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Old Dec 27, 2011, 1:07 PM   #1
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Default Several Waterfalls

Of course, we had to visit a few of our favorite East Tennessee waterfalls during Christmas vacation!

First on the agenda was Laurel Falls, over in Pond Mountain Wilderness area.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 1:08 PM   #2
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It's an easy hike along the Appalachian Trail through some amazing sandstone formations.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 1:12 PM   #3
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The trail crosses Laurel Fork over a fine little footbridge. This bridge won an award some years ago for excellence in construction using native materials. (Which view of the creek and/or bridge do you prefer?)
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 1:18 PM   #4
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Laurel Falls is about 60' high, and quite wide. Thanks to a much wetter than normal autumn here in East Tennessee, the falls were quite full and lovely. Here are several different views, using a variety of lenses (to test their color response). Would very much appreciate your input on these...
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 1:22 PM   #5
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Next on the agenda is another waterfall in another wilderness area - Lower Higgins Creek in Rocky Fork Wilderness.

This is a new wilderness area in nearby Unicoi County - one of our favorite local hiking spots. It is a very lush green landscape - a temperate rain forest!
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 1:24 PM   #6
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There are no official trails in this wilderness area yet, but there are plenty of "unofficial" paths through the green wild country.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 1:26 PM   #7
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It's an incredibly lush and diverse habitat, thanks in part to the many clean pure springs...
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 1:29 PM   #8
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Of course we couldn't visit all 10,000 acres of Rocky Fork in one day, so we chose Lower Higgins Creek, up in the northeast corner of the wilderness. Sun and clouds kept playing "tag" with each other, making for some interesting light on the creek.
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 1:32 PM   #9
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Here's one spot along the creek that I found especially fine to watch in the changing light. Any preferences among these views?
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Old Dec 27, 2011, 1:38 PM   #10
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There are several falls along Lower Higgins Creek. The main falls is about 100 feet high! It is visible from the trail, but there's no trail down to the falls - just a scramble/slide down the steep hillside - well worth it!

Water was so powerful that it we all took a bit of a shower while enjoying the sights & sounds...
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