Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Deaths at Waterfalls


Blog friend
SANDRA told me about a death she read about at a waterfall in North Carolina. I found out that it was a waterfall which George and I visited in August of 2006. This death was a 28-year old woman from Asheville, NC. She was wading at the top of Rainbow Falls (pictured above) and slipped.... The article said that 13 people have died in that region of NC since 2001, and there have been 4 deaths in 15 years at Rainbow Falls alone.

When I was reading about this death, I heard about another death at another waterfall which we also have visited. On May 29, a man died at Elk River Falls near Banner Elk, NC. People always scare us when we are checking out waterfalls. George and I are VERY careful and never hike or wade around the top of a waterfall --unless we are FAR away from the edge. People are so careless --and we see people taking chances everywhere we go..

Since Sandra mentioned Rainbow Falls (not the Smoky Mountains one in TN--but the one in NC), I decided to go back in the archives and show you some pictures of this area and the waterfalls we saw in 2006. Above is a picture of RAINBOW FALLS (which is 150 feet high). Below are more!



We took an EIGHT mile hike in 2006 to see four beautiful waterfalls on the Horsepasture River, south of Sapphire, NC. Rainbow Falls was one of the four. The one above is DRIFT FALLS. Some people call it "Bustyourbutt" Falls--since people slide down that waterfall!!! That is a very appropriate name, don't you think???




This one was neat and is named TURTLEBACK FALLS. It was one of my favorites I think that day.




Here's another view of TURTLEBACK FALLS from the side... Isn't it pretty?



This was the last one (of the four) --and I would not recommend this one since the hike was long and hard --and we couldn't get a good view of it. Its name is STAIRWAY FALLS.




Here's one more view of RAINBOW FALLS. The trail doesn't even lead to the top of this waterfall, or anywhere near it. I don't understand why anyone would be crawling around the top.... GADS!!!!!


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
This waterfall is not near the other four, but since there was a death here in May, I included this one. This is ELK RIVER FALLS (50 feet tall) --and it is near Banner Elk and Boone, NC. We visited this waterfall in February of 2008. Again, why would anyone be climbing around the top of that waterfall???????? Apparently--from what we read and see, people are stupid!!!!! George and I try to be very very careful!!! BUT--we are there to take pictures, not to swim near or play in the water!

Hope you have a fabulous Tuesday!!!! I have started walking this week. So far, it's slow, and only back and forth around my yard --but it's a beginning. My knee still hurts, so I either need to learn to walk with the pain --or continue to sit (which I refuse to do). There may be a knee replacement in my future--but for now, I'm doing much better than I was!!!!!!



Bless you ALL.
Hugs,

61 comments:

diane said...

One does wonder why people ignore signs and don't use common sense in dangerous places. Probably the "won't happen to me " syndrome.
The waterfall pics beautiful and I appreciate how difficult they are to take after my little effort on our last trip. Hope that knee heals eventually.

Ann said...

In Australia in many of the water holes, people jump from very high, despite sign telling them not too.

Re: You sore knee, my Chinese Doctor says," Never ever use cold. the cold numbs the pain, doesn't make it go away . Whereas the heat makes blood circulate and bring nutrient to heel the sore area." I have a sore neck, and I prefer to use a heat pad.

Is yours made of wheat? I make lots of wheat bags.

Cheers,

Ann

Jane said...

I'm glad that your knee is getting better and that you are starting to walk. I've always said that the quickest way to disability is to sit. Great pictures.

Stay cool,

Jane

Tabor said...

Just push yourself slowly. I am sure that with time you will be surprised how you heal. My friend who had hip surgery last year came for a visit and was carrying her 2-year-old grandson up and down stairs!

Jayne said...

Isn't it amazing how careless people will be? As I was doing my blog posts this week on Ireland, I read that every year, people die falling off the Cliffs of Moher. Uh... maybe don't get so close to the edge????

Mildred said...

These are stunning photos of the waterfalls Betsy. It's a shame that some folks insist on being in areas that are clearly marked hazardous. Larry and John saw many examples of this on their trip.
I am happy that you are beginning to walk now. I hope every day brings improvement and strength. You and George have a nice day.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

So glad you are up and feeling some better, Please do not over do my friend. Praying for you to feel better soon...hugs,,,m,,,,

Catherine said...

Hmmm.... yes... I think the height alone would keep me on sturdy ground let alone the water. But i guess they are just too beautiful for some people to resist.

So glad you are getting up and about Betsy ~ good for you ~ you go girl!

xo Catherine

T said...

It's the lure of seeing over the edge - but sometimes common sense needs to overrule!

