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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Piney Falls State Natural Area, Rhea County, TN


My friend Judy and I email each other several times a day, when we have time. Yesterday, I was asking her about their recent long hike in the Smokies to Mt. LeConte. In the course of those conversations, we started talking about the times where we had become scared while hiking. Judy is deathly afraid of bears.. (Wonder why????? ha ha)... Anyhow they got very close to a bear during this latest hike.


These conversations about the fearful times we had while hiking brought me to today's blog... There have been a few times when I have been frightened while out in God's beautiful world. One of these times was our visit to Piney Falls State Natural Area on Nov. 18, 2006. This beautiful area is not far from us, being on the Cumberland Plateau in Rhea County, between Crossville and Spring City, TN.


Here are pictures from that particular day, beginning with a photo above of Upper Piney Falls. Isn't it gorgeous????? Below, you'll see more pictures from our experiences that particular day.









This is as close as we could get to the top of Lower Piney Falls--after a hike STRAIGHT DOWN!









BUT--when we got to Upper Piney Falls, this was our first view. WOW!











There was TONS of water going over the falls. Unbelievable!!!











To show you the size of this waterfall, see me in the right corner???!!!!









Another shot of me as I walked behind the waterfall. So far, we were having a WONDERFUL time.. We didn't know what was AHEAD!!!!









I am still in the right corner. We LOVED this waterfall and canyon. It drops FIFTY feet to the base into Little Piney Creek.









George took this picture from BEHIND the falls. We both got wet!!!!











Another picture of me from behind Upper Piney Falls









Now--we are on the other side. This is one of my favorite pictures.









The bluffs around the waterfall are 100’ on the left and 60’ on the right. NOW----what I want you to look carefully at is: The rocks on the left AND the top of the waterfall!!!









This 'smiling' picture was taken before I realized what was about to happen. We soon found out that we had to climb rocks 130’ UP using ropes! Scary!!! I had never done that before ---but since it was too late to turn back, that was my only choice. SO---I just DID it!!!! I wasn't nearly as scared then as I was a few minute later..... (Remember: we had no idea what was ahead of us!!)









Here's one more picture of the waterfall taken BEFORE we climbed up the rocks. The falls are housed in a 200’ wide bowl. Hemlock and Laurel are all around. It really is a beautiful waterfall and area. Now look closely at the TOP of that waterfall......











After getting to the top of the rocks, the trail led right back around to------- guess where????? The BRINK/TOP of that big waterfall!!!!!! AND---the trail went right across the creek AT the brink.... YIPES!!!! We had to cross the creek at the TOP VERY near the edge---on those slick rocks????????? Good Gosh---that's just too much, after climbing all of those rocks!!!!

BUT--we DID it, and lived to tell you about it. And to be honest, the fear didn't set-in until the whole hike was OVER. It was only then that I realized what COULD have happened that day. Guess our angels were with us (like they are constantly I hope)!!!










This is what we could see while crossing that creek on the slick rocks at the brink of the waterfall. Yes, we did get our feet wet. The waterfall is beautiful for sure---but we were too close to that edge for comfort...

Don't think I'll ever do that again!!!! Be that as it may, Piney Falls is a beautiful waterfall. My advice: hike to see the falls and then turn around and hike out the way you came in, rather than taking the loop!!!! ha



Have a great Saturday!!!
Hugs,