Monthly Archives: July 2011
Visiting the waterfalls in NC and TN have taught me a valuable lesson: I need to add water shoes to my backpacking list. This is the 3rd time I’ve ended up killing my feet either by taking my shoes off and beating them up on the rocks, or leaving the shoes on and walking around in soggy shoes for a few days. I also can’t wait for Caleb to be able to get bigger so I can quit lugging around the tent and go back to my “hooch” aka hammock and rain fly. In the one picture, we camped over on the left side, across the river. The other picture is a good picture of Mark smiling and Caleb, well, being Caleb.
Laurel Falls is a 55 ft waterfall located on the AT (Appalachian Trail) about 5 miles outside of Hampton, TN. Caleb and I met Mark at the Kincora hostel. We closed up the vehicles, loaded up the packs, and away we went. The hike to the falls was approximately 2.5 miles in. We encountered several foot bridges across the small streams that crisscrossed the trail, and of course the big foot bridge that crossed over the Laurel Fork river. The trail wound up the ridge on the other side of the bridge and crossed the ridge through what looked like an old rail road bed. We climbed down to the valley floor where the river was flowing and finally got to see the falls. With not much space to set a tent, we crossed the river and set up on the other side. Noodles, spaghetti O’s, and coffee were on the menu. Getting a fire started was difficult due to all the rain, but Mark finally got it blazing around midnight. Caleb and I turned in around 2130 hrs. We woke up Sunday morning around 0700 hrs and got the fire going again for some more coffee and then packed up to hike out. Crossing the river back to the other side was a task due to all the slippery rocks and ice cold water. Caleb led the way back up the mountain to the ridge. He climbed very carefully for a 4 year old and enjoyed leading the way. [SinglePic not found]The scenery was very impressive with high cliff walls and blooming rhododendron. Mark spotted a hornet’s nest and Caleb offered up some great advice, “Dad, let’s just leave it alone.”
Even through all the “Caleb, stop.” and “Caleb, put the knife down.” and “Caleb, get out of the fire.” we had a good time. Caleb had a great time and is well on his way to becoming a great outdoorsman.
Wow. I am too tired to really type anything. Andie and I went up Yankee Boy Basin and hiked the blue lakes trail. Although not technically a shelf road, Yankee Boy trail definitely provides some “pucker” factor. There was a TON of water coming down Angel creek from the snow melting up top. There is still plenty of snow at the top; you can see where people have been skiing recently and Andie and I had to traverse a snow field to get to the blue lakes. The views are breathtaking at 12,000 feet and the alpine vegetation was unique too. Being tired, I’m going to post a few pictures below and you’ll have to check back when I get home to see the rest. The ones below are by far not the best pictures, just the ones I really like.