Friday, November 27, 2015

Santeetlah


Joyce Kilmer Memorial Plaque

Santeetlah

Dana & Kenny Koogler
Hike distance 2.5 miles approx.

Friday Nov. 27, 2015



     I did not want to go Black Friday shopping today. I flat refused to get into that mess. 
We had originally planned to go do something in the Smokies, but Kenny changed his mind
and wanted to go to Santeetlah instead.    I won't argue with that. We always have a great time hiking and exploring in that area.   We headed out pretty early and did some scouting for a future trip first.   Once we got that out of the way we explored a waterfall we saw on the way down the forest service road.  All the foliage off the trees you can actually see the river and the
banks on the far side.    We saw a nice waterfall dropping into Santeetlah Creek.

        We bushwhacked down there to see it.   It was nice and the entire setting was beautiful.
The sun was finally coming over the ridge. We had perfect weather today. It warmed up to about 60 degrees.  Sunny and mild.  We were having fun and getting some exercise.
The falls we found would not be worth a special trip down here, but it was neat since we were in the area.   


 Santeetlah Creek just above the falls


Bottom section of a large waterfall with no name. It drops into Santeetlah Creek.  



 Getting ready to bushwhack out of there!

Pot holes in the rocks!

    Slippery rocks, getting what Kenny calls cod locked in rhodo and bank scrambles were the order of the day.    My joints have been hurting like a son of a gun, but I hung in there and did it all today.


        Next we went up toward Wolf Laurel and visited  the lower falls on Cold Branch.
Mainly because we were in the area already.  It was running pretty well today.
Lower Waterfall on Cold Branch.   I read you can hike from the Swan Cabin to this falls, but after closer inspection I am not sure they aren't just talking about coming down a trail to the road and bank scrambling. I don't think the terrain will permit any trail right to the falls from any approach.

           We ate lunch next. I love a good ole turkey sammidge after Thanksgiving.
Next we headed down toward Joyce Kilmer Memorial Loop to hike to see the big trees.  We'd onlly done that once before and it was long ago.  Kenny wanted to see them again.

 Bridge over Santeetlah Creek
 Lower Loop Trail
 Top of a massive poplar
Kenny in the picture for scale. giant poplar tree.

   The first people we saw today were here at Joyce Kilmer.  Not many, but a few were out hiking.
We hiked the upper and lower loops and decided to head toward Santeetlah Dam.  I hoped they'd be releasing water. I got my wish.  We were past there in Summer, but didn't get to really check out the dam.  

 Santeetlah Dam is very old but it still generates power.  The water being released looks like one big white sheet.
Ivy reclaiming some sort of cement structures near the dam.


We were both tired and had a long drive home to face.    We made a big circle and went home by way of the Dragon.   It was shorter and quicker and the traffic was not too bad. It was good to get home.






Above is s short video of the waterfall we found today.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Northrup Falls, Re-visit Devils Cave and Attempt at Reaching Magendanz Falls




Northrup Falls, Revisiting Devil's Cave and Trying to Reach Magendanz Falls 

Kenny & Dana Koogler
Sharon McGee & John Ungerer

Saturday Nov. 21, 2015


   

    Saturday  I had planned on going to see Sharon & John by myself and doing some hiking and exploring.  I wanted to do things that didn't involve the four wheeler and would be in areas where
it was unlikely we'd encounter hunters.    Kenny ended up being off Saturday so he got to go along as well.   We took lots of stuff in the jeep because we didn't know what we'd get into.   I was very enthused because I believed I had found a way to access two landforms we had tried to reach in the unsuccessfully. Hope springs eternal.  Poor Sharon & John are having to get accustomed to try try again stuff, but they are always great sports.  

          We got over to Jamestown Saturday morning and it was cold and clear.   It was going to be
a beautiful day.    We picked them up at their place and headed out toward Hwy 154 east of Jamestown.   We were going to try to reach the beautiful 75 foot Prices Arch.  We tried before off
Sara Beth Road, but that was over hill over dale and we're still not there...........
Today I said we'll get it today.  It is at the back of this housing development and there is no house near the spot where we have to go in.  That was true, but after driving out there I got to see with my own eyes what google earth satellite view did NOT show me. A gate.  The subdivision is a gated community now. It was NOT when those satellite images were shot.    People have really built homes here and live here so it was not a matter of parking and walking further into a vacant housing development. That idea being shot down we had to move on to the next thing.

