The Rock

the-rock

Good evening y’all,

It was a beautiful day today on top of the mountain! Our high reached 59 degrees F, the low was only 39 degrees F. Fog all day today but no rain. We are due to get heavy rain tomorrow but clearing for Sunday.

I have not had much time to post the last week because I am extremely busy in the shop, which is a good thing!

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend! 🙂

 

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

– Aristotle

 

I made a Cherry cutting board for a nice customer that lives in Boston, MA and she sent me a picture of the board in her kitchen. It goes very well with her Kitchen Aid mixer!

Cherry-serving-board

 

 

Sea of Ferns

sea-of-ferns

After the rain stopped around lunchtime today I decided to hike along the north side of the mountain where the ferns cover the landscape. July on the mountain brings a sea of ferns in this areas where the ground stays moist. The forest floor has changed so much in the last 4 months but I especially love the sea of ferns that take over this time of year.

giant-ferns

We only reached 63 degrees F yesterday but today we will be closer to 80 degree F. Not much sun to speak of yesterday, it rained all day and night and before it finished this morning we had slightly over 1 inch of rain.

 “We love the things we love for what they are.”   — Robert Frost

 

If you are interested in trading a few garden plants, check out my recent post, Plant Exchange.

 

Hike Along

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mountain laurel

Last Saturday afternoon I had a couple of hours and decided to take a hike into an area I had not hiked before and where the terrain is extremely steep. My hike took me across the mountain on the north side thru heavily covered areas of Mountain Laurel.

maountain laurel and rotted stump

I have mentioned in other hiking post that I have been hunting for a cave that was used by soldiers during the revolutionary war and a revolutionary war grave site. There are historical records with articles talking about this cave and grave site. I continue make hikes across the mountain in my attempt to find both of these.

green moss

Soon I was standing at the top of a gorge that is about 1500 feet deep trying to figure out if I was going to be able to hike down, trying to find the best path down.

moss

I could hear water running, maybe a small waterfall. After searching for a clearing so that I could look over the Mountain Laurel, I could finally get a look at the bottom of the gorge. I had not hiked down this gorge before but I was determined to get to the bottom.

green moss growing on rocks

Almost to the bottom, decide to snap a couple pictures.

bottom of borge

It took me about 35 minutes to get to the bottom and it was worth my efforts.

huge white oak tree

Pair of huge white oak trees!

native ginger plant

I checked my compass in the direct the creek was flowing to determine if I could follow the creek. It appears the creek is flowing south which should eventually take me down the mountain. I will continue to watch my compass so that I can easily make my way back to the house.

native yellow wild flowers

 

animal bones

Animal bones, maybe a squirrel? Was it eaten by a fox, coyote, eagle, hawk, owl maybe?

green moss

Moss is growing all along this creek.

large rock

 

mountain stream

The water is crystal clear and cold.

mountain stream

There are several small waterfalls along this creek..

snail

Can you spot the snail?

purple wild flowers

 

waterfall

 

moss

Moss and ferns growing on rocks.

waterfall

This waterfall is about 20-25 feet tall.

yellow alage growing on rocks

 

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for new and richer experience.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Enjoy your day!

Older Post:

Thinks I saw
Small Waterfalls

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Falls

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rainbow waterfalls

Early fall my daughter Lauren and I hiked the trail from Camp Greenville to Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls is located on the Camp Greenville property in the northern most area of upstate Greenville County, South Carolina Mountain Bridge Wilderness area. This is a really nice short hike to a beautiful waterfall.

All visitors are required to get permission from the camp office before hiking; it is recommending calling ahead to the office at 864-836-3291 for permission. The trail head is unmarked but is just past the main building of Camp Greenville, on the right you will see a small parking area for about 3-4 cars. If you continue to drive to the end of the road you will come to Pretty Place, Symmes Chapel,

trail to rainbow falls

From the trail head, you move quickly through rhododendron and mountain laurel then lots of rock and boulders.

The hike to Rainbow falls from Camp Greenville is a 1.8 mile out and back, the trail is strenuous and is rated difficult 7. The trail descends down the side of a steep sheer cliff into a rugged gorge so the footing is extremely steep and can be treacherous in rainy or icy conditions. The terrain is very steep, rocky with huge boulders and at two places the trail requires the use of ropes to safely maneuver the trail. It is pretty much hard core all the way down into the gorge that will take you about 45 minutes if you are in good shape.

rainbow falls

The falls are part of the Saluda River, view down stream from the falls.

rainbow waterfalls

The hike ends with spectacular views of Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls plunges 140 feet over granite cliff surrounded by granite walls

rainbow falls

The view shows the granite rock formations. The water is ice cold year round.

rainbow falls

All of the rocks around the falls are cover with moss and are extremely slippery. Many people fall and get hurt, broken arms and legs when trying to get to the falls every year.

rainbow falls

Needless to say, the hike back up the cliff takes more time and effort than the downward hike but is well worth the hike for the waterfall and views from the trail. As you ascend you can rest along the various ledges and boulders.

It is also possible to hike to these falls from Jones Gap State Park. The trail  from Jones Gap is longer but not as strenuous and not as steep. The return hike is all down hill.

Take time to view my woodwork.

What’s Not to Like About Moss?

