August falls and fails and my 50th (over a year late in posting but left the original text)

Some of my family surprised us that they were in town. All of us went on a waterfall hike then my mom took us out for an early birthday lunch at PF Changs and dessert at Cold Slab.

We keep hitting delays on materials for the house. Delays in quotes, delays in shipping delays with delivery, and weather delays. So, I just keep sweeping the water off the slabs. Our concrete guy that took 2 of our shovels and didn’t offer to bring them back, should’ve told us he needed grade pegs! If I took someone’s tools by mistake I would’ve brought them right back with an apology.

I loved what I ordered at both places. Neither of them were overly impressed. She also gave me a gracious gift card and I’m looking forward to finding something that I’ve been wanting just for me.

I’ve been to Daniel Ridge Falls aka Toms Spring Falls and one other name, Jackson falls? before with June when it was frozen over and another time with hubby. It had a lot more water this time.

We passed a brown or water snake on the bridge basking in the sun and had to go over a downed tree but the family seemed okay with it all as this is a pretty darn easy walk with a nice river, bridge, and waterfall. We followed it with a quick drive and a super short walk to Moore Cove Falls. This one too had the most water I’ve ever seen. It’s another nice frozen one to see in winter.


For my birthday we had talked about going to a multi-artist rock concert that happened to be on my birthday. It was pricey but hey you only turn 50 once, right?. Then covid crap happened and that option was gone. My next choice was to see English Falls. This bucket list waterfall kinda felt like it was a now or never kind of choice cause I’m only getting older and with all the new people going, it sounds like it’s only getting harder with erosion.

Lovely view of the mountains in the distance… trust me.

Shouldn’t try a difficulty rated 10 out of 10 for your 50th! or probably ever in my case.
English Falls kicked my butt and I never saw it. 🙁 I still really really want to though!
We tried to go past the steep part crossing over the creek but we never saw a good place to go back down. We went back to the steep place. I couldn’t make it past the first drop and it was supposedly the easiest. I didn’t want to end up like this.

I made it down just a little ways on the ropes at the first rock/mud/slide/repel but not on my feet. I wore old jeans and was prepared to butt slide all the way to the bottom but hubby said I’d end up at the bottom in a heap. I didn’t want either of us to get hurt. We may try it again someday bringing more ropes and something to attach to the rope so a slide could be stopped before hitting the bottom of the ravine. Still not sure I could get my 5′ self back up the 7-10′ rock face that I read was the third and last descent. It really was just a muddy wet over trafficked mudslide for river right. Maybe I can find someone or good directions from someone that has done river left without the rock climbs? We did cross the river before trying the ropes, but saw nowhere to safely descend there either and there were trails going all over the place including up up and away from the falls. Frustrated at myself!

Hubby made me a homemade and decorated cake, took me to breakfast and lunch out and we took a day off from building the house. I so wanted to see English Falls and Upper English Falls and he sure tried to make it happen…until I fell. Then I think it kinda ticked him off that I was willing to keep trying when it was clearly out of my skill set.


So wearing my arms out, the day before floor trusses are supposed to be here,
was a bad, bad idea. My coffee mug felt heavy… but then the trusses didn’t show and our rep never called to tell us they’d be delayed a week.

I finally got Tyler to the vet for his yearly appointment. I assumed he was doing what some of the other veterinarian practices were doing and I’m just not handing him off in the parking lot. Not gonna happen! I don’t even like it when they take him out of the exam room. Instead of continuing to assume what their rules were for covid, I called. They were things I was okay doing and made the appointment. I was really worried Tyler’s heart murmur, nerves or teeth would’ve gotten worse, and since he was drinking more water I was worried about kidney or diabetes.

His vet appt went way better than expected. He checked out great for a senior. Vet said heart murmur was no worse, CBC came back good and said teeth still look good too. Now I just need to take a nap from the apparently starving boy that kept me up all night for the blood work fast where we withheld food all night. His Glu, CREA, and BUN all in the normal range. Only thing outside of normal was his Eosinophil, was low at 0.16 with .17 being the normal range. I’ll have to read about that. I’ll feel even better next time my cousin/vet is in, if she’ll bring her stethoscope and take a listen since she’s the one that first heard his level 2 murmur. I’d just feel better with a second opinion especially since his cardiologist isn’t coming back to WNC to follow up with his second echo. I did show my vet a video of Tyler and his bad dreams. Poor boy never looks like he has good dreams,just nightmares. We can see his nerves, and arthritis is bothering him and he now leaves kibble all over the house where it hangs in his cheeks. Even with less teeth though he still won’t go to all wet food only.

Sunday we hiked to Avery Creek and Clawhammer falls. I’ve not kept track but I know we’ve waterfalled a lot less this year. I should have no problem choosing from my limited number of photos for my 2021 calendar. I sure hope we need a calendar again by then.

We tried to go to Avery Creek in the past but the road was closed. Even though it was shorts weather, I think it was still considered winter and lots of Pisgah and Parkway close. It wasn’t a bad hike and was well marked. In Adam’s book, it said cross a foot log. I didn’t know that meant an actual nice double log cross with a handrail. I still get motion sick if other people are on the log at the same time but the handrail helps a lot with balance and I was thankful it was there. The scramble down to the base took more effort going over downed trees, around jutting rhododendron or laurels and trying not to take too big a step and slide on the wet rocks right into the basin. Shallow looking as it was I still didn’t want to bust my butt on the rocks and have a wet camera. I just slid in mud walking around the house site the day before and went all the way down. We stayed on the rocks to the side, and then when we started back up I saw the large hornet nest we’d walked below moments before. We had to walk under it again when we were done unless we wanted to bushwhack. We just moved without talking and didn’t dilly dally. Instead of trying to keep myself off the log with my short legs on the way back up, I just straddled it and kept moving. Little did I know I’d wish I’d had on jeans instead of shorts for the Clawhammer hike too. Narrow well-worn trail with lots of poison ivy. I think we passed a dead porcupine. Whatever small animal it was had been there a long time and was down to clean bone but it looked like quills. I think we have those around here?

We couldn’t get close to Clawhammer without trecking poles, and jeans on. We’ve been doing this long enough you’d think we’d be done forgetting what to throw in the car.

If this looks completely different -blame it on the new wordpress ediotor. So far I think it’s a huge step in the wrong direction!


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