Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Greeter Falls With Cousin J.

It just so happened that cousin J., who usually resides in Greensboro with her madre NCC, was going to be in the Sewanee area at the same time that I was visiting. This was not planned, but it was nice turn of events. I arrived in town on Monday evening, and on Tuesday afternoon I took J. to Greeter Falls and the Blue hole. these were two spots J. may have visited as a wee little lass, but she had no real  recollection of visiting either. It was a murderously hot week for the most part, and the lack of any substantial amount of rain fall over the last month was worrisome. Worrisome in terms of crops and the world we live in of course ... but more importantly in terms of water falls actually falling, pool levels being properly deep and the overall temperature listing towards bracing instead of boiling. In previous years I have found Greeter Fallsto generally be in a flowing state. But this time around it pretty fallow as far as water flow. The water was significantly lower than in any previous year, receded far enough from its usual outposts as to unearth entirely new rocks to my eyes. The falls weren't falling as much as slightly trickling. And that trickle was not the mountain stream coldness you might hope for on such a hot day, but more like  bath water. Nonetheless, I swam and there were enough spots in the pool that were cool that I didn't mind all the aforementioned drawbacks. Here is a photograph of me enjoying the water. I know my face is washed out, but you'll just have to trust that it is actually me. 
For the first half hour or so we were the sole folks at the pool, which is about a mile's hike from the parking lot. But soon enough a gaggled group of people joined us; two older men, one young boy and a range of girls who all attended the same dance studio in Florida (according to J.'s sleuthing). It was funny to see them descend on the place. J. had been taking her time about actually getting into the water, perched on a rock with only her legs in the water...soon enough this group realized that the rock was a pretty good launching point to the water. But they, too, took a bit of time to actually gather the gumption to jump in, which led to J. being surrounded by this whole group of people she didn't know.
J. back to being the solo owner of the rock. Or maybe that was a different rock?I think so, because her hair is wet there.
We had spread ourselves out on a particularly nice and flat rock along the pool. This was the view when I was flat on my back.
The trickle, it trickles.

After a good couple of hours at the "falls," we started making our way back out, but I wanted to also stop at "Blue Hole." In previous years I've never bothered, so satisfied with the water at the falls...but this year I wanted to better remember the 'hole.' I think that the last time I went there it was with NCC and J. when J. was either under two or 4. Can't remember which. J. was particularly taken with the fish that hung out near the pool's entrance and was dogged in her determination to catch one with her hands using only watermelon rind as bait.

Blue Hole was also markedly low and not as cool as you might have hoped for on such a hot day. But you could find a few cool spots to enjoy. We talked with a nice lady from Florida about dogs and manatees for a bit. And then another group came with fishing poles and overactive young boys, one of whom graciously offered us a piece of bread to further entice the fish.
In the end no fish were caught bare handed, but it can't be said that she didn't try.
And then we called it a day, packed up our stuff, hiked back up and out and drove the 45 minutes to where J. was staying in the valley. Well, it was more than 45 minutes because I totally missed the turn and drove a good 5-10 miles out of our way. The valley, even when lacking enough rain, was beautiful.

1 comment:

nc catherine said...

Ah the falls. Certainly not jumpable this year! And blue hole actually was not where we went when you were a young lass and J less-than-two, we had gone to the first pool at Fiery Gizzard. But no matter, mountain water and mountain streams are good regardless! The goofy pic is hilarious since that is the face Brother/Cousin/Uncle H (pick your relationship!)regularly makes when you take his pictures. Hilarious I say, the whole gene pool thing.