A vacation in Ellijay with Karen Wright and Donna Callaway was an 
experience that I will always remember; I have known both of them for 
nearly thirty years and we are active members at Black Springs Baptist 
Church.  They are life-long friends and I am honored that they opened 
that special circle and let me join this extraordinary adventure; what 
enjoyment we shared.

According to the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce the area is 
described as "a modern day 'Mayberry' by travel writer William 
Schemmel, the city of Ellijay is a very neighborly community.  Drive 
along the many back roads and travel back to a time that is 
less-stressed and full of small town atmosphere and nostalgia. "

I have visited the Great Smokey Mountains countless times but this was 
my first trip to the north Georgia mountain town of Ellijay and I have 
to report that the area is filled with scenic views and interesting 
structures; the downtown area has been revitalized and offers 
countless shopping opportunities.  Karen continues to add finishing 
touches to their family retreat so Donna and I were pleased to 
accompany her on the quest.
According to research Gilmer County is the Apple Capital of Georgia 
and the city holds the annual Georgia Apple Festival each October.   
Ellijay is a form of a Cherokee name which means "new ground", or 
perhaps green place.

I knew when Karen stopped in a valley and engaged the four wheel drive 
that we were in for an exciting ride to our destination.  The winding 
road twists and turns until you are dizzy; switchback is what it is 
called. I can promise you a thrill if you ever ride this switchback or 
encounter a similar hairpin turn, especially if you meet a UPS 
delivery truck and have to negotiate the quite narrow passageway.

Wikipedia defines it as "A road featuring hairpin turns is named for 
its resemblance to a hairpin/bobby pin, a bend in a road with a very 
acute inner angle".

Karen and Tim have constructed a beautiful completely wooden structure 
there in the forest that fits the breathtaking surroundings and all 
three stories offer an unbelievable view of the creek way below.  If 
you listen closely you can hear the echoing sounds of their grands 
enjoying their private tubing area.  My favorite place is probably the 
massive two story stone fireplace that is the focal point in the 
gathering room.

Because of my broken foot I was offered the master bedroom on the main 
floor but there are four more suites on various levels that are just 
as beautiful and comfortably furnished.  The bear theme defines the 
lodge experience and there is an authentic bearskin displayed near the 
massive staircase.

Our culinary excursion included a visit to "Canteberry" downtown where 
we devoured an incredible portion of fresh coconut cake.  I heard rave 
reviews about the manicotti at Charley's and it was fantastic; other 
dining events included lunch at Bigun's Barbecue, a pizza supper and 
some fantastic Mexican food.


Brenda S. Brown 


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