Thursday, August 25, 2022

Three Lakes & Bridal Veil

Monday July 18, 2022                                             Most Recent Posts:
Riverbend RV Resort                       Shrooming with Tom & Christmas in July
Lake Toxaway, NC                                                     Carl Sandburg

Today I returned to Dupont Forest to hike the Three Rivers Trail and visit Bridal Veil Falls.  I’m going to take you hiking with me.

First through the covered bridge.  I’m not sure if this is its original location or if it was moved here.  But it’s always fun seeing and walking through a covered bridge. I did a lot of that last summer in Vermont but not so much here in North Carolina.





The Three Lakes Trail was a more interesting route to Bridal Veil Falls than just walking the Conservation forest road to the Falls Trailhead.

Seeing this construction at the base of a tree along the trail made me smile and wonder who built it and why.   Whimsy??


Home for a gnome?


These look like Turkey Tail mushrooms which are said to have immune boosting medicinal properties. 


The trail was wonderful wandering through the woods with many actual flat stretches.


And cute tiny fungi.  There were lots of other fungi on the trail and I took lots of pictures of them but I’ll spare you.


In parts the trail was slightly hilly, rooty and rocky but seemed like a piece of cake after some of the other places I have hiked.


I arrive at what is known as Dense Lake.  There really isn’t an accessible shore line so my views were from windows through the trees.


The trail walked along one side of the lake with more and less open windows.


Along the trail between Lake Dense and Lake Alford were signs asking that hikers not venture into the area behind these signs as it was being used for research on the biological control of the hemlock wooly adelgid an invasive insect that is killing Eastern Hemlock trees in the Appalachian Mountains.   A very sad story.


The trail walked me around nearly 3 sides of the 1/2 acre Lake Alford.  You can barely see the covered picnic area on the distant right.


I did have to be careful on the trail as it is also a bike trail and they come flying.  This is the covered picnic area on the lake shore.


Looks bigger than 1/2 acre to me.


Near the end of the trail there is a seriously difficult look through the trees beyond the sign indicating Lake Julia which is a 99 acre lake and the largest in the forest.  This was the one I was really hoping to see and consider kayaking possibilities.  But not from this trail.


One last interesting fungi before connecting back with the Conservation Road toward Bridal Veil Falls.


I stopped when crossing this bridge on the road and was surprised to see a waterfall up stream.   It was easy to walk down to the spot from which I took this picture.  Dupont State Forest allows horses and the 2 small lakes and this spot are nice watering places for them.


I hadn’t heard anything about this light falls or its name.  It was a total surprise.


Turns out you have to leave the larger Conservation Road and turn onto a smaller road before you get to the falls trail.

Queen Anne’s Lace and Black Eyed Susan were in the fields by the road.  Very different hiking from Three Lakes Trail.

Both have long blooming seasons.  Queen Anne from May through October and Susan from June to September


Finally the trail to Bridal Veil appeared.  it wasn’t long and brought me to these views.  I initially found a spot for a snack at the foot of the falls.






After taking pictures of the cascades I swapped photos with a couple.  I took them, they took me.  I then started walking up the dry side of the enormous rock face.


Here’s a short video taken from the foot of the falls with wonderful sounds and all the things seen in the pictures above.  Except me of course.

I’m on my way to the fuller upper falls that feeds the Bridal Veil below.



Seeing the person at the top of the falls I began looking for the way up there obviously somehow through the trees.



Here’s a 26 second video from this base of the upper falls.

Once at the top, this was the view.


I’ve included 3 short videos from the top of the falls which better capture it than any of the pictures I took.

The first is a 21 second video which shows the river at the top of the falls flowing down and over.

The second  a 17 second video more closely shows the water going over from the top.

And finally, the third is a 22 second video from a different angle at the top of the falls.

Let me know what you think of them or if you think 3, even short videos, is really too many.   I appreciate your opinion and advice.

This had been a great hiking day.  Before I left, one last picture from the path through the trees of the  side of the upper falls from which it clearly does not get its name Bridal Veil.   I’ll bet lots of people wish it weren’t a dangerous swimming spot.

I walked back the road to the parking area and visitor’s center.  It was not interesting enough to record.

Next up. . . into the Pisgah National Forest.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Shrooming with Tom & Christmas in July

July 16, 2022                                                                     Most Recent Posts:
Riverbend Campground                                                   Carl Sandburg
Lake Toxaway, North Carolina                               Llamas in Pathertown

Today I took a break from waterfall hiking and was lucky enough to go for my firstIMG_1946

hike around the campground with the campground mushroom expert Tom Barham, also known locally as the mushroom man.  I was so busy looking and harvesting that I don’t have a lot of pictures but it was amazing.  I only wish I could remember half of what he told me.  His eyes are incredible for scanning the area and honing right in on things I hadn’t even seen.


I believe this is type of coral fungi.  You’d think with all the mushrooms I photograph that I’d have learned a few things by now.  If you can identify any of these please comment and let me know.


We found these oyster mushrooms on a tree stump behind the  RV of our friend Marge. 


Tom used his tools to harvest them.    He has special scissors, a plastic container and then he puts them in bags.


This I “think” is some sort of bolete.  If you know mushrooms, please help me out.


This I know is a black trumpet.  We found a lot of them and Tom shared with me.  Later, I sautéed them and the oysters.  Both were delicious.



Down on the ground to cut more black trumpets.  They are small and hide in the leaves.  Don’t think you can even see them in this picture unless you look very closely.


Black trumpets.  A closer look.


Tom belongs to a Mycological Society in his hometown and they go on frequent foragings.   I’m not anywhere long enough to join such a group and learn from them.  I did find there is one in the Nelson County area just over 20 miles from the farm.  They meet once a month and hopefully I can go to at least one meeting while I am there.


Can’t thank Tom enough for sharing his vast knowledge with me even if I can’t remember.  Wish he and his wonderful wife Maggie were traveling along with me.  I hope to keep in touch with them.  They were a highlight of my time at Riverbend.


This evening was the annual Christmas in July party.  You’ve all probably done this at one time or another.  Everyone brings a wrapped gift and puts it under the tree.  We draw numbers and the person with #1 chooses a gift.  #2 can choose a gift or take the gift of #1 and so on.  The one who loses a gift then can choose or steal another gift.   Once a gift has been stolen, twice it is safe.


It was great fun and manager Rosemary was very happy with her alcoholic shots.


Several handmade wreaths were unwrapped.


Pam chose to try hers as a hat.

When asking what I should bring as a gift to this group, I was told alcohol was always a favorite.  As a non drinker, I was wishing David was here to advise.  But apparently I did OK with this wine which Peggy stole so it appears she was happy to have it.

I was #2 and unwrapped a gift of car wax and towels.  They were soon stolen so I then stole Maggie’s gift of some delicious crackers, goat cheese and Tom’s apparently famous pepper jelly.  Why I didn’t take a picture of it I have no idea.  But it was delicious.  Instead, here is a picture of Maggie and Tom


After everyone left I took some pictures of the lovely decorations Rosemary had put up for us to enjoy during “the week before Christmas”.



More hikes next time.  Hope you aren’t tiring of them.  I never do.  But then I’m there in real time and you are stuck with pictures and videos.