Stone Mountain Park

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A massive granite mountain on the east edge of Atlanta forms a center for recreation and activities. Actually, about only 1% of the granite formation is visible, like an iceburg, the rest is underground.
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Just one example of the many attarctions is the Fabulous Wallendas Family Thrill Show - here on top of two 52-foot tall sway poles.
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The Wheel of Destiny, although he made it look easy, took a lot of work.
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Especially when walking on the outside of the wheel! Too bad I didn't get any pictures of the Extreme Canines Show, which had some great stunts and tricks by the dogs.
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A model of the park and mountain inside the visitor center. The mountain was a major granite quarry since the 1830s, but hasn't been quarried since the 1970s. In 1838 a 125 foot lookout tower was built on top of the mountain, but was edestroyed by a windstorm in 1851.
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One can ride a cable car or walk up to the top of the mountain. Guess which I did? The mountain is 825 feet tall and covers 583 acres. The top of the mountain is 1,683 feet above sea level.
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The line follows the peak or ridge of the mountain, which is also the trail to walk up (or down).
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View looking ove the side of the mountain from inside the cable car while going down. The carving is of three Confederate heroes of the Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
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The entire carved surface of the Memorial Carving measures three acres, larger than a football field. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet, and is recessed 42 feet into the mountain.
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A train was originally built to move the stone from the quarry, now one just runs the 5 miles around the mountain used by visitors.
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From 1915 - when men burned a cross that was visible across Atlanta - until 1960, Stone Mountain was frequently used as a symbolic meeting place for the Klan. This is why Martin Luther King included it in his "I Have a Dream" on August 28, 1963: "...let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!"
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The carving on the mountain was began around 1916 by artist Gutzon Borglum, who completed the carving of Lee's head by 1924, before becoming involved in Mount Rushmore.
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The carving was started from scratch again from 1926 to 1928, before the lease ran out and it sat for 30 years uncompleted.
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After World War II, the state first proposed purchasing the mountain, but do to conflics among the owners and other groups, it wasn't until 1960 that the State of Georgia finally aquired the land.
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Carving resumed in 1963 and it was dedicated in 1970, although not officially declared complete until 1972.
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Campgrounds, hotels, a golf course and many other upscale amenities were added to make Stone Mountain a destination in its own right. Plus there is a one-of-a-kind laser show each night.
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Here one can see the figures of the 3 carvings outlined by the lasers.
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Did I mention that the laser show included lots of music, strobe lights, flame throwers and fireworks?

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