Thursday, January 16, 2020

2020-01-12 Hidden Dome Falls

Hidden Dome Falls Adventure
(plus Reid Branch Falls, High Falls, and a few roadside scenes along the way)
Transylvania County, NC
Sunday, January 12th, 2020

20 went in!
Group Photo from our Adventure
Photo by Spencer Clary

I made my first visit to Hidden Dome Falls this past Sunday!  Here are some of the photos from our adventure.

I thought the thick fog over Lake Keowee looked cool, so I made a quick stop along the drive to check it out.

Foggy Morning over Lake Keowee (on the Drive in)

 SC Hwy 11 over Lake Keowee

 Roadside view along the drive

 Reid Branch Falls

 High Falls on the Thompson River

 High Falls on the Thompson River

 Spencer, Kyle, and John at High Falls

 John and Kyle crossing the Thompson River

 Crossing the Thompson River

Un-named tributary Falls 

 Hidden Dome Falls

With such a large group, thing progressed much slower than normal.  Some of the group was not expecting or prepared for the bushwhacking involved, or the possibility of finishing up after dark.  I overheard a few of the girls getting genuinely concerned about their safety!

Since I was not planning to participate in the repelling down Hidden Done Falls, and I really didn't want to finish up after dark either, I volunteered to lead these four young ladies (plus Lily the dog) safely back to the starting trailhead, while the rest of the group continued on with the original plan.

6 came out (including Lily the Dog)

 This crossing of the Thompson River was much trickier than it looks.  
I was glad I was there to make sure everyone made it across safely.  
And to have a dry jacket just in case one of them falls in the river.

Table Rock, SC  (on the Drive Home)

My complete set of photos is posted here:

Friday, January 10, 2020

2020-01-04 Cathedral Falls and Laurel Leap Falls

Cathedral Falls and Laurel Leap Falls
with Jenni Johnson
Linville Gorge Wilderness
Burke County, NC
Saturday, January 4th, 2020

Jenni and Me at Cathedral Falls

For my first hike of 2020 I teamed up with Jenni Johnson to help her knock a few more waterfalls off her 500 North Carolina Waterfall Challenge list!

Driving up the Kistler Memorial Highway just after sunrise we couldn't help but notice all the cool clouds!  So we we stopped at several viewpoints along the way to the Conley Cove trailhead.

 Roadside view from the Kistler Memorial Highway

Jenni checking out the view!


 Roadside view from the Kistler Memorial Highway

  Roadside view from the Kistler Memorial Highway

 Roadside view from the Kistler Memorial Highway

First up on our waterfall agenda was Cathedral Fall (Page 86 of Kevin Adam's North Carolina Waterfalls - 3rd Edition).  This hike is all on trail.  However, it does involve a descent/ascent of approximately 1,300 feet in elevation over a little over a mile.  

Cathedral Falls

The Linville River at the Cathedral

Jenni at Cathedral Falls

After returning to the trailhead, we decided to drive up the road a few miles and hit Laurel Leap Falls (Page 83 of Kevin Adam's North Carolina Waterfalls - 3rd Edition).

This "hike" is 100% off trail bushwhack.

Basically it is just head to the creek and follow it downstream via the path of least resistance for about a mile and a half.  And then it gets really hard if your goal is to get to the base!

There were several nice cascades along the way, but nothing overly noteworthy above the main drop.

Cascades along Laurel Branch

Cascades along Laurel Branch

Cascades along Laurel Branch

At the top of Laurel Leap Falls

View from near the top of Laurel Leap Falls

Laurel Leap Falls Selfie

Laurel Leap Falls

Laurel Leap Falls

Our "short cut" didn't work out too well, 
but it felt good to get our feet back on the Kistler Memorial Highway!

My complete set of photos is posted here:

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Christmas 2019

Christmas 2019

The Thyen/Hitchcock 2019 Group Christmas Photo

Yours Truly - Christmas 2019

The holiday week started with Amy's Sister Jenny and family coming down to visit us for a few days.  We all headed up to Rutherfordton to visit with Amy's parents for Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Me and Hugh  -  The Sane Son-in-Laws 

Christmas gathering at the Shop 

Sunset Walk around the Sane Land

Sunset over the Shop

After Jenny, Hugh, and the girls departed,  Amy and I drove up to Virginia to visit with my side of the  family.

Duke!  The newest addition to my brother Bill's family

My nephew Liam showcased his athletic talents this summer playing in the Little League World Series.  It turns out my niece Marielle is quite the athlete as well.  She is currently starting forward on Freedom High School's Varsity basketball team.  And she is only a Freshman!  We enjoyed getting a chance to watch her play during our visit.


Marielle playing some stellar defense!  
Her aggressive style of play led to her fouling out

It was a close one, but they pulled it out with a 38-37 victory!

And of course there was plenty of food and drink enjoyed by all!

 Me with Katie, Conner, and Mary at the Bad Wolf Brewing Company

 Family Dinner at the Public House Kitchen and Brewery

 A light snack to tide us over until the next meal

Chinese/Thai takeout!  A Thyen/Hitchcock family Christmas tradition

I am not sure what the term is for you Brother-in-Law's Brother's Daughter, but whatever it is Mea is definitely a cutie!

And as always we had my sister Mary directing the 12 days of Christmas gift grab-bag gift exchange and musical extravaganza!

Mary directing the 12-days of Christmas

For New Year's Eve we partied with my Team Waterfall friends at Captain John's house.  We took a ride into the future with the Captain's DeLorean!

Team Waterfall New Year's Eve Party Group Photo at Captain John's House

 Taking a ride in John's DeLorean with Preston and the Professor

 L to R:  The Gnome, Spencer, The Professor, Me, Preston

 Team Waterfall New Years Even Party Group Photo #2

Me and Preston 

Amy and Me (with a Professor photobomb)

My complete set of photos is posted here: