The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Waterfall’

The Rain Day That Wasn’t

Shortly before 9:00 am on Sunday, May 27th, we left our home in Warren PA, en route Letchworth State Park in New York. We arrived at Letchworth State Park at 10:45 am. The Castile entrance to the park was manned that morning, so our Empire Pass saved us the $10.00 entrance fee. We drove to High Falls and walked from there to Middle Falls.

_LG26121Walking towards the Upper Falls


Upper Falls

_LG26126Upper Falls

The direct link for this video of Upper Falls may be found here, in the event it doesn’t appear (or play) on your device.

We saw a snake on our way to the Middle Falls.

_LG26134Garter Snake seen on trail between Upper Falls and Middle Falls

_LG26136Middle Falls

_LG26139Middle Falls

IMG_20180527_113140Bob and I at Middle Falls

Returning to our car, we drove to the Council Grounds. The Council Grounds preserves a portion of the native heritage of the Genesee Valley.

_LG26143Log House Built by Mary Jemison


Next to the log house is a fenced-in area, in which stands a memorial to Mary Jemison.

_LG26153Mary Jemison Memorial
The remains of Mary Jemison are buried in this enclosure.


Mary Jemison Memorial


Mary Jemison Memorial

_LG26148Seneca Council House


The final structure standing on the Council Grounds is a viewing platform.

_LG26152Viewing Platform
I believe, at one time, that this viewing platform provided a place from which one could
contemplate the view over the Glen Iris towards the railroad trestle and Upper Falls.
From this viewing platform I contemplated the view of the Council Grounds.

_LG26149Contemplating the View of the Council Grounds

From the Council Grounds we drove to Inspiration Point.


We passed by a Civil War Monument on our way to Inspiration Point.

_LG26157The monument was decorated with flags in honor of Memorial Day.

_LG26167Inspiration Point

_LG26169Both the Upper and Middle Falls are visible from Inspiration Point.

We left Letchworth State Prak, after visiting Inspiration Point. We used the Castile entrance both entering and exiting the park.

It was around 1:30 pm, when we exited the park. We drove to Perry, New York and ate lunch at the Charcoal Corral.

20180527_170355735_iOSthe Charcoal Corral

The Charcoal Corral is a go-to place in Western New York for great char-grilled food and entertainment – including a drive-in, miniature golf, a video arcade, and much much more.  They have a restaurant and drive-in combo with an eat in dining area and an outdoor dining area. They also sell pizzas and ice cream. They have an arcade and putt putt golf. On select days they have inflatables for the children, cruise nights, talents shows and more. I wish we lived closer to the Charcoal Corral, as this would be an excellent place to bring our grandchildren.

In the photograph displayed above, the restaurant at the far left serves char-grilled food.  Pizzas are sold in the center, and ice cream is sold in the Ice Cream Parlor.

20180527_170711456_iOSInside the Charcoal Corral Restaurant
Food is ordered at this counter.
You have a choice to eat indoors or outside.

I ordered two pieces of white broasted chicken (breast and wing) with macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and a dinner roll. Bob ordered a taco salad. Our food selections were good, and the price paid was a good value.

After lunch, we walked a couple doors down, to the Ice Cream Parlor, and had ice cream for dessert (a twist custard cone for me and a peanut butter sundae for Bob).

We returned to Letchworth State Park after lunch. We entered via the Mt. Morris entrance at a little after 2:00 pm and made our way south through the park back to the Castile exit. We made several stops on our way south.

_LG26175We stopped at the Mt. Morris Dam Overlook.

_LG26177We stopped at the Hogsback Overlook,
which is so named because
the ridge jutting into the canyon resembles a wild boar’s high hunched spine.

We made three more stops before leaving Letchworth State Park.  We stopped at the Tea Table Overlook, Wolf Creek and the Big Bend Overlook.


The Tea Table Overlook is several hundred feet above the Genesee Valley Gorge floor. The Genesee River flows through the gorge.



Wolf Creek


One of the views from the Big Bend Overlook

We departed Letchworth State Park at 3:30 pm and began our drive home.

Upon reaching I-86 we decided to take routes 280 and 59 home. I was driving at the time and had been driving for only a short time. My knee started to hurt, with the pain radiating into my calf. I guess I overdid the walking, while at Letchworth State Park.  It was past time for Extra Strength Tylenol, which I take every 8 hours, as needed, whenever we are riding the motorcycle, driving the car, or doing a lot of walking. We pulled into the parking lot for Quaker Lake at Allegany State Park to change drivers. Who do we see in the parking lot, a few of our local motorcycle riding friends — Paul and Debbie, Scott and Donna, and Craig Myers out on on Sunday ride. Paul said they were on their way to Bob’s Trading Post for ice cream and asked us if we wanted to join them. We said “yes” and tagged along.

_LG26198Following our friends to Bob’s Trading Post

20180527_224758515_iOSBob’s Trading Post, with an eye-catching car parked in front of it

20180527_224036104_iOSPaul, Donna, Debbie, Craig, Bob, Scott and I at Bob’s Trading Post

After ice cream, Bob and I returned home via Longhouse Scenic Drive and Route 59.  For the first time I heard Longhouse Scenic Drive referred to as “LSD”.  What a hoot!

Bob and I returned home around 7:30 pm. I don’t know what time the others returned home, as we left a few minutes before they did. I don’t know what route they took home.

It was a long, but great day. The weather was much better than expected. We expected cloudy skies and an all-day rain with some thunder. We saw very little rain today. It was cloudy at times, but sunshine was plentiful too.

Day 2 Thanksgiving 2017

Yesterday’s blog post detailed how Bob and I spent Thanksgiving Day.  Today’s blog post is about our drive back home from Niagara Falls.

We crossed over the Rainbow Bridge from Canada into New York.  Our first stop was in Niagara Falls, but not at the falls.  We stopped at the Old Stone Chimney.

_LG25239Old Stone Chimney

The Old Stone Chimney is a masonry chimney, which was built as part of a two-story barracks on the site of the French “Fort du Portage,” or “Fort Little Niagara,” by Daniel de Joncaire in 1750.  The Chimney has been repurposed several times since by British and American interests and relocated three times (1902,1942 and 2015).  The Old Stone Chimney is currently located between the Niagara River and the Robert Moses Parkway east of the Adams Slip along the bike path on the river. We have passed by it several times driving to and from Niagara Falls.  This was the first time that we stopped at the Old Stone Chimney.  What a beautiful location!  Standing in front of the Old Stone Chimney, the skyline of Niagara Falls Canada can be seen in the background.

As we did on Thanksgiving Day, we chose not to cross over Grand Island. Our route home took us down the east side of the Niagara River through Tonawanda. We made a couple stops in North Tonawanda. Our first stop was at Fisherman’s Park, where we visited two memorials: a U.S. Marine Corps Memorial  and a U.S. Navy Seabee Veterans Memorial.

_LG25243U.S. Marine Corps Memorial

The next four photographs are pictures of the U.S. Navy Seabee Veterans Memorial.




_LG25247This sculpture is what caught my eye on Thanksgiving Day, as we drove by the park.

It was 11:00 am, when we departed Fishermans Park.

We found the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, but it would not open for another hour.  We hope to visit the museum another time, perhaps with our granddaughters.

Our last stop in North Tonawanda was at the East Hill Foundation.

East Hill Foundation
The lighthouse caught my eye, as we drove through North Tonawanda on Thanksgiving Day.

20171124_161720720_iOSThe gate was locked, so I took pictures through the fence.

20171124_161839931_iOSEast Hill Foundation sits alongside Niagara River.

From North Tonawanda we followed I-290, I-90 and Route 219 through Ellicottville, NY.  We stopped in Springville at Ponderosa for lunch. It had been a while since we ate at Ponderosa, as we do not have that restaurant near to our home.  The buffet food selections were extensive. Everything we ate was delicious, especially the stuffed peppers. I went back for seconds of the stuffed peppers.

