Sunday, November 23, 2014

Citico Creek Camping Trip

Tiny copper lanterns on the awning of the camper.


Camping at Indian Boundary and Hiking
Dana & Kenny Koogler 
Friday Oct. 21 thru Sunday Oct. 23

Pictures are here starting with frame 401
(photos in this album are a collection from many  trips over the seasons)
Citico Camping Trip Pix 


 We had long planned a camping and hiking trip to Indian Boundary Camp Ground.
We wanted to relax and do some enjoying Fall colors. Sit by the camp fire. Enjoy
each others company in private.  Unplug for awhile.  We had no great ambition, but
did decide to use the trip to the area to see about accessing the one hundred foot
waterfall on Jake Best Branch.   We had tried before when I was getting over being
sick and found the top part.  It was a single thirty five foot falls set apart from the 
main falls by quite a bit.   We got camp set up and decided to try to find the falls.
 
 Our rig at Indian Boundary for our Fall excursion. 

  The day was perfect. It was sunny with blue skies and mild Fall temperatures.
Autumn colors were past peak at the top of the Skyway, but peak around the mid to lower elevations where we were staying.   Very pretty. Not the most brilliant Fall we've ever seen, but 
good.  We are always glad for the change of seasons and Autumn is a favorite.  

   We set off toward Citico.  It was surprising how few people were camped there.
We saw perhaps two camps in total.  I think that is a record low!   We went up toward Cold Springs Gap and decided to try again from the top to reach the big falls.   The colors on this road and the scenery were splendid.  After much struggling we bombed out again.  We got within 200 feet of the Falls, but the terrain is dangerous, steep, unforgiving.  We had some laughs at the idiotic, self flagellation we put ourselves through sometimes all in the name of waterfalls!  

    We drove back down the road checking GPS coordinates and distances from the destination point.  We finally went back down to The Narrows of Citico Creek. Here the river bends in a sharp oxbow.  One day in the future the water will erode through and there will be a section of Citico Creek cut off from itself, but for now it is a sharp bend and only a few feet between one side of the ridge and the other.  The cliffs here are steep and crossing Citico here would always be a wet foot crossing.   We thought perhaps we could locate Jakes Best Branch by coming down to the Narrows and accessing it and then just following it up. Kenny kept trying to explain to me that "we won't have to cross Citico Creek here".  I was unable to get him to understand and accept the lay of the terrain until long after we'd returned home to K├╝gler Haus and I showed him on Google Earth maps from the satellite view.   He then capitulated that I'd been correct.  He still pointed out an area coming in from one side but down lower than what we'd tried two previous times. He thinks that should be the next attempt. I agree that is what we'll try.  Frustrating? You bet.
New to us? Not a chance.   We have visited so many of the "easy" waterfalls in the guidebook and
on Tennessee Landforms that what is left is the hard stuff.  It is going to be this way sometimes.

       Citico Creek was lovely and gloomy in the evening sun.   We just soaked up the 
pretty weather, beautiful scenery and scent of Autumn.   



Citico Colors up high






Double Camp area in the evening glow.


Double Camp again in the sunshine. Winter will come with those gray days that make us long
for the sunshine and warm days.

Sitting by the fire in the evening.  It got cold!

   We had a nice dinner and enjoy sitting around the fire talking.  It was quiet and peaceful.
We discussed what we wanted to do the next day.  I had been wanting to hike to Wildcat Falls
for a couple months.  I had only been there once and that was with Kenny in Summer time.
I did not feel confident in going alone on this hike or I'd had already done it.  It is Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock
Wilderness and the trail in to the falls is a little confusing.  Kenny liked the idea so that is what we planned
 to tackle the next day.  We'd need our blaze orange because it is bear hunting season.

     We had a nice breakfast the following morning and packed us a lunch and prepared to make a
day of it.  Robbinsville here we come!  We drove all the way across the Cherohala Skyway and it was beautiful. I knew from having seen Fred Deegen's photos on Facebook that the upper parts were done.
I figured as much even without seeing them.  The upper portion of the Skyway is 5,000 feet elevation or more.  It is going to get done leaf color wise before either end of the road.    

     We arrived at Big Fat Gap parking area to a whole passel of bear hunters and dogs.
We had hiked it before as a nine mile shuttle.  We had a vehicle here at Big Fat Gap and one at Cheoah Dam.   We went all the way through and got to see Wildcat Falls and Lower Falls on Slickrock Creek the first time.  Today we'd just do an out and back.  We encountered many hikers, backpackers and bear hunters with their dogs.     It was down hill on the way in and would be all up hill on the way out.

    We did not have any trouble until we got to the intersection just before Slickrock Creek and fortunately a fellow hiker saw us struggling with which way to go. He quickly righted us and once we got past that snag we never had any further trouble.   We repaid the favor on the way out by getting a hunter his dog back safely and helping some fellows who were backpacking.  They were searching for the way to Big Stack Gap
and we were able to set them right.   I had been very comfortable temperature wise though the day
began quite cold it warmed up to 70 degrees. I was glad I wore shorts and brought my water shoes.
I did wonder on the hike in "Why does my left instep feel different from my right?" but dismissed it.

     We saw some signs of the old railroad and some pioneer junk today in the woods.

 Here is an old wood cooking stove!
   
 

Slickrock Creek in the afternoon light on our way back.  This is one of my all time favorite areas to
hike. Kenny loved it so much he has agreed he will go backpacking with me here!

  Slickrock Wilderness is for me what the Smoky Mountains used to be. I still enjoy hiking there, but the
politics and regulations, the manipulations, the crowds, etc have spoiled it for me.  I cannot feel any of that
when I am here and it helps me recall how the Smoky Mountains and hiking there used to make me feel.
Today was one of those days that feels like it should have its own sound track.

       Many creek crossings today. I think there were seven or eight.  Most were ok, but three of them
required water shoes to negotiate.   I noticed on the way in "I have water .. just a trickle.. coming in the toe of my left boot.  Why is it only coming in my left boot? Why is it coming in at all? These boots are only a year old!  They shouldn't be leaking at all on these shallow crossings!"  But again.. I dismissed it. My mind was on the beauty of the forest, the stream.. how incredibly clear and perfect it was... and on the crossings.
Making them safely.  Once across Slickrock Creek just above the first drop of Wildcat falls is a narrow ledge of stone you have to make your way along.  I was very focused on that and not fretting over minor
things like leaky boots.

