RAT Annual Birthday Hike,,,, NOT ! 9-8-2014

I was not able to go on my annual week-long birthday hike this year due to many unforseen circumstances that occurred, one of which was the unexpected passing of my oldest brother Jim. On the way to visit family and attend the funeral services I did stop to see what I call lower Wesser Falls on the lower end of the Nantahala River at Wesser, NC. These are not a vertical drop falls but, more of a large cascading variety that are most impressive during high water levels such as they were on this day. It was raining as I was taking these pictures. To access these falls there is a small pull off on the right side of highway 74 (going upstream) just before where the Appalachian Trail crosses and you can hop the wood rail fence and find a small path that leads out to the edge of a very high cliff above the falls. Please use extreme caution here especially when slick as there is nothing to stop you from plummeting to your demise.

lower wesser falls

Lower Wesser Falls

lower wesser falls

Lower Wesser Falls (one slip here might be your last!)

lower wesser falls

Lower Wesser Falls as seen from the slick narrow cliff edge

lower wesser falls

Lower Wesser Falls

After I got what shots I could from that vantage point, I decided to drive across the bridge where the AT crosses the river just above the top of the falls and make my way down the tracks for a more unobstructed view from the other side.

lower wesser falls

Lower Wesser Falls (you can see some of the cliff where I was previously on the other side)

lower wesser falls

Lower Wesser Falls

lower wesser falls

Lower Wesser Falls

nantahala river

Looking down the Nantahala River from the lower Wesser Falls I can see a small feeder falls from a stream entering into the river

I also stopped at a favorite place of mine farther up river where there is a swinging bridge across the Nantahala River. The fog was beginning to rise from the water.

swinging bridge

Swinging bridge over Nantahala River


Swinging Bridge across Nantahala River


Fog rising on the Nantahala River


Spot along the Nantahala River

I ran into a heavy rain storm just as I was almost to Murphy, NC where my brothers live. It is a beautiful part of the country and one of my favorite places to be.


Downpour ahead !

While I was there I stopped by to visit my old friends Fred and Julie Heath whom I had not seen in several years. We had a wonderful visit and I was lucky enough to eat some of Julie’s fabulous cooking ! Fred thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1990 when he was 65 years old. Did it in about 178 days I think. I met Fred not long after that through another trail friend I met that same year on Springer Mountain in Georgia named Dave ‘Nurse Without A Purse’ Bigard who called Fred from Rainbow Springs to pick us up there and give us a ride to Murphy. Fred and Julie are wonderful people and I am proud to know them.

fred and julie

Fred and Julie Heath (I can not remember the dogs name)


Hand carved statue given to Fred by a local craftsman


hand carved statue given to Fred by a local craftsman

On my way home I saw this BIG motorcycle in Andrews, NC:


This thing was twice as tall as my car !

north carolina

On the way home getting ready to go back through the Nantahala Gorge which passes between those mountains

Posted on 8 October '14 by , under RATtreks.

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