Showing posts with label waterfall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label waterfall. Show all posts

Friday, August 25, 2017

Creek Hiking

Dayhike somewhere in the Daniel Boone National Forest

I got to the trailhead and the temperature was 65, the forecast was for sunny and upper 70s. A perfect day for a creek hike. 

The whole day I was thinking how nice this area is compared to the RRG. There was very little trash and even the couple fire rings did not have garbage in them. I would hate for this area to become a "destination" like the Gorge, so I am not going to mention it by name. 

Not many flowers today.

Not a flower, but still pretty

A small waterfall just off the trail

A much larger waterfall and a great place for lunch. I saw a biker here, he was in the process of lugging his bike up the trail and was planning on riding some of the forest roads up on the ridges.

I took the creek back to the car instead of retracing my path on the trail. I had heard good things about this creek hike and was really looking forward to it. Most of the creek was ankle to calf deep, but there were parts where it was up to my crotch. I was glad I was doing this hike in August and not in March.

There were lots of rock houses...

... and cliffs ...

... and waterfalls (this was the biggest, about 50 feet tall) ...

...smaller waterfalls (this was about 5 feet tall) ...

...and lots of little trickles ...

... and only one snake. This one was small enough that I though it was a big worm at first, still don't like snakes.

This was a great way to spend a couple of hours. Now, I need to go back with my camera and tripod.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Waterfalls and kids

Yamacraw Bridge Trailhead (Big South Fork)
6/25 - 6/27/17 (2 nights)
2017 bag nights: 13

I took my oldest on a two night backpacking trip in Big South Fork. We started at the Yamacraw Bridge trailhead and took the Sheltowee Trace north to Princess Falls where we set up camp. Princess Falls is just off camera to the right.

I had been by here once before and had it pegged as a great place to camp with kids. Thankfully, no one else was there (although we passed about 15 people total that had day hiked to the falls).

Princess Falls

The kids had fun playing in the sand and water while I read a book.

And played with my SLR and tripod

The next day, we hiked about a mile to Lick Creek Falls.

I'll bet it is pretty neat after a lot of rain.

Someone had clearly been doing some engineering, my kids proceeded to add to the construction.

not bad for a cell phone photo

While they worked on their construction project, I got out the tripod and SLR again. The falls are really hard to capture because there is a huge dynamic range. On top of that, they are tall and wide and it is impossible to back up because of the vegetation. The below photo is a stitch of 8 individual photos and probably gives the best idea of what the falls look like, except you can barely see the water of the falls.

Then back to camp and more playing in the water. I got a fire going to roast marshmallows.

Almost sunset, almost bedtime

"Can I read just a little bit by the fire?"

We had a great couple of nights, the kids played well with each other and everyone had fun.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Waterfalls and wildflowers

6/6 - 6/7/17 (1 night)
Elkmont/ Jakes Creek Trailhead, GSMNP
2017 bag nights: 8

Jakes Creek => Panther Creek => Middle Prong => Lynn Camp Prong => Miry Ridge => Jakes Creek
Campsite #28

I headed to the Smokies to see the synchronous fireflies and to do a little hiking and see/photograph a couple of waterfalls.

I headed up the Jakes Creek and realized that I should have looked at the map a little closer. It was pretty obvious that this was going to be a steep climb and it was warm. I probably should have gone a little slower because I was soaked by the time I got to Jakes Gap (about 2000 feet higher). As I got close to the top of the climb, I heard a crash off to the side and looked up in time to see the back of a bear cruising downhill. I really wish they would pause long enough for a picture before they ran, but they always seem to run the minute they notice me. I guess that is a good thing.

The Jakes Gap trail has lots of little water crossings, but it is easy to keep your shoes dry. There is a nice little waterfall just off the trail.

The Panther Creek trail is wet and towards the bottom, it is impossible to find a dry crossing. There was no point in trying to stay dry since I knew I had to ford the Middle Prong. The map has a high water caution, but even with the recent rain, it was easy to cross, the water in the deepest part never got to the bottom of my shorts.

No picture of the ford at Middle Prong, but here is one of many creek crossings on the Panther Creek Trail.

Then up the Middle Prong trail to find the Indian Flats waterfall. It is an awesome waterfall with 3 distinct levels. It would be neat to be able to see the whole thing at once, but the layers stretch down the hill making that impossible.

The top layer of the falls is easy to get to and worth the little scramble

The middle layer takes a little more work to get to, but is worth it

The bottom layer involved some climbing over and under bushes (rhododendron and laurel), but was not too bad.  It looks like the creek bed flattens out here, so I did not try to get lower.

Then on the Lynn Camp Prong Trail and towards campsite #28. I got there about 6:30 and there were three guys there cooking their dinners. I found a place to hang my hammock and chatted with them a bit. They had know each other since kindergarten and were in their 60's. One of them had biked from Montana to Alaska and had also done a 25 day trip down the Grand Canyon in December. Nice to chat with, but I probably would have preferred to be by myself.

When I got up to hang my hammock and get ready for bed, I noticed my right ankle was stiff/sore, a little weird since it is my left ankle that has been bothering me and I did not remember doing anything to it. In retrospect, I should have soaked it in the cold creek water while I ate dinner.

I got my hammock setup and read for a bit. The little bit of sunset though the trees looked nice, I'll bet it was a good night to be up high on a ridge.

I got up in the middle of the night to water the bushes and saw a couple fireflies that appeared to be synchronized, but there weren't many so I did not stay up.

I woke up in the morning to a beautiful day and a really sore ankle. The Lynn Camp Prong Trail climbs steadily towards Miry Ridge, but it is an easy hike even with a sore/inflamed ankle.

At this point, I was wondering if I should head back to the car or continue on to night 2 and the fireflies. I knew I could make it up the Little River, but I was worried about injuring my ankle since we were heading to Banff the next week and I was planning on a lot of hiking there. I decided to see what happened over the next couple of hours since there was no need to decide until I got a lot closer to Elkmont.

I had an early lunch at the intersection of Miry Ridge Trail and Lynn Prong Trail and talked to a couple day hikers that had started in Elkmont and were heading to Clingman's Dome. And then, down the Mirt Ridge Trail.

There is a part of the Miry Ridge Trail that is sunny and had lots of Mountain Laurel blooming. I spent a bit of time with my camera here.

A couple of Azaleas were still blooming.

I think this is Black Snakeroot

I got to the intersection of Miry Ridge and Jakes Creek trails and headed down the hill towards Elkmont. My ankle was bothering me enough that I was pretty sure I was going to head to the car when decision time came. There were quite a few day hikers on the Jakes Creek Trail as I got closer to Elkmont. I stopped at one point to soak my ankle and see if that helped. It definitely helped, but starting downhill again it was obvious that I should call it a day if I did not want to ruin the hiking in Banff. So, decision made, I made my way to the car. 

I stopped for a late lunch at Burger Master in Townsend and then headed home. A good trip, got to see a different part of the park, and the fireflies will be there next year.