Wow, it has been forever since I had something to write about.
I am sitting in the Econo Lodge in Dahlonega, GA while my bride is at a “Natural Hoof Care for Horses” class about 10 miles farther into the mountains.
Apparently Dahlonega was founded in 1833 and was the site of the first major gold rush in the United States, or so the sign posted proudly upon entry claims. Wikipedia claims otherwise… Who is right? 🙂
As I was driving back to the hotel from dropping Becca off this morning, I stopped at the little Native American burial site, a pile of rocks right in the middle of the road.
Legend has it that Trahlyta, a Cherokee princess, drank from a magic spring near her home each day. The spring was a fountain of youth and allowed her to stay young. Apparently even Desoto heard about the fount and sent soldiers to investigate. While she lived on the mountain, a warrior named Wahsega courted her, but she rejected him. So what did the mighty, spurned warrior do? He kidnapped her and by doing so, kept her away from the spring. She started to lose her youthful beauty, but he did not relent. Eventually, on her death bed, she asked to be buried near her home. He finally followed her wishes and did so.
The legend continued when people passing by picked up a stone and dropped it on the grave. Apparently the person’s heart-felt wish would come true. The pile of stone is now almost as tall as me. I haven’t been able to verify this, but since that time, the Georgia department of Highways had tried to move it at least twice. Each time one or more persons working on the project have died. The rock pile remains where it was and is.
Back to Dahlonega itself, the name of the city comes from the Cherokee word “Talonega” meaning “golden”. The city reminds me a lot of Stillwater, MN. Old (well, for the US at least) looking buildings, quaint little downtown area, shops with antiques, good food. It is a college town, but we didn’t see too many students while we were out wandering around.
Like both of the other cities we have spent some time in so far, Atlanta and Chattanooga, the people have been very nice and somewhat surprised that we are from Minnesota. Becca’s class gets over tonight sometime, I have to check out at 11 and we are staying at a bed and breakfast about 15 miles west of where I am now, but I can’t check in until 3. It should be interesting!