Life on Lookout Mountain (Winter 2013)

December 11, 2013 in Luminaries, Winter 2013 Issue by Lookout Alabama

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Text and photography by JOHN DERSHAM

It’s a winter wonderland here…sometimes!

Most people who live north of us think of Alabama and Georgia as geographically in the Deep South. From cultural and geographic standpoints, this is not entirely true. The historical, geographic and cultural Deep South people most often think about extends from Montgomery, Ala., Atlanta and central Mississippi south to the Gulf Coast, not including Florida (but encompassing parts of South Carolina).

Here in the Lookout Mountain region, we share more similarities with the people, culture and geography of the Appalachian Mountain sections of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.

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[/s2If][s2If is_user_logged_in()]This is true of weather also. Our area is more than 300 miles north of the Gulf Coast. This means we are far enough north to share a weather zone with most of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.

Which leads me back to my first statement: “it’s a winter wonderland here…sometimes.” our region includes northeast Alabama, northwest Georgia and southeast Tennessee. Last winter was very mild and we had no measurable snow all winter long.

The two previous years, however, brought multiple snowfalls, with a few between 5 and 7 inches.

These snows kept Cloudmont ski resort in Mentone, Ala., hopping all winter long. In the blizzard of March 1993, some parts of our area received 25 inches of snow.

From Noccalula Falls in the south to Chattanooga, Tenn., in the north, our region is beautiful cloaked in snow. Our mountains and valleys sparkle with the glow a few inches of snow can provide.

Visitors from farther south come just to see the snow, and many come to ski at Cloudmont. Our area is the southernmost in the country that receives snow fairly regularly.

In 2010, we awoke to a white Christmas – 5 inches of snow. We have only had two white Christmases in the past 100 years. It’s all a matter of timing, you know.

The Lookout Mountain region is a special part of the country with four distinct sea-sons – great fall color, some winter snows and surprisingly mild temperatures overall.

Many people are retiring to our area because of the pleasant weather, gorgeous scenery and low cost of living. Come visit us and see what I am talking about.

You will love the wide gamut of things to do and see and places to eat and shop. Maybe you’ll just want to relax and hang out. Or maybe you will enjoy hiking, bicycling, kayaking or just standing back and observing one of our many magnificent waterfalls.

Like many others, you might even find yourself wanting to stay. Whether you’re a visitor or a transplant like myself, you can be sure the people of this area will welcome you warmly and sincerely. [/s2If]

John Dersham is executive director of DeKalb Tourism.