Monday 5 August 2013

5 Photos by Russell Streur

Bamboo grove along the Chattahooche River, Georgia

High Falls, Georgia, is just a couple minutes off I-95 on the way from Atlanta to Macon.   For most of the 19th Century, the story goes, an industrious little town thrived along the banks of the Towaliga River.  In later decades, a railroad chose a roadbed that bypassed the place and the town fell down and ghosted up.  A pocket sized state park celebrates the town’s lost prosperity and offers a pair of hiking trails, one down one side of the river, and one down the other.  It’s a good plan, and each path offers a fine view of the 140 foot cascade to the river.  Not many people make that turn off the interstate, and so makes for a short and perfect stroll, quiet and uncrowded, lush and cool and colorful in the progress of the seasons from spring to summer to fall.

It’s a different story in the winter, on those certain days when the temperature, the humidity and the wind are just right.  Then, the cold waters of the Towaliga bloom in the early hours before dawn into big billowing clouds of steam and mist.  In that short time, on those few days, the 21st Century is a long way off, and the visitor finds the place even older than the ruins of the mills, and empty and quiet enough to hear the old voices, the whispers in the pines, the heron’s call, and always the harmony of the river, always that music, that song.