Swimmers at Cascades
Cascades Trail and beyond onto Butt Mountain ISO Barney's Wall. About 7 miles.
A big turnout at the Cascades on this beautiful spring day, with the parking lot overflowing and the are around the falls itself packed with people.
And while it's great to see the falls at a healthy flow, our primary reason to take this walk is to leave the crowds behind and take the Conservancy Trail up to the great viewpoint at Barney's Wall.
And well, the sound of Little Stoney Creek was so distinct through the woods that I decided we oughta try to find the upper falls for once. Which, in retrospect would have been easy enough had we taken the first little trail that paralleled the creek beyond the main falls. But for some reason the forest road looked more beckoning, so we took that a ways. And then a ways further, even after I had to call The Day Hiker back from her start up the Conservancy Trail where we were supposed to be headed. And then a ways further and a ways further until it was clear we need to cut back to the south pretty quick.
About which time there appeared another old forest road headed in that very direction. Which we climbed and climbed until it sort of petered out in the woods. At which time The Day Hiker opined that we might have done this once before, which I denied until it was pretty clear that indeed we had, someday years back. Anyway, we 'shwhacked a ways, and then followed some orange ties for a while – all while I was absolutely sure we were going to intersect with the Conservancy trail any sec'.
Which we never did.
And over the years if I've developed any sense and feel for anything in the woods, it has to do with when The Day Hiker has about had it with off-trail, make-it-up-as-we-go, Kurt-pretending kind of walking. At which point the solution is to spread out the ol' lunch cloth in the middle of noplace in particular and eat lunch.
Which we did.
"At least we're pretty alone," The Day Hiker opined at some point during her chicken salad wrap.
At least I got us back down to some semblance of trail without any further foolish detours.
How to get there: U.S. 460 west out of Blacksburg to the Cascades Road (marked with brown sign) in Pembroke; follow the road to the parking lot. $3 fee.
April 10, 2010