Friday, June 6, 2014

Pisgah National Forest: Douglas Falls

Today was a Daddy/Daughter Adventure Day! I used to think the best adventures were the epic marches high into the mountains like my one day solo ascent and descent of Cloud Peak in Wyoming, or the marathon trip up and down Pike's Peak on the Barr Trail that my brother Kris and I completed. However, today proved that the best adventures, in reality, are those that feature the company of really special people like my daughter Sierra. It was just a great day of bonding.

We started with a drive into Marshall, NC to visit the closest branch of our bank. After cashing a check, we walked across the French Broad River on a bridge to check out a park on an island in the river. We walked on a trail the encircled the island
Sierra walking
and then headed back to the car. We had some pretty good conversation over the course of our walk. Sierra told me "Yellow hat Daddy." Indeed I was wearing a yellow hat. When we looked down onto the river Sierra exclaimed "Water!"
French Broad
She was very excited. Probably her most exciting moment of the day came when, on our return to the car, we saw a lady walk her dog across some railroad tracks. "Doggie on train track, doggie on train track!" Sierra excitedly exclaimed. She would talk about the dog crossing the train tracks for the rest of the day.

Once back on the road we headed into Weaverville for lunch at Blue Mountain Pizza. "Pizza good", Sierra said. Even though the pizza was good, Sierra did not try any. She was too busy eating her peanut butter and jelly. From lunch we dropped off our recyclables and then made the long drive to the trailhead for Douglas Falls. Along the way we were treated to some views of several waterfalls right from the road
small falls on road
including the tall, cascading Walker Falls.
Walker Falls

When we arrived at the trailhead I put some sunscreen on Sierra and then we hit the trail.
on the trail
The trail to the falls was not too spectacular, but the falls themselves were impressive.
Douglas Falls
There was not a whole lot of water, but the sheer height of the falls (supposedly 70 feet) made up for the lack of water.
falls from cave
We took off our shoes and played in the water a bit.
picking up rocks
Sierra enjoyed picking up rocks and throwing them into the water.
making a splash
We saw a few salamanders.
salamander
After about a half hour, in which we had the falls all to ourselves, we put our shoes back on and made the short half-mile hike back to the car. Sierra was asleep within two minutes of me strapping her into her car seat.
asleep in car
It was a great way to spend the day with a wonderful little girl.           

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