Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 26


Jessica James, above, takes a walk on the suspension bridge at Tallulah Gorge State Park.
Lake Rabun, below, offers a getaway for boaters near Clayton, Georgia.

tomato broth. That dish is both
spicy and fresh. And most of what's
served, Allred says, comes straight
from local farms.
Feeling full and fortified on a
Friday, I ramble across Rabun
County to the quiet banks of Lake
Rabun. There, I bunk down in a cottage just a few yards from the Lake
Rabun Hotel, a handsome landmark
26 BlueRidgeCountry.com

established in 1922.
With a full Saturday at my disposal, I map out adventures that
include a splashy horseback ride
through the Little Tennessee River
at Dillard House Stables. I also board
a boat with Michael Crowe of Bear
Gap Outfitters and cruise Lake
Rabun, where, as Crowe tells me,
"You can smell the Scotch, the hot

dogs, the hamburgers and the cigars
in July."
Rabun County's food is fantastic.
For breakfast, I feast on fresh fruit
and pancakes at the Lake Rabun
Hotel. Then I savor soup - tomato,
corn and okra - for lunch at the
kudzu-clustered deck of Grapes &
Beans in Clayton.
Fittingly, that soup packs a punch
of power - energy I will need to climb
the 1,000-plus stairs at the Tallulah
Gorge State Park. Accompanied by
the assistant park manager, Jessica
James, I march up and down flights
and across the park's suspension
bridge, standing about 80 feet above
the park's Hurricane Falls.
Marching is simply what you do
when you take the stairs at Tallulah
Gorge. You also pant, rest and march
some more. Seeing this 1,000-footdeep gorge actually becomes a communal experience of endurance; all
must simply survive the stairs. Still, it's
funny how everyone pants with you.
"And, for me," James says, "I
think it still feels like a wild and scenic place here in the northeast
Georgia mountains."
As the sun sets, I wrap up my day
with a long supper: a multi-course,
farm-to-fork feast at the Beechwood
Inn Bed and Breakfast in Clayton. It
starts with lobster ravioli and ends
with a caramelized almond tart with
vanilla cream. In between comes the
entrée - a grilled O'Hana Farm pork
steak with balsamic-wild cherry glaze.
"This is local pork," says the
Beechwood's owner, David Darugh.
"It's farm-raised. It's pasture-raised.
O'Hana Farm is probably about
seven or eight miles from here."
Relaxed by good food and wine,
I sleep well at the Beechwood Inn.
Then I awake on Sunday morning to
eat even more farm-fresh produce:
Beechwood's breakfast boasts vegetable quiche, local sausage and a
slice of homegrown tomato.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015

Sweet Summer Weekends & Overnights in 7 States
The Great Divorce: Virginia-West Virginia
Swimming Holes for Summer: The Photoessay
Grand Hotel Comebacks of Western Virginia
SUP in the Mountains?
Northern Shenandoah Weekend
A Home in, on and from the Mountains
Far Beyond Sweet Tea: Great Restaurants of Upcountry South Carolina
From the Editor / Worth a Click
Mill Creek Stories
The Hike
Creature Feature
Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Festivals & Events
Country Roads
Mountian Garden
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - From the Editor / Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Sweet Summer Weekends & Overnights in 7 States
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - The Great Divorce: Virginia-West Virginia
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Swimming Holes for Summer: The Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Grand Hotel Comebacks of Western Virginia
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - SUP in the Mountains?
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Northern Shenandoah Weekend
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - A Home in, on and from the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Far Beyond Sweet Tea: Great Restaurants of Upcountry South Carolina
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Mountian Garden
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover4
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