Sunday, July 17, 2022

Elvis, Whitewater and July 4th on July 3rd

June 30 to July 3, 2022                                                                Most Recent Posts:
Riverbend RV Resort                                   Bees & Bears In Hendersonville
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina         Thanks to Jackie I’m Adventuring Again


The last day of June found me in Brevard at their cute little one screen theater for a showing of the movie Elvis.   I was in grade school when Elvis was on the Ed Sullivan Show and it was such a big scandal that my parents turned off the TV for the show they watched every Sunday night.  After that, of course I was a big fan and within 5 years so was my mother.

I particularly wanted to see Tom Hanks as the slimy carny man Col Tom Parker.


I don’t know if it was this woman or someone else in line in front of me but when I got up to the vintage ticket window the girl said my ticket had been paid for.  I’ve never had anything happen to me like that before.  What fun it was to imagine who might have been so generous.  Pay it forward the girl said and I will.

With my ticket savings I bought a big bag of hot buttered popcorn.  And yes, I ate it all.  I’m a serious popcorn eater.  I love it and don’t share well.


As for my review:
Tom Hanks was excellent.  You couldn’t help but want to boo Parker.  And what great make-up to enable him to look so heavy and jowly.  But the movie was very sad.  This boy from Tupelo was taken advantage of from every direction.   The actor who played Elvis was also good and the music of course was great.  I thought the movie could have been a bit shorter had they cut some of the repetition.  I was also bothered by something that others may not notice but Elvis had a distinctive mouth and it was hard for me to not be aware that the actor was not really Elvis.  He had the moves, the hair, the clothes but not the mouth.  I wasn’t able to suspend my disbelief.

On to . . . . .waterfalls!

IMG_0953The next day I was out early for what should have been 3 or so miles of hiking but turned out to be 6.5.

First I went to Upper Whitewater Falls.  This is a falls manicured for public viewing.  It has a very large parking lot which charges a fee to park.  It was  a short walk but 154 steps down stairs to view what is  a gorgeous falls.   Does any one know why 154 steps uphill on steps seems much more strenuous than just walking 154 steps up a hill?

I love how the water streams over in such various ways – wide and thick, narrow and thin.  How it streams of course depends on how much water there is.  Really heavy water might obscure the rock totally.  This is the top of the falls.



This is not the bottom of the falls, just the lowest part I could see from the distant viewing platform.   Remember this is only the UPPER section of the falls.

Whitewater Falls is the tallest falls east of the Rockies.  It falls 811 feet.  The Upper Falls 411.  Whitewater Falls is  on the Whitewater River in North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the 3.5 mi course of the river between the two falls, the Whitewater River drops 1,500 feet, and crosses the state border.  

On the way climbing back up the seemingly forever steps, I caught this distant view of the mountains looking smoky through a window in the trees.  I find the tree covered mountains of the Appalachian range warm and comforting so unlike the Rockies.  What a varied and beautiful country we live in.


On the way back to the parking lot I noticed the wine berries ripening and took the ones that would fall into my hand as a snack.  Berry lovers know that if you have to twist or force the berries off then they are not ripe.




From there I drove 5 miles further and into South Carolina to do the trail to Lower Whitewater Falls.  I read the information that it was a 2.5 mile hike and thought that meant round trip – WRONG.  But 5 miles is OK too.  It was just a surprise.

The trail was glorious with rhododendron in its final stages.


As I walk under the arching branches, it’s like mother nature has strewn my path with flowers.  It feels sacred in its beauty.



They are repeatedly along the trail.


As are bridges and water crossings.



I wouldn’t want to be crossing these bridges after a heavy rain and have to balance on the rocks to get from one to the other



The name of the trail is Foothills but I think of it as the rhododendron trail.  I wish I could blow this picture up large enough for you to really see all the wonderful flowers.


For lots of people, this obstacle on the trail is no problem.  Many of them can just step over.


But I have to sit on it and slide one leg down enough to reach the ground and lift the other one up on top and then over.  If I sit evenly, both legs hang in the air.


The last barricade before arrival. 


I’m viewing Lower Whitewater falls from a similar distance to the upper.  I’m wondering, what is that hole?

Because of the branch in front of the hole I could barely see the water flowing inside.  I guess at some point the water must have worn this hole during times of much heavier flow than today.  I can’t even imagine how long that took.  Eons?

Seems like a lot of water below for what I can see flowing out the hole.  Sure wish I could get closer and really take a look.

Take a look and listen to the short video.

Once I walked back to Ruby, I thought I was finished with waterfalls for this day but driving back to Cashiers on my way home, I went right by the sign for Silver Run Falls which I wanted to see but didn’t realize was here.

So I turned around, went back and stopped at the parking area along the road. I was very lucky to get a spot.  There is only room for about 10 cars and no parking can be done on Route 107.  But when I got to the falls I realized all of these cars must have had 6 kids and 4 adults.  I’ve noticed that every car in every parking lot  here is an SUV or a pickup truck.  Ruby is all alone in her uniqueness as just a regular sedan.

Anyway it was about 1 pm so I wasn’t surprised when I walked down the short trail and found many people playing in the falls pool.


The Whitewaters were really beautiful but I liked being up close much better.  This is a sweet little falls and I understand its popularity and am glad for the small parking area or it would be over run and not as much fun for anyone.


I couldn’t tell from where I was standing whether it was possible to go behind the falls.  No one did while I was there.


Clearly you could swim up to it and let the water pound on you.  But no one did that either.