We were back on the road at 12:45 pm.

We drove through Ellicottville to Allegany State Park, where we made one photo stop.  We stopped at Bridal Falls.

It’s a short (~.25 mile) hike to Bridal Falls from the Program Site 62 sign on ASP Route 1.

Bob found these memorial stones near Bridal Falls.

20171124_190419064_iOSOne last parting shot of Bridal Falls

It was around 4:30 pm, when we returned home.  What a wonderful Thanksgiving mini vacation we had!  I hope that your Thanksgiving holiday, was as nice as ours!

A Canadian Daycation: Lunch at Walker’s Country Market and Niagara Falls, ON

This blog post continues our daycation to Canada this past Saturday.  In my previous blog post I wrote about our visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

We departed Niagara-on-the-Lake around 11:30 am and began our drive on Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls.

About half way between Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls we stopped for lunch.  We ate lunch at Walker’s Country Market. This is a great little lunch place, off the Niagara Parkway, right next to the Living Waters Wayside Chapel. We purchased two turkey sandwiches (Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with cranberry orange sauce, mayo, walnuts, and romaine lettuce on multigrain whole wheat bread) and two peanut butter ganache brownies for lunch. We sat outside on bistro-style seating and ate our lunch. We would definitely return here for lunch, if in the area. I give Walker’s 5 stars! Next time I would hope that we would do a bit of browsing at the market. There was also fresh produce, jams, maple syrup, ice cream and more available for purchase.  Note to self: box lunches can be purchased at Walker’s Country Market.  A picnic-style lunch at Niagara-on-the-Lake would have been nice!

After lunch we took a few pictures of the Living Water Wayside Chapel.


Living Water Wayside Chapel

According to Internet sources, the Living Water Wayside Chapel is the smallest chapel in the world.


Living Water Wayside Chapel (interior view)

We were back on the road at 12:14 pm and arrived in Niagara Falls at 12:45 pm.

We parked in the Bird Kingdom parking lot ($3.99 for 2 hours).  We walked from there, just past the Hornblower Niagara Cruises entrance.  On hindsight I wish we had parked closer to the falls, as I may have been able to walk all the way down to Horseshoe Falls and back.  My arthritic knee was not very cooperative, while in Niagara Falls.

_LG23042The Falls at Niagara Falls

_LG23045the American and Bridal Falls

_LG23049People, people EVERYWHERE!

_LG23055Horseshoe Falls

_LG23060MistRider Zipline to the Falls


We would have had a good vantage point to watch riders on the zipline.  We stayed at this location for a while and stood alongside the cliff (where all the people are), waiting for someone to ride the zipline.  No one rode the zipline, while we waited.  When I asked if anyone would be riding the zipline soon, I was told that the tailwinds were too strong.

On the way back to our car, we walked through Oakes Garden Theatre.

_LG23072Oaks Garden Theatre

_LG23075This spotted seagull posed for me.

_LG23076Oh look … a wedding party!

We found a fish pond.

_LG23077Goldfish at Oakes Garden Theatre

_LG23079This bridge crosses over the fish pond.
What a tranquil setting!

We stopped at the duty free store before crossing the Rainbow Bridge into New York. We made our purchases at the duty free store, namely bourbon and maple filled cookies. We returned to the USA at 2:30 pm. The U.S. Border control guard asked Bob to remove his sunglasses, asked him how tall he is and how much he weighs. She said our last name is a common name, and some people with that name have done very bad things.

Niagara Falls, NY was too crowded for a pleasant visit.  We will visit Niagara Falls, NY at a later date.

We decided to drive to Erie PA for dinner. We ate dinner at Texas Roadhouse. We had a 15-25 minute wait to be seated. It was worth the wait. Our dinners were good, although we brought enough home with us for another meal for each of us. Neither of us were as hungry as we thought we were.

We were back on the road at 7:50 pm.

