Gabe’s Branch Falls

Today our adventure took us to Kentucky for another unique waterfall, Gabe’s Branch Falls in Harlan County.

Before we arrived at our destination, we stopped off the side of the road and took in the beautiful view. That view was of Black Mountain, the highest point in Kentucky.

Black Mountain, Kentucky

Black Mountain, Kentucky

Although it was hazy when we stopped, it was still an incredible view.

Black Mountain, Kentucky

Black Mountain, Kentucky

We continued on this breathtaking, curvy road that had beautiful rocks and lush green trees surrounding our path.

We then arrived at Gabe’s Branch Falls, which really did not involve too much of a hike.

IMG_0175After parking we walked straight down, which led to a overlook of the top of the waterfall, which pooled into a water hole where individuals could swim.

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Before heading down to the waterfall, we followed another trail that was clearly marked. This led us to incredible rock formations with water flowing through them that continued to the waterfall.

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It was stunning to see the hollow sections of the rocks.

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IMG_0134After we were done walking on rocks across the water we decided to follow the marked trail down to the waterfall.

IMG_0169The waterfall was beautiful. It is definitely one Jason and I want to go back to once there is a good rain.

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According to information on the Harlan County website, the falls is 15 to 20 feet tall in the northern mountains of Harlan County on Gabe Branch near the Leslie County line. The water falls into an 8 to 10 foot deep swimming hole.

While Jason and I were sitting on a rock near the waterfall, he spotted a snail . . .

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There’s just something about this little creature that is fascinating.

I’m glad Jason’s cousin Christina and her family showed us a new spot today!

Another great day out in the wilderness!

Bad Branch Falls

Today Jason’s cousin Christina took us to a beautiful place in Kentucky – Bad Branch Falls.

The trail was full of rocks, both big and small, and roots, which made it difficult to look at your surroundings while trying not to trip on the path.

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But we made it to a spot where we could stop, sit on a rock and look at what was around us …

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My favorite thing about all these hikes is the sound of the water. It takes me to a different place, a peaceful and relaxing place. All of my thoughts dissapear, especially the ones full of stress and worry. It’s almost as if I become a part of nature.

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After we left this little area, our hiking trail went straight up, but it was all worth it …

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The waterfall was beautiful, a lot higher than the last one we visited.

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The sound, oh the sound ….

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The boulders that were at the bottom of the waterfall only added to the view.

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The best part was walking behind the waterfall. The rocks were slippery and the water was cold. It was different looking through from that angle.

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It was anorher great hike out in wilderness. The great thing about these adventures is it makes me want to find another place to explore.

I am so glad Jason and I moved to this area. Beautiful.

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The arrival

After a long and stressful journey on the road Tuesday, April 30 … Wednesday,May 1 was almost perfect.

My stress level was completely depleted once we hit the road early that morning all because one my favorite songs made it’s way through the shuffle list on my iPod. What a great way to kick off a morning, a song that means the world to me, a song that reminds me why I love and care for Jason so much.

As the miles passed us by, the thinking began as the iPod continued to go through my playlist. It’s amazing what consumes your thoughts when you’re alone. Tears, happy tears, often filled my eyes as I thought about the journey Jason and I have had, as well as the steps we took to get to where we are now. Anything is possible when you put your mind, heart and soul into something you want to happen.

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We made the choice two years ago, took the chance almost a week ago and so far we are enjoying every moment of the change we put into action.

Although it’s definitely good therapy to be alone, I couldn’t wait for the bathroom breaks or scenery stops, so conversations could be had with others instead of myself and Leo, our cat.

Every stop we lingered a little longer due to all of us – Jason, myself and our friend Lisa – craving a little human interaction.

The rest stop in North Carolina was one of my favorite stops. Since it was so pretty, it led us for a little walk around the grounds to stretch our legs.

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The scenery from this point on was breathtaking, Interstate 26 provide such a beautiful view.

The first time we made it up the first hill, I called Jason to share my excitement … no more flat lands for us.

Unfortunately as our trip went on poor Leo became upset again and went to the bathroom all over the floorboard of the car, which was right next to the litter box. By this point I had enough of driving and wanted out of the car just as much as he.

As we entered Tennessee and continued driving, signs of cities we have grown to know by looking at the map appeared, which only increased the excitement of what was happening.

I remember seeing the sign for Kingsport and saying out load “Yeah” with a huge smile, almost laughing, which consumed the entire car. At that moment I wish Jason and I were in the same car, so he could feel and see how much excitement was felt at that very moment.

When we finally made it to our apartment I got out of the car and went straight to Jason and threw my arms around his neck.

“We made it,” was all I could say, all I could think. Jason’s incredibly long hours, my long days, our tight budget and determination to make it happen came true that day.

I went inside the office, met the sweet lady who had helped us secure a place, and got the keys for our apartment to finally get the cats out of the car. I instantly fell in love with the cute apartment, our stepping stone to bigger and better things.

What a rush, I made the drive from Florida to Tennessee …the longest drive by myself with a cat in the car.

Since arriving we have gone exploring, which included two additional states. In less than a week’s time we drove through Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky, wow!

One of the adventures we took was one Jason has been excited about for quite some time, two years to be precise.

Highway 421, “The Snake,” has 469 curves, three mountains and two valleys. Jason enjoyed every moment of that drive, while I became green during a few of the incredibly steep curves up and down the mountain.

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I have to say even though I was a little car sick, it was a rush to be so high up. It felt like you could reach up and touch the clouds. Definitely an experience I will always remember.

We also drove to Kentucky, a 90-minute drive, which took us through Virginia, to visit his cousin, which left us saying wow as we drove up the highway.

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Everything is so green, lush and beautiful looking in Virginia.

I am very glad I climbed on board and decided to make this move. I’m looking forward to see what else unfolds as we start to make a living in this beautiful place.