Monday, October 5, 2015

October 4, 2015 - Easy Stuff in the Pisgah NF

As you may know, hurricane Joaquin and other weather systems brought heavy rains to North and South Carolina in the past few days. While the NC mountains did get a lot of rain, we didn't get as much as predicted and the rains here were pretty much done by Saturday night. I had seen where the Blue Ridge Parkway was being closed for the week end starting Friday night as a precaution, so Cindy and I headed out to the Pisgah to see what we could see there.

We started at Looking Glass Falls on US276 and the water was gushing. It had gone down a bit from a video I saw posted yesterday, but was still very full.

Looking Glass Falls

From there we wanted to check out Slick Rock Falls, but the Forest Service had closed FR475B to vehicle traffic - probably a wise move. We continued on 475 to the Daniel Ridge parking area and hiked up to Daniel Ridge Falls. The Davidson River was above normal flow, but the water was fairly clear. The waterfall is on a smaller creek and had really nice flow to it. A couple of weeks ago it wasn't even worth while taking a shot of the falls. Leaf color in this area is progressing nicely and should look good in another week or so. On the way back to the vehicle, we saw fellow outdoor lover Brenda Wiley! She has a great web site that you can visit here.

Daniel Ridge Falls

side view of Daniel Ridge

From here we continued out the gravel road and connected on to NC215 at Living Waters Ministry. They have 2 waterfalls side by side right behind their main buildings and are nice enough to allow the public to visit. These waterfalls are on the north fork of the French Broad River which normally has good flow. Today the water was dangerously high. The spray from the falls was pretty bad, so we snapped a few pictures and moved on. There's another nice falls on their property down stream, but we decided to skip that one due to safety concerns.

waterfalls behind Living Waters

Our next stop was to be a couple of waterfalls on 215 north of the Parkway. As we got higher in elevation, the wind really picked up and there was a lot of tree debris in the road - both dead and green leaves and small branches. By the time we got close to the Parkway the winds were really whipping. There was some nice peak color and I don't know how the leaves were staying on the trees. The color here should peak this week or by the week's end. As we headed down 215 past the Parkway, the winds calmed a bit and the color really picked up. If you can get to this are this week, do it! It's not quite peak, but very colorful. We decided to head down to Sunburst Falls first which is at High Arch Bridge 4 miles from the Parkway. As we descended in elevation, the leaf color became greener, but had splashes of fall color mixed it. The waterfall was quite full as you can see.

Sunburst Falls

As we were shooting, Johnny Corn showed up! He's another outdoor lover and traveler and you can see his photos here. From here we all headed back up to the pull off for Bubbling Spring Branch Cascades and chatted for a bit. We just stayed up top and didn't bother getting the closer view of the falls from below.

Bubbling Spring Branch Cascades

We were hoping the Parkway had reopened so we could take it back home, but it was still closed so we just backtracked home. Today I was more interested in shooting video than stills and I put together this video of the waterfalls we saw. We should be back out again on Tuesday!

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