Saturday was a beautiful day and we hung outside a little, just begging our time waiting until Sunday. Because we knew that the weather was going to be even more pawsome! And it sure didn't disappoint.
Sunday morning, we headed down the mountain, gingerly. Our gravel road doesn't have any more gravel on it after all the weather mess. And after the snow and melting its really slippery mud now. We have no idea how the school bus gets up and down this mountain day after day. That bus driver is very brave!
Anyhoo, we headed down, met up with some friends, then started up the forestry service road to the trail head for Long Creek Falls.
We hadn't been there since 2011, so we thought it was time to visit again and enjoy the nice two mile in and two mile back hike with the falls as the reward in the middle. We want to go back again in May when the rhododendron are blooming because just across from the Long Creek Falls trail is the Benton MacKaye trail that's completely lined with these beautiful huge shrubs and May is the peak blooming time!
Off we went, hiking away following the trail all along Noontootla Creek. After the big snow melt the creek was running very well. It's just the best sound, so peaceful and tranquil, just what we needed after hanging around with Mum working and having a lot of meetings.
Mum says it was a day all about us and having a good time, and that's just what we did.
We headed up the mountain, three side by side since the trail was nice and wide. Look we're just a blur!
The rushing waters of Noontootla are one of the best places in the country for fly fishing and trout.
Beautiful and serene.
We stopped for a quick break and a little photo op.
And ventured on when Gracie had to investigate (don't worry Mum checked the log for critters first). What's in there Gracie?
The hemlock are beautiful and prolific on this trail. You just have to click on the photo and bigify to enjoy it's beauty.
And Mum can never resist a beautiful rock with lots of green, green moss. The photo just doesn't do it justice. Mum actually gasped when she first saw it.
We stopped for another photo op. This time with Mum and Rach. Seems Rach has turned into quite the hiker. He loves to lead, never wants to be in the back, pulls Mum up the mountains just like us and is learning 'easy' for slippery, risky spots going down.
We met about 15 northbound thru hikers as this is part of the AT. A lot of thru-hikers hike the AT starting in March/April and ending in Maine in September/October. They had only been out about a day or so and asked us a lot about where we've hiked the trail around here.
We talked about Blood Mountain, which we hear is about the third day in and shared our experience; and we shared other areas on the AT we've hiked.
I have to tell ya, hiking for six months straight sounds really tough; these guys and gals have a lot of guts if you ask me.
Here's one of them we met. Mum asked this one if she had seen the new Reese Witherspoon movie, Wild, before she started her trek and she said, definitely! That's my girl go get 'em. We wished them all good luck and happy journey.
Finally after two miles in and about a 1000 foot elevation change, we made it to the Falls. The Long Creek Falls are about 50 feet tall. A lot more water was rushing Sunday than when we were there in 2011. We couldn't even get as close as we did last time. And as I was sitting there on Sunday, the power of the water created a wet, cold wind that twitched my ears. That's the difference between early spring and deep summer.
Mum wanted to have Rach experience being next to rushing water and he did really well! At first, he was a little hesitant, but after a while he really got into it. Now all he needs is to learn that swimming in the streams is super fun too, but we didn't try that Sunday as the water was very cold.
Thanks Mum for a great day spending time with our pack, I had fun!