|Walker Sister's Cabin|
After hiking another 1.8 miles, this time downhill, we reached the most visited falls in the park: Laurel Fallls. This falls plummets spectacularly 75 feet from the top, past the viewing crossing and down to the stream that carries the water down to Little River. We stopped here to eat the lunches we had packed, but it began to get pretty cold when we weren't walking. From there it was only another 1.4 miles to the parking area where we had left a car to shuttle us back to Metcalf Bottoms. On the way down though, we did witness the fall of a tree in the woods, and it made me think of the shirt I bought Bunk once, well actually twice, that said: if a man speaks in the forest and there is no woman around to hear, is he still wrong. I couldn't help but chuckle as that went through my head.
One reason I picked this hike at this time of year was to avoid the crowds that usually throng this falls since the path from Little River Road to the falls is paved and can accommodate young children and strollers. On this hike we had not seen anyone except the two scientific researchers until we got to the falls. From there down we saw quite a few. But the crowd on this day was light enough not to interfere with the experience, and I'm really glad I got to see it again. It is a magnificent falls, to say the least.
Altogether, today's hike was right at 8 miles. I had inadvertently left my knee brace at home and didn't discover it missing until we were ready to begin. I was worried, and mentally I began figuring out how I could use the duck tape I keep wrapped around my hiking pole to tape my knee when it began to hurt. I am so very pleased to report that it never did bother me! On the way down, I was careful to place as much impact as possible on the two hiking poles I was using, but the knee held up remarkably well. I feel really good about how strong it is getting!