This time my incessant hunt for different parts of the Unicoi Turnpike in Northeast Georgia took me on a rambling back road adventure that was beautiful. It actually caused me to forget that I was supposed to be out on the lake with a kayak! Our trek began at the familiar Old Sautee Store outside of Helen, where we asked for directions to Alec Mountain Road. Surprisingly, the locals knew where it was, but there were various versions about how to get there. We were also on the hunt for sacred Indian grounds that were supposec to be located along this same dirt road.

The Old Sautee Store was a trading stop as early as 1872 and retains so much of its history. There is a modern addition where you can purchase clothes, shoes, candy, cheese, and china—everything you need for a small mountain cabin.

Here is Anne saying hi through one of the store’s windows.

1380531_838463872844378_6141648933661222946_nAnd here is our hand-drawn map given to us by a state representative, who believes part of the Unicoi Trail included Alec Mountain Road. I have a “gut feeling” that it and also Amy’s Creek Road were simply connecting trails to what joined with the Unicoi Turnpike. The turnpike really follows Highway 17 north through Helen and into the the mountains before crossing over into Tennessee.

It would be reasonable to imagine this house as being near that trade route. If “feels” like a stop on a trade route. It even appears to have an Indian marker tree in the front yard and a once well-used spring.

The handmade rock cave would have been a decorative element for the spring house.

The flowers along the dirt road where just beautiful! I have no idea what these are. I just wanted to pick a “bunch” of them and carry them back to the Toccoa house. It was a fun, relaxing day—my kind of day in the mountains. I recently told a friend that I am never bored in the northeast Georgia mountains and that is pretty much the truth!