Stranded in the Mountains

Happy Monday, friends. I had every intention of popping in for another blog post last week, but ended up starting my vacation a day earlier than expected. As a result, I rushed home from work, scarfed dinner down, walked Sheba and packed, and within an hour was on the road to Georgia for a little mountain getaway with my family!

We rented a beautiful cabin in the city of Ellijay, tucked away in the North Georgia mountains. Ironically, we stayed in this city 15+ years ago, but it’s changed quite a bit since then! It was great to get back and unplug and recharge for a few days.

You’re probably wondering why the title of this post is “stranded” since I had a fantastic few days with my family, hanging out, reading (finally got to dive into the new Paula Hawkins book!), and playing ping pong! The “stranded” part kicked in before the fun began.

Relaxing in Ellijay, GA

To put things into perspective, the nearest store/civilization (besides other houses in the mountains) was 15 minutes away, and “town” being 25-30 minutes away. And as you can imagine, being in the mountains after a few minutes of driving uphill, the rare “no service” words flashed up where I would normally see AT&T. Fortunately, Google Maps held strong (for the most part), even in an offline mode.

Since the rest of my family was a ways out still (we planned to meet at the cabin since I was driving from FL and they were driving back from NJ), I went ahead to check in and get settled in. The only problem was our cabin had a gate and that gate was controlled by a smart lock, which needed to be unlocked via an app. I initially thought what a great idea (makes the process easier for the hosts), only being in such a remote area, I was unable to log in with my app credentials since I had no cellular service.

So, I backed up down the steep driveway and navigated down some winding roads (without my beloved Google Maps) until I was able to find service to try to call the cabin owner (voicemail, ugh) and my parents to see if they could access the app and tell me the code. It was pretty stressful since I only had one tiny bar of service, which barely allowed me to make a phone call, and I hadn’t stopped for a bathroom break in 4+ hours and really needed to (sorry for the TMI)!

But while I was sitting at a stop sign at the end of one of the roads trying to figure out what to do, I glanced up in my rear view mirror (to make sure I wasn’t blocking any cars coming through) and see two grown men just a few feet away fighting in the middle of the street! As in their cars were pulled over and punches were being thrown and eventually them making their way to the ground, tackling each other. WHAT?! It was the most insane thing and needless to say, I booked it outta there because that was not something I wanted to be a part of!

Fortunately, a few minutes later, I received a call back from the cabin owner with a manual code to type in and was able to get into the cabin! And yes, that did involve me driving past the fighting duo again. But don’t worry, by that time they seemed to be friends again and were just hanging at one of the cars chatting. I am super curious what the fight was about though! And I SO wish I thought to record what was going on!

Relying on Technology

To be honest, the whole ordeal was a HUGE wake-up call as to how much we rely on technology these days (e.g. directions, locks). I feel SO old reminiscing on this, but the last time my family stayed in the mountains, smartphones and Wi-Fi weren’t a thing. We had to rely on paper maps and directions written down to get from Point A to B. *Insert grandma emoji*

While it certainly freaked me out (mostly because the incredibly steep gravel hill I had to drive up was pretty terrifying and I kept thinking “oh god, my car isn’t going to make it up this hill,” which led to flashes of “oh no, I’m going to get stranded in the woods with no phone service” aaaaaand cue the real-life horror movie), it was also kind of refreshing to live in the old school way and just figure it out sans technology.

But as you saw from the beginning of this post, this story has a happy ending. I was able to get a manual code for the gate and got in with no problems. The trip was great, but I can’t believe I’m already home and back to reality. The moral of the story though? Maybe don’t drive into the mountains by yourself and cut back on the amount of horror films you watch (especially prior to venturing into a remote area). Ha!

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  • Glad it all turned out okay but I would have been freaking out! I’m always scared when I’m relying on google maps that I will loose service and get lost!
    -Nicholle
    http://www.nichollesophia.com

    • It was pretty crazy! I’m usually really good with navigation but I wasn’t fully paying attention since I was relying more on Maps. Such a good reminder to not always rely on technology!

  • I’m glad you ended up having a good time after the adventure of getting there! Alaska was the same- minimal technology in a lot of areas. What do you think of Paula Hawkins’s new novel? I also must tell you to read Final Girls if it’s not already on your radar. It’s such a you book! It’s a thriller and the main character is a baking blogger!

    • Thank you! I bet Alaska was SO beautiful! Definitely hoping to make it there soon :) I’ve been slacking on reading since I got back home but still working through the book. It’s ok so far but there are a lot of points of views in the book so it’s a little tough to follow. I’ll definitely need to add Final Girls to my list!

  • This looks like a life changing trip! It’s impossible not to feel peaceful with that view!

    • It was wonderful! We all need to unplug every once in a while!

  • Erika Jarvis

    Wow this trip sounds so rejuvenating … I’m jealous! Gorgeous views, too!

  • omg we almost had our own mountian horror film situation! we took an uber to a mountain to hike in Utah, and didnt even consider that there would be no ubers to get us off the mountain… long story and several freak outs later, we started walking 8 miles down the mountain to get to cell services at sunset… but luckily got it only 2 miles down. i was panicking if it was going to get dark on us haha

    • Ahh that’s terrible! I can’t imagine being stuck overnight out there! We get so spoiled with having service all the time it’s easy to forget there ARE still remote areas out there, haha.

  • Man I would be in serious trouble without google maps. It’s a lifesaver. There is something really nice and peaceful about unplugging though. I think we all need to do it every now and then!

    • Seriously! It’s hard to remember life without it, haha. And I couldn’t agree more about all of us needing to unplug more!

  • thesophiadiaries

    I’m glad you managed to find your own way out! And i’m actually always reminded how much we rely on technology every day… especially when I see people who don’t understand the simple things of conversation. I’m glad you managed to get out safely!

    • Me too, haha! I love modern technology but there are some days where I miss the simpler technology days for sure!

  • what an absolute adventure! That’s a crazy little tale just to get to a house! But I completely get you on the technology front- I live in the mountains, and my husband is a real estate appraiser. He just had to get a new car so that he could have access to maps through the gps when his phone won’t work. Crazy how much we rely on that!

    • It’s so true – especially if you’re not used to the more remote areas! We’ve gotten so spoiled with technology!

  • This sounds like an awesome place to stay! The lack of technology would’ve freaked me out though!

    Kristin
    The Blush Blonde

    • Once I got past the getting in part, everything was fantastic! lol

  • Woah what a wild weekend. That view though makes it all worth it!!

    • It was pretty crazy getting there! We certainly loved that view though!

  • Miss ALK

    I took a day trip to the Adirondack mountains a few weeks ago and it was a similar situation- as soon as you enter the National Forest there is NO service!! I sure was thankful I can still read an old fashioned map. So I can totally relate!! Glad you made it though :-)

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    • Ahh so true! That’s definitely something we need to pass on to the next generation. Most of them would be completely lost with a paper map, haha!

  • Nicole Leith

    What an absolutely wonderfully relaxing weekend (aside from the fighting)! I think if you were able to put the phone down once you get in, relying on technology a bit is okay. It is nice that it does provide some much needed security in a crazy world. I’m so ready for our next trip to the mountains!

  • Haha I feel like I’d definitely think back to a horror film! But taking some time away to go to the mountains sounds really good right now!

    xx
    The Felicia Renee | a minimalist lifestyle & beauty blog

  • I love going to the mountains and taking a break from “reality.” We’re actually at the beach right now and it’s fun, but not quite as secluded.

  • I’m glad you had a great time, but I understand some of the apprehension. I alternate between loving to be in a secluded spot and being terrified of my imagination.

  • That would probably terrify me haha (I too watch way too many horror films!). I would love the cut off from technology though, it is a big pet peeve of mine when family members are glued to their phones during family vacays! I’m glad you got in and had a wonderful getaway!

