Runoff water freezes on the cliff face of Hogpen Gap in the north Georgia mountains

The roads of the north Georgia mountains are twisty, steep, and generally fun to drive. I love to take a car through those mountains and straighten the curves while going as fast as I comfortably can. Of course what I considerable a comfortable speed, the locals laugh at. It’s not at all unusual to look in my rear view mirror while I think I am going pretty fast only to see a rusted bucket of bolts bearing down on me at a really high speed. I let those guys pass and try to keep up with them. Usually they head into turns that I can’t imagine taking at full speed and I never see their brake lights! It could be that their brake lights just don’t work, but usually it just means that they are way more comfortable on those roads than I am.

Truth be told, I should be more like those drivers than like me. My mom’s family is originally from Blairsville, a small town in the north Georgia mountains. She had six brothers and it seems they all had an affinity for fast cars. My grandfather’s barn still had an assortment of car parts a few years ago: fenders, steering wheels, and other assorted parts from ancient cars. Presumably, most of those came from my uncles’ cars that limped home after an “incident”.

I do know for certain that my mother refused to drive with some of her brothers. I remember as a kid riding in a car with one of those uncles as he overtook another car by driving over a double yellow line and passing them at the crest of a steep hill. If there had been another car coming the other way at the same time, there would have been no way to avoid a crash. I remember gripping the armrest and seat in terror while my uncle calmly smoked a cigarette and acted as nothing had happened.

But, I digress. The story behind this image is really nothing dramatic. It was taken at a gap in the north Georgia mountains. Out west, people call paths through the mountains passes. We call them gaps in the South. This particular one is called Hogpen Gap and it has an elevation of about 3,000 feet. One side of the gap stays in shade most of the day in winter so it is particularly susceptible to ice formations forming. I like to stop there when I am in the area and see if the ice is worth shooting. The views from the gap are nice as well. The view north  is mostly into national forest so it feels as if you are the only one in the wilderness at times.

The ice was already starting to melt when I arrived this day. The icicles weren’t particularly large, but I did like this section. It does look like a small, frozen waterfall. There just haven’t been many days this winter that ice could form. Oh well, there’s always next winter.


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