   It was not long until we came to Wildcat Falls.  It was even prettier than it was in Summer on our first visit here!  The Autumn leaves framed it with orange, red, gold, and copper.   It had more water coming over it today than it had then.    We sat down here to have lunch.  Beech leaves of yellow, gold and copper came floating down in flurries.  It was a memory I will treasure. I'm here with my hubby eating lunch in this pretty spot.  It is perfect.  Sitting there soaking up the scene and another memory came creeping back to my mind.   I laughed.  I turned around to ask Kenny if he remember this spot and the rock we were sitting on?
He did.  You know if it involves these two outlaws it is not going to remain a Hallmark moment for long.
We laughed remembering getting busy behind the rock we were now sitting on to eat lunch.  It IS a beautiful spot and inspires romance ok? 

   
Wildcat Falls has four drops total. The lay of them prevents a getting a clear photo of all of it at once.





This is the trail such as it is.  not really as bad as it looks.

http://cumberlandgal.smugmug.com/Travel/Hikes-and-Scenic-Drives/Cherohala-Skyway/i-hxLnrXT/0/M/Citico%20165-M.jpg
Another vantage point to photograph Wildcat Falls.

   We fed the dog here and enjoyed the area.  We made sure to feed him so he'd follow us back out.
We began our hike back out.  It was easy at first.   One of the stops on the way back I sat down to
put my boots back on and wondered why one shoe lace was brown and the other black?
The reason was simple. I had on two different boots! The left boot was one of my old Vasque boots.
The right boot was my new Lowa boots!  We had a good laugh over that. No wonder one was leaking
and did not feel the same!  I am like the court jester without meaning to be. I don't even have to try.
I have all my life dressed myself funny. Grandma Edna called me Glady's Earl because of it. Dad called me
Gravel Gert. 
I really lived it today.   I will leave the house with two different socks, different shoes, dress hung in the back of my panty hose, hair sticking up, frizzing out, shirt wrongside out,  pimple cream on my cheek, mismatched colors, etc.  I really have tried to not be that way, but after fifty years of it.. it ain't likely to stop.





This was taken just prior to me realizing I was wearing two different boots! ha! Kenny and his sexy legs.
http://cumberlandgal.smugmug.com/Travel/Hikes-and-Scenic-Drives/Cherohala-Skyway/i-d788d5q/0/M/Citico%20192-M.jpg
We took a blessed wrong turn and this is what we saw!  We also saw Santeetlah dam for the first time!
Everything we encountered today made us not want to leave and plan for the next trip back to the area.

   We hauled our tired carcasses back up that hill to the parking area.  I think the uphill is about 1.4 miles
It is not that bad, but Kenny tortures himself and me by talking about how awful it is.  I have to get in a good
head space for hard things to dull the pain of the effort.  He doesn't seem to know how to do that and what
is worse.. he tries to keep ME from doing that.  I got on him about it and made him stop.

We had a neat experience on the way out of two owls calling one to the other!  One called out. The other answered. 



http://cumberlandgal.smugmug.com/Travel/Hikes-and-Scenic-Drives/Cherohala-Skyway/i-wcStwdk/0/M/Citico%20183-M.jpg
Slickrock Creek and a pretty cascade

     Back at the camp we fixed dinner and rested.  We talked. We sat by the fire again.
We were tired and went to bed with the chickens around 9 pm.  It was nice to be unplugged from the
internet and TV and phones.   Good to get away.

    Next morning we slept in.  Ate a big breakfast.  Did an easy hike to Fall Branch Falls.
Enjoyed the colors along the Skyway.   We packed up and went home at a decent time.
Trying not to make these camping trips such marathons that they wear Kenny out.

We did not winterize the camper, because we planned another camping trip to Chimney Rock and Lake Lure in two weeks for our 30th Anniversary.



Colors along the Cherohala Skyway at Turkey Pen



http://cumberlandgal.smugmug.com/Travel/Hikes-and-Scenic-Drives/Cherohala-Skyway/i-q29jGPR/0/M/Citico%20255-M.jpg
Fall Branch Falls. Today was an easy hike and working on learning different techniques with my camera.
I'm still trying to gain a little mastery over it.  Kenny helped me make some progress today.
I am a slow learner any how and brain damage from illness hasn't made me any smarter.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Virginia Visit

New England Asters blooming by the roadsides
in Rockbridge County, Va. 


Virginia Visit--Back to See the Family

Dana & Kenny Koogler

Thursday Oct.2 -Sunday Oct. 5, 2014



   We had been trying for some time to get back to Virginia which is our home state to visit
our family.   We finally got the time to go and while neither of us is a fan of the five hour drive it is
always worth it.  The drive was very pretty and Autumn color is coming to the Old Dominion.   
The beautiful Blue Ridge and Alleghany Mountains were living up to their name.  Ribbons of
winding deep blue to either side of I-81 were hard to take your eyes off.  

      We pulled into Lexington, VA and coming off the ramp onto Route 11 --The Valley Pike--
I was overwhelmed at the sight of House Mountain.  I got a lump in my throat and just whispered
how good it looked. Kenny reassured me "We'll hike it one day."  I was pleased just to see that 
dear landmark.    We grabbed a quick dinner in Lexington before we headed out to the farm.
We did not want to wait too late to eat and did not want Ma to have to fix dinner tonight.
She is getting over pneumonia.  

     We got out to the farm and visited a little bit and then went to bed at 9:30 pm.  
I slept well.  We enjoyed breakfast with Ma Koogler and lingered over coffee.   We finally decided we'd all go out to dinner that evening. Today we'd take a ride on some old country roads. It was a scouting mission
to see if Kenny could find a shorter access route for hiking to the Jump Mountain Summit.  I was
ok with hiking the 9 miles, but he believed he could find an easier way.  Turns out I was right and the way is to simply hike.    I doubt he will go with me, but he might.

     The backroads were beautiful and quiet.  Autumn color is creeping in and we saw some pretty leaf color.
The sky was overcast and Jump Mountain's summit was in a black thunderhead the entire time.
I saw something I did not even know existed. We passed Hayes Mill.  It is yet another old grist mill in our area. I may have been past it before, but if so I do not recall.    It is quite scenic.  I got out and walked around. The mill was dated 1901 on its corner stone. 
Corn fields out in K├╝glerville.  Its kinda like Hooterville on Green Acres only its even more rural than that!
Corn. Cows. Trees. And a whole lotta nuthin.


 Hays Creek Mill
 Mill Wheel at Hays Creek Mill
 Hays Creek behind the mill itself. Very pretty spot.
Hays Creek Mill founded 1901 according to this stone. 


