Lisa and I
Heading back to the Gorge with no plan whatsoever. I was at Lisa’s house at 6 am. She drove and we made a plan as we went. I wanted to do the Rock Trail. She wanted to do the Rock Jock loop but no way we had enough time. She said there was a waterfall she couldn’t find near the Pinch in trail so that’s our first stop.
It’s one of Kevin Adams favorites. Only about 2 miles in. We went in the back way off 226 to 105. Hit the dirt road then turned left on FR106. Drove to where they closed the road with a gate. She has tried twice to find it. When we follow his directions sometimes we miss completely. I was determined to follow it! We walked up the road the directions say after the water diverter look for a crooked oak tree with a faded blue mark! Really? Well damn I found it! Lisa was excited she had not found it before. We followed a switch back trail along. Next direction skirt the cliffs. We did that! We are on the right path. Says trails goes down steeply and take the fork to the right. We start to go steeply but the trail just sort of dies. 🤦♀️ now what? We look and look can’t find a trail or a fork! We were doing so well! We cannot hear a Falls? Well it says the fork is to the right so off we go bushwhacking right. We get all the way to a stream but no waterfall. I decide to climb upwards. Maybe not the best idea. It was hard! Usually it’s her that causes an uphill bushwhacking but not today, all my fault! I’m in the pic below.
So when following directions that have measurements keep up with that. We don’t. I was so close but we didn’t know a half mile from a full mile.
We gave up and hiked back to the trail, back to the dirt road and back to the truck. Usually I’m the one who gives up but I really tried hard!
Next stop Conley Cove Trailhead. I just went down this trail with Sherri Sunday. I did not have my phone and did not have my Avenza map so I did not know about Cathedral Falls or Conley Cave. We parked at the trail head. This one is popular but there was no one here. In fact we haven’t seen a vehicle yet. We head down this trail through switchbacks for 1.2 miles to the river. Lisa wanted to stop at Conley Cave but we were running out of time so I said if we have time after we find the falls. It was pretty cold last night so some of the rock walls had large icicles on them.
We continued down to the river.
As we approached the river we could see people across it. As we got closer they were waving at us. Of course we waved back and then I noticed it was Nick and some friends. Now according to Avenza there is no trail on that side anywhere near there! Nick was half way across on a rock. I yelled how did you get there. He pointed to “up”. Turns out they did a huge scramble down to the river on that side. I told them we were going to the falls and said Bye!
We were now on the Linville Gorge Trail heading toward Linville Falls. Cathedral falls was about a mile up this trail. It was a pretty cool trail. It was rocky and followed the river. The farther up the river the larger the boulders were.
We did see a nice smooth area that looked like it would be a good swimming hole. Sherri and I had read there were some at Conley Cove trail but we didn’t see any. There are some cool rock formations on both sides.
Then we got to the falls. It was a short steep climb to the water. Huge boulders everywhere. We couldn’t decide which to climb on.
It was really cool. If we had more time we probably would have found out if we could cross to the other side.
We sat on the big rock and had some lunch.
The water was clear and where it fell through the rocks it was blue green.
We enjoyed this as long as we could but it was time to go. We headed back down the trail. Conley Cove Trail has 1400 feet of elevation but it’s all switchbacks. We got to Conley Cave snd I waited while Lisa went down and around to get a look at it.
We arrived at the trail head and headed back out the way we came. We have been going since 6 am and it’s ￼after 3 and Lisa has to be at work at 7! She’s a beast! I’ll probably go home and hit the couch. Fun fun day as usual when we’re in the Gorge