I have experienced cabin fever this winter for the first time in my adult life. With temperatures sometimes as low as the single digits, Jason and I spent a lot of time indoors. This winter was definitely a change from what I’m used to as A Florida girl.
The last true hike we took was in September. That seems like forever ago, especially when we were used to going out at least once a week.
With Jason having the day off and the temperatures rising to the high 50’s, we laced up our shoes, put on a few layers and packed a few more and went for a drive. That drive took us to North Carolina.
As soon as Jason parked the car, I got out and walked towards the water. The sky was blue with a chill in the air. The sound of rushing water instantly grabbed a hold of me and reminded me why we decided to move to NE Tennessee. It had definitely been too long since we heard that sound.
This is the beginning of Elk Falls in North Carolina. The parking lot sits alongside the water, which eventually turns into Elk Falls.
Instead of heading straight towards Elk Falls, we decided to hit the trails and hike towards Jones Falls.
In order to get to Jones Falls, we had to walk behind a gate in the parking lot area. This trail opens rather wide for a while and at times becomes hilly.
Once we started walking along the path, I remembered why I loved the hike to Jones Falls so much.
About a half a mile later, the trail opened to a river. We continued walking along the river on a narrow trail that was quite muddy in some places today.
The views, the sounds, what more could you ask for.
We eventually caught up with the Appalachian Trail, which is marked by white blazes on the tree.
I love this hike because you start hiking in North Carolina and end up in Tennessee. We crossed the state line by foot.
When we saw the blue blazes, we knew we had to take that trail to get to Jones Falls.
I loved walking the trail. There was so much green everywhere, something we haven’t been used to since winter came. We even saw trees starting to blossom, which I have to admit made me smile.
We started to hear Jones Falls and eventually saw it from a distance. It looked like there was ice, but we weren’t sure until we got closer to it . . .
I think both of our jaws dropped as Jones Falls came into sight. Wow, also left our lips. We couldn’t believe all the ice and snow . . . a wish definitely came true today. Jason and I have been wanting to hike to a waterfall since winter hit, but don’t really have the proper winter gear. We wanted to experience the frozen waterfalls in person . . .
So when we saw this it was a nice surprise.
The temperature dropped quite a bit as we came closer to Jones Falls. It was nice at first because we were both warm from the hike to the waterfall.
As I was mesmerized by the view, listening to the incredible sound, Jason found a trail that went up towards the top of the waterfall. Yep, I of course went up to join him. Well, he came back down to help guide me. It was steep in some places and slippery. Jason of course helped me.
The site was even better than below. The temperatures were even colder than below. With that said, it was worth the hike up.
There was a break in some of the ice and you could see the water running below.
After our bodies had enough of the cold, we headed back down the trail to grab our backpack and headed back. Jason packed us some sandwiches, which we stopped and ate where the sun was shinning, so we could soak up the warmth.
Before we starting walking again, I gave Jason a kiss. I was outdoors with the man I love. I was beyond happy . . .
Of course on our way back we headed off the trail and found a new place to play.
Some things just don’t change, I found a rock and sat down and took in the sound. Jason, on the other hand, found some rocks that he could skip in the water.
Now back in North Carolina we headed towards Elk Falls. As you hike down the path, there is a place where you can walk out on the rocks and view the waterfall from the top. This is always a great place to see a waterfall. The rushing water is powerful at this view.
Jason walked out closer to the edge and sat down for a while right over the waterfall.
By the time we made it to Elk Falls it was getting colder, so we didn’t stay for long. Last time we stopped here there were a ton of people swimming in the water and sun bathing on the rocks. This time we had the view all to ourselves.
My mind instantly went to a different place as I sat and watched the water hitting the pool of water below.
Today was absolutely perfect. A perfect day with Jason. Really, I could not ask for anything more. We were both in our element once again.
My mind is completely clear and the stress was left along the trail.
Fresh air, the sounds of nature and your best friend by your side does wonders. It felt good to smile all day long. It felt good to be outdoors for a few hours today.