I never claimed to have the best timing. Though I must say that our arrival at the Ga Guide Stones could not have been better. Our timing this weekend on our trip to The Ga Grand Canyon at Providence State Park couldn’t have been worse.
The park is amazing. This is especially true if you are the athletic type of person. This should have rang true to us by our greeting of a sign embroiled with, “this trail is intended for those in good health and without any heart issues”. Aside from that, it had some amazing views, and until our visit I had never had an opportunity to walk on the bottom of a canyon floor.
One of the attractions there on site, was the advertised Glory Hole. The Glory Hole, despite the widely used pornographic definition, is a small lake on the canyon floor at the southern end of the park. Or what might have been a lake if we had chosen to go on any day but this past Saturday.
In one of the earlier episodes of Whom It May I touted that the only reason I turn on the television for anything other than internet based content, was to watch the local news cast for the weather. However, this week this inclination had escaped me, and did not know that Saturday was in fact going to be the hottest day on record here in West Georgia for the year 2016.
It was brutally hot and typically is in Georgia. Our problem on most days is the humidity, this was still true on this day, but 105°F is hot no matter the climate. Despite all this in our obliviousness we had traveled for several hours to see and experience this place.
We had chosen our route, and began our descent down the winding trail. Along our way we passed hiker after hiker, none of which seemed as if they were enjoying themselves. Each one covered with sweat, and with a near angry expression on their face. I was accompanied by my friend and her two boys, of which I felt strangely protective over upon our meeting of the fellow park visitors. I nearly looked at my friend Diane and requested we return to the top before we got to the bottom, where an evil troll would certainly take our happiness as well. However, my pride got the best of me and soon we were at the bottom.
At the bottom of the canyon the ground was moist, it was like no other type ground I have walked on. Red Clay, but like none other I had ever encountered. As we walked around the canyon floor the soil was flexible but stout simultaneously. Red clay that I am familiar with attaches itself to you, almost beckons to envelope you. As a matter of fact, there is a pair of shoes in the clay pits of Coldwater, Alabama, that used to belong to me but now belongs to the Earth and will remain there for good. It made since, then that we had read an article that claimed that large parts the canyon walls would disappear during the average rain storm.
After reviewing the map, it appears to me that, we were in fact standing in the Glory Hole. After thinking about it, I could see how someone could have a religious experience there.
I did not know this, until Saturday, but at the bottom of canyon floors there is no wind. You can see wind, you just can’t feel it. The trees at higher elevations would move occasionally with the wind, but on that day wind never did make it down those canyon walls.
There was only one hope left, the shade. Shade was relatively plentiful. This isn’t typical for canyons, but at Providence State Park there are many trees at the bottom.
It did not take long until our bodies and minds, had been worn down by the experience. The children were beginning to take issue with the lack of toys on the Canyon floor, and the ever present reminder of the climb back to the top of the canyon was staring me in the eye as a canyon wall in every direction. Part of me wanted to continue exploring. The other part was ready for it to be over. It appeared that there was one more step in our journey remaining, the assent.
In case you don’t know me personally or you have never seen me on camera, I’d like to take the time to inform you that there is a great YouTube channel, called Whom It May that you should check out. And that I am a bit out of shape. So the call to action in this particular adventure was a little daunting. This became very much apparent after the first 30 seconds of the climb.
I had hit it too hard to fast, and by the time I reached the first kick in the path I was feeling a bit light headed. Soon, my friend Diane joined me leaning on the wood safety railing, trying to catch our breath.
The younger of the two kids took this as a time for him to explore the trail independently. “Not too far”, the oldest exclaimed. Big brothers, we’re all the same. We have a tendency to think we know what is best, even though we are just figuring it out as we go along too.
It took us a few minutes, but my brain had quit swimming, and it was time for us to take the next hill. We did so with a little more ease this time. Then the next, was even better. Eventually the head of the trail was in sight.
I’d like to be able to tell you that, at that point it was an all-out brawl to the top. Adrenaline pumping, and that Georgia heat never felt so good. That in fact was not the story, we got nearly to the top and I again ran out of gas and shortly was joined by my friend. This time, was worse than the first time we had to stop. This time, I was taunted by the trail head as a goal that was just out of reach. This time, I felt defeated. I couldn’t let my friend see that, so we finished the climb, and returned home.
On the way home, we had a conversation about conviction. Conviction to some, is translated as a hurtful hand of God, but I’ve always seen it as another way for him to converse with me. I know his voice when he calls, and that reminds me that I am his. It has been a while since I have heard this voice, but I remember the tone. A relationship with Jesus is individual, and each person hears the call a different way. When I hear his voice it is one of love, but it also is one of a stern reminder, of a word that already lives within me.
After our adventure we drove to some spots around the park were we could take a few pictures from the top of the canyon walls. See a few of them below.