My last week at Riverbend began with a Sunday Breakfast at the pondside pavilion where they had the father’s day breakfast. It seems they have a breakfast every month, as well as potlucks every Wednesday, “happy hour” gatherings every afternoon at 5:00 and other outings and events like the 4th of July duck races and Christmas in July.
Thanks to Larry the cook and co-manager here.
Eggs, sausage, french toast, bacon, fruit, coffee (not for me) and orange juice. Delicious! And I ate EVERY bite.
My final two waterfalls for my two month stay in Transylvania County didn’t get me anywhere near seeing all 250 waterfalls in this county alone.
It seemed easy “drive south on NC 81 from US 64 5 miles and park in the large grassy spot on the left side of the road a few hundred feet before Whitewater Church Road”. Back and forth I went for a mile either side of Whitewater Church Road looking for a large grassy spot on the left side. No such thing. Finally I pulled over onto this dirt area with a utility truck and other equipment to read further directions saying “climb the little hill to the right of the telephone pole”.
I walked to the road looking for telephone poles and little hills. Found both as you see in this picture. But the “little used but obvious path” went no where. As I returned to Ruby I noticed a path into the woods on her left. Not near the telephone pole but since I was here, I decided to see where it led. Once inside the woods a ways, I could hear water. That’s the path below through the trees below.
I followed the sound, which I have actually done on several occasions when directions were sketchy and finally caught a glimpse which you can barely see in this picture.
Eventually, there it was.
My trusty North Carolina Waterfalls book, whose directions were sometimes a bit out of date by now, did say that this waterfall was named by early botanist and explorer Arthur Middleton Huger after witnessing John Hinkle jump down a large rock to reach the base. I love waterfall name stories like this. I did not have to do any jumping to see the falls.
It was a wonderful lovely serene spot which I had all to myself for quite a long time. This was my view as I sat on the rock and absorbed the beauty and mesmerizing sounds.
I spent quite a long time here since I was in no hurry and no one else came along.
This video will let you listen to the falls. I set up the picture below before I sat and enjoyed.
The last thing before leaving, I took this selfie with John Jump Falls. I would definitely return here and wish I’d come earlier in my stay since it is not so very far from Riverbend and I could have returned.
I climbed back up to Ruby and from my scenic parking spot among the utility stuff I only had to walk down the road to an obvious forest service gate and follow the old road beyond the gate. Both of these falls are in the Nantahala National Forest off of US Rt 81.
It was easy to find the path off the road to the falls as it was described as having a unique Y shaped tree a few feet in. I kept both of these pictures so I could remember that the tree trunk was not all that tall but the arms reached up beyond where I could photograph them. I loved this landmark.
DEW falls also has a wonderful story. Students from the Hammond School in Columbia, South Carolina built the trail to DEW falls as a senior class project. The forest service allowed them to name the falls and they named it in honor of their classmate Dorothy Ehlrich Walker who was killed in a car accident the summer before her senior year. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every high school in the country undertook an environmental senior class project.
There was not a similar wonderful spot to sit and absorb the falls so I did not stay as long here as at John Jump though it was equally beautiful. It is a spot I would return to with my lightweight backpacking chair. If you know of such a thing, let me know. Not a stool, a chair with a back that could be carried on difficult trails and under overhangs.
Getting to DEW falls required going under and through heavy rhododendron. You can see the trail in through them on the left. Easier for me than anyone much taller than I. But a consideration for my backpack chair.
On the way back to the campground I finally stopped at the Mountain Cafe which I have gone by so many times I cannot count. It’s a very popular coffee shop but as I don’t drink coffee I had yet to stop in.
But today I did and came away with a croissant for dinner and two cinnamon rolls with caramel and nuts.
Did I take pictures of any of them? No. Or at least not until the next morning when I thought to get a picture before I ate the last bites.
I have loved eating meals and reading at my picnic table overlooking the little stream. I often write my journal entries from here. Thank goodness for them to spur my memory when writing these very belated posts.
Delicious and almost gone.
The stream has what I’ve been told are speckled brook trout. If you are a fisherman, can you confirm this? They hang around between my site and the pavilion next door because the managers keep fish food of some sort in a large can and lots of folks feed them. I think they are lovely and am glad they are not on someone’s dinner table.
On the day of my move, I unfortunately ran in to two new problems. My bedroom slide topper tore off when I brought the slide in. It has been replaced once and I know is not 10 years old. Anyone know how long these things “should” last? And when I went to disconnect the water, I found my water gauge looked like this.
If either of these had happened at any other time during my two months here, I would have been able to get a mobile tech to come out. But now I am moving up to just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Spruce Pine so we’ll see about help up there.
Still, I had a wonderful time chasing waterfalls, visiting National Forests and darling towns. Though, for the record, Lake Toxaway does not have a downtown as far as I know. What it does have is the largest private lake in North Carolina protected by a gated community and fed by stream waters from the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. If David had been with me, we might have had lunch at the Greystone Inn which is the only way we’d have been able to see the lake. It wasn’t something I wanted to do alone. Too bad none of my later visitors came here to see me.