Thursday, July 11, 2013

Forgotten Falls

I've been on so many hikes that I forget about  some of them. Today I was sorting through photos from 2008 when I happened upon some photos of a hike past a waterfall that I'd forgotten I'd seen. I can't even recall the name of the waterfall, but it's a fairly well known one here in North Carolina. It's located in that spot that is lousy with waterfalls, the DuPont State Forest.

This waterfall is a popular destination because it's one of those that you can walk behind. This is often held up as a unique feature, but I've found that you can do with this literally thousands of waterfalls. There is often an overhanging shelf of solid rock that provides a roof and a route that allows you to stand or walk behind the falling sheets of water.

I do now recall that this particular waterfall was a tad off into what amounts as "back country" for DuPont State Forest. Keep in mind that DuPont Forest is one of the most accessible hiking/biking/horseback parks I've ever seen. The terrain, for all that it's in the mountains, is relatively mild. Many people have seen it and don't know that they've seen it--it was used extensively by Michael Mann in his popular film LAST OF THE MOHICANS. I suspect that this waterfall is in the film, although I'm not sure.

Approaching the waterfall along the semi-marked trail that follows the exposed rock along the river.

The river was not terribly high that day. We may have actually been going through one of those horrible droughts of the early 2000s. Still, you don't want to try to push across the river because you can fall and start sliding which can send you over the event horizon where you will surely be injured or killed.

You have to kind of duck-walk behind the falls to get safely across the river.

Quick shot of the power of the water. Even though the flow was not excessive that day, you feel the energy of the place as the water plunges down.

Looking back the way I'd come.

Safely across.

Did this one make the cut into LAST OF THE MOHICANS?

The trails in DuPont State Forest are pretty easy to follow. Watch for bike riders, because mountain biking is really, really popular here.

One of the open rock faces. These spots are very fragile--rare plants, lichens, mosses grow there and you should stay off of them despite the temptation to wander out for the views. If you kill those plants it takes decades for them to regenerate. Enjoy them from a distance.


MarkGelbart said...

I liked the movie--Last of the Mohicans--and have watched it several times.

It inspired me to read James Fennimore Cooper's The Deerslayer, but I was unimpressed.

He constantly addresses the reader when telling his story by actually calling the person reading the book--"reader." That was just one reason I didn't care for his writing. I like some 18th century writing, but his style was just too obsolete for me.

James Robert Smith said...

I've got a wonderful slip-cased edition of THE DEERSLAYER, but I've also found the writing archaic. I'll give it another try some day to see if I can struggle through it.

So much of the Michael Mann film was shot here in NC. The opening sequence in the deep hardwood forest was shot in one of my favorite areas of Pisgah National Forest. To be allowed to shoot in that particular grove, the studio arranged to have new trails and a picnic area built for being allowed access. It's just on the westward slope of the lower half of the Black Mountains (below Big Butt Mountain, actually).