We chased Saturday night’s sunset. We saw the setting sun, as we drove over the Interstate 86 bridge that crosses over Chautauqua Lake at Bemus Point, NY. We exited Interstate 86 at Bemus Point. We couldn’t find anywhere to park, as the Bemus Pops Concert series was happening that evening.

LJG23081Sunset at Bemus Point, NY
I snapped this sunset picture from inside our car.

Bob thought he could make it to the Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area before the sun set. We made it there in the nick of time.

LJG23084Sunset at Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area

LJG23085Sunset at Interstate 86 Chautauqua Lake Rest Area

I posted these three sunset pictures on Facebook, while on our way home from the rest area.  My Facebook friend Christi C. said it best, when she made the comment “You chased the sun till it dipped below the world and said good bye for the final time today!”

It was a very long day.  We departed home at 6:00 am and returned home around 9:30 pm.  We drove 340 miles.   It was a long day, but what a wonderful day we had!

Mt. Morris NY to Warren PA, via Letchworth State Park

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in the East Syracuse, NY area the weekend of July 1 through July 3.  In my earlier blog post I wrote about the first part of our trip back home on Monday, July 3.  This blog post is about rest of our trip back home.

After lunch we drove through Letchworth State Park.   Earlier this year we purchased an annual New York State Park Empire Pass that provides unlimited day use vehicle entry to most state parks and recreation facilities. Letchworth State Park was one of three New York State parks at which we used our Empire Pass during our weekend getaway.   I wrote about visits at the other two state parks in previous blog posts.  At Letchworth we stopped at Inspiration Point and Middle Falls.

_LG22570_LG22571_LG22572-HDRBoth the Upper and Middle Falls are visible from Inspiration Point.

_LG22579Rainbow at Middle Falls

_LG22585Middle Falls

We passed up Lower Falls. Perhaps someday we will make the hike down that trail again. Neither of us felt like making that hike today. The Portageville exit is still closed, as construction continues on a new steel arch railroad bridge across the Genesee River Gorge. You can see the bridge in the photograph displayed above, as well as in the photograph of Inspiration Point.  We were surprised to find the trail to Upper Falls fenced off. The trail is closed for reconstruction through the remainder of 2017.

There is much more to see and do at Letchworth State Park.  We have visited this park several times over the past 15+ years, as the park is located only a couple hours drive from our home.  I expect we will make a return trip in the fall.

We departed Letchworth State Park via the Castile exit at 3:30 pm.

We stopped for ice cream at Peaches and Cream in Randolph NY. I ordered a banana split, which was made with one scoop each of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream with appropriate toppings and a sliced banana. The banana split was easily twice the size as the one I get at Dairy Queen and cost about the same. I didn’t need or want dinner that evening!

We returned home shortly before 6:00 pm. Checking the odometer, we traveled 641 miles during our weekend getaway. We said hello to our kitty and unpacked the car. While I unpacked our travel bag and put away everything else, Bob mowed the yard.

My new U.S. Passport arrived in the mail, while we were away. Hooray! We can plan a trip to Niagara Falls, Canada now! When I mailed in my passport renewal application on June 14, the processing time indicated was 4-6 weeks. The processing time was quicker than that!

I hope that you have enjoyed the blog posts about our East Syracuse NY weekend getaway!


Subaru 6,000 Mile Service and More Waterfalls

We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina. I have been uploading blog posts about our vacation since May 29th. This blog post is about our sixth day of vacation.

We awakened at 5:45 am on Friday, May 19.  We were showered and dressed for the day by 6:30 am.

We left A Holiday Motel at 6:38 am en route Asheville, NC. I drove. We arrived at IHOP at 7:15 am. Bob ordered coffee, two scrambled eggs and two slices bacon. I ordered two scrambled eggs, two slices of bacon and two pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream. The food and service were good.

After breakfast we went to Prestige Subaru, where we had an appointment at 8:15 am for our Subaru Legacy’s 6,000 mile service.  We purchased our new car in March this year and have put over 5,000 miles on the car.  We knew we would be over 6,000 miles by the time we returned home, so we made a service appointment, while on vacation, for this important first service. Customer service was excellent.  From the moment we walked in they were so kind, welcoming, and generous. We were offered breakfast snacks and coffee while we waited in comfortable seating.  The service was fast and efficient.

