The town of Blue Ridge has changed much since I was a kid. These days it's an exceptional tourist destination and the town has blossomed in many ways. It seems to be doing well with lots of cool stores and no empty buildings with plenty of customers. I can't say the same for McKaysville which did have some cool stores, but not so many as Blue Ridge.
When I was a teenager, McKaysville/Copper Hill was an ecological wasteland. Union Carbide, easily one of the most vile corporate entities on the planet, operated mines there at the Georgia/Tennessee border that raped the land and polluted the water and air. They actually vented acid directly into the atmosphere in those days and one could stand on the mountaintops in the Cohuttas and look north to see a vast, dead, brown scab-like terrain where the company operated, wrecking Mother Earth.
These days, at least vegetation has returned to the area, although I can't say with any certainty if it's healthy or if the water table is still polluted. But at least it doesn't look like Satan's asshole any more.
We enjoyed the trip and I can recommend it. There are things to see and do at either end of the ride and the trip itself is fun with some interesting scenery bordering the river.
|The town of Blue Ridge, Georgia. We had a good time here.|
|This is the car we rode in.|
|The conductor. This guy really played the part.|
|Our car. Very comfortable. Nice and air conditioned.|
|The conductor stopped and let us take this photo. What a great guy.|
|McKaysville, Georgia. Just down the street is the Tennessee border where you can walk into the village of Copper Hill.|
|One of the engines. There was actually an engine at either end of the train. One pulled us to McKaysville, then the other one pulled us to Blue Ridge.|
|Carole, just as we were leaving to return to Blue Ridge.|
I took this video to show an old iron bridge the train takes on its journey. Toward the end of the video you can hear this horrid little kid screaming. He had the worst parents. Ever. Total freaking assholes. The kid would start screaming and the parents reactions were to give him exactly what he wanted to make him stop. This only made him start screaming again a few seconds later when he decided he wanted something else. This went on and on. When they saw how much it was irritating everyone else, they moved to a separate compartment where no one could hear the little bastard. A message to his parents: SCREW YOU, ASSHOLES!