Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Catawba Falls Hike

We went on a hike that followed the Catawba River for about 1.5 miles (3 miles round trip) to 100-foot Catawba Falls.  As we hiked there were many smaller cascades along the way making it a beautiful trail with sounds of rushing water as we went.  The hike was not difficult, but we did have to cross the river three times.  Bobby wore his chaco's which enabled him to just walk in the river.  He would carry (or help) the kids cross and I would either steps on the stones or take my shoes off.  We also passed by stone foundations and a dam used for power generation in the early 1900s which was really interesting.  This was my favorite of all of the hikes we have done.  The kids loved the challenge of crossing the river.  Once to the falls, we ate our picnic lunch.  Bobby climbed a trail up to the top of the falls while the kids and I played in the pool of water at the bottom.  Amelie quickly was drawn out of the water to the hundreds of tiny purple butterflies hanging out on the ground.  She would catch them and then release over and over again.  On our hike back to the car, I was leading with Liam following, then Amelie, and then Bobby.  Somehow, I missed stepping on a 10 foot+ long snake but once I crossed over it my mind registered what it was.  I screamed for Liam to stop as he was walking straight for it.  Then I screamed, "SNAKE!  Bobby, grab Liam!"  Liam froze, stiff as a board all the while Bobby reached down and picked him up by the shoulder with one hand.  As soon as Bobby had Liam on his shoulder, Liam was bawling!  The snake slowly slithered to the side of the trail and out of sight…but it shook us all up!  Liam has retold seeing the snake story many times.  We have tried to reassure him that the snake didn't want to be near us or harm us.  The rest of the hike he was very careful and thought many roots and twigs were snakes…and so did I!

They found a tiny Christmas tree on the path and had to point it out.  Ta-da!
One of the ruins we came upon.
Amelie is an excellent rock jumper!
Liam found a sturdy walking stick.
The old dam.
Amelie holding up a butterfly in her fingers.
We talked about moss, mushrooms, fungi, types of trees…I love her inquisitive mind!
Going off the main trail to look closer at the caves along the river.

Eating our lunch under the falls.

I should have taken his clothes all the way off.  I didn't think he would want to get completely in…but he did…head and all!
We let him sun bathe to dry off before we started hiking home.
Our little goof-ball!
Amelie finding more butterflies.

You can see the snake in the middle of the picture.  It was almost gone when I was calm enough to snap a quick shot!
Liam staying close to dad for the hike back to the car after seeing the snake.
A great thing about hiking is being able to sleep soundly on the way home!

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