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Hiking, Zip Lining, and Tubing

By Nathan Elliott

The SLV Outdoor Adventure Club stepped it up a notch recently with a hiking, tubing, zip lining overnight adventure in nearby Helen, GA. And oh, what fun we had! The trip was organized by Terry Athorn, Janie Clark and Gloria Bramble. The twenty-one adventurers, ages 59 to 80, stayed at Unicoi State Park which is just a few miles from Helen. Most stayed at the lodge and seven camped in RVs.
The fun began Tuesday, July 10 as we all made our separate ways from McCormick and met at the North GA Barbeque. Unfortunately, it is closed on Tuesdays. Yikes! We missed that detail in our planning. So,with the help of Alexa and OK Google, we found Big Daddy’s Restaurant which easily handled our large group. 
After lunch, many in the group went tubing on the Chattahoochee headwaters. Having never been tubing before, I envisioned a lazy float down a river, so I was a little confused about the sign that said “We highly recommend renting a pole.” A pole? For what? Ah, just a few minutes down the river answered that question. The pole is to get you off the bank, around the rocks, and out of trouble. I’m giving the pole a C- on its performance in these tasks. It surely couldn’t be operator error. Most of us remained relatively dry until the surprisingly difficult task of exiting the tube at the end of our float trip. Lots of dunking and laughter here!
That night we all gathered for dinner at the Bodensee German Restaurant. We were all greatly impressed with our server, Austin, who took the drink and dinner orders for all twenty-one of us without writing anything down! While we enjoyed our meals (all of which were the correct ones!), we had a great time telling stories about our tubing adventures. After dinner, many joined the Athorns who hosted a s’mores fest around a campfire back at Unicoi Park. It was a perfect ending to our first day.
The next morning was truly an adventure. Just about everyone took the zip line challenge. Picture, if you will, 60 and 70-year-old seniors zipping along cables, climbing tree stairs, falling backwards off platforms with arms in the air, step- inch-walking along a cable suspended high above the ground, and other terrifying feats. It came as no surprise to us that everyone was smiling at the end! We have a bold group in the OAC!
That concluded our adventures in Helen; more adventures to follow. If you’d like to join the SLV Outdoor Adventure Club, call the Recreation Center. Your grandchildren will be amazed at your escapades!

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