Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wild Women of Davidson River

Wild Women Weekend at Davidson River – Moore Cove Falls – 1.4 Miles - 5/28/15-5/30/15

It’s been too long since the Wild Women went camping!  I invited my book club friends for a weekend of adventure.  Several of them have joined in prior Wild Women weekends but some have only heard the stories.  Destination:  Davidson River Campground in Pisgah National Forest, a little closer to home than the Great Smoky Mountains but with plenty of activities to keep us entertained.  [Our book club is named “Reason2Read” or R2R.]

Five wild women arrived mid-afternoon on Friday, then two more joined us by suppertime.  The last three Wild Women arrived Saturday morning.  A story told mostly in pictures:

How to put up a tent while laughing 101

How to cover a tent with tarps in case it rains (which it did about 10 minutes after the tarps went on)

How to congratulate ourselves with cigars (aka pretzels)

Perusing the trail map to choose a hike agreeable with everyone.  The ranger at Pisgah gave great advice to hike to Moore Cove Falls, 1.4 miles round trip on a recently rehabbed trail with wooden structures over every creek crossing.  After the first few steps the gentle climb is well graded.  

On Saturday morning we hit the trail.  A couple of WW’s were nervous, not sure what to expect judging from some questionable things I’ve done lately.  I knew some limits would be stretched but the rewards would be great. 

A stone bridge built by CCC workers in the 1930’s 

WW’s on the trail 

Margery and Leida – yes, this is fun!

A short easy hike to a waterfall – no, we were not alone.  We sat on the high rocks on the right side to eat lunch and watch people coax each other to stand under the spill. 

It's a little slippery but great fun to walk behind the falls.

One mom with a sleeping baby swaddled in a carrier tried not to look anxious as her husband led their three small boys up the steep side slope to the top of the falls.  After seeing several people disappear into the trees and reappear on the ledge near the top, several curious WW’s investigated.  Leida, Linda and I followed Suzi up the very steep scramble to get this bird’s eye view.

I don't normally advise crossing creeks near the top of waterfalls but this spot was reasonable. 

The trail curved away from the falls, steeply downhill.  We were up close and personal with the mountain laurel.   

BTW, I use the term “trail” very loosely here.  Mostly it was climbing over, under and around things.

Mountain Laurel

Enough nature for one day.  Back to camp for the relaxing part!

We had barely settled into our chairs when Linda announced that she had an arts and crafts project for us.  With a mischievous wink, she hauled from her car trunk a huge box of painting supplies and clay flower pots.  After spray painting base coats on each pot, everyone set to painting a commemorative masterpiece.

R2R’s doing what they do best

I took some time out for a two-mile walk starting from our campsite and following the Davidson River, across the road and past the ranger station, back across the road and along the river again to close the loop back at camp.  Lots of people fishing and tubing in the slow-moving water.  Saw graceful galax swaying on the creek banks.

Girl Scout leaders never retire, they just take their friends camping and cooking.  Suzi and I orchestrated a delicious campfire meal for our friends that included marinated grilled chicken and two kinds of Dutch oven desserts:  peach cobbler and bear scat cake (chocolate cake with cherries on the bottom).  Doesn’t get any better than that!

It tastes better than it looks

The Wild Women of Davidson River:  Ellen, Margery, Leida, Joan, Margaret, Linda, Suzi, Danielle, Tye and me

Sunday morning rain dampened our gear but not our enthusiasm. These wild women were awesome, embracing the rain and still laughing (and eating). After breakfast and packing up everything wet, some wild women had to get on home, others were ready to go shopping in Brevard, while Suzi trusted me for another short waterfall hike.  

The two of us went in search of nearby Slick Rock Falls, also in Pisgah NF.  The woods were still dripping and the light was lovely.

Suzi disappearing in a mountain laurel tunnel. 

I was due for a dash of humility as we hiked past the point where I thought the waterfall should have appeared.  The trail got faint, and as I was scratching my head at a decision point (continue? turn around?) along came a group of climbers with bands of rope wrapped around necks and shoulders.  This trail was approaching the base of Looking Glass Rock.  The waterfall was back beside the parking area.  Oops. 

Slick Rock Falls – low flow and not very photogenic this morning

But who cares if we walked a little farther than advertised?  Time spent outside is always worth it.  Suzi kindly said it was her favorite part of the weekend.  We won’t wait so long to get the Wild Women out on the trail again.

Drying out back at home

“As I wandered the forest,
The green leaves among,
I heard a Wild Flower
Singing a song.”


~William Blake

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