Monday, May 1, 2017

More Pine Log

Yep. I can't get enough of that Pine Log WMA, and Sunday, two weeks ago was no exception. There's still a lot out there that I haven't seen yet. There's a 4th iron furnace, some old lumber mill ruins, ruins at the Sugar Hill Iron Mine, and dozens of old roads and trails... Plenty yet to see. But, most of that will have to wait. It's still turkey season, and the WMA is a popular place for that, so I stayed on the bike and stuck to the roads, on that trip.

One or two of the "roads" looked a lot like this.


I'm sure they're fun in a truck but I didn't have the urge to drive mine back out there and find out. They were kind-of fun on the bike, but as they led to nowhere, that one time is probably the only time I'll ever ride them.

I found another well-marked property corner too.

Property Corner

In most places the WMA boundary is just marked by trees with yellow stripes on them, and it's a bit of a fuzzy boundary. No fuzz here though.

The WMA is logged pretty often, and though it results in some ugly woods, it also results in some spectacular views.


Rare in Georgia, actually.

So, I have mixed feelings about it. Ahh, internal conflict.

It's spring, and there were a ton of whatever this is, blooming all over the place.

Some Kind of Azalea

Some kind of Azalea?

I wish I knew. To me, they looked like Wild Azalea, only pink instead of that orangey color. But I don't know flowers as well as I probably should.

I was also riding down the road, when I saw, at the top of a little hill, what appeared to be a pair of turkeys, just hanging out. This seemed like quite a find to me, given the season, so I took a far-away photo (which came out blurry). I expected them to run or fly away as I approached, but they didn't. Eventually I realized that they were decoys.

Turkey Decoy

But, what didn't occur to me, and it seems really dumb now, was that the guy who set them up would be right there, waiting for real turkeys to make the same mistake I did.

If it'd been a turkey (a real one, not a figurative one, which I certainly was) then I'd have been shot. I stood there for like 10 seconds, taking that photo before I noticed the hunter sitting in the brush, fewer than 15 feet away from me. On the one hand, he was very well camouflaged, but on the other hand, I have a human brain, which knows about camouflage, and should have deduced his presence, despite the fact that I couldn't see him. I only noticed him when he waved, and made a slight noise.


I waved back, we both smiled, and I took off.

I guess decoys work on people too.

I did make a slight effort to locate the old mill. I figured it must lie on Stamp Creek, as it was alleged to have been powered by it, and there were only 2 places along Stamp Creek that I hadn't looked already: south of the Lewis Furnace, and north of the intersection with Grassy Hollow Road.

There are several meadows and campsites south of the Lewis Furnace, people fish up and down the creek there, and it's a scenic spot...

Bend in Stamp Creek I figured it was safe to go looking around there. At least, I wouldn't disturb anyone's hunt if I did.

I found some buckeye.


And various old piles and walls of rock.

Rock Pile

So, I felt like I might be on the right track. But the road ended at a campsite and the fishing trail beyond ended before long too. All I found back there was an old can of corn.

Illegal Fishing

It it legal to fish Stamp Creek with corn? I know there's one little section of the Chattahoochee that you can, but I thought that it was otherwise illegal. I even remember reading a story about a guy who got the section wrong, got cited, and through a comedy of errors, ended up in jail for a while.

I could see that the trail continued on the other side, but I was getting pretty far from my bike, the soles of my shoes are worn out, and I was getting pretty deep in the woods. Someone might be hunting back in there.

Ehh... What I really need to do is wait until late May and just walk up the creek until I find the furnace and the mill. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

From there, I spun the Grassy Hollow loop. According to topo maps, there's allegedly a trail running down from the gap, through Grassy Hollow itself, and a small pond in the depths of the hollow. I didn't see anything discernible as a trail at the gap though, and I wasn't in the mood to go pushing through the brush to try and find it.

I put that on the maybe-later list too.

I did notice that the road was gravelled with iron slag.

Iron Slag Gravel

Later, I noticed that many of the other roads were too.

No doubt it was the byproduct of the area's iron production. I wondered if it had been done in the early 1800's though, and was just still there, or if, at some point, the DNR was like: "hey... you know, we have all these old slag piles..."

And, that was about it for that trip.

Not terribly exciting, but I got in some good miles.

I actually went back a week later and had a similarly uneventful ride. I did run into a black racer though. First snake this year.

Black Racer

So, I guess that counts as an event.


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