Take it easy on that knee, you don't want to reinjure it!

amelia said...

These are wonderful pictures, the falls are all so pretty but nature has great strength and should be respected.

Eight mile hikes on this rough terrain are probably why you had an injured knee in the first place!!! :)

I'm so glad you are getting better now..

Dorothy said...

Good Morning, Betsy!
These are beautiful pictures of the waterfalls. I'm not surprised to hear that people actually get killed there. I'm so glad you are beginning to feel better. I know George is giving you a lot of TLC and you will be good as new in no time!

Rita said...

Betsy,
Don't be hard on yourself healing will take much time and more and more movement over time. I am a very independent person. Enjoy doing for myself and prefer it that way. But I'll tell you when I'm in pain for days I wilt. I cry, I get sad, I feel hopeless, I pray, and on and on. Even when I do begin to feel better until I can do things again I feel worthless. You are on the mend, you can walk, every few days I hope you see improvement. I love your blog. You are such a wonderful couple to share your happiness with us.

Arkansas Patti said...

Was a bit shocked by the death toll but then realized it was not the falls but people engaging in risky behavior around them.
So glad you and George are careful.
So glad you are making progress. Keep at it.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

Stop and think about a waterfalls.

Would you walk along the edge of a cliff?

Would you walk along the edge of a cliff with water roaring over it?

Duh?

Well, that is the reason. I think water makes cliffs wet with moss and rocks get shiny and slippery. And rocks on waterfalls have had all the gravel and dirt washed away from around them making them very unstable. So step on one and prove my theory.

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

I usually don't even walk on rocks at the bottom of the waterfalls. Wet rocks are slippery rocks. People are apt to fall on slippery rocks. I'm glad to hear that you are up and about, if only for short strolls through your yard.

from my front porch... said...

Hi Betsy! Hope that knee is letting the "real" Betsy shine through :)Day after day, it will get better!

We had a drowning 6 weeks ago at Baby Falls. A 15 year old who was tubing and got stuck in the rocks...

A few years ago, at Bald River Falls, a man tried to walk across the top and lost his footing.
Such sad stories.

Harriet said...

I stepped on a slippery rock many years ago and fell into the water (not deep). My foot went between two rocks and I couldn't hardly walk on it for several days. There have been several deaths around here the past couple of months where people were walking on trails and fell. In one case I think 100 feet. I kept that in mind when we went to Fall Creek Falls and Rock Island.
Hope your knee continues to heal.

Susie said...

People do amaze me. I don't understand why you put yourself in such dangerous situations. For me, I chose to admire beauty from the ground.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

It is sad to hear of people dyeing because they take foolish risks.The falls are so beautiful,so why not enjoy that beauty and come away with a story to tell .I hope your knee will soon get better.
Blessings,Ruth

Karin said...

So glad that you are motoring along on your knee. I'm with you on not just wanting to sit there - sort of like - use it, or lose it! You both have awesome positive attitudes and that truly helps in your perception and handling of pain.

So sorry for those who have suffered tragedies at the falls - or anywhere just doing things they love to do. I just shudder and feel 'jelly legs' just THINKING about going near the edge - of falls, cliffs, the second floor at the mall or even on my 9th floor balcony! Hope I can shake the image - gotta go to work today, lol!

Jen said...

Accidents happen, but sometimes people put themselves in situations where it could be avoided~so sad.
Glad to hear you are up and moving around.

Bird Girl said...

You know Betsy - we've seen people with small children just let them get so close to danger on our hikes. You are right - people ARE stupid!
I'm glad you and George are careful. I like the Turtle Back falls, too!
I'm so sorry your knee is still hurting. It takes a lot out of you!

Mary said...

The falls are beautiful. I love that name "bustyourbutt" :-) Great description! I'm sorry you still have knee pain, but am glad you are getting around. I'm so used to it by now, that I only notice when it gets really bad. Taking extra Tylenol or aspirin or whatever you take, when you are going to be active might help. Mine have felt really good since my last cortisone shots. Like you, I refuse to be inactive...maybe less active, but I want to be out and about!

Kirigalpoththa said...

Even in Sir Lanka such tragedies had occurred, mainly due to careless behaviour of visitors.

By the way, can I call you and George as premier waterfalls resource personnel of entire US ? :)

Dar said...

The youngsters just do not think of the danger, but rather are intrigued by the adventure until it is too late. Stupid is as Stupid does, as Forrest Gump would say.
BlessYourHealingBetsy

nanny said...

It is very scary to me to get near the edge of cliff, mountain, waterfall, even if surrounded with a barrier......
you have the most beautiful pictures of waterfalls...I would love to visit all of them..

