|Hike Name:||Vogel State Park - Coosa Bald|
|Trip Date:||December 22, 1997|
|Trip Weather:||Partly Sunny, Cloudy|
|Trip Winds:||Light to Moderate|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 61-70, Low: 31-40 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||12/22/97 (Monday): The Ox and I were on the trail at 2pm after a quick visit to the store at Neels Gap, and a short journey to a nearby BP Country Store for sandwich supplies. The Ranger got us a permit, then we hiked to the ½ way point on the Coosa Backcountry Trail at Calf Stomp Gap by 5pm. There was a statue of Jesus Christ nearby and it was located just of the trail. The Ox and I spotted it in the distance, but couldn’t figure out what it was until we took a brief side hike to investigate it in more detail.
It was getting dark early so we set up camp after we pulled water from a nearby stream. There were a collection of baskets nearby, so a naturalist must be doing research in the area. We had a killer dinner and a roaring fire then jumped into the sleeping bags around 11:30 pm. Shortly after that, a pick-up truck drove up and parked with their headlights blazing on our tent. The Ox and I woke and debated their motive and our course of action. It turned out that they were raccoon hunters, and they left their truck to hike down into the hollow where their hound dogs had treed a critter. They unloaded a few shots, hiked back to the truck, then left without harassing us – much to our relief. I immediately sacked out and sleep soundly the rest of the night.
12/23/97 (Tuesday): The Ox and I cooked up some omelets for breakfast this morning, then hiked above the clouds to Coosa Bald. There were numerous campsites in the area, but no water as far as we could tell. The views were spectacular, but I was unimpressed with Coosa Bald as a whole. In the summer time, the trees that have overtaken the bald will not allow much of a view, and there wasn’t much to this area. In general, The Coosa Backcountry Trail is a roller coaster with many ups and downs. The Ranger warned us of this, but I was skeptical until we hiked this area. Overall, the trails were in excellent condition though, and the last few miles along the Bear Hair Gap had some nice waterfalls and stream crossings. The Ox and I eventually made it back to the car by mid afternoon and headed for Atlanta after a quick stop in Dahlonega for some DQ.