What started out as a one day quilting class turned into a full weekend
in Georgia. Once the decision was made to come, all sorts of opportunities presented themselves...
Long ago, I discovered the Treehouse Condo in north GA. I wanted to stay there but never got the chance. I have searched and
searched never to find the bugger. But I stumbled on the Old Banning Mill in Whitesburg, GA. The lodge has many cabins, creekside
retreats and 2 tree house rooms. Well, you know what I headed for. Unfortunately, they were booked for the weekend so we had
to take the room for a Thursday night.
The plan was to leave early Thursday but we had a small delay giving a friend a lift to
the hospital in Palm Beach for a relative taken ill. No problem with the flight as it was really on our way. The front had
stalled out just north of Palm Beach so we got to shoot the ILS into KPBI. Good thing we practices last week.... Our stay
was short and our departure was uneventful. We got the Palm Beach 7 SID. Why this is a SID, I am clueless. "Climb via
runway heading then radar vectors to on course". Two pages of pictures and instructions for that?????
On our merry
way, we decided to,make a stop at the MT prop service center in Deland. It was good to meet the folks, get a quick health
check on the prop, eat the self proclaimed "best burger in town" at the airport restaurant and depart VFR for the
remainder of our trip to Newnan Airport.
We stayed relatively low, about 2500' to stay out of the headwinds but avoid much of the bumps that come with the afternoon
flight. Even this time of year with cooler temperatures, the bumps are still quite numerous in the afternoon. After a very
uneventful flight, we plopped into Newnan, had Enterprise waiting to pick us up and sped off through the historic town. It
was quite charming with the main street lined with historic homes coated with gingerbread and stained glass, in an array of pastels. The trees are resisting the urge to become dressed in their fall wardrobe but, as they say, resistance
is futile and Mother Nature will win out, even if for a brief time. The drought has left many of the trees going directly
to brown, according to the locals.
We got to Old Banning Mill and were delighted with the room. Truly a tree house perched
high a top a pole and accessible by a suspensions walkway. The room sways when you move about and the view from the top is
wonderful. We are eye to eye with the squirrels, birds and other treetop critters.
We wandered about the grounds
- a perfect place for a 99s Section Meeting if you ask me - looking at the nature trails, pool, horse shoes, putt putt golf
and the zip lines. The silence of nature of ever so briefly interrupted occasionally by the zzzzzzzzzzzip of a guest as they whizzed
by on the lines. So cool ... As was the breeze. It was gentle and not too cool but made the leaves rustle just enough to be
audible. We have only this one night in the tree house then move to a creekside cabin tomorrow. We can hear the creek from
the treehouse. I think we will leave the windows open and run the fireplace tonight ....
The room swayed every
time someone walked around or entered through the walkway bridge. It was actually quite nice. It was 49 degrees in the morning
but the room was nice with the combination of the fresh air and warmth of the fireplace. But we had business today so we were
out and running early. We came back in the afternoon for a creekside room. It was nicely appointed and quite solid.
Saturday morning was our turn for zip lines. Vern had never been and opted for level one only. He was happy with his decision.
I elected the extreme course, level 4. The zip lines were not the challenging part. There were a series of foot bridges suspended
over the gorge and between the towers and hills. Most were planks and fairly stable. By the ti e we hot level 4 some were
cables making is feel like the circus tight rope walkers only we had harnesses and were clipped in to the safety cable. The
longest was 307 planks spaced about 12"-18" apart. The one that tested our resolve and make us face out fears was
a series of 2"x 6" planks laid more or less end to end. Were were high above the river and the walk seemed to last
forever although it was maybe 200' long. I heaved a sigh of relief when I finished the crossing. The remaining zip lines were
fun and I was all so sad to be finished for the day. We spent the afternoon driving through Callaway Gardens to our south. Since we got there
late, we did not have lots of time for the shows and indoor exhibits but the drive through the gardens was beautiful and quite peaceful. The town of Newnan had also caught our attention when we
landed but there was not sufficient time then to explore. We did a brief exploration, looking at the historic homes then headed
back to the lodge for a quiet evening before flying off tomorrow.
The morning could not be better. We has good
'ole GA grits with cheese and sausage. Mmmmm, then headed off into perfectly clear blue skies with a forecast tailwind. Does
life get any better??