|Aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway Car 2929.|
This year, due to a health scare, all of my vacation money went toward paying hospital bills so, no beach vacation. It would've been a great one, too, we found an awesome deal on a package to Aruba AND I found a fly fishing guide on the island! But, Aruba will just have to wait until next year.
As so often happens, the summer flew by and without even realizing it, school was about to start back. We ran out of time for our beach trip, so instead, we decided at the last minute to do a quick over-nighter in Blue Ridge, Georgia. We got online and started checking out things to do and see and places to stay. This was on a Friday afternoon, we wanted to head up the next morning and spend Saturday night. While online we found a great looking little hotel, Serenity in the Mountains, with all suites and very reasonable prices. Unfortunately, it was too late in the evening to get a reservation. I tried to call when they opened the next morning, but, unfortunately again for us, they were booked solid for the whole weekend. Our quick over-nighter turned into a quick day trip. We will be going back to stay at Serenity, I just have to make the reservations quite a bit further in advance!
|A gorgeous little homestead with views of the river, when the train isn't passing.|
|The Suburban Angler himself.|
|It was tough to get a good shot of the river from the moving train.|
|The only bend large enough for a full train shot.|
After killing a little time with our coffee, we lined up and boarded the train. The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is a 4 hour, 26 mile round trip train ride following along the Toccoa River north (but, oddly enough, downstream) to the twin border towns of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN. We were in one of the open cars, the rain was light enough that we didn't get wet, so we were really able to take in the scenery. As is typically the case for me, we chose the wrong side of the train. There are views to be seen on both sides, but one side has the river, so there is a better side. Luckily the porters ensure that everyone changes sides for the return trip. There wasn't a whole lot to see and do in McCaysville and Copperhill. There are a few hometown restaurants and junk/"antique" stores, but, aside from the street preachers, that was about it for entertainment during the layover. I was able to pick up a walnut pipe rack for way cheaper than ebay, so I happy about that. I was hoping to find a fly shop to check out and possibly pick up a patch with the town's name or the river's name change. Which, I guess, is the other attraction in McCaysville/Copperhill, the north-flowing Toccoa River changes its name to the Ocoee River when it crosses the state line. My normally good sense of direction was way out of whack while here, I think the river running the wrong way was throwing off my internal compass.
|A beautiful river.|
|Lots of kayakers on the water.|
|More kayakers and a 100 year old bridge.|
|I love vintage signs.|
Believe it or not, we were able to cover just about all of Blue Ridge in just the one day, but we certainly plan on going back soon. The Toccoa River was busy with fisherman, but I think I'd like to take a stab at it myself. It looks like the perfect river to flyfish out of the kayak while the Little Girl is getting spa treatment and I wouldn't mind drooling in Oyster Bamboo Rods a bit more.
I'll put links below for the businesses we checked out, but leave me a comment if you've been to Blue Ridge and know of something we missed that we need to see next time. Thanks for reading.
Tight Lines and Happy Fishing,
Oyster Bamboo Fly Rods
Blue Ridge Fly Fishing
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
E. Quinn Booksellers
Serenity in the Mountains Spa and Suites
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