Return to Moose Falls

Moose Falls in Yellowstone

My first stop in Yellowstone was Moose Falls. Yes I’d been here yesterday but I wanted to find the trail to the bottom of the falls. I must have missed it yesterday and since today I was concentrating on waterfalls, it seemed appropriate to take another look. 

Crawford Creek Bridge

Over the Edge

After careful scrutiny I found what seemed to be a possible trail. As I tentatively started along it I saw that it soon started down along the rock face right next to the falls. The rocks made a series of rough steps. I moved carefully until I was almost at the bottom. I just couldn’t make myself take that last step. It was a bit bigger drop/step so I settled on the almost bottom.

Moose Falls

Sunlight, friend or foe

The early morning sun was slanting over the falls at a pretty steep angle. It wasn’t high enough to actually hit the falls yet but it was high enough to be heading right into my camera lens. Well, you can’t always get what you want so I decided to try to play with the light a bit and see what kind of results I could get.

Falling Waters at Moose Falls

A Pretty Falls

This is such a pretty falls when you get down near the bottom. There appears to be a cave behind the falls. I’m just guessing as I couldn’t get over there to verify it. Since the sun wasn’t filling the gorge yet I was able to get a slower shutter speed to make the water frothy and soft. A little different angle and the sun rays created a colorful series of bokeh spots.

Dawn at Moose Falls

If You Go

It was really nice sitting there next to the waterfall watching the sun peak over the edge. I could have stayed there for hours but there were other falls calling to me. If you go the Yellowstone, Moose Falls in located just inside the South entrance. The stream that creates  the falls is Crawfish Creek. There’s  parking in a pull off just over the bridge and it’s an easy walk to the falls.

Crawfish Creek over Moose Falls

The Road Less Traveled

I picked the road less traveled

To paraphrase Robert Frost I took the road less traveled. Heading back home from New York I made a quick decision to take an alternate route. Traffic on the Mass Pike has been horrendous the last few trips so even if the route is longer I’ll probably make better time. At least it will be more interesting than the car bumper in front of me.

Sometimes Slow is Better

With no time deadline I headed toward Vermont on Route 4. I planned to stop at Quechee Gorge for lunch. There’s snack bar and a gift shop as well as the gorge. If you are in a hurry or just don’t want to walk far you can look down into the gorge from the bridge. But, if you feel ambitious, the view is better from the bottom. There is a well maintained trail that takes your down to the river. The gorge is 165 ft deep and the deepest gorge in Vermont.

Quechee Gorge

Woodstock Vt covered bridgeI found a covered Bridge

When you figure that there are over 100 authentic covered bridges in Vermont I shouldn’t be surprised that I found one. Actually I found 3 along my chosen path. The first was just outside Woodstock Vermont. No relation to the famous Woodstock Music festival of 1969. That was a farm in NY. I’ll call this covered bridge #1 because it didn’t have an ID name or number.

Covered Bridge #2Taftsville Covered Bridge

I’ve passed the 2nd bridge many times. I just never stopped to look. This one has a marker identifying it as Taftsville Covered bridge. This is one of the oldest covered bridges in Vermont and the nation as a whole. It’s only one lane so you have to wait your turn to cross. It was a a busy place. Lots of people with cameras and lots of cars lined up.

 

The Covered Bridge in Quechee

Quechee Covered Bridge

The surprise bridge was one in Quechee just before you get to the Gorge. OnStar told me to leave Route 4. I thought it might be taking me to a different section of the gorge so I went along. Almost as soon as I made the turn I spotted the bridge. Kids (teens) were climbing on the railings to jump into the river. Ugh! Scary drop! Lots of rocks! I guess I’m getting old because I’d never try that jump.

Quechee Swimming Hole

 

I turned around and headed back out to Route 4. The Quechee Gorge Snack Bar was calling my name.

Lunch

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Over Hill and Dale and Mountian

Over Hill and Dale

I sat in my SUV peering down this very steep, very long hill to Angel Falls.  Even if I made it down unscathed I still have to get back up the hill. I was beginning to regret only getting front wheel drive. This looked like a four wheel hill for sure! How do I get myself into these situations?

Decision made

I backed up next to the car on the shoulder to contemplate my next move. While I was mulling things over a group of hikers came up the hill. They belonged to the car next to me. One of the group assured me the hill wasn’t as bad as it looked. He patted my car and said I’d have no trouble with an SUV like mine. He added that I would have to cross the brook 3 times to get to the falls but not to worry, it was only a trickle. Hmmm a warning to the “old lady” or just friendly chit chat? I made my decision, I’d drive the hill.

The Old Gravel PitStone Scenic Geology Rock Nature Large Boulder

That guy was right. Once I got started the hill was a piece of cake. At the bottom was an old gravel pit. A huge stone covered with graffiti was another landmark on my directions. This was where we could park. The trail to the falls was about 1000 ft up a logging road and marked with red blazes. My directions said nothing about the distance from here to the falls but I was more concerned with the “rock hopping” to cross the stream.