             I wanted to visit the beautiful Magendanz Falls.  I believed I had found an access point not previously considered.  I had failed to lift a GPS coordinate for the roadside pull off so my homies were reluctant and so was I.   It was a marshy area.  I believed it was right, but I didn't want to put them through that.   We'd move on to a sure bet.  Northrup Falls here we come!

             We had not been to Northrup Falls in many years. It is a gorgeous waterfall in a deep, dark hemlock grove.   It is sixty three feet high and you can walk behind it.  It is an easy hike.
We went there and hiked to see it.  It was fun and I had plenty of time to take pictures. The light was not the greatest, but I made the best of it.   I went behind the falls and tried different views.
The deep green hemlock grove and the rushing waterfall and sunlight filtering down was so pretty.
Here is a shot of Northrup Falls with Sharon behind it for perspective. I have learned that in a natural setting a bright flash of some other color is attractive to me.  It was neat that Sharon had on a bright red jacket.   It is eye catching!



Here is a shot of the base of the falls where I zoomed in on the layered rock at the base. 
The light and gloom contrast may not be every photographer's dream, but I like the results.
We have had enough rain to make this falls attractive, but not muddy the water.



    We finished our hike back to the jeep. It was lunch time so we ate there in the parking area.
Kenny got his smart phone out and checked the waypoints and access area for Magendanz Falls.
I had the waypoint off by a bit, but the spot where we first tried was the right spot for an attempt.
We'd go back and give it another try.    We pulled over not blocking the gate and parked on the roadside.   We hiked back through the marshy area and then continued along the power line.
It was briary and weedy, but not too bad.   We didn't have far to go.  We came to a bend and continued and consulted the GPS for distance and bearings.     We entered the woods and after a brief swat through the brush we came to an old road we followed then crossed. The woods were more open for awhile, but thickened up again as we neared the edge of the bluff.  We got within 275 ft of the falls, but there was a huge thicket and a bluff between us and the base.  Kenny thought we needed to 
back track and go down to the drainage just past the falls and see if that would work.  I stopped everyone and made them be quiet. I believed I heard a four wheeler or some vehicle?  Then it was gone.    We went back out to the power line and there were hunters! I had heard something!
I was the only one wearing blaze orange so we decided it was best to let this go for the day.
Not worth making them upset and messing up their hunt or getting shot.

            Back at the jeep John mentioned that he'd like to head back to Devil's Cave and go IN it this time to the back. He also wanted to find the Peters Bridge access and see it. I did too!  We all said this sounded great.  They had been before, but forget to bring lights so they didn't go to the back of the cave.   We  headed out that way. John suggested while we were out there we needed to check out the Hitchin' Post.  We went to Devils Cave first.  It was a short, pretty easy hike.   Down over the bluff we went on the rope.   John up there making me laugh and get silly every time I tried to go up or down. He knows I'm weak minded.  We made it down there and checked out all the cool liesegang rings on the bluffs.   We hiked into the cave mouth and continued toward the back. We donned lights before we went up into the very back.  We had enough for everyone. Kenny's new flashlight was great!  It is small but powerful. The darkness swallows up some flashlight beams, but this one was 
right on.     We were treated to a different and better thing in the cave today.  It had rained enough that water was pouring from the ceiling at the very back like a waterfall!   

             It was very satisfying to see and to take John and Sharon back so they could enjoy it.  It was more fun for us being there with them too.  Lots of laughs and wonderment.   It was an excellent adventure.   Sharon agreed with me that being in there is like being inside a whale!
Rusty metal ruins of a still. One thing is a rusted saw blade and there is a pipe.
Very back of the cave.

John and Sharon ahead of me in the dark.  



  
   We left and hiked back out.  It began to rain.  It had grown windy and dark and the rain was just upon us as we got to the vehicle.      It grew colder and the wind was starting to whip.   We decided on the way out to stop at The Hitchin' Post and check that out and buy beer. We'd go by Baccara's and see if we could get in for an early dinner.   I loved the Hitchin' Post.  It was a cool little place just as John had said. The people were friendly.  I did not want to leave. The jukebox had a ton of country gold on there.  I love it when I find songs I had liked but forgotten.  I worked as a waitress in a truck stop when I was in high school. I hated it, but the jukebox helped it be more bearable.  
T.G. Shepperd's Slow Burn   was on that jukebox in the Hitchin' Post.  They promised me we'd come back and eat and visit and listen to music.   I am a honky tonk woman.  There. I said it.  I take the party with me where I go.   That's the way to be.