Maury River in Rockbridge Baths, Va.  
 Driving down dirt roads.
Beautiful rolling hills of Rockbridge County Va and Jump Mountain with its head stuck in the clouds.

    Back at the farm we were treated to Ma Koogler's wonderful cooking for lunch.  Virginia is heavily influenced by German immigrants cooking.  Out here we are in mainly Presbyterian country. 
We decided to all go out to eat at the Mill Street Grill.  I had oysters that night for the first time in a long time.
Delicious!   Ma had a list of things she needed help with that Kenny and Chris were going to help her with.
They finally convinced me to take Pops truck and head down to see my mother.   My sister Val Graham works at Shear Dimensions Day Spa . Mom went and got a hair cut and I got a massage from my sister.
It was much needed. I'd been suffering with a shoulder injury since March and she fixed it!  Why did I wait so long to get it looked after?

       I went shopping a little while with Mom.   We hurried home to get ready to meet everyone for dinner at Mill Street.  While we were waiting to be seated we ran into Dale and Michelle Gregory! More family!  We had a good time catching up with them.  It was date night for them so we tried not to monopolize their time.
We had good food, a warm, relaxed atmosphere, and good conversation for our meal.

       Saturday we took Pop's truck back to the farm and visited with Ma a little. Emily, my niece rode along.
We went out to Wades Mill and bought flour and products.   This is grist mill country I'm telling you!
That mill is only about five miles from my old house as the crow flies.   Pretty countryside out there.
Saturday night Mom fixed lasagna for dinner and it was perfect!   We attended a concert by Terra Voce at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va.   Here is a video clip of my favorite tune they performed.
Two encores!  They are really something. Not at all the regular orchestra music, but very lively.





 Terra Voce performs Arrasta Pe.  "Drag the foot". A Brazilian choro composition.


   Sunday we all went out to breakfast together at Cracker Barrel in Staunton.  It was good to see Jim
and Debbie my in laws and my nephews and nieces.  Matthew Koogler my 17 yr old nephew is cancer free and he was there. I told him I was proud of him and hugged him. I also told him next time I saw him I wanted him to weigh three hundred pounds!  He laughed.

     We hated to go, but it was back to Tennessee that afternoon.   The drive back was uneventful for us
which was good. The air was growing cooler and the mountains were pretty again today.
I thought on the difference in my life between the time I lived in Virginia and the time I lived in Tennessee.
We don't really want to move back.  We've made a life for ourselves and a home in Tennessee now.
I do miss our crazy, wonderful family sometimes though.   My brother in law Jim is still out of his mind.
No one does inappropriate comments better or sneaks them in more unexpectedly than him.  He will have you in fits of laughter. 

     Its always good to go. Its good to come back.



Grapeyard Ridge to Injune Creek Through Hike -- Another Go Smokies Hike!

Asters were the flower of the day along Grapeyard Ridge

Grapeyard Ridge to Injune Creek Through Hike -- Another Go Smokies Hike! 

Dana Koogler
Marlene Denton
David Ledbetter
Duane Pierce
Mitch & Rhonda Reagan
*Cameo Appearance by Mike Maples*

Sunday Sept. 28, 2014

Shuttle Hike from Roaring Fork the Greenbrier
Total miles hiked 7.5 


    I had a bleak and dismal attempt at a backpacking trip to Big Creek the previous day. 
I got invited to go hiking Sunday by the GoSmokies bunch and I jumped at the chance.   I was 
all about it.   Just thinking of it made me feel better.   We met up Sunday morning at the Greenbrier
Ranger Station at 8:15 am.    Mike Maples was there with us, but our excitement at thinking he was going
with us was short lived.  He had to work, but just came by to say hello and visit for a bit.  I was tickled
I finally got to meet him. I also was pleased to finally meet David Ledbetter.   It was so good to see 
everyone again.   GW Denton was missed as were Mike Gourley, Jeff Cole, Curtis, Cheryl, Betsy, David
and all the rest. 
     We visited a little while then once everyone was there who planned to go we left some vehicles there
and headed to Roaring Fork to set our shuttle vehicle at the end of Grapeyard Ridge Trail. The plan
was to hike from the Roaring Fork end of Grapeyard and split off onto the Injune Creek Manway thus
eliminating the last part of the Grapeyard Ridge Trail that has creek crossings.   It was new miles for me
so I was pleased.   I had been up Injune Creek before as far as the big rock walls, but had never finished it.
Today I hoped I would finally finish it.  
       We started off at the buildings there along Roaring Fork.  I have been by there so many times, but never
stopped to figure where the trail actually was.  It goes back past the buildings and uphill.   It is worth mentioning that Duane said the trail had been re-routed in the past.  I know that I looked back to the 1973 
hiking guide map to check some things we saw.  When the 1973 map was printed Grapeyard Ridge trail 
was not even an official park trail.   It was a mere manway then so it seems.  It ran the spine of the ridge very
similar to what we did today with our chosen route.  Upon first starting the trail veers left and uphill while 
it seems a tail end goes straight along the creek.   The little tail end hanging out there is part of an old access 
to the manway.  It ran from down near the gate on Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and paralleled the creek, passed the buildings and went out to the "tail" and dead ended.   Veering off that track to the left was another section of manway that veered left and went up to join with the Grapeyard Ridge Manway about a mile and a half into the hike.   We saw an old official park sign there with the bottom edge damaged.
By the sign was a track leading off, but it was very overgrown with rhodo and I was not even sure it was
ever a path. We had some discussion as to whether it was the end of an old manway or a water bar. 
Other access points that we encountered along the main trail were a manway that runs off to the left of it
and ends down along Dudley Creek at Highway 321 in Gatlinburg.   
        We hiked along at a leisurely pace. I enjoyed everyone's company and we had time to catch up.
It had been too  long.   I was in a totally different frame of mind today than Saturday. I did not care much about how long it took, taking pictures, or any of that. I was just glad to be with my friends and in the woods.  The day was a nice temperature and a little overcast.   I saw lots of gentians along the trail.
I also saw evidence this trail would be a good place to hunt orchids in other seasons.   We spied the 
remnants of YFO's along the edges of the trail near its beginning. I remembered to whine about the uphill since Curtis was not there to do it.  I made sure to take up the slack on the bellyaching.  

