As many times as I have driven across bridges over the Etowah or stood on its banks, I don’t ever remember thinking about the upper elevations of the Etowah’s catchment area.
Today, lead by diligent and experienced guides, we traipsed around in gorgeous Chattahoochee National Forest crossing many thankfully seasonally low-water creeks, under incoming cloud cover, all in the upper Etowah watershed. The sky was often dull, but the woods were lovely, with a few brilliant leaves overhead, and many (shuffle shuffle) underfoot.
Perhaps the most striking bloom we found were a few specimens of closed gentian ( Gentiana clausa—or maybe it’s another closed gentian species—what do I know?).