Friday, October 26, 2018

2018-10-25 Knock that Standing Stone off the Bucket List

Standing Stone Falls and Rich Falls
on the Thompson River
with Darrin and Mark
Transylvania County, NC
Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Standing Stone Falls on the Thompson River

Mark, Darrin, and I have been all over the Thompson River!  But one thing we all had in common is that none of us has ever laid eyes on the elusive Standing Stone Falls.  I burned my last vacation day of FY2018 to finally knock the Standing Stone off my bucket list!

Mission Accomplished!

Last time Darrin and I attempted, we got to the top of Big Falls going up River Left, but never found a safe way back down to the river above Big Falls.

This time we started out trying the most direct approach, which was scrambling down from the main trail.  This proved to be another failure as we cliffed out at a point where there was no safe way to go any further.  So we backtracked and headed over to Rich Falls first.

 Rich Falls on the Thompson River

Darrin, Me, and Mark at Rich Falls

From Rich Falls, we continued downstream on River Right.  I believe that this is the easiest route to get to the top of Standing Stone Falls!

Just upstream from the Brink of Standing Stone Falls

 Mark, Me, and Darrin at the Brink of Standing Stone Falls


Getting from the top of Standing Stone Falls to the base is definitely not easy!  But all three of us were determined not to come up empty handed!

Standing Stone Falls turned out to be more impressive than any of us was anticipating!

 Mark, Darrin, and Me at Standing Stone Falls

 Standing Stone Falls

 Standing Stone Falls

 Standing Stone Falls

Standing Stone Falls

Darrin, by the Standing Stone

Mark and Darrin at Standing Stone Falls

The Standing Stone

Mark and Darrin at Standing Stone Falls

We actually did find an alternate route up to the main trail which was slightly shorter, but I believe that coming from Rich Falls is still the easiest and safest way to get there.

Here is the GPS Track from our adventure:

It was a great day not to be at work!

My complete set of photos is posted here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/8146392@N05/albums/72157696979322470



Tuesday, October 23, 2018

2018-10-20 Crane Creek Adventure with Jenni

The Waterfalls of Crane Creek
Sumter National Forest
Oconee County, SC
Saturday, October 20th, 2018

Jenni and Me at Crane Creek Falls

This past Saturday I offered to guide Jenni on an off trail waterfall adventure to the Waterfalls of Crane Creek.  She saw my blog post from January 2017 and has been wanting to visit these falls ever since then.

Since this would be our first time hiking together, my wife Amy and I invited Jenni and her husband (also named Jack) over to our house for dessert a few days prior to the hike.  I basically wanted to make sure that everyone would be comfortable with the two of us being alone out in the woods together for most of the day.

I also wanted to better understand how we would communicate throughout the day.  Jenni is deaf and I have never had any close interaction with a deaf person prior to us meeting.  It was quickly obvious that she was fully aware and prepared for the type of adventure we had in store for us!

We started our hike from the Cherry Hill Recreation Area Campground along the Winding Stairs Trail.  Our plan was to head off trail at the first switchback and hit Deadfall Falls first and then continue downstream. 

The terrain ended up pushing us a bit closer to Yellow Jacket Falls, but we still decided to head upstream first and then hit the falls order going downstream from there.

Deadfall Falls on Crane Creek

Prospector Falls

Jenni and Me at Prospector Falls

Jenni at the long slide above Yellow Jacket Falls

Yellow Jacket Falls on Crane Creek

Crane Creek Falls

Crane Creek Falls

Crane Creek Falls

Jenni at Secret Falls

Secret Falls on Crane Creek

From Secret Falls it was a short bushwhack back to the Winding Stairs Trail which would take us back to our starting point at the Cherry Hill Campground.  Here is the GPS Track from our adventure!



Cool Log along the Winding Stairs Trail

Interesting Mushroom

But before we finished up first we would hit one final waterfall!  Miuka Falls on the West Fork of Townes Creek!


 Miuka Falls

 Me at Miuka Falls
 Miuka Falls

 Jenni at Miuka Falls

Miuka Falls

This was a perfect day for a waterfall adventure!  Nice overcast skies with just a few light sprinkles throughout the day.  Other than at the campground, we did not see a single other human during our hike.

I enjoyed hiking with Jenni for the first time!  I love the peacefulness of being out in the woods, so having a deaf hiking partner is definitely not a problem for me!  Jenni and I had no issues using non-verbal communication methods when needed, but for the most part we just enjoyed the beautiful scenery around us in silence!

We made one quick stop on the drive back to check out the view from Wigington Road.

Roadside view from Wigington Road on the Drive Home

My complete set of photos from Saturday's Adventure is posted here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/8146392@N05/albums/72157702709373985

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

October 2018 Thyen Family Fun Weekend

The Thyen Family Fun Weekend
Friday, October 12th through Monday, October 15th, 2018
Loudoun County, VA

It has been way too long since my side of the family has gotten together.  So Amy and I decided to take a few days off from work to head up to Virginia to visit my family for a long weekend.

We visited four breweries, had plenty of good food and drink, took a family hike along a short section of the Appalachian Trail, and had an all around great time!

Here are some of the photos from our weekend!

 Me and my brother Bill enjoying some brews at Solace Brewery

Marielle and Duke

Family Photo at the Dirt Farm Brewery

 view from the Dirt Farm Brewery

Hanging out at the Dirt Farm Brewery

Marielle, Liam, and Michelle playing Soccer at the Dirt Farm Brewery

Family Photo at the Dirt Farm Brewery

My Mom, Marielle, and Duke

 My Nephew Conner

My Dad and Duke

Conner gets a Mega Flight at the Vanish Brewery

My Mom and my Niece Katie at the Vanish Brewery

Family Photo at the Vanish Brewery

Mariell, Liam, and Katie at the Bear's Den Overlook

 My Brother Bill and his Family at the Bear's Den Overlook

Conner, Bill, and Me at the Vanish Brewery

My Brother Bill and his family at the Bear Chase Brewery

My Mom and Dad at the Bear Chase Brewery

Family Photo at the Bear Chase Brewery

 Michelle and Liam at the Bear Chase Brewery
 
Marielle and Liam at the Bear Chase Brewery

Marielle and Liam by a cool tree carving

Family hike to the Bear's Den Overlook

Marielle and Liam climbing the rocks

Family Photo at my brother Bill's House

Amy and Me at the Bear's Den Overlook


The complete set of photos is posted here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/8146392@N05/albums/72157696639553710