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My April Header is a photo I took of the lovely TULIPS at Biltmore House and Gardens, Asheville, North Carolina, on 3/23/15.
Showing posts with label HIKING. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HIKING. Show all posts

Monday, April 20, 2015

Benton Falls Hike- 4-13-15

On April 13, 2015,  we left home heading south to stay for a couple of nights in the lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia... Since it is only a four hour drive there from our home,  we decided to stop and check out a waterfall and to do some hiking along the way. 

We had been checking the radar for a couple of days ---and knew that there was a chance of RAIN every single day of our trip.  We had several options of which way to travel to get to the state park...  SO---since the radar didn't look as 'bad' (rain-wise) if we went southeast to get there,  we decided to go that way.

AND--did we ever get lucky!!!!!!  We didn't have much rain at all while in the Cherokee National Park area.  The rain was all around us --but all we got were a few sprinkles and a couple of quick downpours while we were in the car.  While hiking,  we had NO rain at all.  Thanks be to God.  We had a marvelous time.

Today,  I'll share some pictures from that first day of our short trip hiking to BENTON FALLS!!!!  Be sure to click on them for enlargements. The top picture is US at Benton Falls.


We stopped on our way up the mountain at some of the overlooks.  You can see that the skies around us were showing clouds and rain ---but  even though it was breezy,  we enjoyed being at that overlook.  I think that is Parksville Lake down below.



Hiking to Benton Falls (about 3 miles round-trip) was perfect.  The trail was in great shape and we enjoyed the hike so much.



I love the WILDFLOWERS this time of year ---and this little guy (that looks like s Wild Iris) caught my attention as we hiked.  Pretty, isn't it?



I took this picture of George as he climbed around the big rocks near the base of Benton Falls ---to get some fantastic pictures of that 65 feet tall waterfall. 



Here is one of George's fantastic waterfall pictures.  This is BENTON FALLS--taken on 4/13/15. 



At another overlook --on our way back down the mountain after our hike,  I took this picture with my long lens showing the area--up close and personal.



We didn't have a picnic at this overlook ---but we stopped to take pictures.  Wouldn't it be neat to have a picnic there sometime?



HA HA HA-----I got caught!!!!!  Can you see my feet????  George just had to take this picture of me without my shoes on!!!!!!!  He loves to say that "You can take the girl out of the mountains,  but you can't take the mountains out of the girl!"    SO TRUE....   I truly don't go barefooted much anymore ---but had just taken the hiking boots off and were going to put on my tennis shoes... I just hadn't done it yet!!!!! ha



Here's one more picture from one of the overlooks...  I love seeing the new green leaves popping out on some of the trees.   That peaked mountain is named Sugarloaf Mountain.



This is my 'creative' shot showing the angry skies....  As I've said,  there was rain around ---but we were just lucky not to get wet today.  (We did carry our rain jackets with us though just in case!!!!  My mother used to say to carry an umbrella to keep it from raining.  SO--maybe our blue rain jackets work the same way!!!!! ha)



Here is one last picture of George and me at BENTON FALLS,  Tennessee..  IF you want to read more information about this area,  click HERE.

I do want to share one story with you today --so I hope you have time to read this one.  George and I always meet such nice people on the trails when we hike.  On this particular day,  as we were hiking back to our car after viewing the falls,  we met a family of 4-5 people on the trail.  Of course,  we talked to them --and during that conversation,  I noticed that one of the men was carrying a bouquet of flowers.   I then asked,  "What is the special occasion?"   WELL---I was sad to hear that this was the family who lost a 6 year old child (little girl) on this same date in 2006.  A black bear had attacked the family while they were at Benton Falls--and both the mother and little brother (who were there on this occasion) had been injured by the bear.  The little girl ran off --and the bear grabbed her and killed her.  This family was going to put flowers at the spot where the child had been killed... I almost cried while talking to that family.  I prayed for them---and continued to think about them the rest of the day.  NOTE:  There has never been another bear attack in those woods,  so the rangers think that this particular bear (which they did catch) was sick... Nevertheless,  that was a horrible thing for any family to go through.  God Bless them all.

Hope you have a fantastic day/week.

Hugs,

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Petit Jean State Park Visit 3/9/15

The Birthday Boy at a very foggy Petit Jean State Park,  3/9/15
George's Birthday Trip this year was to one of our favorite states,  ARKANSAS.  If you missed Part I hearing about George's birthday,  click HERE.   Today I will share with you a few pictures showing some of the things we did on his birthday,  March 9, 2015.

Before checking into our cabin at Mt. Nebo,  we spent part of the day hiking and checking out another favorite state park,  Petit Jean State Park.  (If you want more information about Petit Jean,  click HERE.)


Fog at Petit Jean State Park
I love fog --and taking fog photos.  Do you?  I like this one since that sign in the middle looks like it could be a cross.... God is with us --even during foggy conditions.


George enjoyed taking pictures in the fog also.



I have always loved the rock formations at this state park.... Moss and lichen grow all around and over the rocks.   Some call them "Carpet Rocks".   Neat---even in the fog!



My Creative Shot of a NEAT Tree..... You like???????   Trees with odd shapes can tell us a story,  can't they???  He may not feel beautiful but he IS!!!!



We visited Rock House Cave (really a shelter) --and even though we couldn't find them,  there are supposed to be pictographs in that cave... Beautiful colors in there though;



And ---to get to the Rock House Cave,  we hiked through/on TURTLE ROCKS... Don't they look like huge turtle shells?????  YES--they DO!!!!! ha



We always like to do different things when we visit areas.  This time we checked out a lake we had not visited before,  Lake Bailey.   We also had our lunch while in that area.  Guess who swam over to see us when we were there????  Isn't this Canada Goose gorgeous??? 



