Wednesday, December 03, 2008

First Day

I missed out on writing about our first day at the lodge. When we arrived, we had to kill some time before check-in. So we hiked a nearby trail to a place called Falling Water Cascades. The hike was pretty easy--about one and a half miles round trip, with a drop of about 250 feet to the falls.

Carole went with me on this one, and the waterfall was about what we expected. Not spectacular, but a nice destination for such a short hike. After that, we were able to check in and relax for a while before eating dinner at the lodge, then going for an evening drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway where we sat at an overlook and watched the sun set before heading to the lodge once again.

Carole hikes down one of the sets of stairs toward the cascades.

A view along the stream that forms the cascade. Here there were long-range views of the nearby peaks, and lots of dead hemlock trees. I didn't see any living hemlocks, at all.

The last set of stairs before the cascades.

A self-portrait taken at the base of Falling Water Cascades. Not a great waterfall, but a nice little place to take a brief hike.

Sharp Top remains one of the most photogenic southern Appalachian peaks that I've visited. Especially when viewed from the shores of Abbott Lake.

The summit of Sharp Top was still glazed in ice and snow from a wintry storm from the previous week.

We sat at an overlook a few miles from the lodge to watch the sun setting behind the mountains.

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