I can almost see Dragon Con from here!
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. My son tagged along from 2003 until 2013 when he ventured off to college. We’ve taken two trips by airplane, but are much happier when we’re the ones behind the wheel — charting our own course, making unplanned stops anytime we want, availing ourselves of slightly better meal options, and keeping or ruining our own schedule as dictated by circumstances or whims. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.
For years we’ve been telling friends in other states that we’d one day do Atlanta’s Dragon Con, one of the largest conventions in America that isn’t in California or New York. We’d been in Atlanta, but we hadn’t really done Atlanta. Hence this year’s vacation, in which we aimed for a double proficiency in Atlanta tourism and over-the-top Dragon Con goodness. Before we went to D*C, there was the road trip to get there, and the good times to be had before the great times at the big show.
After we were finished gawking at the largest Confederate monument we’ll ever see in our lives (Lord willing), we took the Skyride up to the top of Stone Mountain and surveyed the vast views around us.
The Skyride deposits guests at a mountaintop welcome center with restrooms, gift shop, snacks, and factoids.
Photo by our tram driver, a very pleasant and accommodating young man.
Anne’s least hazy shot of faraway metropolitan Atlanta to the west.
Our view of Stone Mountain Park 825 feet below, and the fence that prohibits would-be mountaineers from rappelling toward it.
It’s a dual experience of sorts – one part gazing upon the picturesque surroundings below, one part adventures in wandering an uncommon terrain.
Stone Mountain Lake and other surrounding waterways, all man-made. Somewhere amid that forest, scenes were filmed for a past episode of Stranger Things.
Also definitely man-made: what I presume are fancy resorts and getaways.
Meanwhile around us, flora and geology mingle and collide.
Assorted trees poke out here and there.
A bit far to travel for a Christmas tree, but there are options.
A copse in front of a cubbyhole and an obviously man-made wall of rocks. Kids having fun, I presume.
Behind that wall, you can either admire the sediment strata or make a face at the human litter. Or why not both?
Speaking of humans: most visitors gathered over to the west and northwest, probably at the end of the hiking path.
Also live and in person: this is a vulture, right? Anne spotted it flying laps around, and followed it for several minutes until it landed for a bit.
Also unexpectedly in the area: this truck. I saw no sign of roads anywhere, but the guy clearly didn’t sneak it aboard the Skyride.
Broadcast tower for a few local TV and radio concerns.
More trees. Big cables. Much rocks. Just some of the many barriers — along with more fencing — that kept guests away from the south half of the mountaintop.
More trams came and went as we wandered around and took twice as many photos as you see here.
Eventually we waited in line for the next Skyride back down to If-Only-the-South-Had-Won-the-War Land.
…and then we saw ourselves off the property. The view was fantastic, but we were not staying for the weekend Confederacy laser show or any other reasons to fork over additional dollars.
To be continued!
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