locations to my GPSr.
I plan our vacations in detail and these maps and list of locations on the GPS were very useful everyday as we went about sightseeing and enjoying Italian food. In fact, while walking around, I would notice that there’s a nice gelateria nearby and we would go enjoy some gelato.
I read almost three books on the Kindle during the trip, even though I read only on planes and trains. While it was a fun experience, I found one some hitch: Flight attendants want you to turn the Kindle off during takeoff and landing.
UPDATE: One thing I forgot. I tried to reserve train tickets between Rome and Venice on the Italian Rail website but it just kept denying my credit card. Apparently, it’s a common problem for credit cards with non-European addresses. However, I didn’t really need to buy the tickets before going there. There was enough space when I made reservations three days before the train travel at the Rome Termini station.
Last Christmas, we visited Las Vegas after eight years. With a kid in tow, there was no gambling or shows, but we had a lot of outdoor fun.
Recently, we visited Las Vegas. OK, so it wasn’t recently, it was last Christmas.
We had fun there. With a 2 year old who was fascinated with the colors and sounds of the slot machines, it was difficult to stay in casinos. Add the fact that neither of us is into any gambling. So we went to lots of places in and around Las Vegas.
Here are a few photographs from Madame Tussaud’s there.
We walked up and down the Strip quite a few times. Here are the photos of the strip.
We hiked the East Palisades area of Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in November. You can download my track log as well as see photos I took on the trail.
The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is a fun place around metro Atlanta despite the pollution in the river. I wouldn’t recommend rafting in the river now (I did it countless times in the distant past), but there are some nice short hikes there.
Here is the track log of the East Palisades loop trail in GPX format.
You can also get park maps in PDF format.
Below you can see the trail we followed as well as some photographs. Since we hiked there in early November, you can see some nice fall colors.