I forgot to mention yesterday that we are in Transylvania County. I haven’t seen any vampire references.
Today we did a relatively easy 3.5 mile round trip hike to two waterfalls.
The Graveyard Fields is an open area next to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is not a real graveyard. A long time ago a huge wind storm blew a lot of the trees over. The roots and dirt piles eventually weathered down to a bunch of mounds making the area look like a graveyard.
It was only about a 20 mile drive to the trailhead but I don’t think I drove in a straight line for more than a few seconds. It is a good thing Jennie does not get car sick.
From the lookout parking lot on the Parkway you first go down a set of steps and then take a short side trail to the Second Falls. Then we are off through the field to the long side trail to the Upper Falls. Coming back we took the lower part of the loop to the car.
This area had just been newly renovated. Lots of nice new stairs and boardwalks. Down we go.
Then over a wood and rock bridge across the creek just above the falls.
I always scramble around on the rocks.
And way down to the base of the falls.
Jennie stayed up at the brink for a picture before coming down. Thankfully she was wearing her red shirt because she was just a speck way up at the top.
Once Jennie came down she even scrambled out on the rocks to get a good viewing spot by the pool at the bottom of the falls.
As you can see we had the place to ourselves for most of time here. At one point two teenagers came down.
As we headed up, the guy decided to try wading into the pool. A bit of screaming ensued at that critical moment.
Heading out on the top of the loop trail there were trilliums everywhere.
This one is called Lousewort,
Out in the openness of the field we could see that some of the shrubs and trees are finally blooming.
This section of the loop and the first part of the side trail to the next falls was very flat. Easy hiking but it sure was hot. Every breeze was appreciated.
At one point I commented at how easy the trail was but then realized to get to a waterfalls we were probably going to have to climb out of the valley. The climb was pretty rocky.
We got to what looked like the end of the trail and found a stream cascading down a wide rock face.
We sat for a while and climbed around taking pictures and thought “This is nice”,
Then I climbed up to the top of the rocks and looked around the corner. Oh!.
I quickly called Jennie up.
Lunch time. Again, we had the place to ourselves for quite a while.
Another couple came and then a man and his son. They made the same mistake we did and sat down at the bottom. I went down and told them they should really come up and look around the corner. I did this a few more times as others came. Each time anyone came up it was “Wow, I had no idea this was here”. The couple said they had been here last October and had not known.
You had to be really careful to stay on the dry spots. Any place wet was mossy and very slippery.
Of course I managed to find a trail to the top. It was pretty rough but obviously well used.
There was a great view. It is such a shame about all the dead trees but there are little patches of colour showing up.
You can barely see Jennie about half way up on the right side, below.
I went back down and we just sat for a long time. We had left the car at around 10 and got here at noon. We didn’t leave until 1:45. We can stare at waterfalls for a long time. We got back to the car at 2:30.
We took the bottom of the loop back, which in hindsight was a mistake. It was very dark and closed in. I would have much preferred to be back in the open field.
Up to the parking lot and then home.
Our weather timing was great today. The forecast had called for afternoon showers. The first falls had been perfectly lit in full sun. At the second falls we had mostly sun and some clouds but it was still lit quite well.
At 4:30 pm, once we were safely back in the RV, the heavens let loose for about 1/2 hour.