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,

47 comments:

Ms. A said...

You were more fortunate than we've been with the rain. It's been awful here and Friday night we had flooding.

Such a heartrending story. I don't want to even imagine the grief they suffered.

Small Kucing said...

Wonderful hike Betsy. It's really hard to go on if it rained.

Love the snap shot of the waterfall

Margaret Adamson said...

How terrible for that family losing their daughter. This was a wonderful hke for you bith with glorious waterfall adn I love the Iris.

Fun60 said...

Isn't that scenery just spectacular and you took some amazing photos of the falls. I cannot imagine how parents come to terms with the loss of a child in such tragic circumstances. No doubt hard for you too to hear of their tragic loss.

eileeninmd said...

Betsy, lovely shots from your trip! I love the wildflowers and the waterfalls. The bear story is sad..Have a happy day!

Dana Koogler said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely hike to Benton Falls! It is such a pretty area and a beautiful waterfall. Glad you had a good time! Isn't it great that Spring has finally arrived!?

Ann Thompson said...

another beautiful trip. It's always nice when the weather cooperates. That would be an awesome spot for a picnic.
Such a sad story about the family who's little girl was killed by the bear.

Arkansas Patti said...

What a tragic and heartbreaking story. So glad you asked and they shared. I'm sure it gave them some comfort that another cared.
That waterfalls is stunning. Well worth the hike.

From the Kitchen said...

Great photos! I thought you were a true mountain woman until you explained about your bare feet!! I remember when that child was killed by the bear. Such a sad thing.

Best,
Bonnie

linda m said...

Heartrending story about the bear attack. Those are some gorgeous pictures and views. I would love to eat lunch at that picnic table. Maybe some day I will.

Out on the prairie said...

Made me think of going into an area in Vancouver Island that said cougar in area. I tried to explain to a grouchy 4 year old that her whining may sound like a wounded animal.

Latane Barton said...

Oh what a sad story, losing a child is just indescribably awful. I am so glad that perhaps your cheery face and love in your heart helped the family the day of your hike.

".E." Lizard Breath Speaks, It's Beth said...

the bear story is tough. i have only seen bears from afar ...never messed with us thankfully. what a hard time. ( :

love the mountain shots. that waterfall is amazing.

i love being barefoot. i know it is not great for my back though. have a nice week. take care. good to see you.

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

What a sad story to end on.

I love the pictures of you. You look so happy. Looks like a good hike.

The Furry Gnome said...

George's picture of the waterfall truly is spectacular!

Jeevan said...

That’s a very beautiful and fabulous waterfall... and awesome capture by George! While scrolling down enjoying your photos and pretty views along the overlooks... the story put me sad as well. Nice to note, that there isn't any more bear attacks. Hope the rangers maintain it forever.

Manzanita said...

On the trail again. What a happy trip...... smiles all over the place. I've never seen a waterfall like that in the "real" but I would love to. I would just bask there for hours and take in all the negative ions.
Such a sad story about the little girl and the bear. I've heard so many of these stories and I believe that is the main reason I don't hike in the wild anymore.
I noticed your bare feet first thing. It's the natural thing to do. LOL

Rose said...

What a sad story! It would just be so hard to lose a child.
***********
This is such a beautiful place. The one with the picnic table--that would be such a wonderful place to sit and just visit.

George said...

We did have a marvelous time at Benton Falls. Even meeting that family was nice in a bittersweet way. I'm glad we broke up our trip that way.

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness how I would love to go there and see that scenery - you and George look pretty good too!

LV said...

Betsy no one does it better than you and George when it comes to hiking. You make us feel as tho we are right there with you. I remember that story of the little girl. It appears we may have some of the same foot problems.

Sylvia K said...

Such an incredible place!! So much beauty and I do thank you for sharing -- the next best things to being there myself!! What a heartbreaking story!! It's frightful just reading about it and can only imagine the pain that family has suffered!!

Judy said...

I would like to go hiking with you. What a beautiful area. How nice that you could pray for the family as they re-traced their steps.

Carletta said...

