I'm lobbying for West Virginia. Carole wants to try out the mountains of north Georgia. Since I lived in the mountains of north Georgia and cut my teeth hiking there as a teenager, I'd rather go back to West Virginia. Specifically, to a part of the state where we haven't been since 2004.
To bolster my argument, here are some photos I took on that specific trip. I took these with my first digital camera which remains one of the best cameras I've ever had. It eventually went on the fritz, but while it lasted it was a great machine, even though it was only 4 megapixels. I still admire the photos I took with it. Like almost all of my digital cameras, it was a Canon.
On that trip we targeted a place called Holly River State Park. In those days we were still tent camping since we hadn't yet been raided by that huge black bear when we camped at Standing Indian Campground near Murphy NC. That's the experience that convinced us to go with a hard-sided trailer and forgo the tent camping when in state parks and National Forest campgrounds where there are likely to be lots of bears habituated to humans and their food.
Among the things that I recall about this early June 2004 trip was that it rained incessantly and intensely, and that the scenery was gorgeous. The waterfalls were especially pretty because of the overcast skies and the extremely heavy water flow in the creeks. Since it has been so long since we've been, I would really like to go back there.
This spot is called Mill Creek Falls. Every state in the south has at least fifty Mill Creeks and probably that many Mill Creek Falls. This particular one is in a state forest in West Virginia. The pool below the falls is begging for swimmers. I would have used it for a swimming hole on that trip but even though it was June, the weather was unseasonably cold and the temperatures never broke 70 the whole time we were there. This day it was around 65 or so--much too cool for a swim. If you look, you can see a cabin through the trees. You can rent it--and the three others nearby. You can't beat that place for atmosphere.
This place is called "The Hutte". It's a German restaurant in a German-centric village of Helvetia there in West Virginia. This was a great place to pause and spend a few hours. There are several maple syrup farms in the vicinity, also. Keep in mind that while West Virginia is technically part of the South, it's far enough north, and the mountains high enough, so that sugar maples thrive there. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the town.
One of the dining rooms in The Hutte where we had our most excellent lunch.
This is the actual public library of Helvetia, West Virginia. A great place to take photos, but it was closed the day we were there.
The Falls of the North Branch of the Holly River. This waterfall was exceptionally beautiful, and flowing like nobody's business the day I took this photo.
Just down from the falls above is this one. Called Shupe's Chute, the entire river is funneled through this tiny crevice in the rock. The noise that day was deafening. At the base of the chute is an absolutely spectacular swimming hole. Once again, it was far too cold to try out on that June day in 2004.
On a drive on a lonely gravel mountain road, we stumbled upon this wonderfully creepy abandoned farmhouse. If you embiggen the photo and look, you will see an equally creepy denizen sitting on the peak of the roof on the far right. (And is that an ephemeral spirit standing in the doorway??!!)