A friend had told me about the Len Foot Hike Inn and I was intrigued.  It sounded like a great hike and my girls were old enough to handle the “moderate” rating of the hike.  I made reservations at the very beginning of April since they recommended 11 months in advance.

Finally, the day arrived and we were so excited!  Lolo helped Mae Mae get her hiking hairdo on…

Everything we needed for the next two days had to be carried in our backpacks.  I’ve since made notes about what I WON’T need the next time…

Before we started on the Len Foote hike, we thought we should see the waterfalls before Saturday came.  With all the gorgeous fall colors, we knew the “peepers” would be filling the Amicalola State Park.

We walked to the bottom of the stream…

And then walked up ALL the stairs…

Till we made it to the beautiful, very tall,  falls!

It’s hard to get perspective with a camera.  See Mae Mae and our friend at the bottom of the picture?

But we did our best to capture this incredible view.

The blue of the sky, the brilliance of the trees – it looked as though Someone had plugged in the day!

After we took all the pictures we wanted, we walked back down ALL those steps and drove over to the top of the falls.

The view was spectacular!

Finally we arrived at the parking lot for the Len Foote Hike Inn.  We visited the restroom, checked our backpacks, and loaded up for the 5 mile hike to the inn.

And we stepped into the quiet solitude of the woods…

After the first mile, tired of listening to our growling stomachs, we stopped for lunch!

Food never tastes as good as it does outside in the woods 🙂

We had a visitor who joined us for lunch…

a Hover Fly.

And to prove his namesake, he hovered so I could snap this photo of him!  It’s funny how he tucks his little legs up beside him and his wings are so fast, you can’t even see them!

The trail was marked with a lime green blaze.  The Appalachian Trail was blazed with blue.

We met some wonderful new friends along the way.  These ladies were from the Atlanta area and headed to the Inn also.  One of the gals had this hike on her “bucket” list and her two friends came for moral support.

The scenery changed constantly.  We loved the “tunnel” feel of this grove of Laurel and Rhododendrons.

Don’t be fooled by that smile on R’s face.  Look at Mae Mae’s face and harken the caution seen there!

The trees’ foliage was spectacular – reminded me so much of New England as we hiked through all these colors!

Noticed this pretty little flower along the pathway.  I believe it’s a Stiff Gentian.

I love being in the woods- exploring, wondering, thinking, listening to all the sounds, watching the way the light from the sun plays among the branches and leaves…

The Sassafras tree was everywhere with it’s funny shaped leaves – the ones that look like mittens are my favorite.

The mountain side undulated up and down as we hiked along, some hills steeper than others.

When the hills were a little more of an incline than we were used to, we stopped for a little rest 🙂

And then when we all were in a really great hiking rhythm, we hiked right into the Inn!

We’d made it!  5 miles of hiking in 2.5 hours!

There was an earned feeling of accomplishment 🙂

After we checked in, we headed to our bunk house.  One set of bunks in each room – we had adjoining rooms.

The accommodations were simple, clean, and a very welcome sight!

First things first after checking out our beds, the bathroom!

Real towels and hairdryers…but the best of all???  HOT SHOWERS!!

And…composting toilets.  The girls wanted me to tell you all that the pictures can’t begin to tell how it “felt” to sit on one of these toilets.  There was a constant cool draft that flowed through the big tube of the compost toilet.

After we took care of all the important tasks, we headed to the dining hall where we were told they had snacks waiting for us.

Corn bread and Sweet Potato Soup – it was wonderful!

What I really wanted was something to drink…

These were our cups the entire time we were at the Inn.

Oh, and another thing…no garbage cans anywhere at the Inn.  What you carried in to the Inn, you carried back out – even your garbage 🙂

We explored the Inn area before the Educational Tour at 5pm.

We learned that all the buildings were built on stilts so as not to disrupt the contour of the land and cause erosion.

And the view – worth every step along that path through the woods!

We took time to chat with some of the other guests who had arrived at the Inn.

Found this hanging in one of the trees…

The educational tour told us all about the formation of the Inn and how they are striving to be eco-friendly.

This is one of their worm bins and it was FULL of Red Worms – impressive!

Before dinner, R taught us all how to play horse shoes….

Such form…

…and finesse!

I like when my girls have an opportunity for a “first.”  Now they can say they’ve “tried” to play horseshoes 🙂

We were really excited when we finally heard the dinner bell ring at 6p.

An amazing meal was set before us – of course, was it so amazing because the cook was that good or because we were famished after our hike??  Umm, yes to both!

We had Black-eyed Peas, Collard Greens, biscuits, Caesar Salad, and Pork Loin with caramelized onions.

The meal was delicious!!!

This picture isn’t very good but I had to show you.

These 2 guys are playing the banjo and guitar and doing the kitchen dance.

Wanna know why?

Remember I said the Inn was eco-friendly?

After each meal, they weigh the scraps that are left on all the plates.

If there are 0 ounces, the kitchen staff does the kitchen dance!

Guess what?  We had 0 waste at our dinner meal 🙂

After dinner, we all went outside to watch the sunset.

While we were waiting, the girls decided to take a closer look at this formidable structure.

This structure took 2 years to be placed in just the right position.

During the Summer Equinox, the sun, as it rises, hits the circle at the top …

…and illuminates this room behind the structure.

There are large rocks placed on the ground around the structure to point out the directions.

Mae Mae is standing on the rock facing East…

…and Lolo is showing us the way to the Northeast!

Afterwards, we decided to check out the Community Room.

And a rousing game of Yahtzee broke out!  NOT!  We were all feeling the effects of hiking all day and we were ready for a hot shower….

And comfy beds!

Sleep well, my beautiful girls, for tomorrow we do the same!