The car service was completed by 8:55 am. We left Prestige Subaru en route Canton, NC. In Canton we hopped onto NC Route 215 south.

_LG21701NC Route 215
near the U.S. Route 276 and NC Route 215 Intersection
Sign indicates that the next 34 miles will have 9% grades, 15 MPH curves and 5000 ft. elevations.

_LG21703We passed by Lake Logan.

As our drive brought us closer to the Blue Ridge Parkway, we saw two waterfalls.  We have seen both of these waterfalls during past visits in this area.  However, we have approached them from the opposite direction.  It was strange to come up on the waterfalls on the opposite side of the road than expected!  In the past I have referred to these waterfalls as Waterfall #1 and Waterfall #2.  This year I discovered the name of one of the two waterfalls.

_LG21704Sunburst Falls

There are two sets of falls here, an upper falls and a lower falls.  I have shown the upper falls in the photograph displayed above.

Sunburst Falls is located right next to NC Route 215.  The waterfall crosses under a beautiful stone bridge. The water flows through an arch in the bridge and plunges into some smaller falls below the bridge.

_LG21709Sunburst Falls (Lower Falls)

The second waterfall we passed was also located right next to NC Route 215.

Waterfall #2

Please click here, if you are not able to watch the embedded waterfall video.

Leaving the second waterfall, we continued on NC Route 215 to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We turned right onto the Parkway.  We stopped at three overlooks before returning to Maggie Valley.

Our first stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway was at Beartrap Gap Overlook.

_LG21718Beartrap Gap Overlook
Elevation 5,580 ft.

_LG21719We enjoyed a picnic lunch, while at the Beartrap Gap Overlook.

_LG21722Richland Balsam Overlook
Elevation 6,053 ft.
Highest Elevation on the Parkway

Our last stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway was at the Standing Rock Overlook.  The standing rock for which the overlook is named is located at the south end of the parking area.

_LG21729Standing Rock Overlook
Elevation 3,915 ft.

We returned to A Holiday Motel, home base for the Southeast Vulcan Riders and Owners (SEVROC) motorcycle rally, at around 1:30 pm.  We were tired, so we took a nap.

After our nap, we socialized with our VROC friends until it was time to leave for dinner.

Dinner was a group event, the SEVROC Meet & Greet.  Back at A Holiday Motel, after dinner, the son and daughter-in-law of one of our friends, entertained us with music.  I will share a separate blog post about the Meet & Greet and our evening entertainment, as well as other specific SEVROC-related events, in the near future.



Chasing Waterfalls

We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina. I have been uploading blog posts about our vacation since May 29th. This blog post is about our fourth day of vacation.

We awakened shortly before 6:00 am on Wednesday, May 17. By 6:50 am we were showered and dressed for the day.  This is our first full day at A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley, NC.

Our VROC friends, “Skid” and Sandy, stopped by our hotel room around 7:15 am, on their way to breakfast. The four of us ate breakfast at Pop’s Grits & Eggs, located on the hotel grounds.  We sat down at the only available table and placed our breakfast orders.  Bob ordered a Sausage and Cheese Omelet. I ordered a Western Omelet. Breakfast was good and very filling.

After breakfast, Bob and I went chasing waterfalls. It was 9:00 am, when we began our drive. We saw seven waterfalls.  We used the following map as a guide for the location of waterfalls.  As we planned to skip some of the waterfalls, we used the GPS to take us from one waterfall to the next.  Therefore, we followed loosely the directions outlined on this map.  We did begin our drive in Maggie Valley, and the first waterfall that we visited was Soco Falls.