Cedar Falls  (from the upper overlook)
We didn't have time to hike down to Cedar Falls this year (hope to do it next year).  When hiking to the bottom of the canyon to view the bottom part of Cedar Falls,  we know that it  is a MILE down and then a MILE back up (VERY STEEP).   But---it's worth it!!!!! This year,  we did hike down to the Upper Overlook to get some pictures... After all of the rain,  the waterfall was really flowing this year. 


A great view of the canyon  (Cedar Creek Canyon) from a new overlook (to us)
A man started talking to us when we were at the Overlook --and he told us about another overlook we should check out.  Of course,  we DID.... We hiked down to this new overlook --where we got a great view of the waterfall AND the canyon. 

The best part is that we could see the Upper Cedar Falls from here ---and we've never seen it before.  SO exciting....  This is a great overlook --and we enjoyed seeing ALL of Cedar Falls..


Us at the Petit Jean State Park Sign  3/9/15
WELL----it was time to leave Petit Jean and drive to Mt. Nebo (where we checked into our cabin for the week).  BUT--since we hadn't taken any pictures of us together at Petit Jean,  we stopped at the sign as we were leaving.

Even though we had some fog and drizzle part of the day,  we enjoyed our day at Petit Jean... We especially enjoyed visiting that new overlook --which I'm sure we will visit again when we are in the area.

After checking into our cabin at Mt. Nebo,  the birthday celebration began.  We went out to dinner for some steaks..  Later, back at the cabin,  George opened his cards and gifts --and then enjoyed some birthday cake (his choice---Carrot Cake).   It was a great day --and I think (hope) that George enjoyed it as much as I did!

Check out my Photo Blog for two great pictures taken at Biltmore on 3/23/15.   Click HERE.  AND---don't forget to  check out my new quotes on the Sidebar.

HAPPY EASTER to ALL.  Alleluia:  HE LIVES!!!!!

Hugs,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scenic Highway 215, North Carolina --Part II

Our WONDERFUL Friends,  Patti and Neal ---at Lake Logan
On October 22, 2014,   George and I plus good friends Neal and Patti took a wonderful vacation together to the Maggie Valley,  North Carolina area.  One of our days together was spent driving on a scenic back road,  Highway 215.  IF you missed Monday's post ---scroll down to the post below this one and read it first.  In that post,  I gave some links and also gave some information about this area and this beautiful back road. 

Today I will share more photos of our experience on that scenic road.  Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements...


I have been fascinated by this type of bridges.  This historic arched stone bridge (also called the High Arch Bridge or the One Arched Bridge) was built in 1937.  This bridge is located at the Waterfall on the West Fork of the Pigeon River (also called Sunburst Falls)...This area and waterfall -where we took a picture of the four of us in Part I's post-- (waterfall is located to the left of this photo)  was one of my favorite waterfalls of our day/trip...  



Three Arched Stone Bridge
About a mile south of the One Arched Bridge was the Three Arched Bridge on the West Fork.  I enjoyed seeing both of these bridges --built by the CCC.   We just don't see many bridges that look like this these days,  do we?


Another picture  showing the gorgeous Autumn colors in the mountains



I just couldn't quit taking pictures of Fall along Scenic Highway 215



Changing Maple leaves along our way;  Don't you just love all of the colors?



I love to stand under the trees and show you the colors --while looking up to that blue sky!



Neal, Patti,  George, Betsy --at Mill Shoals Falls at the Living Waters Retreat
On Monday,  I showed you a picture of French Broad Falls (which is to the left of this waterfall).  This area is so unique since the North Fork of  the French Broad River combines with Shoal Creek here.  In the picture above, you can see part of an old mill.

Here are a couple of links for you:  for more info and more pictures of the waterfalls in this area,  click HERE.   For more info on the Living Waters Retreat,  click HERE.



I loved hiking in the Living Waters Retreat area... There were several cascades between the 'twin' falls,  French Broad and Mill Shoals.  We stopped to check out all of the cascades.  I would love to come back here in the Winter or early Spring when there is much more water here coming over the falls and cascades.



We finally made it downstream to Cathedral Falls  (also called Bird Rock Falls)... I like the original name,  Bird Rock Falls,  since the Purple Martins used to nest along the top of this HUGE rock cliff.    But I don't blame the Christian Retreat Center for renaming that waterfall.  The towering rock cliff surrounding the falls does like like a cathedral! Gorgeous!



I took several pictures of this gorgeous red tree --as we hiked at the Living Waters Retreat.  I'm partial to RED trees in the Fall.



Talk about a perfect place for a RETREAT!!!  I loved sitting in the 'cathedral' --just thinking about what a marvelous place this is.  I envy anyone coming to a RETREAT at the Living Waters Retreat Center.



This beautiful tree --and the blue sky  was taken on State Road (forest road) 1322
After leaving the Living Waters Retreat Center,  we took a forest service road --searching for another waterfall,  Diamond Creek Falls...  We found the waterfall --but I couldn't get a good picture of it since there were LOTS of trees/shrubs in the way.  Guess we need to go there in winter,  when the leaves are totally off of the trees.

 Well---that's my 'report' from Scenic Highway 215 in North Carolina.  George and I want to come back since there are several more waterfalls along this road to see.  We did see the Bubbling Spring Branch Cascades (from a distance) and we also saw the bottom part of the  Lower Waterfall on Bubbling Spring Branch...  AND--we tried to see Courthouse Falls --but the road was closed.   SO---that's why we need/want to go back sometime!

As you can tell---we saw so many beautiful things along this back road (beautiful lake,  lots of waterfalls and cascades,  AND  beautiful Autumn Colors)... This is why this area was definitely a highlight for us.

Hope you enjoyed these two posts.  I enjoyed sharing them with you!!!

Have a great day.

Hugs,