Sunday, February 5, 2012

February 5, 2012 - Rush Creek, Bankhead National Forest

Esther and I set out today, sans kids, to find something new in Bankhead National Forest. We didn't have a specific spot in mind but she wanted to see a waterfall if possible. Luckily, there's a series of geocaches that have been placed near many of the waterfalls scattered across Bankhead. I punched the nearest one into the GPS and off we went.

The cache we were seeking is called "Bankhead Waterfalls Series # 14 Hidden Cove Fall". Parking is located on the side of the road just below were it crosses the creek. The bridge was covered with moss and ferns.

We headed down the clearly marked trail and set off in search of splishy-splashy and, I guess also cachey (forgive me).

First error in judgement- started off on the wrong side of Rush Creek. No problem. We realized this after arriving at a point directly east of the falls/cache and just kept walking along next to the water. The winter has been incredibly mild and all the plants and trees are either budding or on the verge of budding, if not down-right blooming.

When it became apparent that following the creek was only going to result in a gradual climb and the waterfall now somewhat behind us we decided to wade across the creek and start hunting on the other side. Esther was much better dressed for this in her fancy new zip-off-leg pants. She suggested that I should ford the water in my undies, but I disappointed her by merely rolling up my jeans and making a go of it.

Esther: Woodland fashionista.
Let's just take another look. *swoon*
Once on the other side of the creek we promptly decided to walk in a direction that was not towards the falls, but indeed in the opposite direction! We could hear some sort of falling water feature nearby and headed towards it at full speed! But first... WITCH'S BUTTER.
Watch it wiggle, see it jiggle...
The detour paid off with not one, but two waterfalls that we hadn't even been counting on seeing! (High-fives and knuckle-bumps commenced.) 

The next hour of hiking contains what I like to think of as "the part that didn't happen". We did not wander along the top of a giant bluff with sheer rock walls of twenty to thirty feet in height. We did not crawl under, around, over and through (yes, this) mountain laurel, holly bush, saw briar and cedar. We did not walk around in a big giant circle only to backtrack and climb down the bluff right were we climbed up it. I know these things did not happen because I have no pictures of them (regardless of what the GPS track log may indicate.)

We finally found the correct route but due to continued resistance from the brush and faced with having to cross and re-cross the stream to reach the falls we called it a day and headed back towards the van.

Esther got hungry along the way, and well... 

I did find another nearby cache and we did both take a handful of pictures, so the day was not a waste. Oh, and also we burned collectively enough calories to summon roughly four Whopper Jr. combo meals from the unassigned proto-matter of a new universe in another parallel reality.

The album of my pictures of the day are right here: CLICKY LINKY!

The track log: PUSH BUTTON!

Esther's blog of the same event but with touchy-feely girl perspective and pictures of me: MASH THIS LINK!

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