These peanuts were appropriately, but not overly, salty; they retained their textural integrity; and they were lovely, long, finger-like specimens. We enjoyed them in the car heading hike-ward, though, just as we neared the end of the bag, we were again lured from our quest by B.J. Reece Apple House, which offered not only apples, but apple picking. And so with a half-bushel bag in hand, we trudged into B.J.’s orchards for a good dose of vitamin D as well as Yates, Arkansas Blacks, Mutsus, Fujis, and Braeburns.

Let me assure you, the best way to truly taste apples is among the trees, enjoying one variety and then another in stomach-ache inducing succession. Wash these down with more cider. And continue until your bag is ridiculously full, bursting at its seams. If you don’t have apples rolling round your trunk at day’s end, you’re doing it all wrong.

(apple cannon)

We were nearly to the trailhead when we stumbled across these obscenely large pumpkins at Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville. No, you’re not looking at a Dali here; these 50 and 60 pounders appeared to melt from the earth, antagonists to their own circumference and girth, equally beautiful and ridiculous. When we finally made it to the trailhead and climbed the 600 steps to the top of Amicalola Falls, feathered in ruby and gold, I felt much like Burt’s specimens, fully gorged on the pleasures of peanuts, cider, and apples; plumped; and as utterly autumnal as any swath of squash and scarecrow.

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