Thursday, November 27, 2008

Excellent Delayed Harvest Trout Season Info

We received a link from Aaron Sago last month that has a wealth of information about the Delayed Harvest season that opens up on November 1. I thought I would pass it along since I know we have a lot of die hard trout anglers who check in every month! Just click on this link:

Avery Dylan Project at Loco's in Gainesville

I've now seen the Avery Dylan Project three times this year and they are really coming into their own. Together now for almost a year, the trio is now making it look almost effortless as they run through a mix of some excellent original tunes and blues/rock classics. It was only a matter of time..bassist Clint Swords and drummer Mike Strickland have been playing together for a while, and Avery Dylan is a seasoned and very talented guitarist.
The version of "Little Wing" that these guys played at Loco's was the best live rendition I've heard-and I've probably heard that song played live 20-30 times. Their original tunes are getting more refined and they do a good job of blending them in with the covers.

I spoke with Avery between sets and he is excited about the future of the band-playing some larger gigs from time to time in addition to seeking out the smaller clubs he has a good feel for. These guys stay pretty busy, and you can catch them in the mountains again on November 15 at Bigg Daddy's in Helen...and back at Loco's in Gainesville on November 22.

Check out some of ADP's tunes on their MySpace page:

Avery Dylan Project/MySpace

Plenty of History at Oconee Station

The oldest structure in Oconee County, and one of the oldest remaining in South Carolina, Oconee Station was built in 1792 along the Cherokee trading path as a defensive refuge for settlers in the event of Indian attack. The construction was initiated by General Robert Anderson, who wrote: "I have ordered the people to build blockhouses, where they are exposed and intimidated, to fly to with their families in case of alarm." The small fortification was manned by militia from 1792 to 1799, and I haven't been able to find any documentation of actual Indian attacks that had to be defensed.

In 1805 William Richards, a settler from Ireland, purchased the property from General Andrew Pickens and established a trading post. He built a 2 story house adjacent to the blockhouse that remains on the property today. The trading post operated until 1809 and inventory records recall large quantities of deer skins, bear skins, ginseng and dry goods.

Today, both the blockhouse and the Richards house are part of the Oconee Station State Historic Site operated by the state of South Carolina. The 210 acre site also includes hiking trails, a pond, and access to Station Cove Falls just inside the Sumter National Forest. The two historical structures can be toured, by appointment, on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 pm.

Oconee County is very convenient to the north Georgia mountains thru Rabun County (which it borders, separated by the Chattooga River) and Habersham County. From the Atlanta area you would travel north on I-85 and exit at the very 1st South Carolina exit and take Hwy. 11 to Wahalla. For more concise directions and some more information, here is a link to the South Carolina State Parks website page for Oconee Station State Historic Site-

South Carolina State Parks-Oconee Stationn

And a map of the park-

3rd Annual Greg Welch Memorial Car Show

I was excited when Cinda Welch invited me to attend the 3rd annual Greg Welch Memorial Car Show in Clarkesville last month. It was the first car show I had ever attended other than a few that were just displays of classic or antique cars. I brought along my 15 year old son and we had a great time.
A little bit about this particular show- Greg Welch was a competitor on this circuit which now includes his namesake show earlier in this decade, until he was taken suddenly by a heart attack in October of 2005. Greg earned many awards and accolades during his short career, and he also earned the respect of his peers and competitors. This was certainly in evidence at his show. His widow, Cinda, spearheads the production of the show and she gets a lot of help from family and friends in doing so. The number of entrants and prizes has grown every year and Cinda seemed very pleased with this year's turnout. Greg's love of children is the reason that Toys for Tots is the benefactor of this charity event.
I was unprepared for the "sound off" portions of the show-I honestly had no idea that folks put so much time and effort into their sound systems with the goal of reaching 160db or more! It was a fun a good natured competition with some surprising winners. I can't say that I understand exactly what was getting awarded and why, this being my first time, but I did appreciate the nice cars (especially an almost perfect 1972 Karmann Ghia) and the effort and ingenuity involved in preparing them for competition.
The neon glow off and the "drag off" (pictured at top) were also very new to me-these folks really go all out and my son thought both of these events were the best. There were also some specialized vehicles on display, including a huge swamp crawler, a motorized recliner, and a 1940's Buick pulling a camper made from an old manure spreader..that was heated with a wood stove. I'm not sure what or if that setup won-but he deserved something!

