|The Great Conasauga River|
|Ford #17 with T and Tully|
|Tully scrambling up the trail beside Panther Creek Falls|
|Panther Creek Falls|
|Olive at Top of Falls|
We chilled the rest of the day and about ten minutes after turning into the tent for the night the real fun began....an awesome storm rolled in. The tent was lit up, the dog was shaking, and the ground was moving the ground. Allison was scared but the kids slept through the entire thing. We woke up to low 30 degree wet weather and started the strenuous 4.7 mile hike out. The East Cowpen Trail was pretty magical since we crested the highest point in the Georgia portion of the Cohutta Wilderness (4,100' Cowpen Mountain) and the trees were frosted white. The trail is actually old an old highway that was closed in 1975 after the area was designated wilderness area, but you would never know it except that it is pretty wide for a trail.
On the descent, I left the family, dropped my pack at the trailhead, and got my only run in 3 miles down the gravel road to fetch the car.
We left the woods and headed straight for the closest Blue Ridge restaurant for some hot food and cold beer. While there, we heard folks talking about power outages and barns being blown away (our servers roof ended up 300 yards away from were it should have been) and realized we had survived a major storm. We were all pretty beat when we got back to the Goat's Beard, but mentally refreshed.