      We had a great dinner at Baccara's and had the place to ourselves! I ate German while the rest of them had American.   Jager schnitzle with spaetzele.    Good Yuengling beer.   The wind and rain outside the window made it very cozy inside.    Sharon tried to get us to stay the night which was VERY tempting, but I knew Kenny was wanting to sleep in our own comfy bed at home.
So that is what we did.    The day was fun and it was sure great to be with friends who we dearly love.    We always have a good time.   We got home at a decent hour and rested well.  Kenny works hard and doesn't often get to sleep in so no alarm is a treat!

Below is a short video of Northrup Falls set to a Jeremy Green cover of Hotline Bling by Drake.
I like this better than the original. That viole cries and sings and brings out the haunting melody of a pop song.   


Friday, November 13, 2015

Happy Anniversary Disaster Blaster Trip

Old farm equipment at Stone Cove


Happy Anniversary Disaster Blaster Trip 


Kenny & Dana Koogler 31st Wedding Anniversary

The Garden Inn at Bee Rock 
Monterey, TN 

Pictures are here starting with frame 48 
Disaster Blaster Photos



  Our 31st wedding anniversary was coming up. I made up several plan options for a get away trip,
and I presented them to Kenny.  He liked the idea of going to the Garden Inn at Bee Rock.  We had never visited there before.  We liked the little town of Cookeville which is about 15 miles northwest.
We figured we'd do some hiking and relaxing and maybe a day of shopping and exploring the town.
There are a number of good wineries and an excursion train in the area.  We figured it would be a great deal of fun and romance.   The first rumble of far away thunder regarding this trip came when I called to set the reservations.  The lady I talked to was unable to let me know for sure if we could get the dates we wanted or not.  She told me she would take my phone number and call me back ASAP.
Later in the day she called and the big group they were booking in around the same time would be gone by Saturday morning so if we were alright with coming in on a Saturday we could make the weekend work.   We agreed upon this and set the reservations.

             The second rumble of still far away thunder happened when I posted on Facebook that
we were going to attempt to reach Verble Hollow Falls.  Kitty Myers commented that she thought
it was supposed to be a "long, wicked bushwhack".   It didn't look like it would be too bad on google maps, but in chatting with Kristen Bobo and Tom Dunigan.. I learned that she was more than right.
Kristen called it a hell hike.   Tom cautioned that coming in there that time of year we were very liable to encounter hunters and property owners.   We did not have our heels locked in the dust about going on this difficult hike. It was great if it worked out. If it did not work out this time that was ok too.   Kristen said the route down off Bee Rock was shorter, harder, more vertical.   I had decided I would try to find a slightly longer, easier way for us.

       We got going Saturday morning and we could not check in to the B & B until 3 pm.
We had plenty of stuff to do and see so we set about exploring. We went to Cookeville and tried shopping and lunch first since it was still cold and rainy.   Neither one of us was very interested in shopping so after lunch we headed to see Stone Cove.  It was not the greatest, but good.
Stone Cove is private property which sits right by the road and thus far public access has been allowed.  There  is a bluff with 17 arches in it. There are historic structures.  There is a waterfall.
Saturday the waterfall was piddly.
 Interesting arch with a very graceful shape near the start of Stone Cove
 Historic home site with chimney, steps, spring house still standing on this side of the road.

Looking out from under one of the arches at Stone Cove


       We also attempted to reach Peters Falls which is about 10 miles west of this spot.
We found it, but came out at the top of the falls.   We want to go back because I later saw the correct approach which would get us to the base of it and a far better view of it and a chance to explore.

       On our way back toward Monterrey I had Kenny pull into Verble Church Road in the hopes I could speak to the property owner for a better approach to Verble Hollow Falls.  We were in luck.
They were home. They were nice. They welcomed us and agreed we could go. It was late in the day and we agreed on a parking place, start time, etc.   I offered them a chance to back out. I said I knew it was hunting season and would they prefer we wait until that was over?  No! Go ahead.  Just wear blaze orange.  They told us to stop back by and let us know what we found.  I asked them if they wanted to go along? No we're not able to do all that.   They said the ladie's son had been before though and found the falls and caves.    We were very pleased we would not have to go down off the bluff. We had a nice visit with these people. They were interesting and polite. I liked their dogs and they said that the one I liked best might go with us which was great.    We then headed to the Garden Inn to check in and get settled.

   
 The view from the bluff at the Garden Inn


Garden Inn at Bee Rock.  We are getting rid of this blue color at our house. We've got one room left to go.


         Once we checked in we  walked out to Bee Rock. One other couple was out there taking selfies on a cell phone.   It was a gray day and the view wasn't helped by the gloomy conditions.  We did not linger because it was cool and windy and the view was not great and it began to drizzle rain.  A man came out there and asked " Would I be intruding if I came down there?"  We told him no, to come on that we were fixing to head back.  He offered me a hand in coming back up the rocks. I thank him and took his hand.  He was reeking of alcohol.  I hoped he would not fall off the cliff. We
got cleaned up and went to Cookeville to eat dinner.  We went to Ruby Tuesdays and had a delicious meal.   We came back to the Inn later and the entire crew was there now.   They were a boisterous group and took up practically every space.   We were ready to turn in so we could go on our long adventure to Verble Hollow Falls the next morning after breakfast.    Lying in bed reading with the tv on...... I would hear the volume of the talking rise and fall. I kept hearing a man loudly cursing and dropping the F bomb from time to time.  I would have Kenny mute the TV and try to listen to see if they were getting into a fight.   You could hear one drunken, male voice get loud then die back down.
They never got into anything physical but it was clear they did not get along.      I figured best thing to do was stay out of it and let the inn keepers deal with them.

        Needless to say the big group stayed up late. Slept in well past their stated time and took up
all the space and the inn keepers time.  We felt like two step children the next morning. I finally
went out and asked  "Could we at least get a cup of coffee?"  She went to help me get come coffee and dropped a bomb on me.   The lady innkeeper told me that the woman who had offered to let us cross her property and go to the waterfall called last night while we were out.  She had changed her mind and said we could no longer go back through there to the waterfall. She told the innkeeper lady that she did not feel comfortable because of hunting season and because she did not even know of any waterfalls back in there.  I felt like I had been slapped in the face.  This message was delivered to me in the presence of all these strangers.  My parents taught me manners and one thing you don't do
is embarrass someone needlessly.  Use discretion and privacy in delivering any kind of message.
I was pissed.    I looked at the lady and said "This is turning out to be a very negative experience"
She wanted to know why. I was so angry I knew better than to address it fully in that moment.
I responded that it was not any ONE thing that it was MANY things and lets leave it at that for now.
I did tell her I felt it was inappropriate for her to have been put int he position she was in to deliver that message by the land owner.  I would have refused to do it saying I'd get the person to call them back.  The worst that would have happened was us showing up and being told to our faces that they had changed their minds and we couldn't go.  It pissed me off worse because the land owner lied.
It is shitty to change your story in a matter of hours.  My son went to see the waterfall..... I don't even know of a waterfall back there. All I could do was blink at that bit of information.   What the hell?

        I needed to tell Kenny so I gave him his cup of coffee and thought we'd stroll to the downstairs common room to try to get out of the crowd to talk.  There was literally nowhere in this place aside from our own room where we could escape them indoors.   We ended up having to go back to our room to drink coffee and talk about this.  We were both livid at the way things were going. I was madder than Kenny this time though.  We headed out the door and one of the big group said "Here we'll clear off a table for ya."  I said no thanks that I was about over the mess there and out the door we went.  We went to Hardees and grabbed a quick bite and tried to calm down.

              Next we went to hunt up Bridge Creek and Devils Creek falls in Cumberland Cove.
We'd fill our day up with other stuff and try to make the best of a bad situation.   We found it without any problem.  Bridge Creek Falls was not bad.  Devils Creek Falls barely had any water coming over it.  It was so disappointing that I didn't even take any photos of it.   It sucked.  We went up to one of the overlooks above Bridge Creek Falls. You could also see Devils Creek Falls from it, but again... who cares? It was a pitiful flow coming over it.   The overlook was pretty nice. One short set of steps there was slanted and twisted! It was quite an adventure going down them. The sun seldom shines on them and they stay slick and slimey!

 Bridge Creek Falls


           Crazy steps down to the overlook


Overlook above Bridge Creek Falls.


          We left the area in a hurry. I felt most unwelcomed thanks to the ugly start to the morning.
I had no desire to be fussed at our run off by anyone.  We did drive round to the far end of the housing development where there is supposed to be a Davidson Falls.  It was right by someone's house. No indication anyone ever goes down over the bluff here. I just wasn't feeling like struggling to Maybe    find a falls.   We went to town and got some lunch and tried to decide what to do.
I felt horribly sad still.     Kenny finally suggested we go to Burgess Falls and on down toward Rock Island.    Burgess Falls felt like another slap in the face.  We got there only to learn the trail is heavily damaged and you can't even visit the main falls.   We never even got out of the vehicle.  We continued on toward Rock Island. It was the right thing to do.   It was beautiful. I finally shook that negative vibe and that unwelcomed feeling.   I wished very much we had just brought our own camper and stayed here.  

     We enjoyed Rock Island and felt the nastiness of the day's beginning finally start to slip away.
We had never visited here this time of year before. It was worth a look for sure.   We remembered past trips and laughed about the foibles we tend to get into.
 Twin Falls with the sun peeping over the ridge. Beautiful!
 Spring Castle

Cascade along the Old Mill Trail


         When we got ready to leave the Rock Island State Park I plugged the GPS coordinates for
Old Mill Cascade into it. We were 10 miles from it.  It was on the way back toward Cookeville.
We would stop and try to find it.   We DID find it easily and thank the Lord it was not one of those places where we found access cut off.   A short stroll up there and we found it and it was more than worth the stop.

 Old Mill Cascade
 Closer view of the cascade and the cave. You can see the foundation of the mill
Mill stone in on the creek bank.

This was a pretty holler and we felt like that last disappointment of the trip was left completely behind.    We stopped through town to have dinner at Longhorn Steak House. It was great.
We went back to the Inn.  The large group was gone thankfully.     We had a better, quieter night.


             The next morning it was raining.  All either of us wanted was to be shed of this place.
So we left and had breakfast at Cracker Barrel on the way back toward home.

   Our house is not fancy, but it is nice. We have made comfort at home a priority.
It sucks to go pay to sleep in a place that is nowhere near as comfy.    It was sure good to get home.
We had not been home very long until the Inn Keeper called with a sincere apology and explanation.They also refunded half our stay.  They offered to try to smooth things over with the land owners to secure access to the path to the falls after hunting season was over.  We'll see what transpires.  They have changed their policy of booking large groups and couples in together.
The man inn keeper agreed with me that the land owner should not have put them in the position
of delivering a disappointing message. He  felt it was wrong.   I figure if it is meant to be.... it will be.  My list of places to visit is already lengthy.  I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.




 Above is a short video of Rock Island's Twin Falls.



Short video of Old Mill Cascade. This place is gorgeous!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Exploring Doc Rogers Country-- A Forgotten Corner of Tennessee/North Carolina


 Bottle gentian growing along Joe Brown Highway today


Exploring Doc Rogers Country

A Forgotten Corner of Tennessee/North Carolina



Dana Koogler
Thursday Nov. 5, 2015

Pictures are here starting with frame 114


        Yesterday I woke up with the original idea that I was going to hike to the Doc Rogers hospital ruins.  I got up and got going.  I thought I had prepared myself fully for the experience and thought it out pretty well.  I was oh so wrong.    I started off having difficulty locating the trailhead.
I was not going to be so easily outdone and I kept after it. I never got perturbed about it.  Turned out that I missed an important turn, but a forestry worker helped me figure out what I'd done wrong.
The drive was incredibly pretty so I enjoyed being in the mountains.   I knew it was hunting season and had even worn some blaze orange.  What I was not counting on was what came next.

