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Old Jan 2, 2014, 8:04 PM   #1
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Default North Fork Stony Creek

It's been several years since my last visit to this remote waterfall on the shoulder of Holston Mountain. It's about 11 miles total hiking, about 8 on trails and about 3 miles of off trail crawling through rhododendron thickets. With all the recent heavy rains, I was anxious to see how my old "friend" was flowing. First part of the hike includes that Appalachian Trail and the Holston Mountain Trail, following the crest of Holton Mountain from just south of Bristol Tennessee. Did not take any photos along the way - since I already have plenty of photos from these fine old forests, and needed to keep a good pace to get back before dark.

Although temperatures were above freezing up on the crest of the mountain, it got considerably cooler as we approached the deeply-shaded creek.
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 8:05 PM   #2
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Here's a typical view of North Fork Stony Creek, perhaps a half mile upstream of the falls.
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 8:05 PM   #3
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It takes some careful climbing to get down to the base of the falls. It's about a 40 foot drop into this natural amphitheater, and all the rocks were quite slick!
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 8:07 PM   #4
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But it was certainly worth the climb! Falls were about as full as I've ever seen them. Sherpa guides (http://www.sherpaguides.com/tennesse...f.html#onyCree) call this spot "the most picturesque in the Stony Creek Scenic Area." They also mention (in 1999) another way to get to the falls starting from below, on an old, unmaintained trail. But that trail appears to have disappeared into the rhododendron thickets.
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Old Jan 2, 2014, 8:08 PM   #5
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Spent way too much time admiring the falls, and so had to hike back at almost a running pace. The dogs certainly enjoyed the run! Hope you enjoyed the view of this remote wild place, and that you'll share your comments & critique!
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 12:10 PM   #6
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I'm jealous! Of two things... you get to shoot stuff like this and you're able to get in there!! I may have made it in, but you would have been dragging my body for about 9 miles.

As usual, Mole, your photography is only exceeded by your subjects.
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Old Jan 3, 2014, 3:37 PM   #7
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Gary - Thanks so much! You are so right about the subjects exceeding my skills - the reality of this awesome corner of Creation is far more than I could ever hope to photograph.

PS - it's really not that hard a hike, just long. Toughest part is the rhododendron crawl...
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Old Jan 7, 2014, 3:41 PM   #8
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Mole

I really like your Ice shots they look so 3 dimensional.

Mark
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Old Jan 7, 2014, 10:02 PM   #9
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As always Mole, these are stunning photos of a very beautiful place. I know I have commented on this before but I am always amazed at the green moss and green rhododendron leaves, even in winter. If not for the ice hanging from the branches in the foreground of the photo of North Falls Creek, you could have told me it was taken in July and I would believe you!
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Old Jan 9, 2014, 10:51 AM   #10
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Great Series Mole, love the ice and water, I like all the shots but the last is my favorite, I like your choice of view and framing on the shot. Nicely done
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