Saturday, November 15, 2014

Red Fork Falls

I ventured out to Red Fork Falls a couple weeks back and climbed down this series of beautiful waterfalls on Unaka Mountain further than I usually do.  Thought I'd share images of the six distinctive waterfalls to be found at Red Fork.  

1. This is the first waterfall you'll find at Red Fork. It's small, probably only 5 feet tall. Often I have found swirling watering in this area -- didn't quite work this time around, but under the right conditions, this creates a unique effect.

2. The main waterfall you see in the photo at the top of this post is actually the second one you'll encounter. At 60' this is quite impressive and powerful. In times of high water flow, you'll find the water forming a 'rooster tail' as it rushes out over the cascade.  

3. This cascading corkscrew is such an amazing feature. It's found immediately below the main waterfall. Like a water slide, the water rushes through a narrow, twisting formation on its way to the next small waterfall.

4. Continue climbing down the path and you next come to this stunning waterfall.  After the main waterfall, I consider this to be the next most beautiful one. It's worth climbing down to see!

5. Further down you come to this small split waterfall.

6. Finally I reached the end point of my adventure. This is another smallish waterfall, but a beauty. Some websites say there are eight waterfalls at Red Fork. I suppose it depends how you count them, but it's likely that there are others below what you see here. I have always stopped here at this point because opposite this waterfall is a sharply angled, slippery rock that usually keeps me from moving on! And plus, by this point, I'm pretty well exhausted from all the climbing. :)

For directions and a description of this short, but difficult (and dangerous) hike, click here. This isn't a hike for the kids or to take the dog on. There's a lot of climbing. It's also extremely slippery at the top of the main falls, so don't approach the edge. People have been seriously injured here. Below the main fall is also crazy slippery. But watch your step, take your time and you'll enjoy exploring Red Fork.

Before venturing out, please read my warnings, safety tips and disclaimers.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Glory Glory

A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.  
--C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) author and theologian.

A gorgeous weekend...great to see the colors staying around so long this fall. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

time slips away

Time by minutes slips away,
First the hour, then the day,
Small the daily loss appears,
Yet soon it amounts to years. 

--Ronald Tierney (b.1944) author.

Time got away from me and I didn't get these photos posted until now of last week's "sneak peak" at winter.  Glad to have warmer weather this weekend! These scenes are of Unaka Mountain in Unicoi County, TN.

Monday, November 3, 2014

autumn leaves

I miss you most of all my darling, 
When autumn leaves start to fall.  
--Jacques PrĂ©vert (1900-1977) French poet and screenwriter. 

Above: Buffalo Mountain as seen from Mountain Home (VA Center) in Johnson City, TN.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

autumn snow

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.

--Bill Morgan, Jr.

Above: Unaka Mountain covered in autumn snow. I'm glad winter hasn't decided to dig in its heels quite yet... There's still the beautiful late autumn colors to enjoy. But I have to admit, I love the contrast of seasons on display this weekend. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

beauty within and without

Think of all the beauty that is still left in and around you and be happy.
--Anne Frank (1929-1945) writer and Holocaust victim.

Above: Red Fork Falls (taken Oct 19th) found on Unaka Mountain.

Monday, October 27, 2014

be true

Voyage upon life's sea,
To yourself be true,
And, whatever your lot may be,
Paddle your own canoe.

--Sarah Bolton (1814-1893) American poet.

Above: Taken last weekend, here's Price Lake found along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with Grandfather Mountain in the background.

Friday, October 24, 2014


You must take personal responsibility. you cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of. 
--Jim Rohn

Above: A scene found along the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Blowing Rock, NC.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

be curious

Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly.  
--Arnold Edinborough

Monday, October 20, 2014

brilliant blaze

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.  
--Jack London (1876-1916) American short-story Writer and Novelist.

Above: Early morning shot of Grandfather Mountain from MacRae Meadows.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

rhythms of nature

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night; and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life.
--Hal Borland (1900-1978) American author and journalist.

Above: The Linn Cove Viaduct as seen from Rt. 221 below. The colors were at peak in the area in and around Grandfather Mountain this week. This weekend the leaves were a little past peak in the highest elevations where many trees had already lost their leaves. But as you can see from the shot above, there are still places that could be described as 'peak color.' I've always loved the winding Rt. 221 connecting Blowing Rock to Linville.  

To the left, leaves swirl at the base of a small waterfall found beside the road.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

boundless love

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
--Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet.

Above: Even a dark, stormy day could not dull the vibrant, autumn colors of Grayson Highlands. More information and directions here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

ember glow

As Autumn ignites, 
The leaves burn with ember glow. 
They fall like ashes. 
-Jack Taggert- 

Pictured above is Beaverdam Creek on a rainy autumn day. The creek flows past what has been called "the world's shortest tunnel," Backbone Rock. This tunnel was drilled through a narrow spur ridge in 1901 to connect a railroad between Shady Valley, TN and Damascus, VA.

The area is great to explore (preferably on a non-rainy day). There's a nearby waterfall, a trail leading to an overlook above the tunnel, as well as picnic and camping facilities.

For directions, click here.
See also the Cherokee National Forest webpage.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

autumn on the creeper trail

When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing. Sometimes you just need to relax, breathe, let go and live in the moment. 

Above: The rain didn't stop people from enjoying autumn on the Virginia Creeper Trail. :) Leaves are near peak in the Mount Rogers/Grayson Highlands area. I'll be posting more pics of my trip this week.

Here's a somewhat grainy and shaky 'hyperlapse' I took of driving through the Mt. Rogers Recreation Area. What a fun app! Hard to believe, but I was driving slowly (and yes, mom, safely) -- the app speeds everything up and stabilizes the final video as well. You can see that fall is progressing very nicely in southwest Virginia!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

forward together

I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light. 
--Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Author.

Above: Beauty Spot sunset.