Crazy hiking day

April 6 2018

Lisa and I

Today we drove to Old Fort NC to hike Catawba Falls.

We arrived about 9 and the parking lot was empty. When we left it was completely full. It’s a nice path along a stream. The first thing you see is the partial remains of an old building that says it’s historic. I couldn’t find anything on google about it.

They built 2 new bridges along this walk. It’s a pretty easy 1.5 mike walk to the bottom of the falls.

It is a amazingly beautiful Falls about 100 ft high multi tiered beauty.

It’s surrounded by large rocks which on the way back was full of people. There is another falls above this one that is at the top of a steep rugged trail with 4 rope climbs. There have been quite a few people die here and one rather recently. Lisa went up the first one without hesitation.

Well up I go. It was definitely necessary to use the rope. The rocks are rugged. At the top of this one is another rope climb. I went first this time. As I’m watching Lisa come up two men are coming down the trail above me. That startled me. They live in Black Mountain and have hiked from their land down to the falls. One of them was 70 years old! They give us directions to the falls a little history lesson of the area. They said be careful and let us know people die up here. I know and I’ve been trying not to think of it!😳

Off we went to find the upper Falls.

In some areas it has a beautiful view but mostly it’s a narrow rocky trail. When we get near the falls the trail keeps going up. Lisa wants to go up more but I head down to the view of the falls. She heads upward because she always wants to get to the tops of the waterfall.

I’m amazed at how beautiful this waterfall is!

I find this nice tree and have a sit while she explores. Frankly I’m tired and stressed from the climb! So I just want to chill.

I wish it was warmer because it looks like a great swimming hole.

Lisa comes back and begins her climb up to the falls. These rocks are wet and mossy and have to be slippery! Something about knowing how many people have died here to make me a little edgy. Doesn’t bother her a bit!

I’m thinking it’s gonna be very difficult to get down for me and it’s gonna take me forever. Poor Lisa she takes me out of my comfort zone has to listen to me worry constantly. I think she started to worry about me doing it too cause she gives me a talk about how to always have 3 point contact when climbing. That’s when u have 2 feet one hand in contact or two hands, one foot with the ground, rock or tree at all times. Actually good advice! Somewhere along the trail I tell her that her Indian trail name is Surefoot. Mine must be shakeyfoot! Nah. I get down the mountain without incident and I’m glad I did it! Turns out climbing these ropes was a lot of fun and the prize at the top was awesome. I told her thank you for getting me to try it!

On the way down there is a hollowed out tree! In she goes and long legs jumps right back out! I don’t want her to know I’d be scared in there! Spiders and snakes or bugs.

We get down to the lower falls and there are people everywhere. We go to an out cropping next to the falls and it’s awesome!

We headed back to the car to head to our next adventure. We decide to head to Linville and hike some of the Gorge.

it’s about 40 minutes away. I haven’t been here in 30 years. We drive past the falls where the parking lot is packed and head up a dirt road that seriously needs to be graded.

She picks out a trail she said she did before called the Cabin trail. There is one car at the trail head. Should have been my first clue!

Immediately the trail is going straight down. Not one switchback. I knew this was going to be a bad decision. My toes are hurting from going down. This trail is rocky. She keeps asking if I want to turn around but the idea of getting to the bottom of the gorge keeps me going. She stops to google this trail and it turns out it’s only .75 of a mile but has a 1000 ft elevation gain! That’s steep!

I’m thinking how and I ever gonna get back up.

This trail just keeps getting steeper and steeper! I wish my pics showed how steep it was.

When we were near the bottom Lisa slipped and twisted her ankle! Prob cause she was worrying out me. Yep I was whining. After she got back up she started walking in it slowly then she was walking normal. She said she walked it out. She is tuff like that.

We finally make it to the bottom and oh my what a disappointment! It was just a small river right on the bend with not much to see.

We were on a time limit because she was supposed to be at work at 6. I check the time it’s 1:08. It’s gonna take me forever!

She keeps saying I thought this was a different trail. I remember now how hard this one is. Sure!? Right! Funny she finds it hard but she is always up ahead taking pics of me struggling!🤦‍♀️ my butt and hands were dirty cause I spent a lot of time on them going down!

I have went up some hard trails. The MST and Table Rock. This is comparably hard. But……… I am plugging away slowly but surely. I had to take some breaks but I was doing pretty good.

I was also soaking wet from sweating and she doesn’t have a hair out of place. 😀. That’s what it’s like when you always stay in shape not just once in a while! I’m doing pretty good for 52 i think! She is almost always super encouraging. I say almost always cause she gets a little sarcastic when she gets tired of my crying. I found a place to rest!

Turns out I made it up in 45 minutes. I guess not to bad. I changed the sign picture to remind me never to go there again!

We jumped in the car and ran to Wiseman’s view. This is a popular place but the road is terrible! My Jeep did fine but she tried it in her Chrysler and said it was rough.

This was cool it looked over the Gorge and directly across was Hawksbill, Table Rock and we could see Shortoff Mountain too!

That was a fun day. I am so tired! Time to head back down the hill.

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