Going Down into Tallulah Gorge

We were warned!

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We were warned!

We went anyway.

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Going down was the easy part

But only as far as the suspension bridge 80 feet above Hurricane Falls.

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Suspension Bridge over Tallulah Gorge Hurricane Falls
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Henry crossed to the other side of the gorge

With my fear of heights I could only go a few feet on the bridge. I did manage to see the top of Hurricane Falls.

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View of Tallulah Gorge from the suspension bridge
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Looking down on Hurricane Falls from the suspension bridge

I handed Henry the camera for some better pictures.

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Looking down on Hurricane Falls from the suspension bridge
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Looking down on Hurricane Falls from the suspension bridge

I took a picture of the falls from the stairs.

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A view of the top of Hurricane Falls from the stairs

And one of Henry looking down from the bridge.

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Henry on the suspension bridge above Hurricane Falls

We posed for a selfie before starting back up to the top.

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We were smiling before we started back up the stairs to the top
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It’s time to go back up the 310 stairs

We made it back to the top after stopping at a few landings and resting on every bench.

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I was finally able to capture some fall colors on top of the trail

Younger, braver, and more fit people can cross the bridge to the other side and go down 221 more stairs for a view of Hurricane Falls from the bottom. There is also access to the south rim trail on the other side of the bridge. For us, we are glad we made down and back all in one piece!

Hiking and Waterfalls at Tallulah Gorge

The almost 1,000 foot deep Tallulah Gorge is a spectacular place in the Georgia mountains for hiking and seeing waterfalls.  The hiking trails range from easily accessible rim trails with overlooks of the gorge to a strenuous hike to the gorge floor requiring a permit. After entering the state park we went straight to the Visitor’s Center for a trail map before beginning our trek on the North Rim trail. We stopped at two overlooks with views of the gorge.

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Looking down at the suspension bridge above Hurricane Falls
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An overlook on the south rim trail on the other side of Tallulah Gorge

On July 18, 1970, tightrope walker Karl Wallenda walked across the gorge from this overlook on the north rim to the south rim.

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Tightrope walker Karl Wallenda walked a tightrope across the gorge
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Wallenda Tower used by Karl Wallenda in his tightrope walk across the gorge in 1970
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The Tallulah river at the bottom of Tallulah Gorge
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View from one of the North Rim overlooks at Tallulah Gorge State Park

Inspiration Point is the highest point in the park and the trail to get there was was a quarter mile uphill hike. When we got to the top we were happy we decided to do the trail.

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On the trail to Inspiration Point
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One of the waterfalls as seen from Inspiration Point
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View from Inspiration Point
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View from Inspiration Point

The good news was it was downhill to return to the North Rim Trail from Inspiration Point. With more waterfalls to see we continued along the north rim to two more overlooks.

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L’Eau d’Or Falls in Tallulah Gorge
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L’Eau d’Or Falls in Tallulah Gorge

It was way past lunchtime by then so our last adventure at Tallulah Gorge would have to wait until the next morning. It was time to head back to Dillard for some delicious southern cooking at the Dillard House.

After our late lunch we were done for the day.  Stay tuned for our final adventure at Tallulah Gorge.

Wandering in the Georgia and North Carolina Mountains

Before we bought our Titanium fifth wheel in 2006, we attended a rally of Titanium owners at the River Vista Mountain Village in Dillard, Georgia. We stayed in one of the cabins at the park and after meeting the owners and touring their fifth wheels, we made our decision to purchase a Titanium. It was one of the best decisions we ever made!

We returned to River Vista this October for a short fall trip. The RV park is a perfect location for exploring the surrounding area. While we were there I spotted another Titanium on our row. We first met the owners when we came to the rally in 2006 and enjoyed visiting with them before they headed for home. What a small world!

Our mountain adventures began in nearby Mountain City, Georgia at Black Rock Mountain State Park, the highest state park in Georgia. The views of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains were spectacular and we crossed the Eastern Continental divide a couple of times.

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The Eastern Continental Divide runs through Black Rock Mountain State Park
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Black Rock Mountain State Park

We decided on the spur of the moment to take the quarter mile downhill trail to see Ada-hi Falls. The view of the falls was worth hiking down the damp leaf covered trail.

It always pays to stop at the Visitor’s Center to ask about what to see when you are in a new place. When we asked about things to see, as soon as we heard “gravel road” we knew we had to take it to see Black Rock Lake.

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We can’t resist driving on gravel roads and one took us to Black Rock Lake
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Black Rock Lake

The next day our destination was to see three waterfalls in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina between Highlands and Franklin. The road from Dillard to Highlands has many sharp turns and steep grades and I wouldn’t recommend taking a big RV on it. Our first stop was the Sky Valley overlook in Georgia for a view before crossing into North Carolina a few miles later.

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Sky Valley Overlook in Georgia on the road to Highlands, NC

Our journey took us to the outskirts of Highlands before turning onto the narrow, twisting Highway 64 towards Franklin. Bridal Veil Falls was the first waterfall we came to but we couldn’t stop because the parking area was full. We continued to Dry Falls in the Nantahala National Forest. The National Forest has built a good size parking area with pit toilets and a handicapped accessible overlook of the falls. To get a closer look at the falls and even walk behind them we walked down a series of stairs and short trail down to the falls.

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Dry Falls near Highlands, NC in the Nantahala National Forest

Our next stop was a few miles down the road at a small waterfall on the Cullasaja River. To see these falls up close we had to park across the road and navigate our way down a short rocky slope.

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Small waterfall beside Hwy 64 between Highlands and Franklin, NC

In order to  return to Bridal Veil Falls we had to drive down the narrow road a short way before finding a place to turn around. This time there was plenty of available parking. Walking behind the falls is allowed but cars can no longer drive behind them.

After returning to Georgia we had one more waterfall to see. Sylvan Falls is located next to the Sylvan Falls Mill Bed and Breakfast in Mountain City just a few miles beyond the campground where we were staying.

Four waterfalls in one day! All were easily accessible with no strenuous hiking involved.

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Wyoming

State 45:

Welcome to the last post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I have only featured 45 of our beautiful United States because our wandering has  never taken us to Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island or Vermont.

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next and final state of my series is

Wyoming

Wyoming became the 44th state on July 10, 1890. The Capital is Cheyenne.

 

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Welcome to Wyoming

The Wyoming welcome signs feature the copyrighted symbol of a Bucking Horse and Rider that has been used on Wyoming license plates since 1936. According to legend the Bucking Horse and Rider is based on the early 1900’s horse Steamboat, “the horse that couldn’t be ridden”.

My husband and I are huge fans of the Longmire mysteries by Craig Johnson. I’ve read all of them except his latest The Western Star (I’m on the waiting list at the library). Set in the small fictional town of Durant in Absaroka County somewhere near Sheridan and the Montana border, the stories feature Sheriff Walt Longmire and a wonderful cast of characters. With beautiful descriptions of Wyoming and the Bighorn Mountains, page turning mysteries, and great dialog Johnson’s books are hard to put down. Boy Howdy!

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Bighorn mountains in Wyoming
Storm over the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming
Storm over the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first national park and is one of the most popular national parks in the U. S. The national park covers over 3,000 square miles. We spent several days exploring and as we drove through the park we stopped to explore the geysers, natural formations, hot springs, rivers, waterfalls, lakes and so much more.

Yellowstone is famous for it’s wildlife. Huge bison herds roam freely through the park and often stop traffic. Elk and many other animals are frequently seen.

If you love waterfalls you won’t be disappointed in Yellowstone.

Our time was limited in Grand Teton National Park but we were able to take in the majesty of the spectacular landscape.

On one of our trips we left the Black Hills of South Dakota and traveled into Wyoming to see the Devils Tower. As we drove along we could see the tower jutting up from the prairie. Our campsite at Devils Tower KOA had a great view of the tower.

As we took a hike around the base of the tower images from the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” popped into my head. There were climbers on the tower and some had made it all the way to the top.

We enjoyed our stay at Peter D’s RV Park in Sheridan on our way to Alaska in 2013 so much that we stopped there again on our return trip. With a view of the Bighorn mountains, a historic town to explore, and dinner at the Wyoming Rib and Chop House it was a worth a return visit.

On our return trip from Alaska, we drove south from Sheridan through the high plains where we saw ranches, several herds of pronghorn antelope, and prairie dogs beside the road. We spent a night in Casper, Wyoming at Ft. Caspar RV Park where we visited Fort Caspar on the North Platte River.

 

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi     Missouri     Montana     Nebraska     Nevada      New Hampshire     New Mexico      New York     North Carolina    North Dakota      Ohio     Oklahoma     Oregon     Pennsylvania    South Carolina     South Dakota     Tennessee     Texas     Utah     Virginia   Washington     West Virginia     Wisconsin

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Tennessee

State 38:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state in my series is

Tennessee

Tennessee became the 16th state on June 1, 1796. The Capital is Nashville.

Elvis, BBQ, Blues and the Mississippi River in Memphis. Country music, The Grand Ole Opry and camping beside a lake in Nashville. The Tennessee Aquarium and other attractions in Chatanooga. Waterfalls near Crossville. Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Sevierville. Waterfront camping at J. Percy Priest and Normandy Lake. Touring a famous distillery in Lynchville. These are just a few of the things we loved in Tennessee.

Before our RV days, the Opryland Hotel was our home base in  Nashville for a night at the Grand Ole Opry, cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs as they played the Vanderbilt Commodores, and a night at the Wild Horse Saloon.

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Grand Ole Opry
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Atrium at the Opryland Hotel
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Line Dancing at the Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville

On our way home from our first RV trip out west we spent a couple of days wandering around Memphis. We toured Elvis’ Graceland, ate our fill of ribs at two different restaurants, listened to blues at B. B. King’s BBQ and Blues on Beale Street, and strolled along the scale model of the Mississippi River at Mud Island River Walk.

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Elvis’s grave at Graceland
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Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis
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Elvis Presley’s Pink Cadillac

 

While wandering near Crossville we discovered two waterfalls.

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Fall Creek Falls
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Ozone Falls near Crossville

We enjoyed the campground at Old Stone Fort Archeological State Park and have camped there twice. Both times we hiked beside the Big Duck River to see the waterfalls.

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Campers cross this bridge to get to the campground at Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park
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Waterfalls on the Big Duck River in Old Stone Fort State Park

One November we traveled to Sevierville to take in the beautiful fall colors and scenery of Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A mama bear and her cub were hanging around the picnic area when we stopped for lunch in the park. Mama kept a close eye on her cub as he searched for a bite to eat. When the rangers chased them off the cub scampered up a nearby tree.

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Mama bear watching out for her cub at picnic area in Cades Cove
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Bear cub at picnic area in Cades Cove
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The cub escaped to a tree when the rangers chased them away

Seven Points Corps of Engineers Campground in Nashville is a favorite of ours. Seeing this sunset from our campsite was a great way to end the day.

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Sunset over J. Percy Priest Lake at Seven Points COE Campground

In Chattanooga the Tennessee Aquarium was a highlight of our stay.

We chose a waterfront site at Barton Springs TVA Campground as our home base for taking a tour at the Jack Daniels Distillery in nearby Lynchburg.

Blondie enjoying our site Barton Springs
Blondie enjoying our site Barton Springs
Old time jugs
Old time jugs

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi     Missouri     Montana     Nebraska     Nevada      New Hampshire     New Mexico      New York     North Carolina    North Dakota      Ohio     Oklahoma     Oregon     Pennsylvania    South Carolina     South Dakota