Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Buford Hatchery and Sea Creek Falls

It's the Fourth of July! Happy Birthday USA!

There were a dozen or more 4th of July rides today, including one with the Reality Team, who, despite being on it, I have yet to actually ride with. I rode none of them though because until about 10:30 last night, I didn't think Kathryn would be back in town until the day after tomorrow, at least.

As fate would have it though, she showed up in the ATL right around midnight. Woohoo! Still though, I didn't have enough time to commit to a ride. I need to swap my front brake pads and possibly bleed the brake. Plus, it wouldn't be cool to hit her with watching the kids all day on the 4th, especially when she just got back in town.

Instead, we slept in and did some family stuff.

Family stuff number 1: fishing at our favorite little pond.


I think it was 105 degrees though, so we didn't catch much.

Family stuff number 2: play in a waterfall.

Sea Creek Falls, to be precise.

The drive up on Highway 60 gave Kathryn horrible car sickness. It's pretty twisty up through there.

Sophie and I climbed all over the falls.

 Me and Sophie on Sea Creek Falls

Here she is doing her spider-girl impression.


And here she is, building up the courage to get into the freezing cold water.

"Ok, Ok, Ok... Here I go... Ok...

 Ok, Ok, Here I go.

And finally she got in, up to her knees, but that was all.

 It's Cold!

Kathryn climbed up to take some photos but otherwise, she and Iz mainly just sat on a old tree trunk with their feet in the water.

 Iz and Kathryn

I've long wondered how deep it is right under the falls. There's this big overhanging rock and the falls kind of slides in underneath it.

 Exploring Below the Falls

Turns out it's deeper than I am tall. I couldn't reach the bottom and it was too narrow to safely try to find the bottom without a rope to pull myself back out with. Yaaah.

Eventually, Sophie got used to the water temperature. It was actually really nice, as long as enough of your body was above the water. It wasn't 105 anymore, probably more like 85, but it still felt good.


I have no idea what we were doing here. My tan is coming along nicely though, eh?

 Sophie and I, no idea...

Kathryn took a couple of artistic photos, including this one of wet footprints.


The last time I was there, I noticed this big rock-chunk thing that I assumed was a bridge footing, toppled over on the shore.

 Sea Creek Falls - Bridge or Dam Footing

There's another one nearby too.

 Sea Creek Falls - Bridge or Dam Footing 2

Neither appear to still be in their original orientation though and the second looks like it might have been broken into chunks.

I originally assumed that the trail that leads to the falls was once a road and that it crossed the creek via a bridge right there, below the falls. But looking at it now, that seems somewhat unlikely. It's really shallow there. The road may have crossed, but it would more likely just have been a ford. So what are these big chunks mortared-together rock? Were they part of some downstream bridge that was torn down and dumped there? Were they the remnants of an old dam? It looks like there might have been houses or a farm or something along the trail on the way in. Maybe there was a mill. I could easily imagine a dam there at the base of the falls. It wouldn't have been too much work to hem the entire falls in, given how rocky it is to either side. Hmmmm....

The last time we were there, the old tree trunk that Kathryn and Iz were sitting on had big limbs dangling off of it but somebody has gone in with a chainsaw and hacked them off. It's a lot easier to sit on the old trunk now. I guess that's why they did it.

There was a bit of new civil engineering up there too.

 Sea Creek Falls - Small Dam

Somebody's built a little dam across the creek. Did the Forest Service do this? The purpose wasn't immediately clear but I don't know too much about such things. It hems the creek in pretty well, making it flow out entirely on the west side. There's not much of a pool behind it though, and it's so short that I can imagine it'll get washed away with any serious volume of rain. Or at least, the sand packed in on top will. Maybe it marks the route of the original dam, if there was one. Maybe the intent is for it to get backfilled so the woods will spread down into the current creekbed. I'm not sure why you'd want that though. I dunno. It was odd. I'll have to ask around.

We took some dirt roads home, up over Cooper Gap. It's a lot steeper and rougher, but it was a lot easier on Kathryn's stomach than Hwy 60.

We'd planned on going home and grilling afterwards but Kathryn was starving and it was getting pretty late so we just hit the Ruby Tuesday's in Dawsonville. In case you were wondering, white cheddar mashed potatoes are good. So are their biscuits.

All right. We had ourselves a minor adventure. I've been really short on those lately. Hopefully it'll be the beginning of a trend.

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