I had today off, which makes for a nice three-day weekend. After hiking Kennesaw yesterday and with plans to hike today and tomorrow, my SOTA points are adding up. I am trying to get some lower point value summits out of the way and saving this higher point value summits for the winter time bonus. On select summits I can get three additional points for winter time activations. Talona Mountain is a drive up summit in Ellijay, so this one is super easy. If you are ever in Ellijay and want to see some really incredible views, but don’t want to hike, then I highly recommend this summit. If you drive there, from Atlanta to Ellijay on 575/515, on the right just before getting into the town you will see two Apple Stores on the right, Panorama Orchards and Penland’s Apple House. In between these two is Talona Mountain Road. This is a paved road that goes all the way to the top. At the top are commercial radio towers. There is a giant cross at the top as well. You can see this and more in my link to the pics below. I have heard this is the broadcast tower site for a local Christian radio station and that they sometimes have a loudspeaker at the top so you can hear the broadcast. The day we went they did not have the speaker on. There is even a small observation deck you can set up a chair and have a picnic, or just hang out and enjoy the views. There are not any trees at the summit proper, so I had carried my telescopic mast to suspend the antenna from. It was a nice sunny day and a great day for operating ham radio. I made 9 contacts fairly quickly. I packed things up and headed out to see my in-laws. They have a summer home in Ellijay. In the winter they are in Florida. We headed over and enjoyed a home-grown tomato sandwich. Yummy! We would later head to our cabin in Blue Ridge to get ready for a nice hike tomorrow.
The views at Talona were very good. Check out the pictures here: Talona Mountain Pics