I have found over the years of camping in a group that things take time. Getting everyone going in one direction takes time and getting where you're going takes time. This day was no exception and we got a bit of a late start on our hike. Then, after the confusion of the missing spouse and child (neither of whom was really missing), having my oldest son and B turn back, much discussion and waiting around, and then stopping at the cove for exploration, it was now rather late in the afternoon. D-I-L turned back with the grandbabes after exploring the cove and that left only 4 of us to continue on - Taiwan son, youngest son, Julie and I. Youngest son said he started this hike to see the falls and he wasn't turning back til he saw them. Well then, none of us were turning back either.
The remaining 1.5 miles turned out to be the most challenging. We traipsed up the hills and down the valleys, scrambled over boulders and tree roots, pushed aside branches to get through the trees and scaled steps that literally had to be climbed, not just stepped up. Whew!
But always the view was right beside us, a glimpse through the trees or over the side of the trail! And the view repeatedly beckoned us off the trail to see what more there was. My goodness!
This was an outcropping of limestone that still had sand on the top. As you can see the tree hung precariously by it's roots, but it was still hanging on. If we fell off, it was going to hurt, but of course we had to walk out and get a better view. Right?
Y.M.C.A. shadows seemed appropriate.
We came from this direction. Can you see that it might have been a challenging hike along the top of the cliffs?
Ah yes, the adventurers!
Hey, they're getting married next year. How about this place?
Just a bit of a drop...and a few rocks down below.
She's not really fond of heights, but she's brave and there are such stunning vistas from along the shore line that she's compelled to go exploring too. I guess the view overrides the fear?
See? Like this one above. Fortunately, we weren't standing on this one.
Onward! The trail really was difficult and we began to wonder if we had missed the falls, even asking a return hiker how much further we had to go. "15 minutes," said he. And then we saw a sign for the falls...and there they were. Success!
Spray Falls. One more reason to add to my ever growing list of reasons why I love this area. The return trip? Oh, we hustled. No one wanted to be stuck in the woods in the dark with no head lamps. Plus, we were out of food and water. I think it was much more difficult on the return trip because we were tired. I laugh because just before we got back to the vehicles we had to climb up tree roots to get back on the trail up above us and I think all of us said, "are you kidding me!?!" Still, I would do this hike again just for the privilege of seeing that cove again. What a hike, what a view, what a day!