    Joy
    http://www.basicallyjoy.com/

  • Love your story! Thankfully everything ended up fine, and my sister has that same bear mug haha!

    • Thanks, Cameron! Too funny about your sister having the same mug. We loved the kitchen set they had of them!

  • I love the photographs and it’s definitely causing my desire to travel again to kick in! I love the mountains and it sounds like you had a lot of fun – despite the fight between the guys! That would intimidate me too and so would the whole being cut off from technology thing. It’s funny how I say I desire to be shut off from technology on vacation but I really don’t hahaha.

  • Anna Hubbard

    I actually spent a week in the mountains this past month too! It’s definitely a bit weird to be in a place with spotty/no service! Luckily my uncle’s house up there was hooked up with (slow) wifi, or I don’t know how I would’ve made it! Glad you had a great trip after the drama!

  • Such a good idea to get a break from technology – even when unexpected :]

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

    • Yes! It’s a rare occurrence these days, but always refreshing!

  • That would be so scary to me but good on you for managing and keeping cool! I’ve been trying to rely less on my GPS getting around and use a combination of common sense/sign reading + looking at maps beforehand. It’s helped me get better at reading maps and has also helped my sense of direction. (It’s also great not to worry about my phone dying when I’m someplace if I’m pretty confident in getting myself home!)

    -Emily
    http://honeybeejoyous.com

  • Matt

    I love going to the mountains to escape. It’s important to get away and turn off technology!

  • Glad you had such great time, I love getting away in the mountains always relaxing!

    • Thanks, B! The mountains are the best place to relax!

  • Love that you took a break from technology! I need to do that more often xx

    • Me too! It’s definitely a lot harder to do in your at home “normal” routine!

  • I’d LOVE to take a vacation with my boyfriend without technology. It’s actually on my bucket list haha.

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

    • Make it happen, girl! It’s so refreshing to take a little break from reality and unplug!

  • Tori Dunlap

    This looks like such a great trip, especially focusing on nature and no tech!

    Tori || Victori Media
    https://www.victorimedia.com

  • Amanda Faber

    I bet it was so nice to get away from technology for a little bit!

  • Carly Ned

    I would love to unplug for a bit. Sounds like you had a great trip!

  • Jennifer Jackson

    Sounds like you had a great trip!

    • It was wonderful! Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer!

  • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

    I’d love to escape from technology even just for a little while! I feel like it’s all around us constantly

    • It really is! Sometimes I wish I could set time parameters so I’d lock myself out of technology to escape it for a little bit, haha.

  • Technology runs our lives. There are huge benefits but also downfalls.

    • Totally agree! This was a nice reminder to not rely SO heavily on it all the time!

  • LEWAL

    I enjoy getting away from technology even just for a little while! I feel like it literally runs my day most days

    • You and me both, girl! We all need to step back from it every once in a while!

  • Ahhh love this! My husband used to live in Elijay! While he hated living there, we love relaxing there on trips because it is so gorgeous!

    • How cool! It’s definitely a great city to relax in! Do you get back there often?

  • Jordyn Upchurch

    This sounds like a very exciting trip, that’s for sure! It’s always fun to get away though, technology detoxes are good for us-even if we aren’t crazy about them ;)

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

    • It certainly was! And while we didn’t unplug 100%, it was nice to step back and just be present in the moment for a few days!

  • Sami Mast

    What a beautiful place to be “stranded!”Sounds like you had such a great trip!

    xo
    Sami
    The Classic Brunette

    • We did! So nice to unwind a bit and have quality time with family!

  • Amy

    I’m from the mountains and I’m always interested in hearing what others think about the mountains when they visit because I always took them from granted living there. This sounded like a great trip!

    xoxo,

    Amy | Pastel N Pink

    • It was definitely a little rough getting there when there was no phone service! But after we got settled in it was great! Where in the mountains are you from?

  • Laila

    Those photos look so serene! I’ve really been wanting to go hiking lately and this post reminded my why!

    • It was such a relaxing trip, Laila! I hope you’re able to find your way to the mountains for a little escape soon!