In my continuing effort not to miss the rhododendron bloom at my favorite waterfall, I took the herd on a Sunday afternoon trek to the upper falls in Dennis Cove. The falls themselves are stunning and the setting is incredible, but it's the trek getting to the falls that make it such a cool place. We only saw a handful of blooms on the trip in. I missed the height of the bloom last year by a week or so, I don't want a repeat this year ... I'll try to try again this coming weekend.
|Upper Dennis Cove Falls|
I've mentioned in earlier posts that there are three creek crossings that must be negotiated on the trip. None of the crossings have a bridge. The first one is under the cable that marks the beginning of the 'artificial-only' section of the river. Sometimes there's a log across the creek and you can use the cable for balance ... if the log is missing you can wade across or - if you're shaped differently than I am - you can hand-line across on the cable. If you trek with a vertically-challenged crew like I do you can toss a rope or tripod carry strap over that cable when you can't reach it ....
The second crossing can normally be done with a good bit of rock hopping, but this trip the creek was still up too much for that ... we waded across.
The third crossing is potentially the worst because you cross on rocks that form a waterfall of about 5 ft high. As long as the rocks are dry it's not hard, but if the rocks are wet, they will be slippery and that makes the crossing a much more technical feat. It's one thing to risk taking a header into the water but I won't take many chances with a backpack full of photo equipment. There's usually a log across the widest portion of the creek but this time it had moved parallel to the creek making it useless for crossing the creek. A nice family of three (the Shiners from JC) came along right behind us and the other guy and I managed to wrestle the log back into it's normal resting place ... excellent.
The falls are tucked into a horseshoe that is surrounded by rhododendron, and when they are in bloom it is a visually stunning sight ... the shiny green leaves, the pink and white blooms, the browns and blacks of the rocks, and the white of the falls. The pool at the base is a popular swimming hole, and diving off the rock on the right is popular with folk that swim there.
On the way out we side tripped to the top of the upper falls and to the lower falls, both are worth the effort.
|Lower Dennis Cove Falls|
The lower falls aren't as big as the upper falls but the pool at the base is shallow with some great colored rocks on the bottom, and it's quite popular with trout fishing people. If you look above and to the right of the falls you can see the top of the upper falls through the trees.