Monday, February 4, 2008

Day Trip to Stone Mountain Park

This weekend I visited my best friend and his fiancee in Atlanta.
After visiting their new apartment, we headed out to Stone Mountain Park.

Just a 10 minute drive from Atlanta, off the 85 highway, lies a mountain, into which the portraits of the Confederate heroes were carved. I guess the artist aimed for a southern Mount Rushmore.

You don't have to be a confederate sympathizer to enjoy the park. Around the base of the mountain there are lakes, hiking, running and cycling courses, a hotel or two, a golf course and a theme park. The theme revolves around an old-time, frontier type town, with the usual buildings, a train and some other facilities.

Only when we arrived did we discover that the theme park is closed. It was utterly strange
to visit an empty theme park: no lines, no noise - just signs telling us the park will be back in business in March.

So, instead of using the cable car, we hiked up the mountain. It's a mile long trail, with a mild incline. Grandmas, babies and puppies rushed up and down the mountain, making me feel all the more out of shape confused.

It was just when we got to the mountain top that it hit me - where have I heard the name Stone Mountain before: in Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech.
Reverend King lists locations in the America where freedom should ring from:
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
(Here's a link to the full, inspirational speech).

From the top, on a clear day, you can see all of Atlanta and Buckhead. We also saw a flock of eagles - amazing view.

At the base of the trail there's a a small geology museum, where we've learned how the mountain came to be.

A great weekend excursion that left me wanting more. Wait for March and spend a weekend there to see what I mean.

And I'll leave you with one of the many quotes strewn throughout the park. This one just rang true:

Photos from the trip can be found here.

No comments: