Saturday, May 26, 2012

Back Roads and Waterfalls

At times today our Garmin screen looked like a plate of spaghetti as the roads presented us with double and triple s-curves, switchbacks, and 300 degree turns around most of the mountain.  Keeping the driving on the interesting side was the constant need to shift between 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears.  Fortunately, we have the option to change gears with a tap of the shift lever in our Tundra truck, and the truck has a heavy-duty radiator and transmission cooler.  We did fine.
Some bicycle riders are too careless.  We all get to share the road, but on curving mountain roads it is sometimes a real crap shoot when passing a cyclist. 

We started on the Blue Ridge Parkway but after about 50 miles we changed to lesser traveled highways to find some waterfalls.  Our first stop was at Sliding Rock, a unique water feature managed by the U.S. forest Service in the Pisgah National Forest.  

Sliding Rock is 60 foot long piece of granite that is constantly bathed with about an inch of water from a mountain stream.  Waiting for all who slide down on the rock is an 8 foot deep pool of water.  Kids of all ages seemed to be enjoying themselves in spite of the chilly water Sandy and I opted not to participate. 
Our next stop was Looking Glass Falls.
That's a Golden Retriever in back of the lady wearing the green T-shirt.  He was busy fetching a ball again and again.  

After lunch we drove to Chimney Rock State Park where we treated ourselves to another trail hike, but this one was only 20 minutes one way and on the return trip we found a way to avoid climbing about 200 steps.  Whew!!  The driving in and out of this park was one hairy trip.

Hickory Nut Falls actually drop 404 feet, but to get all of it in this picture I'd have to climb a pine tree off the trail about 200 feet from the base and that was not about to happen. 
This is Chimney Rock.  We decided not to climb the 400 steps up 300 feet (the elevator was out of service).  My reasoning was that the  blue haze would have prevented me from getting any really stunning photos.  Honest.  That was my reason. 
And this is one of countless vistas in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I'll accept the blue haze theory, but I didn't see any haze at Sliding Rock!?? :)