Waterfall mapWaterfall Map

Soco Falls is located between the towns of Maggie Valley and Cherokee. From Maggie Valley, head south on Highway 19 to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Cross under the Parkway and continue downhill on Highway 19 towards Cherokee. From the Parkway, it’s 1.5 miles to an unmarked pullout on the left side of the road. This is the fourth year that we have gone in search of waterfalls in this area of North Carolina.  Each year we have missed the small parking area for this waterfall.  This year was no exception; however, we turned around this time and found Soco Falls.  There is no sign at the pullout, but you can hear the waterfalls from the parking area.  The trail to Soco Falls begins at the northern part of the parking area, where there is a break in the guard rail.  The first part of the trail resembled a goat path and was a little bit steep.  Within a few minutes, though, we reached a boardwalk and the viewing platform.

_LG21498Soco Falls

Soco Falls is a double waterfall.   If you look closely at the photograph displayed below, a portion of the second waterfall can be seen on the bottom left side peeking out from behind the foliage.

Soco Falls
The taller of the two waterfall is 120 feet tall.


Please click here, if you are unable to view the embedded video of Soco Falls.

U.S. Route 64 tightly twists and turns its way along the Cullasaja River Gorge, which is part of the Nantahala National Forest.   We stopped at three Cullasaja River Gorge waterfalls:

  • Cullasaja Falls
  • Quarry Falls
  • Dry Falls

Cullasaja Falls is located along a very dangerous stretch of Hwy 64. The 250′ waterfall is visible from the road, but there is only a small pull-off area.  Make sure that you pull completely off the road!   Tractor trailers use this section of road and they need both lanes to get around these curves.

_LG21503Cullasaja Falls

Quarry Falls (also known as Upper Cullasaja Falls) is another roadside waterfall.  Quarry Falls is a small, but beautiful waterfall.

_LG21505Quarry Falls is a 20-foot high, multi-tiered waterfall.

Please click here, if you are not able to view the embedded video of Quarry Falls.

The 75-foot high Dry Falls earned its name because you can take a trail to walk behind the falls and not get wet (well, not too wet).

_LG21514Dry Falls

I walked behind the waterfall; Bob stayed well away from its spray.  I put together a short video of my walk under the falls.

Click here if you are not able to view the embedded video of Dry Falls.

Around 1:00 pm we ate a picnic lunch at Connestee Falls Park, located about 6 miles from Brevard along U.S. Route 276.

After lunch we took a very short stroll from the right rear of the parking lot to the viewing area for Baston Creek Falls.

_LG21538The viewing platform sits on top of Connestee Falls.
The ledge that is visible in this photograph is a small part of Connestee Falls.
From the viewing area you look over at Batson Creek Falls.

Batson Creek Falls

Located a short distance from Brevard along Route 276 are Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock, both of which are located in the Pisgah National Forest.  Before arriving at Looking Glass Falls we avoided a car collision with a car that wandered onto our side of the road; we hit a squirrel; and we avoided hitting a dog that jumped out onto the road from truck bed in front of us. This all happened within a few minutes!

_LG21547Looking Glass Falls is 60 feet tall.


Please click here, if you are not able to view the embedded video of Looking Glass Falls.

Our next stop was at Sliding Rock.  Sliding Rock is a 60′ natural rock slide with a 6-7 foot deep pool at the base.  I put together a movie, using the video and still images that I took at Sliding Rock.

Please click here, if you are not able to view the embedded video of Sliding Rock.

That was a cool movie, wasn’t it?  I recently upgraded from Adobe Photoshop Elements to Adobe Premiere Elements, mainly for its video editing capabilities. This movie was the first one I created, using that program.

Both Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock are located near the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Leaving Sliding Rock, we hopped onto the Blue Ridge Parkway (south) — the subject of my next blog post.



Front Royal, VA to Waynesboro, VA via Skyline Drive

We spent the week of May 14th on vacation in Virginia and North Carolina.  Earlier this week I uploaded a blog post about the first day of our vacation.  This blog post provides details and photographs of our second day of vacation.

