Candler, North Carolina (high 68, low 58-rain)
Our time here in this beautiful state is winding down. Rain is predicted the next few days, so we spent the past few days getting in some last hikes and sightseeing.
We went back to the Wildlife Center at Pisgah Forest and did part of a 4 mile loop trail that was very nice. We didn’t get there until late in the day, and we weren’t prepared for mountain hiking, so we had to cut it short.
We did see this cute little guy at the visitor center.
The trail meandered along a stream that was a popular place for fly fishing. It was popular there because it located near the trout fishery, and this is where many young trout are released. It’s a catch and release program, but we didn’t see much catching.
Evidently you can camp anywhere you like. This almost made me want to buy a tent. (almost)
We want to go back the next time we were here.
We have had to start slowly on these trails. We are not used to the elevation or difficulty of hiking in the mountains. We had to work ourselves up to longer and more strenuous hikes. We also have realized we need to be better prepared. You think you’re on a short little easy trail and before you know it, you’re rock climbing. We finally remembered to bring our walking sticks yesterday and they really helped us cross the many streams, and get up some of the rockier areas.
One thing we noticed posted by the trail was very scary. Evidently people are taking their dogs on these trails off leash and there have been some fatalities. I can see there would be a lot of places that a dog could fall and be killed. At another place we hiked we saw a notice of a lost dog. I would sure hate to lose my dog in these mountains. Most of the dogs we see are on a leash, but many are not.
Yesterday, we decided to go back to Graveyard Fields, which is at mile marker 418 on the Blue Ridge. It’s a very nice area and very popular on the weekends. We normally wouldn’t have gone on a week-end, but due to the rain coming, we bit the bullet and went on Sunday.
There was a nice waterfall trail we wanted to hike. We came prepared with water and our hiking poles. They really helped.
The trail started out very easy. It was pretty and not much elevation change.
There were lots of streams. Some larger than others.
Some places were really showing their fall colors.
We walked for a long time. There were a lot of other hikers out there, but less and less the further we went. We were starting to wonder if we would ever find that darn waterfall. The closer we got to the waterfall the steeper and rockier the climb became.
There was more of the waterfall, but I couldn’t get a decent pictures due to all the people sprawled all over the rocks. Darn people….don’t they know, they’re ruining my photos?
We ended up hiking about 3 miles in about 2 1/2 hours. It was pretty strenuous and we were really glad to get back to the truck. This is certainly not like Florida hiking!
We picked up some fog on the way back.
Our next stop was a Mexican restaurant/bar so that Al could catch the end of the Buc’s football game. (they lost)
Today, we’re watching it rain and planning to pick up a few groceries for our trip back to Florida.
We will miss these beautiful mountains, but hopefully, we will be able to return next spring for the rhododendron bloom