Exploring Athens / Birchmore Trail

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Evening walks are one my favorite things these days. Working from home has its benefits, but cabin fever is a real thing. I'm always ready to get outside once Mark gets home from work. We have several favorite spots around Athens where we like to walk, but this particular evening we decided to explore the Birchmore Trail near Memorial Park. The trail itself was actually a little eery. It had been closed for awhile while they repaired some bridges and it only recently reopened, so it was a little overgrown and freakishly quiet for the woods. We were a little creeped out by the silence and finished our walk around the beautiful Five Points neighborhood instead of in the woods. 

But the awesome part about this trail is the wall at the end of it. The trail comes out by the property of its namesake, Fred Birchmore, who hand-built the wall when he was in his 70s, carrying 300 lb boulders from the train that delivered them to his property. If you have a few moments, you should really read about this guy. He was amazing! I won't go into full biography mode on you, but here are some of the coolest things I've learned about him:
  • He circled the world on his bicycle — his most famous achievement
  • He preferred sleeping on the roof of his downtown Athens home rather than in his bed
  • He once walked down the steps of the Washington Monument...on his hands
  • He surprised his new wife with a honeymoon bicycle trip through Florida, Central America, and some of the Caribbean islands. She had never ridden a bike before so he purchased a tandem bike for them to pedal together. Cue the awwww's. They traveled 100 miles a day on the bike!
  • He built the "Great Wall of Athens" by using stones given to him by friends from all over the world and then carrying an estimated 72 boxcars worth of stones to complete it. 
I wish I had taken more pictures of the impressive wall, but if you're ever in Athens definitely take a trip to Five Points to see it for yourself! 

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