Tom and I decided that this year we wanted to go on a trip to the mountains, and we wanted to bring our dogs with us. Originally, we had been thinking of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, but I vetoed that when I thought about bringing the dogs on a long road trip. So I started looking around at sites for North Georgia mountains, and I came across Sliding Rock Cabin Rentals.
They had a ton of cabins in Ellijay, Georgia, to choose from, and all of them were pet friendly. Here was my list of must haves for the trip: pet friendly, fenced in yard (for the dogs), great mountain view, full kitchen, fire place/fire pit, grill, hot tub on the porch looking out at the view, smoke free, and affordable. That was a lot to ask of a little cabin when you tack on the “affordable” part at the end. But with SRC Rentals, we found it.
We stayed in a cabin called Nativa, and it was everything we hoped for. When we pulled up, we both said, “Wow!” The view was gorgeous, and the sun was setting over the mountains, leaving a dusty pink and purple haze around us.
The sun set pretty quickly, but I took this (rather dark) shot of the cabin with our car next to it to give an indicator of not just where we stayed, but also how ridiculous our drive was once we got to the actual mountain climb. A coupe was not made to climb steep gravel roads. Especially steep gravel roads with huge ruts and holes all through them. It was an adventure!
Anyway, as you can see, the porch faced the view, and the hot tub was on the porch, so I knew I had found the perfect place to chill. Right behind the car was the entrance to the small, fenced yard and the door into the house.
I will just say this one thing that’s not positive (but also not a big deal): I will never understand why people decorate their vacation homes the way they do. I wish I had taken more pictures of the inside to show you everything I’m talking about, but basically, all the kitschy little knick-knacks and the fabrics that are usually chosen are so odd to me. And in this cabin, the kitchen and living room were all open to each other. Yet on the kitchen side they had different curtains…with ladybugs on them (even on the same wall as the living room side). It was different. But the view rocked.
We had that fireplace pretty much burning constantly from around 11AM until we went to bed. We also had a firepit, but it was way down the hill, so we never ended up using it. They provided matches and wood for the fire (we used ALL of it), which was really nice. You better believe I had some smores going during this trip.
In the morning, I liked to go out on the porch as the sun rose higher into the sky (no, I did not get up before the sun on vacation). They had rocking chairs, but I liked stretching out on this swing.
Sam and Liam loved to come out there with me and sniff around. They checked out every square inch of the porch, cabin, and yard while we were there.
Funny story: The SRC website warns you not to leave your dogs in the yard if you are going out away from the cabin because there are bears in these mountains. I told Tom we could probably leave them on the porch if we had to go somewhere. We never did really go anywhere though, so it never mattered.
Later, I was sitting on the porch swing, browsing through their guest book, when I read an interesting entry. A LOT of the entries had mentioned different people having bears come to the cabin and go through the trash while people were inside the cabin, watching and/or listening to the ruckus.
This entry was a tad different. The guy wrote that his wife woke up really early and heard a bear going through their trash. She mentioned it to her husband, but when he looked out the window, all he saw was the litter the bear had left behind. Thinking that the bear might be headed back down the hill, he ran out onto the porch to look for it.
The bear was on the porch. In fact, it had climbed up the support beam and right over the railing where Sam is in the picture above. They startled each other so badly that the guy ran back inside, and the bear hightailed it back over the rail and down the mountain. Later, the guy said he looked for and found gouges from the bear’s claws on the porch and support beams from the bear’s quick descent.
Glad I didn’t leave Sam and Liam on the porch. I had totally forgotten what good climbers bears are. After reading that story, I got a little paranoid because Sam and Liam would just go to the railing and stare out, very intensely, at the trees.
I wouldn’t see anything or smell anything or hear anything. But I knew they could. I just hoped it was a bird or something because no one mentioned seeing a bear during the fall in the guest book.
Saturday afternoon, Tom’s parents drove up for the night. We had them up for some de-stressing after all the wedding activity for Ben and Lana, and kind of as an early celebration of Tommy’s birthday. That afternoon, I took some pictures of them and had them get some of us too. Hellooo, Christmas cards.
They headed back on Sunday afternoon, and Tom and I stayed until Monday. During our stay we took full advantage of the grill, the hot tub, and chilling out with nothing to do. We were going to go on a hike with the pups after Tommy and Patti left on Sunday, but it started raining and didn’t stop the whole rest of our trip. We didn’t really care. It was still pretty out there.
One more thing about these cabins- although there are other cabins nearby, you feel like you’re totally secluded. It’s really nice. The only cabin we could see from our porch was this one- on a completely different mountain. And you can see how it looks totally alone out there. I love it.
So, if you’re looking to do a reasonably priced get-away without having to drive forever, and you live in Georgia, I really suggest Ellijay and Sliding Rock Cabins. Though they are pet friendly, everything was clean, with no odors or pet hair to be found. They are also smoke-free cabins, which was a big deal for me, the asthmatic. I loved every minute of our trip, and I can’ t praise Nativa enough as a cabin to rent.
Tom and I are already talking about going back.