Musical entertainment, food and a few vendors were also a part of the show, and the facility at the Habersham County Fairgrounds made a great venue for the event. We will remind our readers to join us next year for the 4th Annual Greg Welch Memorial Car Show, which promises to be even bigger and better.

Georgia Apple Festival 2008 in Ellijay

We visited the Apple Festival for the first time in a few years last month. The crowds were good, the food was good (We had Bodreaux Cajun Food), the apples were good and the day, as evidenced by the photo above, was gorgeous. This is certainly one of the most popular fall festivals in the north Georgia mountains with a great venue-the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds. The festival is well organized with plenty of parking and shuttle service, good variety of food and mountain crafts for sale, and a special emphasis on "stuff to do" for the kids. Oh yeah..Apples are a big part of the day as well. Whole pecks, half pecks, fritters, dumplings, fried pies...north Georgia's apple crop is very well represented.

Bessie Mae's

You have to be looking for it to find Bessie Mae's..or just get lucky. Located in the tiny hamlet of Garland, Georgia about 6 miles east of downtown Dahlonega, Bessie Mae's is an eclectic roadside shop featuring antiques and crafts.
The first thing that attracts you to Bessie Mae's is the building, which was built in 1892 and was known as the Old Dyer Store for many years. The old store has been transformed to suit it's current use, but retains much of it's 100 plus year old charm...including the old Columbus (GA) Iron Works wood stove still used for heat.

I'm not sure where to begin explaining the items offered for sale..every little nook and corner is filled with something. I'm always interested in the antiques and Bessie Mae's has a neat selection-from small advertising and kitchen items to furniture and art. I noticed a varied selection of crafts, folk art, candles and even a fully decorated Christmas tree.
Bessie Mae's is holding their Christmas Open House on two consecutive long weekends in November- Thurs, Fri and Sat the 7th, 8th and 9th, and the 13th, 14th and 15th from 10 am to 6 pm. Check out their website for more information..and many of their items can be purchased online-

Loco's in Gainesville

Last month we started including Gainesville, Georgia into our coverage area for Gainesville is a gateway to the north Georgia mountains and also a dining and entertainment destination for folks living and playing in the mountain area.
My original attraction to Loco's Bar and Grill in Gainesville was as a live music venue, and it still is-the roomy setup is great for musicians and has excellent acoustics. I've travelled to Loco's twice in the last couple of months to see bands and have been very pleased with the music, hospitality, and the food.
I've always felt that when dining in a bar, it's a good idea not to get over-adventurous. There are exceptions to this, and once you become familiar with an establishment it is pretty easy to tell what they do well. My experience with the Loco's chain over the years is that they do the basics very well and that is the ground I continue to tread. The basics at Loco's are burgers and wings, and the Gainesville location does a great job with both.
I generally arrive hungry and order the 6 piece hot wing plate for a starter. The wings are large and freshly cooked, and the heat is not overwhelming. Very tasty. Rumor has it that if you are at Loco's to watch college or NFL football. you get 6 wings with every pitcher of beer you order...but I haven't been for a game yet. My only complaint is the little pre-fab, sealed container of bleu cheese dressing that comes with your wings. The dressing is very average and is more of what you would expect from a fast food joint.
Loco's prepares a fine hamburger ..I have had the Redneck Burger and the Bleu Cheese burger on my last two visits to Gainesville. A big half pound (at least) patty cooked perfectly to order (medium in my case) on a fresh roll with a pickle slice and excellent fries. Not a bad deal for around $8. Definitely one of the better bar food burgers around.
The service at the Gainesville Loco's is friendly and efficient. On both recent trips the manager came by the table to check on things and welcome us..little things like that reflect well on both the staff and the franchise.
Locos's is a little hidden in an older shopping mall next to a Food Lion, but it is only minutes from both downtown Gainesville and I-985 off Jesse Jewell Parkway. Great way to finish off a day trip to the mountains or head over for a nice evening of live local music.

601 S. Enota Dr. NE
Gainesville, GA 30501

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Currently on

Loco's in Gainesville
Bessie Mae's in Garland
Arthur Woody-GA Mountain Legend
Delayed Harvest Trout Fishing
Avery Dylan Project
Thanksgiving Dinner in the North Georgia Mountains
Oconee Station in Upstate SC
Upcoming Christmas-New Year's Events

Much more-