Monday, April 2, 2018

Keown Falls

I rode Tickanetley on Saturday, and me and Billy hiked Keown Falls on Sunday.

It had rained all night, and was actually still raining when I left the house that morning. The forecast called for an end to it well before we'd get there though, so we put our faith in the weatherman and went for it.

I took a different route up there than I'd ever gone before, and it was way faster. In retrospect, I'm not sure why I haven't always gone up there that way.

The weatherman was right, it wasn't actually raining anymore when we got there. It was still very wet though, and the clouds were hanging really low.

Recent rain is good though, if you're going to a waterfall.

Billy at Keown Falls

I've been there before when it was barely a trickle.

Since we were in the area, we figured we'd spin a loop around the Johns Mountain Trail too.

It was cool because the clouds were sitting right at the top of the falls. From underneath, you could see downhill pretty well, but 20 feet higher and it was a spooky haunted forest.

Spooky Haunted Forest

There were spiderwebs everywhere, covered in condensation, adding to the spookiness

Wet Spider Webs

I had forgotten about the rocks up there, and running into them again was a nice surprise. There are little boulder fields all over, and overhangs, and pillars, and just generally interesting formations.

Cool Rocks on Johns Mountain

I always think of this one as the yellow brick road.

Yellow Brick Road

Maybe green brick.

When we got to the overlook, there was no overlooking to be done.

Foggy Overlook

It was a shame though, because it's pretty spectacular on a good day.

There was a guy in a pickup parked in the lot with a bed full of camping gear. Nearly overflowing. We talked to him for a second - turned out he was waiting for a group of boy scouts. They'd started at Snake Creek Gap yesterday, camped at the Pilcher Pond, and were hiking up to that lot today. He had all of their wet gear in his truck, figuring he'd give them a break from having to haul it up with them.

I didn't see a bus nearby, so I'm not sure how they planned on getting out from there. Maybe they were going to pick up their packs and walk out on the road. Or maybe there was a bus 100 feet away that I just couldn't seen in the fog.

We passed the troop on the way back, about halfway down to the falls.

Most people hike up to the falls from the lot, then hike back down the same way. There is a loop though, which takes you past another falls.

False Keown Falls

Which I could not get a good picture of, apparently.

I kind-of like that second half of the loop more than the first. It's very rocky, and there are cliffs and rock formations all along it. Lego-cliffs, I like to call them.

When we made it back, Billy's feet were killing him. For some reason the backs of his boots had been rubbing his heels/ankles and started to give him blisters.

No good!

He was saying that it was strange too, because he's worn those same boots on pretty much every hike we've ever done. No idea why they picked that day to give him trouble.

It started raining a little on the way out, so it looked like we'd hit the window just right.

On the way home, we ate at a little Mexican restaurant on 140 - La Pueblita, I think. My Dad and I had eaten there years ago and liked it. I had 2 chicken enchiladas, and they didn't charge me for my drink. The price: $3.50. That was how much they charged me for my meal. I tipped $2 because even $5.50 seemed absurdly cheap.

I'm definitely going to eat there again!

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