Wednesday, January 21, 2015

An Afternoon Trek toward Helen, GA!

Have you heard about the Chattahoochee River?  Maybe in a country song or two?

This is Chattahoochee river country, an Appalachian area in North Georgia with stunning mountain views and winding roads.

My lecture was finished and packed up by 3pm yesterday afternoon and I had asked the ladies if there was anywhere I should wander and explore. 

“Head toward HELEN!!” was the reply!  It was only about 20 or so miles away from our meeting location, but most of the shops close up at 5pm in the winter months so I was a girl on a mission.

The first thing I see before entering Helen?  A HUGE mound with a gazebo on top of it in the middle of a field.

Of course there is a road marker, so I have to stop and read what it is all about.

The Nacoochee Indian mound was once the center of an an indian town.  This is the land of the “trail of tears.”


You can’t miss this sight!

And of course, the mountains always call to me!


Helen, Georgia, formerly a logging town that was in decline, resurrected itself by becoming a replica of a Bavarian alpine town, in the Appalachians instead of the Alps. You can't miss this windmill!


It was ALMOST like being back in Ruhpolding, Germany!


Everything looks Bavarian!


Even the flags!

This is a hustling, bustling vacation destination in the summer time for many, but I was told that in the winter months, everyone flees to Florida for warmer temperatures, sunshine, beaches and golf.  I still thought this was a very charming little spot!


So fun!


There has to be a hofbrau haus around here somewhere!


The Nora Mill, Helen, GA!

I went from a Bavarian town to an 1870s mill, still functioning in Helen, GA!


Along the Chattahoochee!

Time was running short.  It was about 10 minutes to 5pm, closing time and I was in a hurry because I know they wanted to close.  At this time I am the only customer ----but this is SO fascinating to me! 


The mill stones!


Original stones!

Be still my history loving heart!


The chute.


Goodies in muslin bags!



With Lori & Randy arriving on Saturday, I thought it would be fun to pick up some North Georgia goodies for our retreat time together.  I got a bag of 16 bean mix that will be great in the crockpot with the left over ham bone that is in the freezer from Christmas.  A bag of old fashioned rolled oats will be a great breakfast with raisins and craisins and brown sugar and cinnamon.  I bought a bag of popcorn, for making snacks the old fashioned way.

**Side Note**  Have you ever made popcorn using coconut oil??  It is SO tasty all you need is salt.  No butter required after popping.  Give it a try!

I also picked up some corn pancake mix, some “Old Time” syrup to serve them with, Appalachian style.

What a fun little road trip!  This is why I love driving trips so much.  I have my wheels.  I have the freedom to explore.


Sunset over Cornelia, Georgia

I had to stop and take this photo.  The sky was on fire with a beautiful sunset last night.

And from all of this running around, I was too pooped to sew last night.  I crashed.  I slept 9 hours solid, which is about 2 hours more than I usually require.  Maybe it was all of that fresh mountain air?

I’m ready and raring to go for our My Blue Heaven workshop with the Mountain Laurel Quilters in Clarkesville this morning.

Have an awesome Wednesday, everyone!

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mascanlon said...

Such fun for a few hours! You always squeeze in smiles.

Amy said...

Nice to see you back on the road, know how much you love your driving trips. Enjoy!!

Amy said...

Nice to see you back on the road, know how much you love your driving trips. Enjoy!!

Carolyn Edwards said...

Thanks for sharing. I LOVE your blog.

Art by Rhoda Forbes said...

Thanks so much for sharing the history Bonnnie :)

Nora said...

Those of us with this uncommon name are always thrilled to see it somewhere.

Vivian said...

One of my favorite gifts from son and DIL was a box of assorted foods from the Nora Mill in Helen, GA. I've saved the fabric bags for some future quilting project. Our son and DIL also lived in Germany for 3 years, and Helen does indeed look like many of the little villages we drove through when we visited there. I think Helen, GA, has to be on my list of places to visit some day. (Doesn't hurt that my middle name is Helen.)
Enjoy your time with Lori and Randy.

Miss Carol said...

Thank you for all the posts you do about the sites in our great country. You are a teacher in every sense of the word. Not only do you teach quilting, but the geography lessons are always interesting. :)

Bonnie from Georgia said...

LOVE Helen, GA! The mountains, falls,cute cabins by a stream lapping over the rocks, interesting shops... My husband and I spent a few of our honeymoon days there several years ago. We've been back numerous times (live in GA); so many good memories:).

New Quilter in Texas said...

Ahh, Helen GA. Was it hot as Helen GA? My stepmother's father's mother lived near Helen, and his sister Jean (stepmom's aunt) worked in one of the restaurants on the main drag. This woman made THE BEST biscuits! We went to visit, and by the time we got to the place, we were greeted as "Jean's kinfolk" and apparently our arrival had been anticipated since the word got out we had arrived! Jean has since passed, but I"ll guarantee the memory of her biscuits warm many a tummy to this day. I was a teenager then, but bought a cookbook in Helen that actually had a recipe for possum! I'll bet I could make it with chicken and nobody would know the difference! At least nobody I know...

(I also hear tell that there's a nudist place near Helen, but that's a story for another time...)

Andresa Strahm said...

LOVE popcorn made with coconut oil. You are so right that no butter is needed; just salt (and sometimes not even that!).

AndiRae in MN

Jennifer Ivey said...

I used to live in Augusta, GA and we went to Helen right after Thanksgiving in 2013 on the night they turn on all the Christmas lights. It was gorgeous. There's also a little shop there that sells quilts: Southern Comfort Quilts. Looks like it was a gorgeous day in Helen.

Melissa James said...

SO FUN! When the hubs and I were dating , every fall we would go to Dahlonega and/or Helen. We always passed that mound, but never stopped to see what it was. Now I know. :)
Hope you were able to go to Hansel and Gretel's fudge shop! They have all kinds of amazing goodies! I LOVE their pecan brittle! :) So yummy!

pollyanna said...

I love those little side trips along the way. Your find was terrific! And the meals sound perfect. Great time was had by all.

HelenMarie said...

they look like such fun places to visit! I may never get back to Germany... but Helen I could do!


Gloria said...

I use an air popper to make popcorn. I has a container on the top which you can use to melt you coconut oil while it is popping. It makes the tastiest popcorn!

spacer said...

Helen looks a lot like Leavenworth, WA. Much the same story. The difference is everyone goes to Leavenworth to ski and enjoy a Christmas like not other.

Donna Endresen said...

Bonnie: It looks like a wonderful afternoon! I would have loved to have been exploring with you!