Thursday, January 11, 2018

East Jones Creek (Again)

Goodness. I forgot entirely about this one...

On December 18th, I did some initial exploration of East Jones Creek. On the 23rd and 25th, I went back and basically checked out everything that I didn't get to see the first time.

Tons of fun!

East Jones Creek

I mean, look at that. Gorgeous!

I had a bit of a mission though. I'd had to cut the last excursion short to make it back in time for Star Wars, and had, as a result, failed to explore the furthest reaches of the little system. So, it was high on my list to get all the way back up in there and see how far it went. I had also heard what must have been a waterfall last time, and looking at the map, thought I saw what looked like a good spot for one. So I wanted to check that out too.

I started out following a bit of a trail out of the circle at the end of FS877, along the creek itself. 10+ years ago I'd tried to follow the same trail and decided that it ended quickly. But it had been summertime, and my obscure-trail-recognition skills weren't as well developed as they are these days. The trail went and went, joined an old road from across the creek to the west, broke into various side spurs, etc.

I had a good time exploring it.

Someone else had too, it seemed.

Old Shelter on East Jones Creek

Maybe the same guy that had built all those elaborate camp sites in Pine Log, or in the Upper Chattahoochee.

The creek itself was beautiful too. Lots of little jumbly shoals.

Jumbly Shoal on East Jones Creek

I had to cross it a couple of times, but barefoot shoes are plenty warm, even in subfreezing temperatures. Crazy how that works.

I did find the falls.

This is the lower cascade.

East Jones Creek Falls - Lower Cascade

Or, arguably lower two cascades. There's a bit of an upper cascade above the lower part of this one.

The falls really had to compete for my attention though. Off to the right there was this massive overhanging rock.

Large Rock with Overhang on East Jones Creek Beneath the Overhang

A lot of times you'll see where someone camped and built a fire under an overhang like that, but there wasn't anything under this one. Maybe it didn't hang over quite enough.

The upper cascade was just downhill from the rock. Maybe a little bit downstream of it too.

East Jones Creek Falls - Upper Cascade

That photo is terrible though.

My kingdom for a phone camera that focuses correctly.

Above the falls, the forest is really wide open.

Open Forest Around East Jones Creek

You can see a long way, and it looks like it's been a very long time since any of it was cut.

I didn't have time to dally about gawking at the woods though. It was getting late already, I had a long way to go, and it was all uphill.

Unfortunately it was pretty anticlimactic. I found the trail I'd had to abandon the last time, and it only went a few hundred yards further, before terminating anonymously.

The other little spurs did the same thing. No turnpike, no new discovery. Just a dead end.

That's how it goes though, most of the time.

On the way back, I gave "the P" a really quick check and found an old refrigerator uphill from the old campsite.

Refrigerator Refrigerator Door

There were some "organized rocks' nearby too.

Organized Rocks

But the most interesting discovery was this strange old wooden thing.

Strange Wood Thing Strange Wood Thing Detail

It had holes drilled down the length of it, a bolt screwed in loosely, and some bent-up piece of steel dangling off of the bolt.

It clearly served some very specific purpose, but I'll be damned if I can discern it. I'm sure someone recognizes what this was. Tell me, I'm dying to know.

It was getting dark when I took that last photo, and it was officially dark, with stars and everything by the time I got back to the truck.

Lots of little discoveries, but as usual, the excursion generated a few more questions than it answered, so I was determined to get back as soon as I could.

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