The Towns I Like, Helen, GA – Stories From Home, A Podcast

*** SHOW NOTES ***

Travel news

Tampa airport introduces coronavirus screening for all passengers

There are two types of tests, both offered in the main terminal: A rapid antigen test, which costs $57, and a chain reaction swab, which costs $125. The tests will be offered on a walk-in basis from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 1-31.

Not sure if I want the same person handling my luggage administering my COVID test. Not to be outdone, next month Orlando International will be offering pre-flight colonoscoies in the atrium.

United Sued for Packing NFL Charters With Young, Blond Crews Bloomberg

United Airlines Holdings Inc. packs its charter flights for sports teams with young, blond crews and bars older flight attendants from working the plum routes, according to a new lawsuit.

In so doing, the airline bases the value of workers “entirely on their racial and physical attributes, and stereotypical notions of sexual allure,” according to two veteran flight attendants who sued Friday in California.

I often talk about the chips folks get when they’re born, the Disney chip, Star Wars chip, you get the idea, and I don’t possess either of those. Another chip I missed out on is the NFL chip. I’d rather watch college ball, and I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and half-time show. 

The NFL is all about BLM, in this case, it might mean Blonde Lives Matter.

Who is jetpack guy spotted flying at LAX?

Jet Pack Part II from CNN

A man flying in a jetpack has been spotted again in the skies over Los Angeles

An unidentified man was seen flying in a jetpack near the Los Angeles International Airport … again.

“A China Airlines crew reported seeing what appeared to be someone in a jet pack at an approximate altitude of 6,000 feet, about seven miles northwest of Los Angeles International Airport,” the FAA said in a statement.

The FAA said it alerted local law enforcement agencies and are investigating the report. The best quote of the story came from the controller who concluded with: “Only in LA.”

I looked at Amazon, even on Prime Days as well as Ali Express, and nowhere could I find a jetpack for sale. But hey, it’s 2020 I’m not surprised by much.

From the serious department.

Would you try Buffalo Texas brewery creates 'Buffalo wing  sauce sour beer'

A Texas Brewery Released A Beer Made With Buffalo Wing Sauce- Martin House Brewing Company has released Buffalo Wangz beer. I love wings, make mine crispy with extra sauce cause I need something to drag my french fries through. As of last night, Untappd only showed 13 people having logged the beer with a mix of 3 or 4 stars. Most reviews were along the lines of “Nailed it” and “I want to make wings with this beer”.

Tonight the town I like is Helen, GA

Helen Facts

  • Elevation: 1,447′
  • Weather: High of 80’s in the summer lows in ’30s during the winter
  • Population: 550 (2018)
  • It is the Third Most Visited Town in Georgia, behind Atlanta & Savannah
  • Helen is really small Area: 2.17 mi² (2.17 mi² Land / 6 acres Water)

How to get there

Drive, figure on around 8 hours. You can get to the airport early, take the two-hour flight, rent a car, and then drive the two hours to the North Georgia Mountains.

Where to stay

There’s a Hampton Inn right off the main drag, but I’d opt for a streamside cabin or a B&B

People talk about season creep, that’s where one season creeps into the territory of another season. Such as the proliferation of pumpkin everything while we’re still at the beach enjoying summer. And Helen GA seems to be one of the first towns to experience season creep, and it’s in the form of Oktoberfest.

Helen is a Bavarian-themed town, right down to the architecture. Alpine Helen’s Oktoberfest celebrations have been going on for 50 years. Runs from September to October. In 2020, but not this year postponed till 2021. The city’s restaurants, shops, hotels, and amusements still will be open and offering their own Oktoberfest fun for all. 

Let’s look back at a typical Oktoberfest in years past. Every year the Helen Festhalle houses the event.  German-style bands from around the country and around the world play on the stage for your listening and viewing pleasure. See the Alphorns blown, the Cowbells rung and the Accordion squeezed. Grab your partner and take a spin on the dance floor to the timeless tunes of the Polka. You’ll find your weekend filled with beer, brats, and dancing; accompanied by a handful of bands you’ve probably never heard of. If you need a place to stay be warned as prices can hit in excess of $250.00 per night the later you get into October.

Even without Oktoberfest traffic through Helen will be bumper-to-bumper as the leaf peekers want to look at all the fall colors.

What to do

There’s no real nightclubs or movie theaters, and only one liquor store. Plenty of local food stops plus a whole bunch more.

After you’ve had your fill of Oktoberfest, there’s still plenty to do around Helen. Just south of town, visit the Nacoochee Village Antique Mall and find all the treasures you’ve been missing.

Habersham Winery is right next door and it’s one of Georgia’s largest and oldest. Georgia themed – Muscadine, peach, and blackberries.

Fishing – Looking to catch and release a trophy trout? Then visit Unicoi Outfitters and do it with a fly rod on some of the best water this side of the Mississippi. While you’re fishing, the rest of the family can head over to Nora Mills and load up on everything from grits to cornmeal while they watch your fishing prowess from their deck.

If you’ve still got time, then head to the north end of town, take note the traffic through town will be thick remember leaf peekers.

Spend time at Unicoi State Park

  • Zip Line – Lake
  • Archery Range
  • Paddle Board
  • Fly Fish Classes
  • GoPro Rental
  • Camping – primitive – barrel cabins

More fishing at Unicoi. Smith Creek – Dam from Unicoi Lake  Delayed Harvest Streams – Anglers fishing delayed harvest streams must release all trout immediately and use and possess only artificial lures with one single hook per lure from Nov. 1–May 14 annually. 

Smithgall Woods –  

  • 5600 Acres
  • Five miles of trails and 18 miles of roads allow hikers and bicyclists to explore hardwoods, streams, and wildlife.
  • Trout fishing is only allowed on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays (daily for cottage guests) October – May. Reservations required.

If you find yourself there on a hot summer day you can tube down the Chattahoochee river right through the middle of town.

If you’re like me and decide to really concentrate on fitness while on vacation, ha, then the Dukes Creek Falls trail is for you. 2 miles down and 4 miles back up; this is a great trail with a wonderful set of falls at the bottom.

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