On my way out to my Aunt and Uncles to pick Shannon up, I had to pull over and take a few shots of the rime ice.
When I got to their house Shannon and I walked to see a beautiful tree that I think might be a Pin Oak. I love tree photos. In fact, I have two prints, that I didn’t take, hanging in our living room. I’ll have to pay closer attention the leaves next time but I was overwhelmed with the morning sun and ice on the trees in the distance. Shannon said they call that hoarfrost. After reading the definition, and knowing we didn’t have fog, she was correct, but I still like the sound of rime ice better.
Hoarfrost: buildup of ice (in the form of crystals, often delicate and feather-shaped) when water vapor in the air condenses as ice on a surface. In short, the main difference between rime and hoarfrost is that rime is the result of freezing fog, Hoarfrost forms in the absence of fog.
I’ve been to Chimney Rock several times, just like most of the locals and they don’t want to go again with me, but I wanted to see their new Skyline trail. I had hoped it was like the old closed trail that you could see Hickory Nut Falls from above, but I read the night before that it was not. Shannon was game to hike it regardless. We got to the gate and the lady said that the only thing closed was the Outcropping trail. No walk up all those 499 steps, but also no view of the Grotto, Subway or Pulpit Rock.
We saw the flagged top Chimney Rock first from below. I only have the one pic because my new darn Dell replacement computer blue screened and shut down while I was transferring photos from my camera, and lost them! I swear I’ll never buy Dell again. Anyway, it was windy and chilly so that was a quick look. We stopped at the Opera Box and took a quick peek at Devils Head and started the stairs up Exclamation Point trail to the Skyline Trail.
The views from mile-long one way Skyline trail were beautiful. We gingerly walked around the ice-covered rock at Exclamation point. I have a video but wanted to get this post up and didn’t have time to edit it. I was surprised they’d close the steps on the Outcropping trail, but not the Skyline trail with the entire rock at Exclamation Point covered in ice.
At Peregrine’s Point, we stopped to take a few photos. The mountain peak info sign said the waterfall we were seeing from there, was Rainbow Falls. I’ve been to a Rainbow Falls but pretty sure it can’t be the same one. I wish I’d taken a photo of that sign showing what we were looking at. I did remember to try using my cell phone with the case off placed below the lens for a reflection. That probably would’ve worked better with a to-the-edge screen or at least black instead of a white-edged phone. I also remembered to get out my lens sphere. Thanks for holding it, Shannon!
In hindsight, Peregrine’s Point would’ve been a good place to turn around. The trail wasn’t bad at all, but it was more uphill without a rewarding end. We came to a large enough stream that the water would’ve been over our shoes. Did I mention it was chilly?
I think this was the cascades to Hickory Nut Falls. In the photo I saw early on Romantic Asheville it looks like in normal rainfall you could rock hop across, but we’ve had way too much rain for that. We both thought we could probably cross the big tree (hidden a bit in the pic by the green laurels) but didn’t really see the point since you just went farther up the mountain and like I said, I read you couldn’t see the top of the falls anyway. I wish they’d had a bridge AND a trail that went down the other side of the falls connecting to the lower Hickory Nut trail – or at least the old trail back opened up.
We turned around at the water crossing and went back to walk the Hickory Nut trail to the base of the falls. I’ve never had to cross so much water along their trails before this time and was thankful I had on my waterproof hiking shoes. As we approached the falls we could visibly see the stream below the falls from the trail. I meant to take a video. So, we get almost to the base, and guess what? The darn trail is closed at the very bottom. That was disappointing, especially after asking about what was open and closed when we arrived. I’ve seen it before but Shannon had not. That is why I choose the photo with the fence at the bottom.
I wore my Mindshift camera backpack for the second time ever, and for the first time since last October. Last time I really noticed the heat and hard panel on my back. This time I was thankful for the windbreak. I still had issues always getting the latch to catch after putting the waist camera part back into the backpack. I realized again it couldn’t be any smaller in the camera section. I used my lightweight MeFoto tripod instead of my regular one and it’s just not the same as using one I know every twist, turn, lock and knob. I’ve only used it twice and I forgot what part to turn to make the center column quit extending. I either need to use it more or just carry my heavier one.
We left there and got she-crab soup and split a burger at Bayfront Grill in Lake Lure. Then without the help of navigation, we found Cedar Creek Cascades/Falls in Rutherfordton, which I surprisingly didn’t see a listing for in Kevin Adams waterfall book. If someone knows what page it is on in the 3rd edition please let me know. I didn’t see any “no trespassing” signs and thanks to Shannon it was left with less litter than when we got there, as she started picking up trash.
We continued past to Hwy 9, passing Shumont Road and the landslide I just saw the week prior and back Chimney Rock Road to a last minute sunset at Jump Off Rock.
Shannon has used GPS units in the past but gave a vote to Gaia maps I recently heard about. Since I ran out of time to research before Black Friday, I think I’ll just plan on getting that when I update my phone. We hope to make it to Alaska while Wes & Shannon still live there and can show us the local spots. I struggled to find places to show her and will start a pinboard so I don’t forget my ideas.
My legs and lungs got quite the workout especially as little as I’ve been hiking. I got out the next day to do some much need yardwork and stretch the muscles and work my kinks out and by then I’d pretty much quit coughing.
I’ve had 3 or 4 times where after hiking I’ve started coughing. I read about it from Dr. Google and I’m not concerned. Sounds just like the definition for exercise-induced bronchitis (EIB) that is commonly called “hike hack.” It’s worse in cold weather or low humidity and worse when you breathe through your mouth instead of your nose. The cold dry air causes the lungs to produce mucus to try to compensate for not getting warmed moistened air through your nose. I never feel like I get enough air through my nose and just can’t do that an entire hike, despite hubby reminding me over and over. I read you can put a scarf over your mouth to help, so I can do that in colder weather. It doesn’t hurt but I’m sure the people around you wonder why you’re out in public with a wet sounding cough and think I’m spreading a cold around. Nope- just gave my lungs a workout and it’ll be gone in a day.
The week following this I was back in Lake Lure with my friend Paula to tag along and look at all the pretty horses as she photographed the owners of Cedar Creek Riding Stables. What a small world! I went to high school with Howard. I’ll have to get my hubby to go back and ride!