Day 33: Chattahoochee NF – High Shoals Falls / Blue Ridge RD

Road Miles: 0

Total: 3806.8

Trail Miles: 2.5

Total: 103.6

Sites: Chattahoochee NF, Blue Ridge RD – High Shoals Trail & Falls

Locals: Gemstone & Bodhi

KILL! KILL!

All of the mousetraps promised the same thing: to KILL! my mice DEAD! Well, I didn’t want to KILL! them. I just wanted to evict them so we could all go on about our business. Separately. I wanted a humane trap, and ideally some device to prevent future rodent hitchhikers. I was more in the market for DISCOURAGE! 

Finally, I asked an associate at the Home Depot if they had any non-KILL! traps. I was met with a look of surprise that evolved into pity, like, “oh this poor girl! She doesn’t even know she’s supposed to KILL! them.” We went back to the trap section, and there at the very bottom, in the corner, was a single humane option. Sold! 

On to deterrents, preferably non-toxic, since this is for a 96-square foot space I lock myself into every night. I found some ground-up corncobs with peppermint essential oil sprinkled on them that promised to deter rodents. What? I quickly consulted the Google, and sure enough! Peppermint oil is frequently recommended to repel mice (although there were also plenty of naysayers, mainly pest control providers – go figure). Well, this was great news, since I already had peppermint oil (yes, I carry a mini-aromatherapy kit), so there was $9 for about $0.25 worth of goods I didn’t have to spend.

Chores done, I met back up with Gemstone & Bodhi (Crunch had to work – boo!) to check out one of her favorite spots, which meant we were going for a hike. Holy crap! A hike! I love hiking! I remember when I used to do it a lot! I miss those days.

I was a little worried about hiking, though, since it would be my first since the hike to cell service a few days back, which hadn’t helped the cold I’d been fighting for weeks at all. I felt much better now, but still wasn’t 100%. As it turned out, my fears were unfounded. The trail to the High Shoals Falls is short and pretty easy.

There are two separate falls on this ~2.5 mile out & back, each with its own observation deck. Wet, slippery rocks were probably the biggest hazards on this trail. Both falls were flowing strongly, and the second was absolutely beautiful, especially for this desert rat. So much green! So much water! It was delightful. 

After the hike, we returned to their house for dinner. I baited the traps with peanut butter and set them where I thought they might see some action. I sprinkled peppermint oil liberally around the van and on the bed. Unfortunately, peppermint has stimulant properties – not so good if you’re trying to sleep, but surely better than skittering mice. So, I chased the peppermint with some lavender (this was the best my van has smelled maybe ever), closed my eyes, and hoped for the best.