     We checked out old home sites, fences, etc. Marlene found an old medicine bottle in great condition.
It was Dr. Thachers Liver & Blood Syrup.  It had only one crack in its bottom edge, but was whole. 
I continued to be surprised and delighted at the mossy stone walls and rock cribbing we encountered
at multiple points along the trip.   We passed one spot where stone walls were built along the creek 
making us wonder if there had been a grist mill there?  It was beautiful.  The woods were waning to Fall.
Leaves were just beginning to come down.  We mainly saw asters, gentian and goldenrod along the trail
for Fall wildflowers. We did see some lingering orange jewelweed and pale yellow jewelweed.  

     Grapeyard Ridge Trail is very pretty and not real hard.  Injune Creek trail is very pretty.
It looks like something out of a Fairy Tale at one foot log we crossed.  I can easily see why so
many repeat trips are made up there.   We stopped and ate lunch along the trail.  
We continued on and saw about ten people total besides us all day.    Most were along the Grapeyard
Ridge Trail, but we did encounter a family of four down on Injune Creek manway.  

   

Top: Grapeyard Ridge Trail
Bottom: Mitch is explaining something 


       We were amazed at the huge amount of acorns littering the ground on the trail.  It was a bumper crop!
The bears will eat good this year for sure.   We were amazed one of us didn't get beaned in the head by
the acorns continuing to fall off the trees!   We had a pool going. We voted Rhonda most likely to get bonked in the head by an acorn, but I tried to cheat and throw one at her to ensure I'd win. We joked 
that it was like trying to hike on ball bearings or marbles!  One of us finally did get thrown down by 
the little buggers, but I won't say who. :-) 

     We had some partial views along the ridgeline. We saw big trees.   I got to see and learn about
Twisted Sister, a very gnarly tree at the junction of a manway with Grapeyard Ridge Trail.   I had never
heard of some of the places much less seen them.  Duane was who I needed to chat with today.I'd had 
some things bothering me and he shrunk my head for me.   It is a valuable thing to have good friends
to bounce ideas off and to help get things back in their proper perspective.  I left there at the days end
feeling content and like I left the worries behind me as I hiked.  

      I was the only one in the group who had not visited the wrecked "train". Mitch explained it was not
a train, but a steam tractor.  Marlene explained the reason for it ending up wrecked in the creek was that
the operator was drunk as testified to by his own mama!  That would be enough to do it.  It was really neat
and would be worth the hike to see that alone.  

 
Rhonda checking out the old steam tractor wreck. She is videotaping it with her Go Pro cam.



     We got to see CS 32 which is a lovely spot.  Duane is familiar enough with it he pointed out to me
the recent modifications to the site. The bear cables were relocated as was the fire ring.  He seemed unsure
why they did some of the changes to it, but it got done just the same.    

     We turned aside to see the McCarter Cemetery on the way out.   I had hiked Injune Creek many years ago with different friends, and I was not sure if I had visited the cemetery or not? Turned out I had NOT 
seen it before.  They bury the dead up on a hill.  So it was more uphill to get there, but it was short.
It added about 1/2 mile extra to the trip so it was not bad.   

      We eased along toward the vehicles and the trailhead.  Most of the crossings on Injune Creek have foot logs.   It was so pretty.  I had forgotten just how nice it was. 
Other remnants of the old steam tractor. 

        Back at the vehicles we did some quick figuring who wanted to go grab a barbecue dinner and who was wanting to go home?  Dave, Marlene and Duane went ahead to retrieve vehicles from off Roaring Fork before the gate was closed.  Mitch, Rhonda and myself headed to the little BBQ place at the end of the road. I had a nice relaxing dinner with them. It was the perfect end to the day.   I hugged them good bye
and parted company. I hope it wont be long til we meet up again to hike or do something fun.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Big Creek Backpack--This Party Sucks! I'm Outta Here!!

Big Creek Backpack Trip--This Party Sucks! I'm Outta Here!


Saturday Sept. 27, 2014

Dana Koogler


   My original plan was to backpack Saturday morning up to CS 37.  I would take photos of Midnight Hole
and Mouse Creek Falls along the way.   I would set up camp once at CS 37. I would empty my pack of all non essentials. The hike to the campsite is 5.8 miles.  It is another 1.8 or so to Gunter Fork Falls.
Gunter Fork Cascade is on the way and it is a pretty 10 ft falls.  Gunter Fork Falls is a 150 ft waterfall.
I had only been to it once and it was very beautiful.   It was a neat experience shared with a good friend.
I wanted to visit it again.   I would put up with the suck factor of Big Creek Trail to reach it.

       I found out Friday night when I saw Casey Marcum's photos from a day or so earlier that 
Gunter Fork Falls was pretty much a wet rock with a slight trickle at the top of it.   The bottom part was only damp.  I tried to convince myself to go ahead.    I would just make the best of it. I usually can manage to 
find something good about a place.  I would not bother going up to the falls because it sure was not worth it.
Bob Carr was supposed to be in the area. Perhaps I'd run into him and that would be good.
I would modify my route and get in some new trail miles.  

         I got over there and the day was beautiful.   Big Creek is a popular destination and there are 
always tons of people. I finally found a place to park.  I set off down the trail.  I got to Midnight Hole.
The light for photography was dreadful.  Two other men arrived and one got in to swim.  
I sat down to eat lunch.  More and more people began showing up. My mood was abysmal. 
I wanted to turn around and go home.  I convinced myself to make it the 1/2 mile further to Mouse 
Creek Falls.   I got there and took a few snapshots.   I was only alone there for a minute or two until
more people arrived.   I was over it.   I decided since no one was holding a gun to my head to force
me to continue I would not go further.   I tried my best to shake the bleak mood I was in.  I was 
overwhelmed with sadness. I just wasn't feeling it.  The place was crawling with people.  

       I was overwhelmed with memories of past trips and not all of them good.
I was worn out with the inconsiderate, dumb shit people do.   I hate this trail. I won't be back on it
until it is absolutely necessary.   Too many people. Lots of horse shit.  Not enough to see to make it
worthwhile.   

          I went home.  I prayed the Lord would help my mood improve.  I called Kenny to 
let him know I was coming home.   I went home and got in the hammock on the back deck.
The sky was blue and pretty.   I took a nap and it was quieter in my back yard than it was in the Smokies front country.  I realize people make mistakes and life isn't always perfect. I just don't want to 
watch you try to take your precious year and a half old baby up a steep dirt ditch in an umbrella stroller.
What is wrong with you?   I really do get the suffer no fools.. quarter no mules thing. The mules I can forgive a lot quicker than I  can the dumb people. 

