Stone Mountain

Sunday, July 15, 2012

After church and a relaxed lunch, we headed out for Stone Mountain in mid afternoon.

We parked near the entrance to the village and attractions and decided to take the cablecar to the top first.

We approach the station for the cable cars. At right you can see that there are a pair of cars that cycle to the top and back.

It was not crowded, so after a short wait, our car approaches.

We are off toward the top of Stone Mountain, looking back at the base station.

This is one of the views on the way up on the cablecar. This lake on the northeast side of the mountain is one of several you can see from the top. The paddlewheel boat can be seen docked.

This is a rather unique view of Stone Mountain as the cablecar lifted us past the mountain. With the lake and the trees for scale, you get a feeling for how massive this big rock is! I had never quite seen this perspective before.

We made it to the top and came down on the north slope of the mountain so that we could see where we had come from.

We got the view below of the car we had ridden as it made the trip back down the mountain.

Mary, Brenda and Suzanne on top of the rock with the skyline of Atlanta 15 miles to the west. This was a short walk from the cablecar station and restaurant on the top of the mountain.

Mary on the very top of Stone Mountain.

We could see the Peachtree Plaza hotel in downtown Atlanta from the top of Stone Mountain, and later when we were at the Peachtree Plaza, we could see Stone Mountain.

After our exploration of the top, we reboarded the cablecar for the trip back down the mountain. From the car we could see the other folks walking around on the big rock.

On the way down, we got a view of the Atlanta skyline around the side of the mountain, and then the top of the Stone Mountain carving came into view.

You certainly do get a different view of the carving from the cablecar than from the ground. It had been several years since I had been up the skylight since we typically hike up with the Awana boys.

Leaving the cablecar station, we crossed the big viewing area where we would gather for the laser show later.

We went to the rail depot and boarded the train for the trip around the five mile circumference of the base of Stone Mountain. We rode in light, open railcars. The view upper right was typical - it was mostly through the woods.

We did get some views of the other side of the mountain where the approach is much more gradual than the north face. We saw one of the old steam trains. We passed the old western village where they used to stage a gunfight as part of the entertainment for those on the train. In general, it was a relaxing ride, but certainly not spectacular.

We did get a very nice view of the carving from the train as we approached the station on our return.

We also got an excellent perspective of the cable car system relative to the carving.

We took blankets and coolers with our picnic supper and went out on the big grassy viewing area facing the carving where the laser show would be projected. From our position we watched the train cross the area as we had done. At right above is a shot of the viewing area that we took while we were up on the cable car earlier.

The crowd kept gathering until showtime at 9:30pm. The entire grassy area seemed full with several hundred people.

This is a collage of the laser images projected during the show. A good bit of it was actual video projection, a big change from the last time I saw the show. I had to include the Georgia Tech projection to honor my alma mater. The others are laser outlines.

The last part of the laser show program was very patriotic and ended with a spectacular fireworks show over the carving.

Peachtree Plaza and Atlanta Zoo

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