Providence Canyon State Park
When visiting the Providence Canyon in Georgia, I was very surprised because although I expected to find a completely arid area, I noticed that the forest clung to the desert clay, where life vibrates intensely.
My idea with this long trip is to go through natural places within the routes that I have traced. They can be national or state parks or simply places that have been recommended to me or that I have read about.
On my way north from Florida, I looked for a state park in Georgia, between St. Petersburg, Florida, where I planned to start driving, to the National Park of the Smoky Mountains. The total distance in hours is just over 9 hours without considering the stops to eat and put gas. I chose the Providence Canyon State Park.
I did not find any accommodations near the park since this is a fairly unpopulated area, so I looked for the closest town, Eufaula, in Alabama.
The name Eufaula refers to a tribe that inhabited that area, and the city was founded in 1843. It is located on the border between the two states, on the banks of the Chattahoochee River.
The Providencia Canyon was formed from sediments that accumulated over millions of years when the area was under ancient seas and close to coastal beaches. These sediments are different colors of sand and clay and are prone to break down with water.
In the late 1800s, the villagers cut down the trees to cultivate the area, but the necessary measures were not taken to prevent soil erosion, so small streams formed and became deeper and deeper. In 1850, these trenches were already more than a meter deep, and with each heavy rain, the water continued to erode the soils. Today, the canyon is 50 meters deep.
The clay content in the canyon soil makes it more resilient, and the growth of pine trees, laurels, and other vegetation helps stabilize the soil. However, lateral erosion continues. That is, the canyon grows and becomes wider.
Due to the large amount of sand in the upper soils, these changes can occur quickly. Pinnacles gradually decrease in size and can disappear overnight in heavy rains.
Despite the terrain conditions, the forest contains many wildflowers, which, despite being tiny, have a great variety of shapes and colors.
I also found butterflies and moths flitting around before disappearing into the approaching winter.
The fungi are still sprouting from the ground, taking advantage of the last weeks of humidity and light.