Monday, April 2, 2012

Chasing Waterfalls..and..Avoiding Meth Addicts

If you're not familiar with Highlands, NC you may not realize that this area of the state is called the 'Land of the Waterfalls'.
Well, we saw a couple and then some this weekend.
On Saturday, our second hike was to Glenn Falls.
A 3-mile hike that was pretty steep coming back up.
The trail was more shaded than our first hike up Whiteside Mountain that same day.
I started out with the fleece but lost it mid-way through.
There are 2 vantage points on the hike.
This is the first one.
And, this is the second one.
I absolutely love waterfalls. Some of my favorite hikes are along water and with falls.
On Sunday we started out very early stopping along the road at Bridal Veil Falls.
I've seen these before but due to a big rain on Friday night I've never seen them like this.
As you can see I'm right along the road.
You drive down the road a little bit on 64-West and you come to Dry Falls.
These are among the most magnificent you'll see in this area.
At this point it was only about 9:15am.
We pull into the parking lot and we are the ONLY ones there.
That is...
Until, an a couple with missing teeth and looking straight out of the movie Deliverance, pull up.
They park next to the bathrooms way away from the entrance of the falls.
I immediately got a bad feeling but decided to ignore it even after I noticed another car pull up with similar looking suspects but instead skinny looking guys who look like they smoke meth every single day.
They park ALL THE WAY at the end of the parking lot.
I still ignore it and head down the trail before Kelli.
It's a ways down to the falls and along the way I snap this photo.
Kelli comes down the trail after me and stops and says.
'Let's get the hell out of here, I don't feel good about those people!'
We turn around and dash out of there!
Sure enough, something shady was going on.
No way they were there to see falls.
We get back in our car and drive down the road and run into these falls.
Not sure of the name but gorgeous.
When we got back to the parking lot at Dry Falls about 30-minutes later, the couple in the truck was gone and so were the guys, but their car was still there.
My thoughts?
A meth deal was going on. Or at least some sort of drugs.
We all know the mountains are a haven for meth labs.
Later in the day I saw that pickup truck on the side of the road.
Yep, I bet they have a lab somewhere up in the mountains and they were all there meeting to go up.

Moving on..
When we got back to the parking lot at Dry Falls it was all families touring around.
These falls are amazing.
You can actually walk behind them.
We didn't because we would have gotten soaked and it was still a bit chilly giving it was only about 10:30am.
Next on our list?
Whitewater Falls that is quite a ways away on our way back to Charlotte.
I had been here with my parents 7-years ago but the park is much different now.
These falls are the largest and highest on this side of the Mississippi River.
We took the 150 steps down to the lower falls.
It's really hard to capture on camera all of the falls since they're 411 feet tall.
It's also hard to capture just how pretty they are.
This entire area is beautiful.
It would have been fun to have a picnic in this spot right here.
Love the view.
When we left Whitewater Falls we headed to Gorges State Park that is about 7-miles down the road.
I had read in a hiking book that I bought in the Highlands about a couple of small trails we could do before we headed back to Charlotte.
The park is only partially open because it's still under construction and being developed.
When we arrived we went to the trail head and started hiking on a trail that wasn't in our book.
I assumed it was about a mile to what the sign said was Rainbow Falls.
Well, it was a mile and 1/2 and pretty steep in some parts.
About 3/4 of the way in we saw Hidden Falls.
Then we saw our destination!
Rainbow Falls!
As Brad would say, 'the juice was worth the squeeze!'
You can't tell in this picture but they were HUGE!
Totally worth the 3-mile strenuous hike!!
That last hike wasn't really the type of hike we were planning to do that late in the day right before we headed home but we felt the burn and were glad for it!!
All, in all.. great weekend, great hiking, great waterfalls.
Even if we did see a meth addict or two along our way!


MCW said...

Meth Addict people watching is the best kind!

Anonymous said...

Or they could have been growing put or cooking shine...

Unknown said...

What fun! This post reminds me of a hike I did in that was so hard and steep and the falls were not worth it. I was so dissapointed, the couple hours back to the car was even more tiring the juice was not worth the squeeze for me, but all those falls you saw over the weekend were AMAZING!

Leigh Powell Hines said...

Beautiful area. I appreciate it a lot more now than I did growing up. You must be in great shape, Dee.

Glad you got away from those people.

Nicole {Appalachian Charm} said...

I am in love with this post. My sister & I have a book of all the waterfalls in NC & we have been making our way through the book visiting all the waterfalls. You should visit, if you havn't already!!

Unknown said...

That looks absolutely gorgeous! Y'all got some great hikes in!! And that is SO crazy about the meth people. Scary!

teresa-bug said...

We are so lucky to live near such natural beauty. I am glad you had fun!

Tricia said...

This looks absolutely amazing. My husband would love a hike around those parts.

Dee said...

Such gorgeous pictures!

April of Smidge Of This said...

Crazy story! Glad you snuck away from the crazies.

That sign saying "people have died here".... WHOA!

Those falls are beautiful. Glad you got to spend a day doing your most favorite thing ever.

Nikki said...

Wow those are beautiful! So many to see. I'd say worth the meth run in ;) Just kidding nothing is worth that, so scary!

Ashley said...

beautiful!..MInus the meth heads. yuck.

Tricia said...

Thanks for the b-day wishes for my Grandmother. I saw your post on your Grandmother as well. So sweet. They truly are so special to us! I can only hope I have an incredible life as well. Hope you're having a great week! :)

Impulsive Addict said...

You know that my town is full of meth heads, right? They are filthy and nasty and make walmart a less-than-desirable place than it already is. You did the right thing by leaving. They will shoot their own foot for their next fix.

Anyway, the pics were gorgeous! It reminds me of the falls in Michigan where my hubby is from. We visit up there a couple times a year and the falls are stunning in the spring and summer!