Don’t Go Chasin’ Waterfalls, Part II

A long way down - click for larger

A long way down – click for larger

Not a huge amount of adventure this weekend, but some. There’s just so much other stuff going on – not really worth getting into – but I was still able to explore a little bit. In this case, Foster Falls, in the South Cumberland State Park. I’ve heard about this, had friends invite me out there, but never actually done it. I don’t know what I was waiting for – it was spectacular, and mile-for-mile, some of the best scenery I’ve seen.

It was a short hike – only about 5.5 miles circumnavigating the falls and the Fiery Gizzard Trail; just not enough time to explore much more (but I’m hoping to go back next weekend for a more intense trek – or maybe on my bike, since it’s 13 miles one-way). Got to the trailhead before sunup, and just piddled around until it was light enough to hit the trail. First stop, the overlook above Foster Falls – only about 100 yards from the trailhead. Hey, don’t put the cool stuff first! That’s like Van Halen opening for your local Journey cover band. Make us work for it, Mother Nature. But following the overlook, a somewhat challenging hike down into the ravine to the base of the falls. This was amazing, and I’m already looking forward to going back next summer so I can swim in the lagoon right to the bottom of the falls.

Foster Falls - click for much larger

Foster Falls – click for much larger

Following that, back up the “Climber’s Loop” to the top of the western rim, and a great view from well above the falls (the photo at the top, where I was – again – hanging over the side of the bluff; not the first time I’ve done this, probably won’t be the last). A little bit farther, and back to the trailhead. The loop was only about 3 miles, so I decided to explore the campground and surrounding area, just to add some steps and see what there was to see. So, all together, only 5.5 miles, but a really good 5.5 miles.

click for larger, or Endomondo data or Movescount data

click for larger, or Endomondo data or Movescount data

Following Foster Falls, a few side trips. I checked out Denny Cove – near Foster Falls – which has it’s own trails and a waterfall (didn’t explore the trail, just found the trailhead for future reference); Ketner’s Mill; and the Haley Road entrance to the PCSF. The last time I was here, it was about halfway through a (at the time, personal best) 21-mile hike. Thanks to the Jeep, I explored the road a little bit; I’ll go back once my better wheels/tires are on the Jeep, and I’ll probably add skid plates, as well, because rocks.

No walking this time, kids.

No walking this time, kids.

So, not my usual crazy amount of adventure, but still, adventure, all the same. No complaints.

Maximum capacity: 2 pups.

Maximum capacity: 2 pups.

However, there was still Sunday, which brought the first real trip with the boys in the new car. Not a long one; just a quick trip down to our regular stomping grounds on the North Shore. The 7 Bridges Marathon was going on, so there were people and activities everywhere, and I think the boys were excited to be out for their first real adventure of the fall. They did just great on the drive – the back of the Jeep is so much different than the backseat of the truck; they have room to move around, so they have to kinda figure out what they most comfortable spots are while the vehicle is moving. And they did; it just took them a few minutes to get settled. Once they were, no problem. I’m thrilled – the ability to take the boys with me was one of the big deciding factors in what kind of car to buy (along with the ability to carry my kayaks and/or my bike; 4 wheel drive; and fuel economy). I think there are going to be some good times had this fall for me and the boys.

Link:
Foster Falls/Fiery Gizzzard Hike Photo Album on Facebook