July 2 . . . a Thursday
We woke up a lot during the night tossing and turning. It felt like we slept hard for a long time between turnings, but after we turned over so many times, we realized it was a long night. However, overall we slept well. I woke up at 5 a.m. and my bowels started to move. I had been going pee outside the tent and just throwing away the toilet paper in a trash bag. We always come prepared with their own toilet paper. There is a porta potty up the hill, but there's no way I am walking up there. When I bent over a whole bunch of not-so-normal poo came out fast. Ugggg! Not this by our tent! How will be ever dispose of it! I was feeling dizzy too. Not necessarily the way I wanted to start my birthday.
There were beautiful hibiscus flowers everywhere. Somewhere bush like and somewhere tree like plants. We have been seeing them everywhere. They were so fragrant and filled the air with a gorgeous scent.
The petals were also falling onto the ground and onto the wet rocks. I felt like a princess walking along a gorgeous path with flower petals lining my way. Sometimes they would even be floating in the water.
We walked the .3 of a mile back to the intersection near the parking lot. Then we turned to walk down toward Triple Falls. It was .3 of a mile to the sign for Triple Falls, and we thought we were there. We found out later that we were not quite there. We found talking to people helped a lot. We were trying to count the three falls, but apparently the first fall we saw was not part of Triple Falls but an unnamed fall along the way.
We went up a little further on the river and the view to our left of the fall area above changed and was all new and gorgeous. To the right was this photo above and we learned that it was actually the bottom of Triple Falls.
We came to a clearing where we could see part of Triple Falls.
We saw this bench as we continued on toward High Falls. We wondered if anybody ever really set on it. We had debated whether or not to hike back to the car and then go to the parking lot for High Falls. I figured out that the distance was only .2 of a mile more each way, so we decided to take the .6 of a mile hike from Triple Falls to High Falls. He had been warned about the steep trail, and goodness were they right. It was quite a long hike and it seemed like forever until we got there. My feet were beginning to hurt fairly much.
So we walked back down the way we came, down a hill, and went to a River Bend Trail. It actually did bend in the middle and was a horseshoe shaped trail. Our feet were hurting so bad and we were getting chafed between the legs. Still had a very long way back too. At first we felt disappointed at this side trip to the bottom of the fall because we could not see it very well. But then we got brave and walked along the rocks, which were mostly huge slabs, along the edge of the water and around the corner. That is when we came to this amazing view and this photo. We were there all alone with this huge waterfall in front of us. We were at the bottom of High Falls waterfall. I wanted to get out in the water and go to the edge of the waterfall, but being even more wet and having to walk back stopped me from doing it. We sat for quite a while by ourselves and enjoyed the view and felt it quite romantic. I never imagined I would be sitting before such a huge waterfall privately just us two in the middle of a gorgeous forest.
This is a photo along the trail. It does not do it justice. The flowers in the greenery, the petals on the ground, the floral smell in the air, along with the mountain river smell were something words could not describe. My feet were hurting really bad, and my wet shorts were rubbing on my thighs, but I tried to think only of the beautiful setting as I enjoyed each and every step of the way back.
When we got back to the first set of unnamed waterfalls we stopped for a while and wallowed in the water. I did not even bother to put my shorts back on to walk the last .3 of a mile back to the car. This flower was near where we wallowed in the water and I thought it was pretty to be out there by it's self and not have been trampled on.
As we drove back toward Brevard, we suddenly got cell phone service and our phone started going off. I had a lot of Facebook messages and text messages. Our son had visited the house for us and, as promised, he took pictures of my girls and texted them to me. They pulled over on the side of the road for a little bit so I could answer texts.
We drove across the main highway and back into the Piscah National Forest and up and up and up and up the side of the mountain. We thought we would never get there. The man who checked us in at our campsite, when I asked for a restaurant that had a view, had told us of this restaurant and we were headed there. At the top of the mountain was the Blue Ridge Parkway. The first thing we saw when we hit the Blue Ridge Parkway was a view of Cold Mountain. I thought it was beautiful until we got in the car and drove down the road a little more.
That is when we saw one amazing view of the blue ridge mountains…
… After another view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We were in complete awe. At one point we got out of the car and walked back to the clearing to take some photos. We stopped at quite a few overlooks also that were along the way.
We went under a tunnel too and that was fun.
The view at Pisgah Inn restaurant was amazing. The menus were even awesome.
I ordered a Mimosa drink to drink before my meal.
This is a photo of our waiter. He was training with another lady. He had a great personality and gave us great service. I was taking this photo, though, to show the view out just one of us.
There was a long row of windows overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains with an indescribable wide view.
Hubby had the mountain fried have chicken, with rice and a baked potato. It could be that we had not eaten much all day, even I hiking for seven hours on just a scone, but I taste tested his chicken and agreed with him that it was the best chicken we had ever eaten. The crispy outside was battered just right, not too thick but light, and not too spicy, but just enough spice.
I had the pork scallopini with mushrooms, garlic, shallots, and tarragon, with a Sherry Demi glaze. My sides were a house salad and the vegetable of the day, which was a smothered squash. Wow, you would think I was eating in a five-star restaurant. I could not have asked for a better birthday meal. Our camp manager sure did direct us to the perfect location.
There was a balcony outside next to the restaurant and this is a pano of the view. There were also motel rooms at this location that overlooked the view too. I really wanted to stay there. Maybe another day.
We drove the long drive back to the campsite on the other side of Brevard. That morning we had stopped in at a Kmart to buy an extra camera card, and had spotted a bottle of Biltmore wine. Just in case we do not make it to see the Biltmore, we had picked up the bottle to test taste. We drank the bottle of wine while looking at our travel brochures in the tent, and it had started to rain again.
I never imagined I would be spending my 50th birthday and a very primitive campsite. However all the people who are at the beautiful campsites are crowded and having to listen to each other make noise and talk. So this is not really bad at all.
I found my phone had one bar of LTE service. It was enough to read the emails and Facebook. I decided to blog the day before and even speaking-to-text worked. I was content. It kept me busy while hubby slept some more. Always requires more sleep than me. It started to rain, and I was enjoying snuggling and listening to the soft rain. Maybe the rain will wash away my poo. I guess I can hope.
It started to rain while we were laying in the tent, again, and we were determined not to let it mess up our day.
The night before I had read in one of the books that if encountered by a bear to make a lot of noise banging things together and slowly back away. I had to laugh and hubby because he went and got these two pieces of wood from the fire pit and put them in the tent being together in case a bear attacked our tent.
From the shower house, there was a fabulous lake with a walkway and a gazebo in the middle. To the left was a pool. With all the rain we never did get to enjoy walking out in the walkway.
We had intended on staying dry while we walked around Dupont national Park for the day. That did not last very long. The first waterfall which was .3 of a mile walk. But when we got at the waterfall the temptation to get in was too great. At first we took off our shorts and shirts and just waited out a little bit so I could get a snapshot to share on Facebook to say that I was enjoying my 50th birthday getting in waterfalls. I can only post photos on Facebook with my iPhone so that is why I got in the water near the edge to take this photo. We took a lot of other photos with my big camera and the water camera.
We could not resist the temptation and ended up walking closer and closer to the waterfall. At first we were all alone, but then some others came up and we were actually glad for their company because they showed us how to go behind the waterfall.
It was so much fun to crawl up the rocks and scoot across behind the waterfall until you got to the middle , came through the waterfall, and then slid down into the water. I'll be went behind the waterfall once, but he did not slide through as he is protecting his back from harm. I did it three times because hubby was trying hard to get the photos of me in the waterfall that I wanted to have. It was a lot of fun and I was so happy.
We went off the trail and followed the area along the creek. Maybe it was a river? We thought we were doing something out of the ordinary, but it turned out that many people took this excursion. We came to this area and the above picture and thought it was the second fall of Triple Falls, only to find out it wasn't really part of Triple Falls at all later on. It was gorgeous, and we wanted to sit down in the water for a while and wallow, but knew that we had a lot to see first. At the end of our trip, we actually did come back to the spot and sit down and wallow for a while.
We walked all the way back along the river to the sign and to the main road and started hiking up the steep hill. We sure did have to do a lot of steep walking, or should I say hiking.
I did not take pictures of the stairs with my phone, but I have them on another camera that I do not have access to while I blog. However, there was a very steep long set of stairways down to the middle section of Triple Falls. This photo is taken looking to the right up at the top two sections of Triple Falls. To our left we could see where the falls were dropping off on the bottom section that we had previously stated below.
We hiked up all of those steps and we're already beginning to feel exhausted. However up ahead of us was even more steep climbing, but we made our way to the top of Triple Falls.
We saw High Falls from a clearing when we finally reached the right location. We did not walk further on the trail because we not think there were much more to see down that trail. It might have been the covered bridge we never saw it. I did not get a photo with my phone at this location, but did with my cameras. I asked a lady to take or photo in front of the waterfall and the kind lady told us about another way to the bottom of the waterfall. Once again we found that the more we talked and ask questions of people we saw the more we learned of the interesting things to do.
We were at Dupont for a total of seven hours walking around. We were exhausted and wet. We made our way to the visitor center at Dupont and changed into dry clothes in the bathrooms. Seven hours and wet clothes was enough for me.
Actually it had rained the entire day, but it did not seem to matter while we were out along the water for seven hours. About the only time it did not rain was when we were at the restaurant and that worked out well.
We went to sleep around 10 p.m.
What an amazing, fabulous, wonderful 50th birthday I don't think I could've asked for a better day doing anything else.