|Rosebay rhododendrons in full splendor.|
We started beside Nancytown Lake, full of cattails and buzzing with activity. The trail begins by climbing to a ridge, then descends again, crossing a few streams. Several intersections were unmarked, and we had to choose between equally used trails and old roads. Somehow, we always ended up OK, eventually finding a trail sign. But it was always a bit dicey.
A few minutes after I said I was ready to stop for lunch, we rock-hopped across a stream. Pausing, I noticed the sound of rushing water, and was reminded of a recent conversation with waterfall enthusiast Karen. She said she often finds waterfalls by listening for them. Curious, we bushwhacked down the hillside and came upon a hidden falls down below the trail. It was absolutely stunning, framed by thickets of mountain laurel and rosebay rhododendron heavy with bright pink blossoms. Incredibly, the sun peaked out from behind the stormclouds, lighting up the water and making the flowers twinkle.
|Hidden falls near the Ladyslipper Trail.|
On the way home, we stopped by David and Katies in Homer, which was recommended to me by Pyro. For those of you in the area, this Amish market is backpackers paradise-- they've got all sorts of dried veggies (to-die-for dried okra!), dried fruit, tons of powders you won't find anywhere else (like cheese powder and dried buttermilk), dried soup mixes, and spices. It's all much more affordable than buying expensive pre-packaged meals from REI. Last time I was there I talked a long time to the owner-- nice guy, and he prides himself on getting local and made-in-the-USA goods. I highly recommend this place to all of you from Georgia-- I don't usually like to recommend stores or products, but I'm making an exception because this place is so remarkable. Not to mention they have hand-dipped ice cream-- always the perfect ending to a hike.