That's quite an impressive waterfall!
I saw your bare feet and had to smile. I thought maybe you liked to ride in the car barefoot. I do but with socks. :)
What a sad story for the family. It must have been very hard for them to go back to where it happened.

Small City Scenes said...

What a sad story about the family and the bear. Always be careful!
Love all the shots but the one of the Falls is gorgeous.
MB

David said...

Betsy, Great photos as usual! The scenery is amazing...and per your suggestion, Laurie and I will have to visit that area. The little girl was Elora Petrasek, one of 4 people killed by wild black bears in the Eastern USA since 2000. Given all of the bear/people interactions, deaths are rare but that sure doesn't help if you or your family are the ones who suffer the loss! Very sad indeed... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Terri D said...

Oh my, what a heartbreaking story, and God bless them for having the courage to hike there again and leave a memorial. I can't imagine the agony they all went through. Surrounded by so much beauty, and to have something that tragic happen.

As always, you photos are amazing.

Linda Gross said...

I enjoyed your photographs from the overlooks and of the waterfall. What a heartbreaking story with which to end your post

Ginny said...

The bear story is just dreadful; so sad. You look like a very young woman in the first picture! The falls are beautiful!!!

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Thank you Betsy for sharing such a wonderful post, some of it so poignant. You and George look fabulous! fit and healthy!
I have been missing a LOT lately and have many of your recent posts to catch up on and I'm about to start right now, (with a fresh brew beside me!)
Hugs
Rose

MTWaggin said...

That waterfall is a lovely lovely specimen and great job capturing it. So interesting talking to people sometimes and what a sad story to hear!

Susie Swanson said...

Love the photos. Waterfalls are such beautiful creations from God. Glad ya'll had another fun time and enjoyed ur trip. hugs and love, xo

Ruth Hiebert said...

I love all the pictures and really want to have a picnic at that table. I would love to hear what that family had to say about the couple the met on their hike. I am sure they were encouraged.

Happyone said...

Love that waterfall.
Yes, that looks like a wonderful place for a picnic!!

Marcia said...

What a terribly sad story about the loss of the little girl to the bear.

Enjoyed the waterfalls photos.

We are off to MO soon for a Roads Scholar vacation trip - a historical one.

Nellie said...

What amazing shots of beautiful scenery! Love the waterfalls!

Such a sad story about the bear and the family. I just cannot imagine their grief.

xo Nellie

carolina nana said...

Hi, Betsy
Those are beautiful scenic pics from those overlooks you took.
Interesting to know there is another Sugarloaf mountain, I remember reading about that bear attack, so sad.
We dodged most of the severe storms yesterday and today thankfully.
Blessings to you
MArilyn

Shug said...

Each and every landscape is just as pretty as can be.....So glad that you all have the opportunities to visit each of these places. Your story of the family and the black bear is just so sad....My heart goes out to them. I do hope that you and George take extra precautions to guard against such dangers...I always enjoy your traveling photos..

diane b said...

What a fabulous trip and hike but ended with a very sad story. You both look great the scenery is great. george's waterfall shots are terrific.

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, Glad you enjoyed your trip! Beautiful scenery and nice photographs. We had severe weather in our area today (likely straight line winds or possibly a weak tornado) and about 60 homes in two nearby developments were damaged (trees and roofs). Our development had no damage at all. We live in concrete block houses! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Dorothy said...

Great pictures, Betsy! Love that first picture of you and George!.

ladyfi said...

Fabulous views and scenery! I love going barefoot too.

SweetMarie said...

lovely photos! so sad about the young girl.

Beatriz said...

Georgia seems to be a perfect place for you. By the way, you were made to enjoy nature, wherever it is, and show us all this in photos!
Have a great day Betsy!

Bia <°)))<

Linda said...

How terrible about the little girl! What a tragedy!

Kay said...

What an incredible waterfall and I love that photo of the two of you.

My heart just aches for that family. I can't even imagine the full scope of the pain that they must have gone through and carry with them forever.

Daisy said...

Such a sad and tragic story about the little girl and the bear, Betsy.

Loved seeing the beautiful views there and the great waterfall shots too.