We checked out of the Quality Inn Skyline Drive on Monday, May 15, at 6:20 am, after a complimentary breakfast at the hotel. We drove straightway to Skyline Drive; the north entrance was located within 2 miles of our hotel.  For the next 9 1/2 hours we drove the entire length of Skyline Drive (105 miles), from Front Royal to Rockfish Gap.  We stopped at LOTS of overlooks and hiked the trail to Dark Hollow Falls. Here are some of the photographs that I took at the overlooks.

_LG21346-with_textSignal Knob Overlook
Mile 5.7 Elevation 2,090 feet

From the Signal Knob Overlook you can see Signal Knob, the northernmost peak of Massanutten Mountain.  You can also see the south fork of the Shenandoah River.


_LG21348Gooney Manor Overlook
Mile 7.3 Elevation 1,930 feet

_LG21357Skyline Drive Deer

_LG21363Hogwallow Flats Overlook

_LG21364Hogwallow Flats Overlook
Mile 13.8 Elevation 2,665 feet

_LG21368Browntown Valley Overlook
Look at that moon!

_LG21370Browntown Valley Overlook
Mile 14.9 Elevation 2,890 feet

The view at Browntown Valley Overlook looks straight out across the Browntown Valley to the Massanutten, with Signal Knob at its right-hand end.

_LG21374Range View Overlook
Mile 17.1 Elevation 2,810 feet

From the Range View Overlook you can see Skyline Drive beckoning you on to the next overlook.

IMG_20170515_080818Little Devils Stairs Overlook
(photo by Bob)

_LG21382Little Devils Stairs Overlook
Mile 20.1 Elevation 3,120 feet

_LG21385Hogback Overlook
Mile 21.0 Elevation 3,385 feet

_LG21392Pass Mountain Overlook
Mile 30.1 Elevation 2,460

_LG21398Marys Rock Tunnel
Mile 32.4 Elevation 2,510 feet

_LG21400-HDRMarys Rock Tunnel is 610 feet long; it was blasted through the ridge about 1932.

I found a long, thin waterfall at Marys Rock Tunnel.

Click here in the event you are not able to view the embedded video.

_LG21413Hazel Mountain Overlook
Mile 33.0 Elevation 2,770 feet

Hazel Mountain Overlook
(Photo by Bob)

_LG21417Hazel Mountain Overlook
This was such a serene setting!

_LG21419-PanoPinnacles Overlook panoramic view
Mile 35.1 Elevation 3,320 feet

_LG21433Jewell Hollow Overlook
Mile 36.4 Elevation 3,320 feet

_LG21436Jewell Hollow Overlook

There was a sign at Jewell Hollow Overlook that discussed wall construction.  The sign read: “In the 1930s, stone walls in Shenandoah National Park were built in two styles of masonry: dry-laid and ashlar.  Dry-laid walls,  like those here at Jewell Hollow Overlook, could be built by less-experienced stone workers, like the young men of the CCC, since they require only moving and aligning heavy stones–more muscle than skill…”

_LG21438We saw this pretty Indigo Bunting, while at the Jewell Hollow Overlook.

_LG21442Stony Man Mountain Overlook
Mile 38.6 Elevation 3,100 feet

_LG21443Profile of Stony Man
at the Stony Man Mountain Overlook

Skyland Resort is located at mile marker 41.7 and sits at Skyline Drive’s highest elevation, 3,680 feet.

_LG21448Skyland Overlook
Mile 41.7 Elevation 3,680 feet

IMG_20170515_104711Timber Hollow Overlook
Mile 43.3 Elevation 3,360 feet
(Photo by Bob)

_LG21461Crescent Rock Overlook
Mile 44.4 Elevation 3,550 feet

_LG21457Crescent Rock Overlook

_LG21468Franklin Cliffs Overlook
Mile 49 Elevation 3,140 feet

What can I say about Dark Hollow Falls.  I have hiked the trail to the falls three times.  The first time was with Mom in June 1994.  I was 38 years old at the time; Mom would be 56 years old in a couple months.

Mom and I at Dark Hollow Falls in June 1994.

The second time I hiked the trail to Dark Hollow Falls was with Bob in May 2001.  I was 45 years old at the time.

