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

Monday, February 5, 2018

Raven Run Reflections

Dayhike at Raven Run

I needed some outdoor time, but did not have a lot of time so I spent a couple hours at Raven Run. I did not really feel like hiking, so I decided to concentrate on photography with a little hiking thrown in. I also decided that I needed more practice photographing reflections, so that was the day's assignment, a little outdoor time, a little hiking and think about reflections. I'm pretty happy with the photo results and ~4 miles of hiking was just what I needed.

And one waterfall/cascade

Friday, January 5, 2018


A couple dayhikes at Raven Run in Lexington and the Red River Gorge
January 2 & 3 2018

The temperature has not been above freezing in more than a week which means it is time to find frozen waterfalls.

I visited Raven Run on a very sunny afternoon, no clouds and lots of ice and snow. It was pretty obvious that it was going to be a mostly black and white day for photos. 


I tried photographing some of the more interesting ice crystal patterns, but this was the only one worth saving.

The next day I dropped my kids off at school and headed for the Gorge to check out a popular summer waterfall.

This rock face always fascinates me, I love the geometric patterns in the rock.

 When I got back to my car for lunch, I had about 2 hours until I had to leave to pick up my kids, so I decided to check out Creation Falls and Rock Bridge.

Both days were awesome winter weather, sunny and dry with highs right about 20 degrees. As long as I kept moving, I was very comfortable. But, when I stopped to photograph, my hands ended up very cold. I think I need a better pair of gloves.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Gregory Bald

Great Smoky Mountains NP
Twentymile Station Trailhead
12/28 - 12/29/17
2017 bag nights: 32

I had a couple nights to recover from the holidays and the weather forecast looked close to perfect (sunny and 30s during the day and partly cloudy and 20s at night) in the higher elevation of the Smokies. I have wanted to check out Gregory Bald for a while and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I started at Twentymile ranger station and headed up the Twentymile trail to the Wolf Ridge Trail and then the steep climb (about 3000 elevation gain over about 6 miles) to Parson and Gregory Bald. My goal was to set up camp and then catch the sunset on Gregory Bald, since I started hiking a little before 1pm, I did not have a lot of time.

Both the Twentymile and Wolf Ridge Trails parallel creeks which makes for nice walking when there are bridges and cold wet feet when you have to ford the creek.

As I got to about 4000 feet snow began to appear on the ground, not very much, but enough to chill my feet.

I got to Site 13 in between Parson and Gregory Balds and set up camp then headed to Gregory Bald for the sunset.

Looking down on Cades Cove

Even without many clouds it was a beautiful sunset. The stars were going to be out tonight, but so was a 1st quarter moon right in the middle of the sky.

Panorama (5 shots stitched)

Gregory Bald in the morning, sadly I could not feel my feet at this point and had to keep moving to stay warm.

A little bit of snow as the trail drops off of the Bald

My feet were cold enough that I still couldn't feel my toes. As I hiked towards the AT I decided that I would make a decision at the next intersection. If I still couldn't feel my feet after hiking more than a mile then I would drop off the ridge on the Long Hungry Ridge Trail and would think about camping at a lower site. Well I got the the Long Hungry Ridge Trail and still had frozen feet, so down I went.

The trail is an old railroad bed, pretty obvious on this long straight stretch, and makes for easy hiking.

The only problem with the trail is there are a number of fords to deal with lower down. I was able to rock hop across the first couple fords, but then I came to a couple that I had to wade through. My feet had finally warmed up, but now they were soaked. When I got to the next campsite, it was only noon and I did not have a book to read( I have the Kindle app on my phone, but I don't like to read for a long time that way). I decided that I could be at the car around 2 and home before my kids went to bed, so I kept going.

About a half mile from the trailhead is the Twentymile Cascade, not one of the best waterfalls, but nice.

This trip ended up not working the way I planned. The main problem was cold feet. I realized that I did not have bread bags for my feet which meant that once my feet got cold, I had a hard time warming them up. I also should have packed an extra pair of hiking socks. And lastly, I should have packed a book instead of just my phone to make it easier to kill time. Basically this trip failed because I did not transition from fall to winter backpacking. Oh well, lesson learned.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Savage Gulf

Savage Gulf State Park (TN)
Collins West Trailhead
12/8 - 12/10/17
2017 bag nights: 31
Miles hiked: ~25

I met JC at the Collins West trailhead about noon. The temperature was just about 30 degrees. The weather forecast was cloudy/windy with overnight lows in the upper teens. We both were hopeful that camping down in the valley would shelter us from at least some of the wind.

We decided to hike in on the Collins Gulf Trail and then come back on the Collins Rim Trail, so right off the bat we were descending into the canyon.
There was a little bit of ice on the trail near Sutter Falls, but it wasn't enough to be a problem.

Sutter Falls

The trail switchbacks down and then parallels the Collins River and soon comes to a side trail to Horsepound Falls

And then not much later comes to Fall Creek and the sink. I liked this little waterfall pouring out of the rockface.

Looking upstream from Fall Creek Sink. All of this water disappears underground about 30 feet behind me.

And then on to Sawmill Campground and our home for the next two nights. The reservation website showed two other sites as being reserved for the first night, but no one ever appeared. We never had a ranger come check on us either.

The water source for Sawmill is .3 miles back on the trail. Schwoon Spring is easily the coolest place I have ever filtered water from, the water comes out of a cave in a large rock face, drops about 10-15 feet into a large hole and disappears underground, hard to explain, but very cool to see.

An attempt to capture the bigger picture with a pano, 5 photos stitched vertically, doesn't come close to capturing the full effect of the place.

A wide angle view with JC for perspective

The first night we gathered a bunch of firewood and were very comfortable, no wind at all.

For the second day, we hiked towards Stone Door with the idea of doing a loop at the end or just an out and back. The Connector Trail is very hard going in places, lots of rocks and tree roots, so we ended up hiking to Ranger Creek Falls and then turning around.

On the way out, we stopped and checked out the Cator Savage cabin.

Really weird ice crystals, there were hundreds of these along the ground. We both thought that they were caterpillars or moths until we looked more closely, never seen anything like it before.

The Cator Savage cabin in the middle of Savage Gulf

One of the suspension bridges along the connector trail, it was kind of weird walking along a bridge 20 feet above dry ground. Why/when is a bridge like this necessary?

A nice stretch of the connector trail

We had lunch at Ranger Creek Falls, but did not linger too long since it was windy and damp and cold. The tree in the bottom left is covered in ice which gives an idea of how much mist was in the air.

We got back to camp, had a couple Advil to counteract the Connector Trail and relaxed for a bit until dinner/campfire time. Another night without anyone else around.

The next day packed up and headed up the Stagecoach Road Trail to the Collins Rim Trail.
More water on the hike out of the gulf along the Stagecoach Road

Nice view from the Collins Rim Trail, great day for hiking

Got back to the trailhead around 1 and went to find food, neither of us had had time to do any research ahead of time and Yelp did not have too many suggestions. We ended up at something Dairy Bar were we both had an ok cheeseburger and fries, need to do more research for the next time.