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Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee
May 30 - June 2, 2003
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For our One Year Anniversary, Kevin and I stayed at the Fall Creek Falls Bed and Breakfast in Pikeville, Tennessee. We didn't really want to stay in the actual bed and breakfast, because we were afraid we would be too close to other guests. We wanted a little privacy, so instead, we stayed in a cabin they had that was about 500 yards from the B&B.
The bed and breakfast was home to quite a few animals. They had the sweetest cat, Tai-Pan. He was soo cute and very friendly. After he met us, he hung around the cabin almost the entire time. Whenever he saw us he would always run up to us and rub up against our legs. :)
After we got settled in the cabin, we went down to check out the park. Doug had told us about this cable trail that we were dying to try. We thought it was a cable that you hung onto and slide down. :) It sounded like great fun. :) We were wrong. We were sooo wrong. There was a cable that you held on to (for dear life), but it was NOT fun. :) It was a steep slope of rocks, and you held on to the cable and climbed down... Kind of like repelling… only without the harness… Little did we know it then, but we would be going down that arduous trail three more times….
After we went down the cable trail (and came back up) we started another trail, the Paw Paw Trail. We had several thoughts on what the name of the trail meant; maybe it meant it was easy enough for a Paw Paw? Or was it hard enough that you had to be as experienced as a Paw Paw to complete it? At the end of the trail, though, I think we figured out what it meant… After you’re done, you’ll feel like a Paw Paw. :)
After about two hours and six miles of hiking, we were pretty hungry. We were told that the Fall Creek Falls Inn was having a seafood buffet, so we went out to try it. It was a pretty good deal, we had tons of king crab and stuffed shrimp. :) I also tried frog legs. :-P
It was already nightfall when we were finished eating, and on our way back to the cabin, we got sooooooooooo lost. I was afraid we were never going to get back! We eventually made enough turns, and when we finally got back to the cabin, there were fireflies EVERYWHERE! Every second, about 5 of them would pop up over the whole field. We sat on the porch and watched them for a while. It was beautiful.
Saturday, May 31, 2003
We got an early start on Saturday, and the first thing we wanted to do was go back down the cable trail. It took us to the base of Cane Creek Falls, and the view was beautiful. Since we didn’t take our camera on Friday, we wanted to go back and take some pictures. I had a good shot of one of the falls, but a tree obstructed the view of the other one. The creek was shallow, so I decided to wade out in it so I could get a good shot of it. Unfortunately, I slipped and fell, and splashed water all over my camera. :( The good news was that we had insurance on the camera, so we could just take it back and get a brand new one. The bad news was, we had no pictures of our trip so far, we had no camera to use the rest of the weekend, and there was no place to get another camera within 50 miles. It was not the best start to our weekend. I was afraid our one year anniversary trip was going to be as cursed as our honeymoon…
We decided to take a road trip to Chattanooga. It was only about an hour and a half away, and we could get a good camera that we could use for the rest of the weekend there. On our way there, we were driving along the highway, and we passed a scrapbook store!!! We pulled over to check it out. It was a very nice store; they had quite a few things that I had been looking for, but was unable to find in Huntsville or Pensacola. The day was getting better… :) Then, right before we got to Circuit City, we passed another scrapbook store!!! This one was HUGE!!! It was definitely the biggest scrapbook store I had ever been in. They had everything you could ever imagine; things I had been looking for forever, but had only been able to find online. I bought quite a few things here… ;) It turned out to be a pretty great day. We spent almost the entire day there, and made it back to the park with about an hour of sunlight left to test out the new camera. We got a Nikon Coolpix 3100, and it turned out to be a pretty nifty little camera. We tested it out on the Cane Creek overlook and the Cascades.
Sunday, June 1, 2003
We wanted to have breakfast at the B&B one morning, so we stopped by on Sunday before we left on our hike. We had stuffed French toast and orange juice. :) Although I didn't really care for the French toast, it was a great experience. The dining room was beautiful and we got to meet all of the other guests that were staying for the weekend. :)
Now that we finally had a camera, and a full day ahead of us, we braved the cable trail one more time...
The view at the bottom was worth it, and we finally got the shot of the falls that we wanted.
We found an easier way to the other side of the creek, and were able to reach some more photogenic sites, including right up underneath the the fall. In the last picture, I have the stick in my hand because the rocks were so slippery from all the mist, and it was hard to make it from the tripod all the way back to Kevin in 10 seconds. ;)
When we hiked the Paw Paw trail on Friday, we passed an awesome overlook of the Cane Creek Gorge. So on Sunday, we wanted to go back with our camera and take some pictures. The view of the gorge was absolutely breathtaking. You walk right out on the rock, and you are so high up, it’s dizzying. There’s no fence, no guardrail, nothing. There’s just a rock, then a huge drop off.
You can’t really tell just how high up we are from the pictures, but if you held onto a tree and hung over the edge, this was what you saw... You can almost see the Cane Creek way down at the bottom in these pictures.
After we hiked back down the Paw Paw trail, we stopped and had a picnic lunch in front of an old school house we passed on our way in.
After lunch, we decided to venture to the other side of the park and check out the Fall Creek waterfall. We hadn’t been over there yet because we’d spent all of our time on the Cane Creek side trying to get some pictures! :) From where we were, we hiked past the Cascades to the Gorge Trail. The Gorge Trail had a few overlooks on it, but most of them were too overgrown with trees to see anything. When we got to the Fall Creek Falls overlook, we couldn’t see anything! On our way back to the Gorge Trail, we noticed a little unmarked trail going down to the bottom that looked like it had been roped off at some point… We decided to check it out, and when we made our way down, we were standing right on top of Fall Creek Falls!!! The waterfall is said to be 256 ft high, but it sure felt a lot higher than that when we were standing right on top of it. ;)
We hiked a little further, and finally made it to the real overlook of Fall Creek Falls. We had hiked about 1.25 miles to get there and after we made it, we realized we could’ve just driven there… :-P Oh well, what’ the fun in that, right? :)
The last trail we took for the day was the one leading down to the base of the falls. It was pretty much steep rock steps the entire way down. Going down wasn’t that bad… It was coming back up. :)
We climbed down the rocks and were able to get right to the edge of the pool. It was so cold, and so wet, and so windy down there. The closer we got to the pool, we had to hang on to each other for dear life because the winds were so strong, we were afraid they were going to blow us over!
We were about ready to call it a day, but we still had a long way to go to get back to the cabin. We hiked all the way back up the trail to the top of the falls, then we hiked the Woodland trail back to the Cascades and the Cane Creek Falls, where we had parked. At the end of the day, we had spent about 9 hours in the park and hiked about 6 miles.
Monday, June 2, 2003
When we hiked past the Cascades on Sunday, we saw a ton of people climbing on the rocks and swimming in the pool. Some people were even sliding down the cascades! On our last day at the park, we definitely wanted to try it out. :) It was sooo much fun, but it would have been nicer if it were a little warmer…The water was ice cold and it wasn’t really that warm outside either… plus it was windy. We were freezing. :) But we had a blast. :)
We wanted to try sliding down the rocks… but it was just so cold! The water in the pool was over six feet deep, so it’s not like you could just stand up at the end… You had to get entirely wet. Kevin was brave enough to go first… I think the look on his face says enough. :)
After he tested it out, he talked me in to going… But I made him do it again with me. :-P It so cold, I screamed when I hit the water. :)
We couldn’t swim for very long… only for about an hour. After we got wet, it was just too cold to stay out there! We were almost ready to go home, but after we dried off and changed out of our wet clothes, we felt much better. We had been hearing about another waterfall in the park, Piney Creek Falls, but had never been able to find a trail for it, so we decided to go look for it. :) With our trust trail map in hand, we set out for it and amazingly found it without too much trouble. :) However, much to our disappointment, the view from the overlook was pretty bad… There were so many trees in the way that you couldn’t see the entire thing. The only picture we took of it turned out really blurry.
There was another trail that lead down to a suspension bridge and the creek, but no trails leading to the falls. :( So Kevin and I decided to make our own trail. :) The creek lead to the falls, so if we followed the creek, we had to get to the falls at some point, right? :) The woods around the creek were really thick, but it was pretty fun not following a real trail and pushing back all the branches to get to the falls.
It was worth it when we finally made it to the falls. We finally got a pretty good view of the falls, although we were so close to it, I couldn’t fit the whole thing in the picture. :-P
Making our own way down to the falls: The perfect ending to our trip. :)