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Keep up the walking Betsy, even if you have to have a knee replacement...you're strengthening everything in preparation for it in case you are forced to have the replacement!!!
Nature is so beautiful but respect and common sense is always the way to approach it!!!
Have a wonderful day today!!!

Sunny said...

People take a lot of foolish chances around the water near here too. Last year a young girl drowned tubing on the river, with no life jacket and she didn't know how to swim!
Be patient with your knee, it takes time...I'm glad that you have started walking :)
☼ Sunny

JOE TODD said...

People do strange things. At a waterfall just outside Lancaster.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQLNCrSOPVw

Valerie said...

Hi Betsy -

Those falls are so beautiful and awe inspiring. I especially liked the turtle falls shot -

So very sad, so many die in search of the beauty of a waterfalls. It seems people sometimes think they are invincible - I have come to know that is certainly not the case for any of us.

So glad to read that you are beginning to be up and around - hopefully you will be back on the trails in no time!

Valerie said...

Hi Betsy -

Those falls are so beautiful and awe inspiring. I especially liked the turtle falls shot -

So very sad, so many die in search of the beauty of a waterfalls. It seems people sometimes think they are invincible - I have come to know that is certainly not the case for any of us.

So glad to read that you are beginning to be up and around - hopefully you will be back on the trails in no time!

Diana (Di) said...

Betsy, beautiful fall fotos as always. Is it not amazing how people think they are infallible despite warnings... not something I can comprehend.

So pleased to know you are walking - slow but sure. I will add that last July I could barely walk due to a knee problem; after therapy, still no progress, but a Supartz injection has me up-and-at'em again. No doubt surgery is in my future, but the longer you can delay and still function, is a good thing.

You and George have a wonderful day and rest of the week. ;)

Darla said...

common sense? keep moving...

imac said...

Pretty falls Betsy, but fancy paddling near the edge in the 1st place.
When we were in Norway last yr we visited a waterfall and a week earlier a coach driver fell to his death.

Small City Scenes said...

Excellent pictures of the beauty of waterfalls. ABC--Always Be Careful--That's the motto!!!

Healing takes time and time is your best friend--oh my, I am full of cliches today.

MB

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Betsy. Those are some unpleasant statistics. I know underwater rocks can be very slippery and unstable so people should realize wading above a falls is very dangerous.

I can see kids using the smooth place on Drift Falls for a slide.
Marnie

Sandra said...

the first thought i had before i read about drift falls, was wow, a God made waterslide. not sure i would slide on it, but I bet it is fun for the brave. I am glad to hear you and George are careful. beats me why people do the dangerous things in wonderful places. all of these falls are really pretty and I like the stair way best

Glenda said...

Betsy, I'm glad you are able to walk some now, even if it is in your yard. What a beautiful place to walk! Hope as you walk, and in time, the pain will subside.

The fall pics are so pretty; I especially like the side view of Turtleback. I, too, can't understand why anyone would take the risk of getting too close to the edge of falls.

Susan said...

Love all your waterfalls pictures! My DH likes hiking to waterfalls, I like to hike to vista views - so we take turns. Of course both destinations are beautiful and fulfilling, so it is a win/win sitation.

So sorry to hear about the deaths, though.

Have a great day, be careful out there hiking!

Cheryl said...

I think some people have the "it would never happen to me" mentality about dangerous places, climbs, etc. Sad that lives are ended this way. On another note, the falls are just stunning. I can almost feel the mist from them! I am glad you are getting up and about, don't overdo it and soon you will be exploring waterfalls! If you do have a knee replacement we shall have to call you Bionic Betsy! Love to you!

Homemade Quilts by Granny said...

Betsy just don't over do....maybe you'll be at the waterfalls again before long....praying your knee will heal up. Great pictures. Trish

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Betsy,
Rainbow Falls sure is beautiful, but can be very dangerous if people get to close and fall. I heard about these folks getting killed. Falls sure are lovely, but we need to be very careful and not get too close to the edges of them.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July.

Big Dude said...

Great shots as always. Alex just spent a couple of days with a friend at Fall Creek Falls and other than have a good time the one thing I told her was the dangers of the falls and the potential for fatality.

NCmountainwoman said...

We've had four deaths at waterfalls here in western NC this year. The reason? People will not read and follow the warning signs. What a senseless tragedy.

Ginny said...

Gads, why do people do things like this? It must be the very young, they think they are immortal, it like a spell has been put on them! Great fall pictures. Have you asked about the lidocaine patches for your knee?

Becca's Dirt said...