Mouse Creek Falls
Midnight Hole
    

        




This party sucks! I'm outta here!

Monday, September 29, 2014

How to Find Waterfalls--Part Three

Fort Harry Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

How to Find Waterfalls--Part Three
For the Advanced Waterfall Seeker


Dana Koogler
Monday September 29, 2014



      You've begun hiking to waterfalls. You really like it. You want more of it. You have 
begun searching them out in other places. It is a very enjoyable pass time for you.  It is great for your
well being. It helps you stay fit.  It helps soothe the soul. It helps you enjoy life more all around.
It is VERY habit forming.   Perhaps you picked a goal of hiking to all the waterfalls in a guidebook
on a given area and have completed all of those. Congratulations!   You got you some good guidebooks.
You got in the habit of talking to various persons in real time and on social media about waterfalls. 
You surf the net hunting for info on waterfalls. You keep your eyes peeled in the areas where you drive.
You are developing the mental  habits to find waterfalls. You are developing the physical fitness to  be
able to do more of this.    All these things are good.

       Once you've been doing this eight or ten years you are not likely to fall out of love with it.
Something may happen that changes it for you  though. Perhaps you will become
dissatisfied with your hobby. Something is missing in your enjoyment of your hobby! 
The novelty wears off. You have been to most of them. Human romances need tending to be kept
fresh and fun.  So does your love of waterfalls. Everything gets boring after awhile.
       Perhaps you are growing jaded because you've been to see most of them.
You've made repeat trips back to most of them.  Maybe you've grown to like the stillness of the forest more
and you seek greater solitude than heavily visited, popular areas will afford you.  You might be 
seeking a greater physical challenge. You might be seeking more of a navigational challenge.  Sometimes
you may read about the history of a certain spot where a waterfall occurs and you're just dying to get there
to experience it for yourself.   Once this change takes place in you its time to move on to the next stages of waterfall seeking.  

                      Defining Advanced Waterfall Seekers


 I will start by saying I am not trying to sound like I am personally some elite waterfall seeking force.
I am not part of some elite group of persons either.   It is not a competition.  Waterfall hunting is an individual 
journey and part of each persons enjoyment of life. It can also be a team sport and part of the growth and
bonding of a group of friends.  Each person who engages in this activity takes risks and should be fully
aware of the risks involved.  Each person brings different skills to the mix.  Each person starts off with 
different physical abilities, mental and psychological abilities, navigating skills, etc. 
I may know how to find waterfalls like a son-of-a-gun, but I am not able to get there because it is outside
my skill set.   I will define advanced waterfall seekers very loosely for this blog entry as such:
They have been at it awhile and experienced some success in finding waterfalls both on the beaten track and off trail.   At some point if you are going to be in this group of advanced waterfall hunters you're going to 
find yourself leaving the traveled path and going off trail.   

       Bushwhacking to waterfalls is risky and the risks vary wildly from damn near impossible to 
not that bad.   I will address the off trail travel part in more depth in a bit. The first thing that has to happen
in order to reach them?  It goes back to FINDING them.    What is the first step in finding them?
Knowing they EXIST!   

How to Know a Waterfall Exists? 

   You may know a waterfall exists because you've seen a photo of it, read a trip report about it,
saw mention of it in a hiking guide, or an acquaintance or co-worker mentioned it to you. 
You don't doubt it is real.  You still have to find it.  All you need initially is something to make you suspect
a falls is in a given area. You can then do web searches, check maps, ask persons questions, go to the library for additional source material to try to find out more clues.  What if you could tell by simply looking at
a map that a waterfall SHOULD exist in a given area?  Boys howdy, wouldn't that bust the world of 
waterfall possibilities wide open?  
         I'm going to teach you how to find them on a map. It will then be up to you to find out
if they exist.  The best way is to go see for yourself.  Once you've learned how to see them on a map
on your own and backed it up with some first hand success in proving you were correct.. you'll be off
to the races!   
Reading a Topo Map to Spot Waterfalls 


     A topo map is shortening of the word topography map.   It is one of those maps that has all the 
squiggley lines on it. It not only shows the roads and trails in an area, but shows the lay of the land.
It shows where the mountains are, valleys, creeks, campsites, roads, trails. Get familiar with maps period.
Get good at reading topo maps specifically if you travel off trail. It is a great way to find waterfalls
if you learn to see them.  Waterfalls take a stream of water descending over rock in order to occur.
Spotting a stream on a map is not hard.  Spotting a waterfall on a map is harder, but not impossible.
I am not speaking of the ones that are shown. Some maps actually have the waterfalls on them and 
that is a good thing.  Let's take a look at some of those now.  Hunting waterfalls like this will work
about anywhere you want to name.   The Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee presents a special set of 
challenges because there are so many caves.   Out in the plateau you may look at a map and it won't show
a stream that exists because the water that forms the falls does go over rocks, but it comes directly out
of the ground, falls and then goes subterranean again. Finding waterfalls like that is for the lucky, obsessed,
and the crazy.   We won't get into that for this blog.  Even advanced waterfall seekers prefer dealing
with streams that behave normally.

Looking for Clues on the Map


          
Look at the map image above.  The light gray squiggles are contours on the map.  Customarily
Each squiggle is a contour line. You're looking at the map as if you're looking at the mountains and
you have to try to picture them in 3-Dimensions.   The blue lines are the streams and tributaries of the stream.
The red line is a trail.  The black lines with dots and dashes are boundary lines like a county or state.
When you hunt up a waterfall using this method you want to look for places where the blue line
representing the stream crosses over the contour lines. This would indicate it is dropping or falling.
It could be a waterfall.  Some streams are low flow and in reality if you went and checked them out
the are nothing more than wet rocks or "wet weather" waterfalls.  Sometimes a bunch of close together
contour lines like a big series of V's with a blue line coming down through its center is NOT a likely place
for a waterfall. ANY place that a blue line crosses a contour could be a falls, but the most likely place is
not that.   Look at the photo above and see how well you do picking out where you think a falls would be?

Click the link below to see the answer: Spot the Waterfall Answer 
I will also put the photo image answer at the bottom of the blog entry.  
Scroll down to check your answer when you are ready.

     What you're wanting to look for is a squared off U shape with a blue line going across it.
It is not always the case, but I have found it to be true more often than not.
How did you do figuring it out?  Fun, isn't it?!