     I pulled up to the intersection of Basin Gap Road and the lookout tower road.  I encountered a
large crowd of bear hunters, dogs, trucks, and a sea of blaze orange.    The hunters were very decent and pulled their trucks out of the way making a path for me to drive through.    I felt my heart sink.
I got out and spoke to the first man I saw.  "Ugh. I'm having second thoughts about this" was what came out.  He responded by saying "You're driving a jeep. You'll be fine!" He thought wrongly that I was worried about traveling that narrow mountain road ahead of me.   I answered him back "Oh its not the driving that concerns me." I briefly explained to him that looking around me at the crowd of hunters decked out in proper blaze orange I was feeling under dressed for my adventure.
I was to hike the Benton MacKaye trail from Waucheesi Mountain to Tate Gap. I was not worried about hunters close to the trail.   I knew I'd have to leave the trail and go down into the forest
off trail to find the hospital ruins.  I knew there would be hunters in the woods off the trail.
He said to me that I was correct and that while he could not tell me what to do he did agree I was not dressed in enough blaze orange for being down in there off the trail.   About that time it began to rain.
I decided I'd best be reasonable about it.   I was down hearted about it, but getting shot would be a far worse bummer.   I never felt threatened by the men I encountered. I never believed anyone would shoot me or hurt me intentionally. I just felt like it was smarter to avoid putting myself in the position to get shot accidentally.   I felt foolish, but on the drive back out of there I remembered hiking in Citico with   Kenny.        One  Autumn we hiked the Mill Creek Trail to Big Stack Gap surrounded by the sound of gunfire.     We were dressed head and chest in blaze orange, but that had me shaking and not enjoying the hike.   I knew that if I was barely able to cope with it accompanied I was not
going to have fun alone and in the woods with guns.


              It didn't take me any time to figure out what else I'd like to do in the area.
I had made a couple recent trips to what I call Doc Rogers country.  A corner of Tennessee
and North Carolina that is tucked away and much less visited than others.  I'd left there having run out of daylight and energy, but not out of curiosity.  I had found a beautiful stone chimney while I meandered around the backroads looking for the trail head.  It surprised me and was the last tiny
bit of motivation I needed to change gears and cheer up.

     I found a twenty foot tall chimney and the foundations of an old home place.
Prettiest stone chimney I've ever seen and still very solid!



Misty view and colors from the back roads of the Cherokee National Forest.


           I headed back down through Tellico Plains instead of taking the short way that I could have taken to arrive in Coker Creek.  I was not sure what I wanted to do for lunch and I wanted choices.
I ended up getting so excited about all the scenery and what I really wanted to do I forgot almost entirely about lunch.   I headed down Joe Brown Highway and was enjoying the incredible views and Autumn colors.   Rusty red pine needles dusted the gravel road in places.   Other spots opened up to great views of blue mountains, gray mountains, sunshine, clouds, mist, sunbeams, and fiery reds and glowing gold and copper leaves.   Interspersed among the Autumn leaf tones were pines of deep green.  What  a pretty and quiet place.  I was fortunate to find some bottle gentian still in bloom along the road.   It was bright, bold blue and easy to spot on the roadside.



 

Brilliant flashes of Autumn color against a threatening sky.  The day was like this off and on all day.  Cloudy, misty, drizzling rain then bold bright sunshine!


        I continued round the mountain to Poindexter Chapel first.   It was the first thing I came to besides the flowers that I had really hankered to check out.  It was quiet and still and pretty.  Very old.  The graves dated from back in the mid 1800s to the most recent burial being 2014.   I am not known for being fond of cemeteries, but something about the remoteness drew me here.  I think because I didn't know anything about it and neither did I know anyone else who did. I felt I had to find out.  I saw one Brooks couple laid to rest here with their headstones being among the more modern.    Brooks is one of my family names.    I was absorbing exactly what I had craved today. 
Quiet. Solitude. Beauty.  Recharging my batteries.  Sometimes I just cannot cope with anymore humanity.   I need to get away from everyone.  I need time to think and just be to myself.   
Gorgeous Autumn colors and peace at Poindexter Chapel.  

 Delapidated outhouse at Poindexter Chapel. Across the way there was one of more recent construction, but it wasn't in much better shape.
 Inside the Poindexter Chapel.  I got a tone out of the piano, but sitting there absorbing moisture has ruined it.
This headstone caught my eye it reads : 

Vinntr, Daughter of J.M. and S. J. Murphy
Born Nov. 3, 1890 
Died Nov. 12, 1890
Asleep in Jesus

I loved the name. Vinntr Murphy died little more than a week past her tenth birthday. 
Post civil war life. 


   I continued round the road a bit further to the Morrow Chapel and cemetery. It goes down and left off the Joe Brown Highway steeply.   It is a quiet place of beauty as well.  It did not have quite the pretty Autumn glow as the Poindexter cemetery, but it was deep and green and mossy instead.
More hemlocks, pines and various mosses, lichens and ferns were around the place.  The main autumn colors came from hickory and copper beech. 
 View back out from the Morrow Chapel on the approach road.
Morrow Chapel building with the cemetery behind it. 

 Inside of Morrow Chapel. Layers of dust. Piano locked up from moisture and a few old hymnals! No music notes in the hymnals .. just words.
Morrow graves decorated in the cemetery.  More modern graves here than in the other cemetery.
Lots of Morrows, Murphys and Coles buried in both.



   I finally realized it was getting late and I had not eaten lunch. I forced myself to eat a peanut butter and banana sammige.   It was good, but I just felt like I wanted to keep going. I had lots I wanted to check out. I did not want to be arriving home at 9 pm again like the last time.  Long drive home from back in here.  I pushed on toward the next thing.  Down the road were some abandoned old homes that intrigued me. I wanted to get photographs of them. 
 View back along Joe Brown Highway from the first abandoned home.
 Abandoned homeplace #1. Right against the side of the mountain.  This is the kind of place I come from.  I think that is what attracts me to this.  Nostalgia and a homesickness for my great grandparents and my kinfolks places in Vesuvius and the mountains there in Virginia.  It is not centuries ago to me.  It is a lot closer to me in time than that.  A few decades at most.  Places like this are where salt of the earth people come from.
Dry stone wall at home site #1

 Mossy stone wall at home site #2 which is just a few hundred feet from the first site.
 More modern home construction, but it stands empty just the same.
 Profile view of the porch on homesite #2.  Sitting on this stomp would have been a lovely place to be back in the day.  Quiet with an astonishingly beautiful view. Folks don't want to live in these places much nowdays.

If you look close you can see the barn in the lower left of the photo.  This is across the "highway" from  Home site #2.  I recall many mornings and evenings in barns like this feeding chickens, pigs, cows. I used to hope each cold weather that I would not get any rats in my chicken feed drum.


      I saw only one vehicle along here while I was around.   I did not tarry too long because I still wanted to check out Shuler Creek Road and see if I could find the waterfall Kenny said he saw down close to it.    I moseyed on in that direction.    I checked out Shuler Creek Road and Burrell Mountain Roads. I had to execute some "17 point turns in a couple spots"  At one place I packed the Reese  hitch full of dirt trying to get turned around.   It was funny. Worth pointing out that a later conversation after this trip with Nathan Yarbrough reminded me that I need to be very careful what my next vehicle is.  He reminded me how likely I am to be dissatisfied with anything that won't get me where I want to go.   I'm on the rough side.  
 Shuler Creek was pretty, but I did not find any waterfalls or significant cascades along it.  It is also hard to enjoy other than driving past it. No place much to pull over.
 30 ft high rock face near Slate Creek Falls.  Down in a  hole describes this pretty waterfall.

Slate Creek Falls is about 15 ft high and quite pretty. Not worth a special trip just to see it, but
if you're in the area visiting other things it makes a nice addition. Not on any database. 
  
  I drove the roads I wanted to explore and did not find anything real special. It was 2:30 pm. I had a long drive home and was growing tired and still had not located the waterfall I was looking for.
I eased back up the Joe Brown Highway very slowly.  I kept looking and listening. I admit I was starting to think Kenny had imagined a waterfall where there was none.  I came to a place where the terrain fell too far below the road for me to get a good look. I stopped the vehicle in the middle of the road and just got out to check. Soon as I got out I could hear it!  A few steps toward the edge and I could see it down there! He was right. There was a nice waterfall down there. No way down from here.  No place to park either. I went up the road and turned around. I was able to park about 100 yards down from the falls in a good pull off.    I oriented my jeep so I would be able to get out easily and proceed home once I was done.    I just hit the woods below the pull off and headed for the falls.

IF you go see it......... don't do that.  Just walk up the road and stop short of the rock cliff.   Just before that is a good manway down to it.   I was not the first person to be here for sure.   I saw there there were old car tires, the seat from a vehicle now rotten and an old stand ash tray.   It was one of the plastic cheapo jobs that was made to look like an old potbellied stove.   
I enjoyed the waterfall and the surroundings.  The stone cliff face was decked with moss and resurrection fern.   A very pretty setting and worth the short easy walk down here.
I was thrilled to have found everything I looked for today.  My plan B turned out to be most satisfying.   It feels good to find what you look for and to quench the curiosity about places.

     I eased on back home enjoying the pretty drive and made it home at a decent time.
Below is a short video of the pretty waterfall on Slate Creek set to music. It is the song "I Have Been across the Mountain"  by Continental Divide.