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hreen mountain moss

I decided to go for a quick hike on the mountain this morning. The air was crisp, the temperature was 21 degrees when I started. There are only a few things green on the mountain now, pine trees, white pines, hemlocks, holly trees, mountain laurel and moss! As I hiked around the Northside of the mountain where it is always moist and shaded, I found a few large patches of green moss. The moss I found today was eye-catching green unlike nearly all other plants that have already turned brown.

moss growing on rocks

Many people don’t give moss much thought but what’s not to like about moss? Not sure what type of moss this is but it is different than most I find on the mountain. This variety grows in large clumps.

green moss

This moss was covering large rocks.

clumps-of-moss

I found a really large area of bright green color moss.

close up of moss

A white pine seedling growing in a large patch of moss.

moss-on-rocks

rocks with moss

The moss covers a lot of the large rocks.

icicles hanging from rock

Found these large icicles, the longest is about 12 inches long. After hiking for about an hour and fifteen minutes, I decided to head back to the house for hot chocolate!

Cutting Boards

High on Siler Bald

Hello everyone. I am getting a late start on writing since my last post. With this post I am starting a new Hiking category. All my life I have hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) and other trails throughout South Carolina, North Carolina Georgia and Tennessee. I love hiking to waterfalls and the more remote the better. Most of these have been day trips but a good many were over night stays. Today, I wanted to blog about one of my over night hikes to Siler Bald.

Siler Bald trail covered with snow

Siler Bald trail covered with snow

Siler Bald trail snow on trees

Siler Bald trail snow on trees

Siler Bald trail trees covered in snow

Siler Bald Trail with trees covered in snow

 

Back in January this year, a good friend and I had planned to hike the Mt. Le Conte trail n Tennessee and sleep over on the Appalachian Trail shelter at the summit. The day before our hike there was extremely bad winter weather on Mt. Le Conte. When I called the ranger station and asked about the weather they told me the trail was closed due to heavy snowfall. The Mt. Le Conte trail is a difficult trail and can be dangerous with all the snow. It is one of the absolutely most beautiful hikes you could do in Tennessee. If you have not hiked this trail you should check it out. We changed our plans and decided to hike Siler Bald from Hwy 64 just outside of Franklin, NC. This would normally be an in and out day hike but we decided to start late in the day and planned to sleep in the AT shelter. When talking to the ranger we were told that no one else had reserved the shelter so we didn’t expect anyone else to be there.

sunset---siler-bald

I have a Kelty Red Wing 50 back that I use for day and one night hikes. I packed light but I was still carrying nearly 40 lbs. The 40 lbs included, gloves, trekking pole, Cat’s Meow sleeping bag, ThermaRest pad, Alaska bear repellent, my Ruger 380, 2 water bottles, Katadyn water bottle with filter, one bottle of Gatorade, compass, matches, Yaktrax for my boots in case we had ice on the trail, GSI Snow Peak stove with fuel, freeze dried food, tea bags, a few pieces of candy, granola bar and crackers. Be sure to bring a trekking pole you will need it.

The Hike

Siler Bald is one of my favorite hikes; it is a really beautiful spot. This is a moderate to difficult hike but you will soon be rewarded when you reach the summit. Siler Bald is accessible from two different routes. We chose to start our hike at the trail head on Hwy 64 parking area. It was cold and snowing with temperatures around 22 degrees. The AT crosses Hwy 64 at this parking area. We started hiking the Winding Stair Gap Trail along the AT for Siler Bald with it snowing heavily. This is a 4.3 mile hike, nearly 9 miles round trip with an elevation change of about 1500 feet. The summit elevation is 5,216 feet.  The most difficult part of the trail is the final ascend to the summit.

Siler Bald snow on trail to summit

Siler Bald snow on trail to summit

Along the trail we saw a few rabbits and also spotted deer, raccoon, bob cat and bear tracks. This area is loaded with wildlife. Bears are very common in this area.

Me on AT trail to Siler Bald

Me on AT trail to Siler Bald

 

On The Summit

As we reached the final stretch to the summit, the snow had stopped but the wind was blowing. I realized that the clouds had lifted, the sun was out and the sky was clearing. When we reached the summit it was pretty chilly. I have a temperature gauge that hangs from my back pack and it registered 20 degrees. It was colder than that with the wind chill so we decided to fix a cup of tea and have a snack before hiking to the shelter.

Siler Bald summit elevation marker

Siler Bald summit elevation marker.

Siler Bald summit 360 view of snow capped mountains

Siler Bald summit 360 view of snow capped mountains

Siler Bald summit 360 view of mountains

Siler Bald summit 360 view of mountains

Hike to the Shelter

The shelter is on a loop off of the main trail and is about a mile hike from the summit. We arrived at the shelter and immediately started gathering as much fire wood as we could before dark. With all the snow we had a hard time finding dry wood. We soon got a nice fire going and before we knew it was time to cook supper. Temperatures during the night reached 9 degrees. We had a couple of raccoons visit the shelter looking for food but we had tied our packs up high enough that they could not reach them. The next morning we fired up our stoves, ate breakfast and started back down the mountain.

This is a great hike, be sure to bring your camera for some great shots at the summit!

Please leave comments, especially if you have hiked this trail and if you have not, you  need to, it’s a great hike!!

Michael