Friday, August 8, 2008

New Path

Here's the new path down to the creek, right in front of the breezeway. The handrail makes it pretty easy, and maybe Chad can build a few rock steps right at the end. I'd like to keep it mulched, along with the path between the breezeway and the Cabin 4 porch - the doggies like to poop along here, but they might not on the mulch.

Ogle's Meadow

Once the site of a tourist hotel, this natural mountaintop bald is reached from Murchison. When you get to the top of the paved road on the way to Barnardsville, to the left is a seven mile single-track trail that goes to the Blue Ridge Parkway and to the right is the steep dirt road that goes to the meadow. As kids we picnicked here among the rhododendron, and today there are a few very nice houses with fabulous views of the Blue Ridge mountains. At the end of the road, where there is an incredible view of the whole Black Mountain range (Celo on the far left and Mt. Mitchel on the far right), lives Dan Wilson, great grandson of Big Tom Wilson, who led Elijah Mitchel to the top of the highest mountain east of the Rockies. Mr. Wilson is very friendly and has lots of stories to tell. Here are a couple of pictures taken from the meadow earlier this week.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Blue Sea Falls

This is the "mythical" and very hard to reach Blue Sea Falls at the headwaters of the Cane River in Yancey County, North Carolina, The old Mt. Mitchell Toll Road is used to get to the falls, which are on private property. For permission to enter this vast tract of wilderness, contact the "agent," Stuart Bagwell. As a kid I can remember coming up here and still seeing the remains of old railroad trestles which were used by small gauge trains to haul virgin timber out from the slopes of Mt. Mitchell. There was also the remains of an old saw mill up here. Today the area is a private preserve, primarily for bear hunting and trout fishing by a group of owners who built a log lodge deep in the woods. Mr. Bagwell told us that the bear population today is "plenty, almost too plenty."

The pictures below show the bridge that you cross right before heading up a treacherous trail through Rhododendron thickets that bar the final approach to the falls as well as some of the trout you see in the stream below the falls - this specimen must be 24" long.

Hike Near Barnardsville

Douglas Falls is a worthwhile and easy hike on a lovely trail head in the mountains south of Barnardsville just under the Blue Ridge parkway. Go to Murchison, then go over the mountain to Barnardsville and turn left and just follow the road. The last eight miles are dirt.

New Porch Railings

Although the plan is still to move and build in three years, now that Addy will be coming regularly I spent a week rebuilding all the porch railings for the breezeway and Cabin 4 this summer. Here are some pics plus a short video.