Thursday, April 15, 2010
go forth into the waterfall
GO FORTH INTO THE WATERFALL:
PISGAH and DUPONT forests, on APRIL afternoons
Jessica Powell and Brian Goforth want to bathe in a waterfall as a wedding ritual. Her dress will not just sit in the closet for years after their wedding, wearable but unworn; she will let the water and the rocks rip the dress into a mess of memories. And they will keep the torn dress and the moment. They're just shopping for waterfalls, now.
As I have mentioned, there is a long cluster of waterfalls around the tri-state meeting point of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, along a long escarpment where the Blue Ridge mountains meets the Piedmont foothills.
Really, there are so many to see, you could spend a four day trip here just visiting waterfalls starting around Tallulah Gorge in Georgia (see "Tallulah" two chapters below) moving up through Brevard, NC. Actually Transylvania County/Brevard calls itself "land of waterfalls."
In the quick warmth of one April Asheville afternoon, I sought a waterfall or more to cool off by, and I was about an hour from the "land of waterfalls." So I arrived near Brevard, at the literal gateway to the Pisgah National Forest (Pisgah ranger district) and stopped at the first waterfall I came to, Looking Glass Falls.
Looking Glass, popular because of its height and majesty yet close roadside access, is where I met Jessica and Brian (pictured at LGF). Their wedding is in July in a town nearby, so they are scouting for the perfect waterfall location, starting here.
People are allowed to play in the pool below this falls, but the rocks just beneath the flume where Jessica's dress will tear are slippery and dangerous. So, they visit their next option, Moore's Cove Falls just a mile up highway 276, where I am also going.
Moore's Cove Falls (both pictures at the top) is about a half-mile hike from the road: smaller, much more private, and you can go behind the waterfall and sit and stay dry! There are several other falls where you can do this, like "Dry Falls" about an hour further west, but this one is close and the afternoon sunlight glowed beautifully through the spill of water off the overhang. It was otherworldly, and so relaxingly cool...
Jessica and Brian seemed to like this place better for their post-wedding dress tearing, and I agree. As they left, I took off my shoes and hopped into the falling flume, standing sprite-like in the sunlight, hair getting wet, basking in the cool and warm of the moment.
After leaving the Pisgah forest district I drove to the also-recommended Dupont (NC) State Forest, a multi-use area of land near the NC/SC border. It's a watershed (Little River), plant and animal wildlife preserve previously owned by the Dupont company, and has suffered from erosion from Tropical Storm Ivan in 2004. There are also several major waterfalls on the premises, including four on the Little River. Before sunset, I was able to visit High Falls...
....and Hooker Falls, featured in the film "The Last of the Mohicans."
By now, the sun was setting and the air was already getting cool again.
Looking westward to Brevard and the valley, I pranced away. Hope and safety for a happy couple standing faces to the mist...
For more about Dupont SF:
For Pisgah NF and those falls: