Sunday, May 31, 2020

2020-05-27 Linville Gorge Crystal Trail

Crystal Trail Adventure
with Scott and Jesse
Linville Gorge Wilderness Area
Burke County, North Carolina
May 27th, 2020 

Stairway to Heaven viewed from Dobson Cliffs

I had my first adventure along the Crystal Trail about a year ago and loved it!

So when The Professor (Scott Burns) suggested it, I immediately jumped at the chance for a return visit.

Scott's buddy Jesse also joined in on the adventure.

I made a quick stop for a quick hike up the Pinnacle prior to joining the others.

While there were no views to be had, the Mountain Laurel exploding in the fog made an awesome photo opportunity.

Mountain Laurel exploding in the fog at The Pinnacle

I met the others at Dobson Road, where we left Scott's explorer and took my truck to the Pinch-in trailhead where our adventure would begin.

Three Went In
L to R:  Me, Jesse, Scott (aka The Professor)

Between the Fog, a light rain, and mostly just from all the saturated vegetation it didn't take long before we were all soaked!

I am all wet and there are no views!
It doesn't get any better than this!

We found no obvious point were the Crystal Trail actually connects to Pinch-in, but we were eventually able to pick it up.

Warning:  The Crystal Trail is NOT an official trail.  It is an unblazed scramble path.  Only persons experienced with off trail exploring in Linville Gorge should attempt to find the Crystal "Trail"

We were able to follow flagging most of the way, but there were definitely some points were we got off track a wee bit! 

Here is an overview shot of our track.  However, since we did get off track a bit at times, and the cliffs caused the track to jump around in places, I am not going to post the detail link for this one.

  GPS Track from our Adventure

While it was not the ideal day for distant views, I much prefer fog and light rain over a bright and sunny day!

Here are some of the photos from our adventure along the Crystal Trail!
The Professor Scott Burns

Scott and Jesse

Adventure in the Fog 

Along the Crystal Trail

Me along the Crystal Trail

 Scott and Jesse along the Crystal Trail

Crystals along the Crystal Trail

The Professor along the Crystal Trail

The cliffs defy gravity along the Crystal Trails 

view from the Crystal Trail

Always fun time hanging out with The Professor

Me along the Crystal Trail

Group Selfie on Dobson Cliffs

Jesse and Scott on Dobson Cliffs

View from Dobson Cliffs

It was a beautiful day in the gorge.  We had talked about hitting Paddy Creek Falls on the way out, however Scott's explorer decided to mess with our plans.

My complete set of photos is posted here:

Friday, May 29, 2020

2020-05-22 Narrow Rock Ridge view of Windy Falls

Narrow Rock Ridge Hike
with Thomas (the Badger), Kitty, and Amos
Transylvania County, NC
Friday, May 22nd, 2020

View of Windy Falls from Narrow Rock Ridge

Five years ago I made my first visit to Windy Falls with a large group of my Team Waterfall Friends.

While hanging out at the Swimming emporium at the base of Windy Falls we admired the rocky outcrops of Narrow Rock Ridge.   We speculated that if we could figure out a route to get there, we would have some kick-ass views of Windy Falls from afar!

Thomas and Kitty scoped out a route and invited me along to join them on their mission to seek out this viewpoint!

Mission Accomplished!

It was no easy task to get here!  There are no official trails, just a maze of old logging/forest service roads, scramble paths, some steep climbs, and a good bit of bushwhacking!

Here are some of my photos from our adventure

White Owl Falls

Group Selfie
L to R:  Me, Amos, Badger, Kitty

 Pink Lady Slipper

view from Narrow Rock Ridge

view from Narrow Rock Ridge

Windy Falls from Narrow Rock Ridge

view from Narrow Rock Ridge

 view from Narrow Rock Ridge


My complete set of photos is posted here:

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

2020-05-21 The Waterfalls of Hamlin Creek Redux

The Waterfalls of Hamlin Creek Redux
(aka West Fork of Wattacoo Creek)
Ashmore Heritage Preserve /
Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area
Greenville County, SC
Thursday, May 21st, 2020

 Jennifer and Me at our favorite of the waterfalls along Hamlin Creek

Several Weeks ago Jennifer and I did some exploring up Hamlin Creek (aka West For of Hamlin Creek).  

I have been doing more and more hiking without my bringing along my tripod and big DSLR camera!   The weather was lousy that day (bright sun), so we both decided to just go with our cell phones during our initial visit.

It is also a low flow stream and needs a good waterflow for the waterfalls to reach their full potential.

We were so impressed with the short little section of creek that we vowed to return  under better conditions with our cameras and tri-pods!

Conditions proved perfect for our return to Hamlin Creek!

Here are some of the photos from our adventure:

My complete set of photos is posted here: