Monday, December 12, 2011

Bridal Veil Falls - Part 2

My Mountain Boy, my thirsty pup and I sat by the waterfall for about 10 minutes and as I poured some water into a bowl for James I looked around me.
We were down in the bottom of a very deep gorge and in early afternoon could see that the sun was already beginning to lower onto the horizon.
We still had a couple of hours of daylight left but shadows were already beginning to form around us and both LC and I knew that we needed to begin heading back.
As we sat looking at the waterfall that was gushing down into a deep hole in the ground we both wondered where the water came out.
The obvious thought was a deep gully that had been carved into the ground not far from where we sat, but it was dry and had been dry for a long time.
The terrain in this area had definitely and visibly undergone major shifts over the course of centuries or more and that included the path of this waterfall.
The very fast flowing water dropped down into the deep hole, dropped further down to the left and then disappeared underneath rock and dirt.
Curious to see if we could find where it came out, but also wary of the time of day we bushwhacked down yet one more steep hill and came to a rise where LC and James stopped.
I continued carefully bushwhacking down the hill to inspect what looked (from the rise) to be a possible riverbed cut deep into the rock.
Holding on to a tree trunk for support I carefully peered down and was disappointed to see no water.
There had been water in it at one point.
Maybe there WAS water in it at certain times of year but today it was bone dry.
OK - no water and no answer as to where the waterfall came out and that mystery would have to wait to be solved for another time.
It was time to head back................
Instead of bushwhacking back up to the waterfall and immediately hitting the trail again we decided to rock climb up a steep hill and bushwhack and circle our way back to the trail.
Our sweet dog with her little legs was game for the adventure and the challenge and with a couple of helping hands and a "butt push" up and over large boulders we made our way back up to the top of the hill..............
Mountains all around us and visible through the trees.
Beautiful, sweet, quiet and wonderful mountains.............
My resting Mountain Boy and resting Jamie............
As we bushwhacked through the woods Jamie as usual walked point.
She lead the way back the trail and immediately began to lead us home............
I took many pictures of fungi growing on rocks and boulders during my many trips onto BLM land while living in Wyoming.
In that state the fungi was multi-colored - bright blues and oranges and yellows.
In the mountains on the Cumberland Plateau it was only white and grey...........
Lots and lots of incredibly huge boulders that have fallen from the rock ledges were all around us during our hike.
I found this one incredibly interesting and also incredibly beautiful because of the way water had carved geometrical cuts into it over a millennium of existence..............
While I was standing and looking at and then photographing this intricately shaped vine LC told me stories of when he was a boy.
Stories of teenagers grabbing thick vines from the trees to use as a make-shift rope swing into rivers and lakes.
He obviously liked telling me the stories and I liked hearing them.
One end of this vine extended 30 feet up into the tree............
Crossing back over the small wooden bridge we knew that we were now only 10 minutes from the trail head............
Initials and dates carved into a rock beside the bridge..............
Only a couple of minutes from the trail head we were now deeply embedded in a world of light and shadow.................
We were only on the trail for a couple of hours but when I stood again at the overlook at the end of the day I was amazed at just how different the world looked.
We had begun our hike with bright blue sky, sunshine, pretty mountains and a valley far below us filled with green fields.
Later in the day the smoky hills were multiple shades of blue and grey.
The world looked smoky and light and dark and beautiful and mystical all at the same time.
It was a beautiful time of day and for the first time that day I was glad that we had gotten a late start............
The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand...........Frederick L. Knowles

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