Take care of that knee. You can't stop but you have to rest it too. People do do such stupid things. It's a wonder more people aren't hurt. Those are some beautiful waterfalls. I love the majestic rock formations caused by the water.

wildlifewatcher said...

Oh those are lovely waterfalls. You have taken great pictures of those tumbling waters. They look so inviting.

We are glad its a cooler day here, I am certain.

Carletta said...

It is so sad to hear deaths could well have been prevented if it weren't for carelessness.
They are so lovely to look at. I love that last shot.
God has given us much wonder to look at and enjoy; but at the same time we need to be mindful of the power of nature - especially roaring water.
I've been trying for three years to not think of knee replacements -... shhhhh. :)
Take Care.

(Carletta's Captures)

Busy Bee Suz said...

It is so horrible when we try to see the beauty of nature, and instead see tragedy.
I broke my tail bone (coccyx) when I was about....walking down a slippery/almost flat waterfall. So, yeah, I know about bustyourbutt falls. It could have been much worse though.

Rose said...

Betsy, I don't know what is on people's minds...I can see wading but not near the edge. Maybe people just do not realize how slippery rocks are under the water.

These are all such beautiful places, I hate to think of someone getting hurt there, much less losing their life.

carolina nana said...

Those are beautiful falls Betsy. Living over here in Hendersonville,NC we hear about people falling over falls a lot.
I to do not understand why anyone would take a chance wading around at the top of a waterfall.
Thanks for your continued prayers for my son. He had his final orthopedic surgery today,they opened his knee back up to take cultures for infection and closed both sides of the fasciotomy. Hopefully he will be discharged in the next couple of days.If all the cultures come back negative,they think he has antibiotic poisoning which is causing the fever spikes. They will take him off all meds and send him home in the next day or two. We can only pray that this is the case right now.

The Retired One said...

About ten years ago we visited a falls near us that we go to every year..there was a guy there with 4 small (very small)children and they were walking across the top of the falls...the littlest was about 3 years old!!!! They ranged from 3 to about 8 yrs. old. I told my husband..somebody is going to get hurt! We tried yelling at them to turn around and come back, but the roar of the falls was too loud.
Then, we looked and one of his kids was at the bottom of the falls clinging to the slippery canyon rocks by her fingers and the rush of the rapids were right under her. I began to panic. I told my husband to take his shoes off because I just KNEW she was going to fall in the water and be swept downstream on the rocks. Just as he was slipping off his shoes, she DID FALL into the river. Another younger guy ran past us and jumped in the water and swam downstream and barely grabbed her from drowning...meanwhile we hoofed it up to the top of the falls, yelled at the guy to turn back and held out our hands to get the 3 yr old out of the water...he didn't thank us or the man that saved the little girl and just looked embarrassed and told all the kids to get up the trail to their car.
We were going to report him for child endangerment, but he left before I could get his license plate number. Stupid and a complete a** for not thanking the young man for saving his kid's life. We profusely thanked him and a bunch of us stood in the parking lot shaking our heads about the whole event. People are either very dumb or haven't ever been in nature to know how very dangerous it is!

Diane said...

My husband and I were just talking about this kind of thing this morning. We decided that they must be suicidal. Glad you're walking around a little, Betsy. Have a good evening. Diane

Pam said...

Hi Betsy, you and George don't get hurt because you both have a healthy respect for the dangers of being around the waterfalls and slippery rocks.
I enjoyed viewing your beautiful photos... Thanks;)

I know it must be hard with your knee and it easy for all of us to keep saying 'Be patient' so I'll just say a little prayer /\

Daisy said...

The falls are quite beautiful, but they can also be very dangerous. It is so sad that such tragedies occurred. I'm glad to hear your knee has improved, Betsy. I hope the walking will help strengthen it. Hope you have a good week! :)

Leedra said...

Hope with walking the pain will get better.

Lovely photos, and yes there are always people that scare me around the falls.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I think is is sad that injuries and death occur when people do not have respect for the forces of nature. When we visited Yellowstone National Park last year there were many signs telling people of potential dangers and yet some visitors ignored them. One of the best selling books in the Yellowstone gift shop was called "Death In Yellowstone" and it went into great detail about the foolishness and demise of many.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Betsy: You have a beautiful hobby as long as you take care.

wncmountainliving said...

People fall off waterfalls and hiking trails alot! They just are not careful! I lived near Elk River Falls and went often! Had my mother's birthday party there. Hope you have been well.

Kirsty said...

How sad... beautiful pictures though.

SquirrelQueen said...

People are so foolish, I have watched people walk past warning signs and climb over barriers to get to places, like the top of the falls, where they shouldn't be.

Take it easy with the knee and gradually get used to walking again.