   What is even more fun is looking at the map where no waterfall is known to be, going out to the wild
and proving you were correct!  It is not a matter of being right either. It is simply gaining the ability to find
them and confidently go visit the area in real time and see something beautiful and new to you.
Possibly new to all.  Its a lot of fun.  I have proven in real time that there is a waterfall with two drops
at the location listed, but it is already on the database. I reported it a long time ago.



   Practice Makes Perfect


    Now you're figuring out how to see waterfalls without anything other than a topo map.
I'm sure by now you've got at least the basic maps for a given area where you hiked the trails to see
the known waterfalls.  Get them out from time to time and give them another look to see if you can spot
additional waterfalls above where you went or below?  That would be a good place to start trying out
your new skill set.    


Above is a photo of Mouse Creek Falls. I went to see it a long time ago.  Several years later I began to
suspect there were more falls above it because I was scrutinizing the topo map and saw that squared off
U shape above the falls. Actually two spots above the falls and I thought "Ah ha! I bet there is more up there!" and it turned out to be correct. Below is a shot of one of the falls above Mouse Creek Falls.
There are a couple of others besides!



     Important Tools and Resources


     Once you have progressed to the next stage of hunting for waterfalls you need some
 new tools and techniques in the tool box.   You just got a big one in learning how to see them
on topo maps.   What other kinds of maps would be good to use?  For persons who like to
hunt up waterfalls and are adventuresome let me introduce you to another invaluable tool.


 Meet the DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer.  This is the one for the state of Tennessee.
They come in all flavors.  Get one for the state or states you visit.   Go to the front and find
the section you need.  Let's say you're going to check out the Cumberland Plateau.
You're going to check out the area around Spring City, Tennessee.  Your Auntie is having a family reunion
there and you want to make use of the time you'll be in the area.  Look at the map for the area and you
will see that real often if an area has interesting features or known things like waterfalls they will be listed
right on the map.  You have to look close, but they are actually printed on the map.  Low and behold
there it is.. Stinging Fork Falls is listed on the map.  You can then do a google search and come up
with Directions to Stinging Fork Falls
Here is an old image of Stinging Fork Falls.


   You may find waterfalls listed on the map and they are known and recorded,but you cannot
find directions to them.   Expect it.  It may be because they are on private property.  It may be that
the falls are Ok to visit, but hardly anyone goes to them so no one has bothered to record directions, take pictures, or write a blog on them.     Now you need another resource.

Tennessee Landforms-- Is a database for our state and the brain child of  Tom Dunigan.
He has invested a great deal of time and energy into compiling this fabulous database of the waterfalls
and other land forms in our great state.    Tennessee Landforms Waterfalls

How do I use it?
Go to the county or area you're planning to visit or explore. Click on that and it will bring you up
a list of waterfalls in that area.   Open the entry for each waterfall and included are maps, driving directions,
and way points that can help you locate them.

What if my area doesn't have a waterfall or landform database?
First of all, search and ask around to see if you do or don't.

If you DON"T... then it sucks to be you.  :-)  But nah...  you can get a pretty good idea
from the Gazetteer what the GPS coordinates are. It will at least get you in the ball park.
The latitude and longitude coordinates are along the edges of the page. Stinging Fork would be approx.
Lat 35*. 7100 something and Long. -84*.900 something.  The metric coordinates are given which is what
I am guesstimating here.   The old style coordinates are also given which are degrees, minutes, seconds.

 Global Positioning System--GPS



Get you a hand held GPS unit and learn to use it.  We have had two Garmin units.
The first one was the least expensive one Garmin made and was incredibly difficult to use.
It was also not the most reliable even when it got a signal.   Our second one is also a Garmin
and it way more costly, but it is also far more accurate, reliable, and simpler to use.

You can plug in the GPS coordinates and let them lead you to waterfalls.
They will usually get you to within 100 feet of a falls. Many of the newer models are more accurate than that.
Within that distance you should be able to hear a waterfall if it is flowing decently.

What else can I do with a GPS?

You can draw a track and let it lead you not only by the waypoints, but
it will show you if you are following the course you set for yourself.   It will demonstrate for you visually
if you are on or off track. Ours beeps briefly when we get right on the track.   It is reassuring.

You can  mark a waterfall you found.
You can mark a route and save it.

A navigation system in the car helps get to waterfalls as well.
A Tomtom navigator will permit you to enter GPS coordinates and it will get you there which can help, but
there is a down side to that.   If you are going to visit a waterfall that does not have an easy road access
it is going to screw you up.    A tomtom will try to take you by the ROAD routes.  Be careful doing that.
Check the google maps and your Gazetteer to see if you can do this realistically.

Learning to use a GPS takes some time, practice and patience. Start off with easy ones and plug in coordinates to ON the trail, known waterfalls and test the accuracy of your equipment.  It will also
give you a low to no pressure situation to learn to use the device without the worry of getting lost or simply not getting to see the waterfall because you cannot find it.  You don't need the added frustration just starting out using one of these things no matter how experienced a hiker you are.

 Google Earth

 Technology is wonderful when it works properly.  Google Earth , computers, satellite communication, 
and smart televisions have really rocked the world.    We have a smart TV and we love to use google earth
to check out places before we go.    It can give you visual clues and help you know if access roads or trails are there? Are the roads gated? Are there homes nearby? It helps you read the terrain.   It takes some getting used to, but it can be both fun and a great help.  

Here is a link to Google Earth and a satellite view of the area around Stinging Fork Falls.


To return to a road map view go to the bottom left corner and click that white box.
You can zoom in, zoom out. You can scroll. You can measure distance. You can see images of the falls if they exist.  In this case you can zoom in and see the waterfall!  It helps you spot the trail and get a better 
understanding of how it works its way across the terrain toward the falls.

It will help you to think in 3-D and get an idea if an area is even accessible. .
We used this as a reality check prior to going to visit Wilson Falls in the Smokies.
We use it for many things. Hunting waterfalls is only one of them. Another potential use for
the capabilities of Google Earth?  Check our your topo maps. Find those squared off U's where you think
there may be a waterfall and "fly there" via google earth to check it out! You'd be amazed!


Assumptions and Risks


  All these tools when taken  together should provide you with a big leap forward in your
waterfall hunting adventures.   I have touched on avoiding assumptions in the previous two blog entries.
One thing you don't want to assume is that it is always OK to visit these places.  Some will end up
being on private land.   Find out from locals if it is permissible to visit there when possible?
Some areas are known and visited all the time and no one minds.   Ask land owners if its ok if you can find out who to speak to.   I assume no responsibility for you ending up in trouble for trespassing.
I assume no responsibility for injuries that may occur because of your adventures.  Hunting for 
waterfalls can be dangerous and difficult, but can also be rewarding.     

