Awana Boys Hike up Stone Mountain

October 3, 2009

We made our fall trip to climb Stone Mountain, this time with the Awana Boys since we have switched from RAs to Awanas. As you can see, we had an exceptionally clear day and a fine view of the skyline of Atlanta 15 miles away from the top of Stone Mountain. The five boys who went were Stone McKnight, Garrison Ridgway, Riley Brooks, Brian Tucker and Kylan Brock. In back are Joe Burkhardt, grandfather of Riley, Kurt Ridgway, Johnny Huffman and Gene Brock, grandfather of Kylan. None of the boys had been to Stone Mountain with us before and only Riley had been on a trip with us before.

We started with our traditional pancake breakfast at the church and headed out to Stone Mountain, about a 45 minute drive.

The group poses on the tracks of the Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad when we reached the park. Then we head up the mountain.

We followed the solid rock trail up the side of Stone Mountain opposite the carving.

Brian Tucker and Stone McKnight stop off to examine the bubble-gum post, which we know has been here many years.

We paused to examine some of the carvings in the stone along the path. Some were very elaborate, and some dated back to almost Civil War years.

A small pavilion is provided about halfway up, so we stopped for water and an apple.

Shortly above the rest area we got our first views of the Atlanta skyline 15 miles west. We realized that this was probably the clearest day we had ever encountered on one of our trips with the boys.

We were marching up the rock almost straight into the sun. A handrail was provided on a steep portion of the trail, but these boys had so much energy they just used them as playground equipment.

Alongside the handrails is a cave formed by large overlapping slabs of rock, and the boys head right end. Brian Tucker is the first to pop up on the other side.

The cave and rocks surrounding provided entertainment and a break from the straight climb up the mountain.

This is a view from downtown Atlanta, past Colony Square and Buckhead, and showing Kennesaw Mountain at the extreme right. We continued to be amazed at the clarity of the air.

Riley was zipping around the rocks with lots of energy, even after having climbed this far.

Kylan seems to enjoy everything, as long as it's active. So he also enjoyed the cave and the rocks.

After the break we had quite a bit more steep climbing up the rock before we reached the top.

Kylan Brock with Grandfather Gene with the Atlanta skyline in background. They were taking the mountain in stride.
Kylan Brock, Stone McKnight and Brian Tucker with the Atlanta skyline.

Downtown Atlanta skyline at 15 miles.

We pushed on to the top of Stone Mountain and then down the other side as far as we could go to look at the lake below and the cablecar station. The lake was quite muddy from the recent torrential rains. We did get to watch the cable cars go up and down.

We went to the visitor center and then just let the boys explore the top of the mountain for a few minutes before heading back down.

One more skyline shot before we head down.

One more climb on the rocks for Brian and Stone while the other boys played around the cave. Then we headed down the mountain and had our lunch in one of the picnic areas and made our trip back to Mableton.

GBCN Alumni Day

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