Saturday, October 15, 2016

Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness-- Snow Falls & Overlooks

Purple Aster


Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness-- Snow Falls & Overlooks


Dana Koogler, Vickie Cunningham, and Mary Anne Brewer--The A Team.
( I pity the fool!) :-D

13 miles RT approx. 


Saturday Oct. 10, 2016


   My friends and I had long talked about hiking to Snow Falls in Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness.  It got put off several times for different reasons.  I had a free Saturday and 
contacted them to see if we might try it finally? They agreed. We all realized the water levels
were pitifully low, but we knew the overlooks would still be pretty, the forest would still be pretty, and there would be NO PROBLEM crossing Morgan Creek at the end.  It had turned all of us around at different times in the past thanks to there being no bridge and the water was roaring and deep.     I just wanted to be able to say at last that I had been there.

        We met up Saturday morning and car pooled from Spring City to the trail head.
Some old dude in the parking lot warning us that he was going to lock the gate at 7:30 p.m.
I grinned like a possum and told him in a cheerful tone "We'll be long gone." 
Two blonde women were ahead of us as we began the hike.  Somehow we passed them, but as they approached Vickie courteously asked if they'd like to pass us since they might be moving faster?  The one woman looked at her with a clueless expression.   Vickie repeated herself. The woman's expression never changed.  I was annoyed with this brainless twit.  I got her attention and tried to break it down for her real slow.  She snapped out of it and said "Sorry. I'm still getting used to the accent."  Bitch please... do not try to lay your stupidity at our feet.
They did pass us, but made sure to tell us of yet another dire warning from old dude with the gate keys.   "Did you know about the mother cougar and her babies? He says there is one in here. "  I assured her I had just come from hiking in mountain lion country and was not concerned in the least.  She and her pal proceeded saying "Enjoy your day. Be safe."
"or dinner." was my reply.    We never saw them again. Maybe the cougar ate them? 
I'm going to start carrying a salt shaker with me. 

        Our hike was a pretty one with perfect weather. Hurricane Matthew had a good cool 
breeze blowing all day long.  We never got any rain. We could have used it as Richland Creek and Morgan Creek were as low as I've ever seen them.  Laurel Falls was just wet rocks.
Snow Falls had a tiny drizzle coming over it.  The first 50 ft bridge is still in place, but
bent and leaning.  Tree is off it now.  The 180 foot bridge further out is a real work of art.
I liked that.  The trail is well marked and pretty easy to follow. I had brought a map which did 
come in handy.  
 Looking across the final section of the big bridge.
 Anne getting fitter each day! 
 Vickie keeping her ears warm and getting fit. 


 Morgan Creek was no threat today.  

I am standing just above Snow Falls.  We had a tiny drizzle coming over.  We had to look for a way to the base which we did find.  The view was no better there. 


        We sat and had lunch in the creek bed of Morgan Creek at around 12:30. 
Once there we knew we were close to Snow Falls.  It really was a short distance. Perhaps 0.1 mile ?!  We did some checking around and found a way to the base of the falls, but did not bother going to the base.  None of us felt it was worth the extra effort for that trickle of water. 
We just wanted to know for future reference.  Now if we could just figure out a good balance of 
water on Snow Falls , but not too much in Morgan Creek.  It has to be possible. It has been done before.   We continued our hike toward the overlooks on this side of the gorge.  We walked the old dirt road to them, and once there picked up the trail at its far end to make a loop.

View from first vantage point

A little fall color at the first overlook

       We continued out to the second and bigger overlook.. Buzzard Point.

Fearless Vickie making me and Anne nervous.
Stunning view across the plateau from Buzzard Point
In the general direction of Laurel Falls which was only wet rocks.
Touch of Autumn creeping in at Buzzard Point

       Anne is over there across the split in the rocks at Buzzard Point.


       We had a leisurely hike back.  We stopped one time to eat a snack.  We had a good time with lots of laughter and great fellowship. I love these two gals. I am fortunate to have them in my life.  They bless me with their wisdom, sympathy, prayers, humor and laughter.  
We are kindred spirits for sure.   We saw several groups of people through the day. 
Everyone else we encountered was real friendly and understood our accents. Imagine that?
I caught some young buck who nearly slid off the bluff on a rock using it like a surf board.
He took five years off my life.   Vickie and I used the banged up bridge to cross on the way back. Anne didn't care to fool with it when the creek bed was simpler.   We made it out by about 5:30 pm. We were real buzz kills to the dude who wanted to lock us in. I had badly hoped he would be around for me to ask him if he wasn't scared to be locked in with me?  :-D

          Back to Spring City we went and parted ways. I hope it won't be long til we get together again for a hike.  Any place would be great with these two gals!  
Thanks again ladies for the company.  You are terrific! 

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