Well, that was part of the plan anyway after reading Rich Stevenson post about the new trail access Conserving Carolina made. The fog and rain dictated we change our focus or seeing spectacular long range views and just enjoy the saturated fall leaves and ethereal look.
Passing the landslide near Bat Cave / Lake Lure on Shumont Road, we’d seen on the news, I was surprised how much steeper it looked in person. We did see some of the prettiest fall colors this year on the drive to the parking area.
We read you had to apply for from Chimney Rock State Park, to get a parking pass to get in the gate so we did that the night before. We saw no other humans until we were leaving and they’d parked somewhere before the gate and were walking in.
Here are a few pictures of the kiosk at the trailhead to Weed Patch Mountain Trail.
What hubby said was “nope, you can’t see anything because of all the fog“.
What he probably thought was
“no, don’t come up here because even if you can get up to that area above my head, with your camera, you probably can’t get back down“.
We did see Jenga Rock and Eagle Rock (I think that’s what we were looking at) on the way to The Tunnel which was the main reason I wanted to hike this trail. According to Rich’s’ blog, you can typically see for miles but the fog and clouds were completely socked in. His blog said you could get to the top of Jenga Rock, but with no view, we didn’t try.
It was starting to rain so we didn’t continue on after The Tunnel to see Flapjack Rock or Grey Rock. It is a nice trail, that is very well marked. It also has impressive rock steps. The only negative was when we got close to some buildings several dogs ran at us growling and barking. We tried the “go home” approach and waiting until they retreated. There was no tail wagging going on and they didn’t look too happy about people.
I was surprised to see the backs of houses from the trail. It was just before you got to a pile of what looked like netting or something on your left as we walked toward the tunnel. I made a mental note of the number on the blazes but forgot them.
Afterward, we went to Lake Lure for a burger I hoped was as good as I remembered at Bayfront Grill. It wasn’t quite as good as I remembered but a huge plus for hubby — they did offer a gluten free bun, even if they tacked on the disclaimer that meals are prepared in the same kitchen with gluten. The covered deck where we ate, kept us mostly dry. I was surprised to see rhododendron blooming in November.
Heading back we pulled off so I could try to get a photo of Hickory Nut Falls.
I need to make the time to look into a GPS unit for hiking before Black Friday. Seems like Garmin’s are always in the 10 lists. If you’re a hiker I’d love to hear your recommendations. I’ve read units are better than watches even though I really like the idea of a waterproof GPS/GLONASS watch instead of carrying more stuff. Then again, I read that the newer phones, that I’ll have to upgrade to at some point work well with Avenza maps or Gaia maps. Both say you can use without cell tower data or draining your battery. I wonder if any of the watches work with phones?