Here’s a video from this morning to enjoy. It features a peaceful setting at 18-foot tall Upper Potter’s Falls, located in the countryside outside of Wartburg, Tennessee, along Crooked Fork Creek.
(originally posted August 18, 2019)
I recently hiked seven miles at the Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area, near Jamestown, Tennessee – more about that in the days ahead. This post recaps two instances along the trail in which I encountered bears.
Highlights: this park offers scenic overlooks of the canyon, substantial sandstone cliffs, interesting geological structures, and a canopied forest trail. Oh, and wildlife.
🐻 Bear No. 1
Have you ever had the feeling that you’re being watched? Well, that’s exactly how I felt as I approached a small stream at the base of the canyon. Nearly two miles into the wilderness, I had the sense that something was out there, that I wasn’t alone, and so I stopped to surveil my surroundings, keeping still to remain as quiet as possible. However, I didn’t see or hear anything.
The trail followed the stream, slowing gaining elevation with distance. I was soon at a point approx. 15-feet above the stream, when it happened: an adult male black bear probably twice my size (235 lbs.) had snuck up on me and was within 30-feet! This was likely the source of my concern, earlier, now in potentially dangerous proximity.
I stopped moving and wondered what was next – should I turn back in the direction from whence I came, attempt to climb a tree (which was problematic, as these trees were tall and without low branches), remove and unzip my backpack to acquire a knife, or make lots of noise (I can whistle really loud!)?
I opted to remain still, concluding that the bear was aware of my presence and deemed that I wasn’t a threat – an easy posture to assume, given its girth. As I watched, it became clear that the bear was undertaking his daily scavenging for a meal routine, shifting rocks in the stream to dislodge potential sources of food. This was in fact what first alerted me to the bear…the sound of rocks being moved.
Regaining my composure, I shot this video as I followed the bear from along the trail, keeping back a safe distance while attempting to remain less conspicuous behind trees…
Note: the large rock being easily moved by the bear in this video was probably in excess of 100 lbs..
Also read: Part Two – Another Black Bear Video
🐻 Bear No. 2
I saw another bear not long after this encounter, along the trail at a higher elevation on a ridge. This bear was either a female or adolescent, which I estimated at 300 lbs. or less. As I was paying close attention to the root-covered ground while hiking, I happened to glance ahead and see a bear on the trail looking directly at me.
The bear was probably 60-feet in front of me, and, when we made eye contact, took off like a bat out of hell racing downhill through the forest on an estimated 30-degree slope. I was truly amazed (and, quite pleased) at how fast this bear bounded down the hill.
See more information & photographs about my hike at Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area.
Located along the Cumberland River in Corbin, Kentucky, the scenic Eagle Falls stands 30-feet tall. The trail is relatively short – rated as moderate with several changes in elevation and some rocky areas – and certainly well worth the effort!
Parking is limited so it’s best to visit during the weekdays, if possible, or arrive early on the weekend. There are no restrooms on site, though such is available immediately across the river at the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park – home of the impressive Cumberland Falls, also known as “The Niagara of the South”.
Prints are available in my gallery – framed, canvas, metal, art, poster, wood, acrylic and tapestry. Plus, more…
Here is Eagle Falls. Fed from Brummett Branch, water drains into the Cumberland River through several large boulders. Along the hike you’ll also encounter what are probably the best views of Cumberland Falls – see video below.
Here are a few shots from the trail. The third shot was photographed from across the Cumberland River, in which, if you look closely, you’ll see the wooden railing along the hiking trail to Eagle Falls.
Note: if you have a fear of heights, then you may not want to watch this video. At the end, it reveals Cumberland Falls – more on that later.
Prints make a great gift-giving idea and may be enjoyed all year long on a wall in your home, office, business lobby, hospital or cafeteria setting. Enjoy the great outdoors & thanks for visiting!
Here’s a video from yesterday which I shot in the Tremont section of the Smoky Mountains. In the forest along an old gravel road, this rickety wooden bridge crosses Middle Prong Little River, offering a peaceful setting to enjoy the seasonal change of colors.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting my photography of this scene, making it available on prints for your home. It’s a beautiful picture, a worthy accent to consider for the holidays – and, enjoy all year!
It’s not always possible to correctly anticipate when a waterfall is either flowing fully, or nearly dry. Without live stream cameras on site, one must consider recent weather reports citing rainfall, the time of season, and other personal accounts provided online. One such source of information is alltrails.com.
However, there are times – case in point – when photographs uploaded by park visitors were filmed at a much earlier point, absent notation. Having recently observed pictures indicative of substantial water present, I was certainly disappointed after a rather strenuous hike along a very rocky trail to discover scant water. Live and learn.
Nevertheless, an earlier visit to Foster Falls, and subsequent hikes to Lower & Upper Greeter Falls, the Stone Door, and Laurel Falls, each contributed to a fantastic day – and very sore muscles this morning!
This was my second visit to Denny Cove Falls, so I’ve included a video (below) from my earlier hike in March 2020 for contrast. I’ll also post more photographs from yesterday in the days ahead…
I left Knoxville, Tennessee this morning at 5:30 a.m. and arrived at the trailhead for Spruce Flats Falls one hour later. Located in the Tremont section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Cades Cove, it stands 30-feet tall and can be enjoyed by hiking a moderately difficult trail of 2 miles out and back. I’ll add more photographs, soon. In the meantime, check out these prints in my gallery at Pixels.
P.S.: notice that I’m wearing a WordPress t-shirt 🤪👍
Rise & Shine ☕☕
The tallest mountain located entirely within the state of Tennessee, Mount LeConte has an elevation of 6593-feet, with a trail that’s approx. 12 miles out-and-back. Start your hike early on a day with good weather, and rest on top of the mountain to enjoy some really spectacular views! Prints available. Enjoy the great outdoors!
It doesn’t take too much water to transform this often scant waterfall into a powerful roadside attraction. Located only 20-feet from a gravel road in the Tremont section of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, it feeds into the Middle Prong Little River. Prints available.