  There is  a level of waterfall hunting beyond  "advanced" and that is harder to explain.
 I may do a blog piece later about off trail travel. and discuss some of the subtler points of waterfall hunting.   I think I will because it is too much for this blog entry. 

           I mentioned obscurities before.  It is hard for me to explain that to just anyone. 
I will try.   I have had dreams about a simple word or a place name that will come to me.  I will jot it down.
It may take a long time. Sometimes months or years, but  those little tidbits from the internet, from a dream, from my subconcious mind end up being answers to locations of waterfalls.

        Don't discard tidbits of info you find on the net.  Don't discount things that emerge from your dreams.
Leave your waking mind open to possibilities of communication with your deeper, subconcious mind.
Sounds crazy, doesn't it?    Very esoteric!  But here are two examples of times that came in handy.
A friend was looking for a waterfall near the TN/NC line.  He had information that it was near White Rocks or some such name.   He was frustrated at all the time and energy he'd put into searching the area unsuccessfully.  I told him to give me a little time to put my mind on it and I'd get him some answers.

           I went to bed and woke one day with the words "Black Stack Cliffs". I told him the answer was coming to me. The words came to me again in a waking vision.   It carried a sense of importance with it.
I knew it was the answer, but Blackstack Cliffs is an overlook! Not a waterfall!
I looked at a hiking guide and a map.  It came to me with certainty that Higgins Creek Falls was 
the waterfall he was searching for.  Someone else had called it a different name. It mixed him up.
Once he looked at the map with me .. he had to agree and the matter was settled.  While the names did not jive, the description and location given did.    

         Another example was that my husband told me about a conversation between he and  his co-worker and friend Shane Watkins.  Shane described to him an area behind Ozone Falls where 
"there was a lot of riding."   I instantly knew that conversation was important even though he never mentioned anything about waterfalls.
 I did not know why until literally years later.
I got that gazetteer out and began hunting for waterfalls and places to ride.  I ended up taking us to Basin Rock and Falls.  Shane's words came echoing back.  See?!  Witness the Reticular Activating System 
in Action!  Tune your intuition and don't discount it.   It will surprise you as much as anything ever has.

 
Basin Rock




    Basin Falls below Basin Rock


     

 




Saw Mill Falls. All these beautiful experiences and more from one conversation years earlier. Thanks Shane. :-)


Answer Image Key to Spotting the Waterfalls on the Topo Map.
The circled areas are where waterfalls occur or are likely to occur.
 



        



How to Find Waterfalls--Part Two

110 ft high Ozone Falls, TN


How to Find Waterfalls --Part Two
The Intermediate Waterfall Hunter

   Dana Koogler
Monday September 29, 2014

      You've gotten out and started hiking to waterfalls. You liked it at first and you are
beginning to like it a lot more.  You are interested in seeing waterfalls in other outlying areas.
Perhaps you're working on a goal of finishing all the waterfalls within a given National Park
or state park.   You're trying to see all those falls in that area. You are wondering what else
is in the vicinity?   Let's use the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a frame of reference
since that is my story.  Again, it can apply to any area.

        I lived in Virginia. I was only getting to travel to the Great Smoky Mountains at that time
two or three times per year.   I had been bitten by the hiking to waterfalls bug. What was I supposed
to do in the meanwhile?  I spent time consoling myself reading about waterfalls, daydreaming about them,
and talking to others about them when it was appropriate.   Did you know that all those things can actually help you find waterfalls?  Sure can.  You may not want to read further if you cannot cope with the
Misfit of Science Side of me.    You need to make use of  the reticular activating system of your brain
to help you find waterfalls.   Chances are you do it for other things and don't even know you're doing it.

Waterfall Seeking Tools--Laying the Foundation
         What? What is a reticular activating system? Where did I pick that up?  When?
What IS she talking about?  We live in an age of technology so I will compare this part of your brain
and subconcious mind to a technology that exists today.  Perhaps you have heard of computer programs
that run in the background of a primary system or program?  These background programs pick out key words or phrases and flag them and bring them to your attention.   The government uses these programs
with certain key words or phrases to supposedly root out terrorists.   You are not a computer, but you
have a big ole smart brain sitting up there in your noggin.   Unfortunately unless you are single, independently wealthy and free to devote all your time, energy and money to the hunt for waterfalls......... you have
something called a LIFE to attend to besides that.  Work. Family. Household duties. Those things
have to get done day to day for most of us.   

 Learn to turn on your Reticular Activating System in your brain, and it is your background program for hunting waterfalls. 

Learn to R2A2. That is the acronym  for helping you train your Reticular Activating System in your brain
and subconcious mind so you can work and take care of other business and still pick up on key things
that may not seen to matter much now, but may lead to something later!
This is the formula of a  successful man in many areas of life.. Mr. W. Clement Stone.

Recognize--That's for me--
Relate--How is that for me--how does this relate to my hunt for waterfalls to visit
If I am seeking waterfalls in the area to visit around me where does this info fit compared to where I am?
Assimilate--How am I going to use this to find waterfalls. Find ways to fit this info in with your plans.
Action ---Go check it out for yourself. Put feet on it. Put the plan into action. Form the habits
of daily life in your mind and body that will result in greater success.  

 Training your brain and subconcious mind to ignore some repetitive stimuli while reaching out
and grabbing others is huge in habit forming for your thought life.  You're already using it
when you can tune out traffic noise and catch a nap on the city bus, but if your alarm goes off
or your baby cries.. you wake right up!  

*Once you've told your brain what to look for. What you're interested in.. it will hunt it for you.

                               Other Source Materials for Waterfall Hunting



   Ok so now that I have bombarded you with some Science let's return to our waterfall hunter.
She's stuck in Virginia dealing with kids, job, home and only getting to visit the Smokies twice yearly.
Our hopeful seeker is not to be so easily outdone by things like geographic locations.   She is a
Positive Mental Attitude grad of the W. Clement Stone school of thought.   What now?
Daydreaming, talking to other people about waterfalls, and reading can really help me find waterfalls near me to visit?  Yep. It worked for me.  Another key concept that has guided me is this:
Do not be one of those people who never avails themself of the beauty 
and opportunities right around them!

  I cannot get down to visit the Smokies again until October.  What is around me to see 
in August? Are there waterfalls to visit around here?


That is when Reading---waterfall or hiking guidebooks comes in handy

Daydreaming... surfing the internet and looking at pictures. Doing searches.