              Bob and I at Dark Hollow Falls in May 2001

Sixteen years later I hike down that trail once again to the bottom of Dark Hollow Falls.  From the parking lot, which is located at mile marker 50.7 and at an elevation of 3,425 feet, the trail is a round trip of 1.4 miles.  The descent is about 440 feet, which means you have to climb back up from the falls 440 feet!  A trail description states that the time required to make the round trip on this trail is 1 hour and 25 minutes.  

This year the thought of hiking the Dark Hollow Falls trail caused me trepidation.  I had a scare, while at Bushkill Falls earlier in the month. We were hiking around the Main Falls. We planned to do more hiking than that, intending to see more waterfalls than only Main Falls. I got lightheaded, shaky. My breathing was not good. My heart was beating very fast. My chest started to hurt. I sat down on a wooden rail for quite a while, until everything returned to normal. Then we began the climb back to the car. It took a while because I had to make lots of stops.

I had no trouble hiking down the Dark Hollow Falls trail.

Dark Hollow Falls trail
The hiking pole was a great help on this trail.

There were a few small waterfalls along the trail to Dark Hollow Falls.

_LG21472Small waterfall along trail to Dark Hollow Falls

_LG21474Another small waterfall along trail to Dark Hollow Falls

_LG21476One more small waterfall along trail to Dark Hollow Falls

_LG21477Dark Hollow Falls Trail
This part of the trail was bad enough going down; I wasn’t looking forward to the upward climb!

Dark Hollow Falls

Dark Hollow Falls
(photo by Bob)

Will I ever see Dark Hollow Falls again?  I hope so, but I told Bob that this may be my last visit to the falls.

I took it very slow on the climb back up the trail, resting frequently. Thankfully I never experienced what I did at Bushkill Falls, while hiking the Dark Hollow Falls trail. But, man was I exhausted from that hike. Toward the end I began to feel quite weak from low sugar, I think, as we had not had anything to eat since 6:00 am. I mentioned earlier that a trail description stated that the time required to make the round trip on this trail is 1 hour and 25 minutes.  It took us about 2 hours to make the round trip…not bad considering all the stops I made.

Less than a mile south of the Dark Hollow Falls parking lot is Big Meadow.  We ate a picnic lunch (Bumble Bee meat spread and crackers and pineapple) at Big Meadow. We also bought Blackberry ice cream (for me) and peanut butter pie (for Bob) for dessert. I believe the blackberry ice cream is available only on Skyline Drive. It is the only place I have had that ice cream flavor. When we planned our drive to Maggie Valley, via Skyline Drive, blackberry ice cream and a Shenandoah National Park t-shirt were on my list of must-haves. In addition to the ice cream, I purchased THREE t-shirts.

It was 2:10 pm, when we continued our trip south on Skyline Drive. It wasn’t long afterward that I began to feel motion sickness. Bob parked the car at an overlook. We reclined the front seats for “20 winks”. I think Bob needed a rest, as he fell asleep for a short long time. As for me, I wasn’t feeling any better. I ended up throwing up the ice cream and pineapple that I had for lunch. I felt better, after throwing up.

We exited Skyline Drive at 4:10 pm. We didn’t make any other photo op stops at any outlooks past Big Meadow.

About a mile from our hotel we stopped at a car wash in Waynesboro. The car needed a bath, as it was covered with pollen dust and a bird had crapped on the hood.

We checked into Best Western Waynesboro around 5:00 pm. Our room number was Room 414. It was a very nice room, a two queen bed suite. The sitting area, with its couch, two comfy chairs, one end table and a coffee table, was quite nice. The living and sleeping areas were separated by a half wall.

At 6:00 pm we drove to a nearby Outback Steakhouse for dinner. Bob ordered steak; I ordered chicken fingers, which Bob helped me eat.  My stomach seemed to have settled; dinner didn’t upset it further.

After dinner we watched an episode of “Elementary” on Hulu.

We went to bed around 9:30 pm.


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