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Jill Fogarty hiking a snowy trail at Amicalola Falls

Amicalola, A Brave Hike

Kristy Dodson
Kristy Dodson

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Amicalola! My church had a ladies’ retreat at the Lodge this past weekend, and I had the opportunity (thank you, family ❤️) to stay at the Hike Inn the night before. Tried to get all the way to see Springer before coming back down to the lodge, but the frozen snow was too much for my nearly-bald trail runners. I’ll make it next time. Every view was different, so I took a ridiculous amount of pictures. Here they are, unedited.

Jill sitting on back tailgate with hatch open ready for a hike.

Proof of life and proof of snow before I headed to the Hike Inn.

To Hike Inn

View of the front of the Hike Inn Lodge in North Georgia.

Yes. Hot chocolate awaits.

A jigsaw puzzle being completed in a lodge near Amicalola Falls

Tried to do a whole puzzle, but the fire wasn’t going after supper. I passed the task on to some folks staying two nights.
I met some great people.

Hiking Begins Early Morning

View of a morning sunrise at Hike Inn North GA

Morning “sunrise”

Up close picture of a pine branch with snow in the background.

Hiking Out.

Jill on the trail leaving the Hike Inn near Amicalola Falls

There were some other Hike Inn visitors that also headed to Springer. We kept meeting on the trail, so any pics like this were taken by them.
The mountain was sooooo quiet with the snow and ice. It was nice knowing I had friends out there.

A snowy path with a small tree bending over the trail.

You shall not pass!
Okay, but step over gently.

A frozen branch with ice frozen while blowing sideways.

This ice. It kept getting weirder.

A hiking trail crossing at Nimblewill Gap Road

The crossing for Nimblewill Gap Road. I’m going to make it about another half mile or so.

A view looking up into the sky through snowy trees while hiking.

Sometimes you gotta stop and look straight up part one.

A Brave Hike

Jill posing for a picture while hiking in the snow near Amicalola Falls.

Proof of life for the family.
Unbeknownst to me, there is actually ice in my hair at this point.

Jill Fogarty hiking a snowy trail at Amicalola Falls

Feeling good. And I’m thanking God for getting me here.
Sometimes I plan things during moments of bravery and then let the anxiety set in and ruin it. Not this day!

A very snow covered path with trees and little sun.

And this is where I turned around. I really didn’t want to, but I couldn’t break through the frozen snow with my trail runners. My foot slipped every time I set it down. The rocks were covered in black ice, so I couldn’t step on those, either. 🙁

Dirt and leaves on a path making a walk a little easier.

Dirt and leaves good, frozen snow and rocks bad.

Large footprints in the snow along a trail.

It did help that most everyone else had bigger footprints than me on the way back. I just stepped in those.

Nimblewill Gap

A wooden sign on a trail that reads Nimblewill Gap.

Back through the gap. The return climb out was hard. This was also my first time carrying weight on a hike. 14-15 pounds. 10 essentials, lots of extra layers, and a puffy blanket. Plus whatever else I was afraid I might need.

A view of the sky through frozen pine trees on a hiking trail.

Sometimes you gotta stop and look straight up part two.

Frozen branches with sideways icycles.

These branches sometimes moved and gave me Matrix vibes.

What the Situation Calls For

Jill enjoying a pbj sandwich while hiking back to Hike Inn.

Nothing beats a Hike Inn bagged lunch. Well. I’m sure lots of things do. But it depends on the situation. This situation called for a big oatmeal/pb/peanut M&M cookie and a PB&J.

Up close picture of icy pine branches.
Ice on the edges of branches in the woods.

I couldn’t stop stopping for crazy ice pics.

A fallen log on a hiking trail in the woods near Amicalola Falls

Pretty sure Andy and I ate our lunch on this log a couple years ago.

A snowy afternoon in the woods of North Georgia.

Just when I thought I’d passed all the snow, I find this.

A bridge along a hiking trail in North Georgia.

This bridge means I’m almost back to the falls.

Amicalola Falls State Park

An evening view from the lodge window in Amicalola Falls, GA.

Evening view from the lodge room.

The morning view from the upper level at The Amicalola Lodge.

Morning view from the upper level ❤️

An Amicalola Lodge employee holds Gizmo the owl while standing in the lobby of the Lodge.

Gizmo the screech owl was brought out to meet guests.

A view of Amicalola Falls from the bottom of the falls on a beautiful winter day with very blue skies.

And one pic of the falls before I head back to my family. You might have to zoom in. No way I was taking the stairs up after my hike the day before. 😆 Nimblewill Gap chewed up my calves and spit them out.

Amicalola, A Brave Hike

Thank you, Jill Fogarty, for sharing your bravery and your discoveries while inspiring us all!

Kristy Dodson Daybookblog

The first time I saw these pictures and read her writing, I knew I needed to find a way to share. How can one not be enchanted by Jill’s photography and unique style of storytelling? She has inspired me to find an adventure to take all by myself and continue sharing life through photographs and narratives. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Always stay curious!

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