Monday, June 14, 2010

Dukes Creek Falls

All that Conyers yesterday put me right to sleep last night. I slept well though, and 8AM didn't seem too early today. The girls and I hit the 9:30 church service and ran through Five Guys for some lunch. I was reticent about Five Guys, but having tried it, I'll put it on my "places that are OK to eat at" list. Real meat, good fries, but very greasy.

Isabel fractured her left pinkie in a back handspring accident last Friday, so she'll be off the bike for a while. No Greenway today. Instead, we did a little exploring. There are a couple of FS roads up in the Chestatee that I've got GIS data for, but haven't driven on yet.

One of them had this cool thing out at the end:

 Rock Wall and Fireplace

I'm not sure what to make of it. It's a rock wall with dirt piled up all the way around and a fireplace on one end. Was there a house here once? Was this just built up to put a shelter over? I'd think that if it was built recently, the USFS would have demolished it. Perhaps it predates USFS ownership of the land. Whatever the deal, it was cool.

The other roads were closed. Next...

Dukes Creek Falls. My buddy Andrew told me about it a long time ago. I'd intended to check it out after hitting Raven's Cliffs a while back, but that turned out to be enough of a day on it's own. Today was a good day for it.

The view of Yonah from the parking lot is pretty nice.

 View of Yonah from Dukes Creek Falls Lot

There were a dozen dead scorpions on the pavement near the bathroom, and a giant wolf spider lurking up in the corner. There's nothing for scale in the picture, but it was about 4 inches across.

 Wolf Spider

The trail started out paved, then there were several boardwalks, and finally became a very well groomed gravel road. If it had been open to vehicles, I could have driven on it.

 Girls on the Trail

About halfway out, we passed a nice cascade down to the right and there was a "trail" leading down to it. If Isabel's finger hadn't been broken, we might have gone down to check it out. Maybe next time. Actually, the creek itself had a wide bed. It might not be that hard to hike down along it. Maybe some other time.

Another set of boardwalks led out to the main falls, which is actually composed of several cascades at the confluence of two creeks. Dukes Creek comes in from the north and creates several small but cool-looking cascades. Davis Creek joins from northwest and creates the main cascade.


 Dukes Creek Falls 1


 Dukes Creek Falls 2

Dukes... Here you can see a gigantic rock on the left, balanced on a much smaller rock which is being steadily eroded by the stream. One day...

 Dukes Creek Falls 3


 Dukes Creek Falls Main Cascade

The main cascade is actually hard to see with all the foliage. I'd bet though, that in the winter, you could see it pretty well, even before you get to it. It's also kind of funny that the main cascade of Dukes Creek Falls isn't actually produced by Dukes Creek.

The girls took a break and had a snack.

 Girls Taking a Break

I'd seen two side trails on the way in, so we checked those out on the way back out. The first was relatively well travelled and led out to a split, both ends of which led into the Dukes Creek Conservation Area. There were no fewer than 7 signs saying that you had to have a permit to enter. I guess they're pretty serious.

 Dukes Creek Conservation Area Border

The girls had been wearing baseball caps all day. Iz took hers off, expecting terrible hat hair. Actually, it wasn't too bad. She had me take a picture to show her.

 Iz With Good Hat Hair

The other side trail just led down to Dukes Creek. The girls were wearing Croc's so they just walked around in it. I took my shoes off. At first they didn't want to go in. They figured it would be freezing. It was cold, but with the heat of the day, it was also delicious. They didn't want to leave.

 Girls Playing in the Creek

So close to Helen, we'd ordinarily run into town for some Troll Tavern, but it was early enough to get back home, pick up Kathryn and eat at Ippolito's.

Justin Bieber here was sitting at a table across from us (white guy, next to blonde girl). He was loud, talked non-stop about all kinds of off-color topics, waved his arms all around and was obnoxious to the wait staff. All eyes on me, yo!


The staff eventually began ignoring him outright. They took forever to bring their food. No refills. No eye contact. He'd call them by name and they'd walk right past him. He never caught on. At great length, he became frustrated. I imagined his inner monologue: "Look at how much time I spent on my hair! I don't understand! I'm so popular at school! Even 1992 G-Money sitting behind me is getting good service, and nobody's worn a White Sox hat high on their fade like that since before I was born!" Then he became super fidgety, knocked the entire pizza off of the stand and barely caught it before it hit the floor. As entertaining as it was, I felt sorry for the poor guy and terrible at myself for being judgemental. What a mess.

1 comment:

  1. You should have called me - I'd have come and hiked with you.