Talking to others---"Oh you like waterfalls?! There is a nice one on Uncle Lyle's farm. We should go there sometime!"   Comes in VERY handy!


Read Guidebooks: 

Every time you're in a state park, national park or visitor center.. take a look at them.
Pick you up a good one.  Read it.   You don't have to read it cover to cover.
Look for the obvious ones that are specific to waterfalls first. Above is a fine example.
Kevin Adam's Waterfalls of Virginia and West Virginia.  


Read other guidebooks about a given area.  These you'll have to read more carefully because
they do not focus on waterfalls.  The Little Brown Hiking Guide to the Smokies is another great
resource but you will have to HUNT for the mention of waterfalls in the trail narratives,  then try to hike the trails to find them. Virginia has similar hiking guides for state parks and natural areas, but again
you will have to read the trail narratives to find where they describe waterfalls along the trail because the focus is not solely on waterfalls. It is on hiking in general. 



Daydreaming--Surfing the Internet 



    Daydreaming and surfing the internet and doing searches started off for me as a coping mechanism
and a fun distraction.  It was not long until I found out two things: 1. I was good at it. and 2.  It was a useful
and powerful tool.

Surfing  the internet today is in many ways a much more powerful force than it was way back in the early days of
cyberspace.   Today it also crosses over into the "Talk to other people" area I mentioned because of
social media and networking.  I'll address that under the talk to other people section for the sake of
keeping my thoughts organized.

Internet Searches: --They can yield you some surprisingly helpful finds.  They can also yield you some obscurities.  I suggest you hang on to the majority of the information you run across that could even be remotely pertinent.  Keep it in a favorites, bookmarks, print it off, copy it down in a notebook until
you are certain it is not helpful.   Even some obscurities have turned out to be a key for me years later.

Back to the problem at hand. Our little waterfall seeker is stuck in Virginia. She's hunting for nearby
waterfalls to visit until she can get down to see the Smokies again and work on her goal of hiking all the
guidebook waterfalls.

She can do a web search!  Try starting off with "Waterfalls AND Virginia"

Here is something you might turn up in such a web search: Virginia Waterfalls

You may even find databases of waterfalls in your state or area!

People's blogs may share ideas about waterfalls in your state or area.
Sometimes they have directions included. Sometimes they do not.

Finding out a waterfall exists is key.  Once you know it exists and that it is in your area,
you can refine your search.  Narrow the focus to the county, the specific name of the falls,
the person who wrote the blog and come up with directions how to access it. 


Talk to Others--Networking--

Back when I began seeking waterfalls to visit the internet was not like it is today.
It was not as easy to network with others on the internet in any meaningful, organized way.
Not impossible.. just not as good as now.  Facebook and Social media sites have been a big
improvement in making contact with those people with similar interests.  It promotes a free flow
of information and ideas that is revolutionizing the way we do things!

Facebook is often organized into online communities or groups that focus on
the very thing you're looking for.  Waterfalls, hiking destinations etc.

Try social media for networking with others.
 It has made a big impact on my waterfall hunting.  

Don't neglect actually TALKING TO OTHER PEOPLE about it.

Let people know you're interested in area waterfalls and that you'd appreciate information
how to visit them?!  Better yet.. make friends with similar interests and go together.
Two heads are always better than one.  You will do more than find waterfalls. You'll have adventures
and form lasting memories and bonds that will last a life time!

   
 Visiting a Waterfall in Your Area--Putting Feet on the Plan of Action


 Let's go back to our brave waterfall seeker and find out what she's going to do to solve her dilemma?
She has read guidebooks. She has done a search on the internet.  She has talked to her husband about
wanting to go visit waterfalls nearby until they can get back down to the Smoky Mountains.
What will come of all this?

The guidebook mentions several.  There are some out near Churchville about 25 miles away.
It says they are pretty, but its better to wait until we've had a lot of rain. We haven't had a lot of rain.

The web search turned up waterfalls in the state. The nearest one on that website is Crabtree Falls which is
25 miles away.    It also mentions some that are 60-100 miles away.    Fallingwater Falls and Roaring Run
could  both be done in a day trip to Alleghany County.

Talking to others--turns out to be the ticket this time.   In a conversation about waterfalls with her spouse
he mentions that Uncle Lyle and Aunt Dot Koogler  have a waterfall on their farm. It is 15 miles away.
It is private property, but they have always let people go down there. He suggests she give Aunt Dot a call.
She does and Aunt Dot is tickled pink. They go visit her and Uncle Lyle and take the kids, the cousins, and
take along backpacks and swim suits and towels.  They spend the day hiking, exploring, swimming and visiting with family at Cypress Falls on the family farm.   It has been here all along and she is 37 years old
and is just now hearing about it.

 
 Cypress Falls is a 120 foot drop located in Fairfield, Virginia on private property.
This is only one of three drops to this falls.  Here is a link to the trip report about this
area. Cypress Falls Trip Report


          Success! She found a waterfall. Not just A waterfall. THREE waterfalls!
And a beautiful area.  It was a memorable trip. It was a family experience the very first time.


Take aways here? TALK TO PEOPLE... even your own family!
You may be missing something important and beautiful.

Let's revisit the problem with assumptions:

Don't assume because a person has not told you about a waterfall that it doesn't exist.
Don't assume because you have visited a given area that you have seen all that is there.
Don't assume because you have driven down a road by the creek before many times..
that there is nothing worth seeing in that creek.

DO talk to people and network with people and let them know you're interested in waterfalls.
DO check above and below waterfalls  you're visiting to see if there are more.
DO drive the roads and keep an eye out if you are the passenger for places where a stream drops steeply by a road.

Examples:  Finding and visiting Cypress Falls which had been in Kenny's family for decades.
I had been married to him for 14 years or so when I finally went to see this place! It would not have happened unless I TALKED to him or someone in his family to let me know of it.

I visited Bald River Falls. a road side attraction several times before realizing there was an upper falls.


 Upper Bald River Falls .. There are several. This one is named Suislide! Would not have gotten to experience it  unless we hiked above it to see! 



I had driven by Moffatts Creek behind our farm many times and must have had my head up my rear end,
because I missed this for years!

Moffatts Creek Cascade sits at the site of an old grist mill.  It was behind my home all the time.
About a mile drive on the road. About a mile hike across the farm and down the bluff.


Avail yourself of the beauty and wonder that area around you. You will be pleasantly surprised. 

Part three of this blog series will be for the Advanced Waterfall Seeker