Here is a video of Silver Run Falls also showing some folks carefully walking over rocks to try to get an entire family on the other side for a picnic on dry land directly across from the falls at the edge of the pool. 


Because I had stopped and stayed a bit at Silver Run Falls I was later than usual getting home and it started raining.  It was raining when I got back and rained for hours as the stream rose up and up and I worried about flooding and the trouble to pack up, unhook and get off this site in the rain.  Last year it had flooded.

Luckily the water reached the top of the far bank and flooded my patio and walkway but not the site.  If I had a choice, I would not pick sites 1 or 2 or possibly even 3.



IMG_1052Things were nearly back to normal 3 days later for the July 4th duck race held on July 3rd.  Lots of reasons why.  None relevant to my tale.

This is an annual event in which every site pays $2 for one duck and then John, the park owner, who loves to play auctioneer as you may remember from the Belmont race I posted about previously, auctions off all the other ducks to the highest bidder.  Money goes to charity.  This year to the Wounded Warriors.

There were many other things auctioned off as well.  Lovely beaded jewelry made by Pam who spends the season here, Riverbend t-shirts and more.

Who bought which duck is recorded by Rosemary on this sign kindly held for me by Terry

A closer look.  I had numbers 6 and 9R.  Some folks had 3 ducks in the race.


Here they come down past Winnona.  That part of site 1 was fun.  There is a clear leader at this point.


The leader looks like he may be headed for the bank but there is a helper there with a net to get him unstuck if that happens.

The leader has had a mishap and fallen over which may be one of the reasons he wasn’t the ultimate winner.

The interloper didn’t win either.


These two were too busy to bother.


The judge pulls out the winner.  No place or show here.  Just a winner.


Ron’s one duck in the race was the big winner.  In the hubub I did not get his picture with his winning entry sadly.  He got all the money from duck purchases and donated it to the Wounded Warriors. 

Time to eat!   Folks headed for the buffet.  Me included.  At that point I put down my camera and forgot to pick it back up until it was all pretty much over.

I was too busy eating to remember to take any pictures of the great potluck food to go along with the all American hot dogs.  By the time I thought of it only Captain Gary and his son were still sitting at the tables.

This is a small park and many of the people here stay for the season and have been coming for several or even many years.  This is a tradition they are familiar with and I had fun enjoying it with them even if neither of my ducks won!


  1. Lovely hike, great waterfalls and a wonderful 4th. Life doesn't get much better than that! (Jeannie)

    1. It was a great few days Jeannie. I'm sorry you are having the Anonymous problem but glad you signed your comment and thanks for it.

  2. We haven't been to a park that had the duck races though I'm familiar with them. Fun tradition! Again, the waterfalls are beautiful! Silver Run does look like if you're brave enough you could climb up behind it. Pretty dangerous though!

  3. I was thinking maybe you could just walk behind it or through it. But I couldn't tell and was hoping one of the so many people there would try it.

  4. You really are an eastern girl at heart, Sherry. I remember how the intense light of the west wasn't to your liking. And of course, there isn't a lot of water unless you are in the right place, like parts of Oregon. The waterfalls and flowers and ever-present green hills are lovely where you are now. I know you might like to have a chance to visit out west again, but I don't think you should ever give up your eastern states loves

    1. Yes I think you are right Sue, Water and green are my favorite things. I love to visit the amazing southwest. It feels very spiritual to me. But I don't think I could live there. I worry for them and water problems.

  5. The water falls are gorgeous, even if far away. Your kayak might have self launched had the water rose any higher. Seems you've found a fun group of people.

    1. The park definitely has its traditions - up coming is Christmas in July.

  6. I'm so glad you're enjoying the social events at Riverbend. Your narration of the duck race is hilarious! Reading about your hike to Lower Whitewater Falls makes me wish we had done that, too. We did the hike to the Upper Falls (which isn't even a hike, as you know) and then continued on for a ridiculous long scramble down to the river. It was beautiful, but I'm regretting we didn't do what you did! I'm really glad your site didn't flood. It was a mess last year. (Laurel)

    1. I have you to thank that I did not take that inviting looking hike down to the river. So far, so good for flooding.

  7. All of those trails look so peaceful. he falls are amazing- especially the one with the big hole. Did water come out of it? I liked the falls that went this way and that. Had I been at the Silver Run falls, I would have had to get in the water. Love the duck race- I bet it was cute watching them bob up and down. Your spot may be not perfect for other reasons but I love that it is right next to water. Hope you aren't too stiff tomorrow after your huge hike today. I am still icing my knee. xxxooo

  8. Thanks for the warning to stay away from you when you're eating popcorn. :cO

    Too funny, duck racing. Just when I thought I'd seen everything at a campground!

  9. How lovely you were the recipient of a generous movie-goer. I'm loving visiting falls with you and envying your hiking chops. With the close to flooding conditions your bound to have nice full falls there! Glad your site is staying dry thus far. Great duck race - thanks for the fun commentary, felt like I was there :-) Rhodies make such a lovely addition to the forest, they're my favorite to look for when we're in Oregon in the summer.

  10. Two of my most favorite things - North Carolina and Waterfalls. I did order the book that you bought, it came today and it is beautiful. Thank you so much for telling us about it. I’ve been to many of the waterfalls in western NC, but there are so many more that I did not know about. I think I am going to have to reroute my next spring travels to go back and check out more of the ones I missed. Anonymous Cindy.


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