The Hike

Berdeen Stream crossing on the way to Angel Falls MaineI started off pretty good. Everyday of vacation my hip had been getting stronger. I was pleased to note that as I started out I didn’t even have a twinge. Not too far along I came to the first brook. Berdeen Stream was slow and shallow. I figured if I fell off the rocks I’d just get my feet wet, no major disaster, but I made it. I was using 2 trekking poles for stability and had my camera in a backpack. After the crossing the trail began to climb. Lots of rocks and tree roots.

http://dustyroadsphotos.zenfolio.com/p178338573

Brook Number TwoMountain Brook

As I huffed and puffed my way up the trail I noticed the sun disappeared. Right after that it started to rain. I made sure my gear was protected and continued on. The climb was getting steeper. I was ok until I hit the rocks. I might have been ok if it wasn’t raining but wet rocks are slippery rocks. This was the bank of Mountain Brook, the next stream I had to cross. This was not a shallow, sleepy little brook. This one was running pretty fast and was probably 3 feet deep.

Sometimes its better to walk away

Angel Falls a waterfall in Maine

Better to stop now than to break a leg on slippery rocks. I was alone. No one else was on the trail. I guess you could say I got cold feet. If I ever win the lottery I’ll have a helicopter airlift me in. Or maybe I’ll just hope I keep healing so I can try again another day. Oh and guess what. After I got back to the parking area, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Go figure. No Falls no Moose, what a day!

Here comes the Sun

Here comes the sun

Sunday I woke at 5:30! Something bright was in my eyes. I hadn’t noticed the skylight when I came in last night! I’ll have to remember to close the bedroom door if I don’t want the early morning sun waking me up. I  had some work to wrap up before I’d be truly free to enjoy the week and I wanted to spend some time revisiting what I’d passed on my way here yesterday. I wanted to figure out where I was  and where I’d need to go if I was going to look for moose and other wildlife.  Thankfully they gave me a map when I checked in.

misty mountain morning in Maine

Lets get our bearings, shall we?

By 10 am the clouds had given way and the overcast skies of the morning were a thing of the past. Sun was shining and it was bright and clear. I’d finished my work and felt the tension in my  shoulders melt-away with that task done. Time to grab the camera and explore. I stopped at the overlook to take some pictures of the beautiful lake.

Rangeley Lake in the sun from the Overlook

Now that the sun was behind me I was able to get better exposure.

Return to the Appalachian TrailAppalachia Trail sign

Then it was back to the Appalachian Trail head. When I was younger I wanted to hike the whole trail. I couldn’t afford to take the time off so it never happened. That will be regret for sure. Now with my bum hip it’s definitely out of the question. But I wandered a little way

brook near the Appalachia Traildown the trail and got some pictures of the brook that bubbled nearby. I was surprised that even that little bit gave me a thrill.

The Suds & Sizzle

I found the little laundry where I’d stopped the day before. In the bright daylight it lost some of its charm. This went on my list for an afternoon return for pictures.

Hunter Cove Wildlife Sanctuary

This is high on my to-do list so I wanted to be sure to locate it. Turns out it isn’t too far out on the other side of town. I pulled in briefly to check out the parking and the trails. They look manageable. There’s lots of trees so lots of bugs. Good thing I have extra strength bug spray along.

Afternoon plans get canceled

It was almost lunchtime so I returned to the cabin to make a sandwich and plan the afternoon. Suddenly I was very, very tired. A “power nap” seemed like a great idea. As I don’t usually sleep during the day I didn’t think I needed to set an alarm. Big Mistake! By the time I woke up it was 6:30 pm and the shadows were getting long. I really had no idea I was that tired. But that’s what vacations are for, right? Recharging.

downstairs bedroom with rocking chair

 

One Waterfall Down Eight to Go!

One Down and Eight to go

Saturday afternoon the sun came out and I ran for the car. I had several different options but would only have time for one. A drive to Royalston MA to visit Doane’s Falls was the winner. There are 9 waterfalls on the Ultimate Massachusetts Waterfall Road trip. Doane’s Falls was my number one choice. It was close (2 hours). A doable afternoon trip.

What Waterfalls are on the list?

  1. Doane’s Falls, Royalston, MA
  2. The Cascade, North Adams Ma
  3. Wahconah Falls, Dalton, MA
  4. March Cataract Falls, Williamstown, MA
  5. Bash Bish Falls, Mt Washington State Park, MA
  6. Race Brook Falls, Sheffield, MA
  7. Umpachene Falls, New Marlborough, MA
  8. Campbell Falls, New Marlborough, MA
  9. Glendale Falls, Middlefield, MA

Stone Bridge and Waterfall

I found the Falls with little trouble. The roads are paved and easy to navigate. No need for off-roading or mudding  here. There is limited parking but if you can park in the little lot the Falls start right there. The water spills out of the culvert under a lovely stone bridge. You probably just drove over the bridge to get to the parking lot.

You can hear the falls before you see them. Just a few steps onto the trail and you can see the racing water poring out of the culvert. When I walked back to the road and looked on the other side of the bridge the brook was quite calm. It’s an amazing contrast.

Doane’s Falls Recap

The drive to Doane’s Falls was pretty easy. I only made one wrong turn and that was quickly corrected. Once on the right road the falls themselves are clearly marked. It’s warming up ans the flying, biting  critters are starting to come out. I hadn’t thought of that. Next trip to a waterfall will mean bug spray (extra strength), a hat, and snacks. Fast food  and lunch places are few and far between  once you leave Framingham behind.

I didn’t get all  the way to the bottom of the trail. I think there are more falls and rapids further down but the giant mosquitoes drove me back. This will be really pretty in the fall. With a little less water and the colored leaves. I definitely need to plan a return trip.