Today, Susan and I decided to drive to New England to enjoy the fall colors. And we completed the trip in about six hours!
We had heard that this was the best weekend for fall foliage near Cloudland Canyon up in far northwest Georgia, so we drove up I-75 to exit 320, then headed west on Georgia 136. It's about a forty mile drive through two-lane northwest Georgia countryside, much of which is Appalachian foothills and low mountains. The drive was quite pleasant--and oddly enough, it felt very much like I was in "home territory."
Bear in mind, I grew up in Rome, which is an hour or more further south, and much less mountainous. Rome has seven hills, but no real mountains. Even so, the countryside, the terrain, the small towns... it all felt like I was back in the area around Rome. I don't get that same feeling when I drive through northeast Georgia, heading to Hiawassee or Blue Ridge or Blairsville or Helen; that entire area has a different atmosphere, and I generally feel like a visitor when I'm there. This drive was quite different, however; it had an odd familiarity that I simply can't explain logically.
Rather than coming back from Cloudland Canyon the way we went up there, we decided to head a little further west and get on I-59, then take it up to Chattanooga and come back down I-75 (a little further in miles, but much shorter in time). We had just gotten on the interstate when we discovered a town that was new to both of us: New England, Georgia. So we drove through there for a few minutes, just so that we could say in all honesty that we drove to New England to enjoy the fall foliage.
(And lest you doubt me, click here for a map that clearly show New England, along with a lot of other small towns that I was until now unfamiliar with.. but I suspect we'll drive back up there soon, just to enjoy a hitherto-unexplored-by-us part of Georgia.)