Sunday, June 28, 2009

Life At 1,600 Feet

Ok, maybe not life, but a day. I took my niece and nephew to Stone Mountain yesterday. Despite the triple digit heat and humidity, it was a really fun day.

Ready for a history lesson? Who are the figures carved into the face of the mountain? President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (and their favorite horses, "Blackjack," "Traveller," and "Little Sorrel," respectively). The entire carved surface measures 3 acres, about the size of three football fields. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet, and is recessed 42 feet into the mountain. The deepest point of the carving is at Lee's elbow, which is 12 feet to the mountain's surface.

The top of the mountain is a landscape of bare rock and rock pools, and it provides views of the surrounding area including the skyline of downtown Atlanta, often Kennesaw Mountain, and on very clear days even the Appalachian Mountains. On some days, however, the top of the mountain is covered in a heavy fog, and visibility can be limited to only a few feet. It was a bit cloudy yesterday but what a view!

Stone Mountain is a granite dome monadnock in Stone Mountain, Georgia. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet and 825 feet above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain granite extends underground 9 miles at its longest point into Gwinnett County.

In addition to the historical and antebellum sites, there are plenty of child friendly activities - rock climbing, miniature golf, boat rides, 3-D shows, and lots more. And on a side note, I was amazed at the level of courtesy the staff showed, despite the heat and crowds. Kudos!
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