Saturday, January 28, 2012

Our Muddy Adventure to Machine Falls

Today was a beautiful day!  The sky was clear and the temperature was expected to stay in the high 40s to low 50s.  Since we don't get many winter days this nice (especially when I'm not on call), we decided to find ourselves a local hike.  After some web-searching last night, I found an area about 30 miles from our home called the Short Springs Natural Area.  This area has several trails, one "big" waterfall, and another good-sized cascade.  After a light lunch at Sonic, we hit the trail at around 1.  We decided to hike to Machine Falls, which was a "moderate to strenuous" 1.5 mile about a tenth more to actually get to the falls.
We set out on the trail, which began as a very easy wooded trail.  Once we got within earshot of the falls, this quickly changed!  The trail descended VERY steeply down to the some steps "down" were over 2 feet!  Once we got the the creek, here's what we found... (Basically the trail ended...but the sign said the falls were 100 yards to the right.  It just didn't say how you were supposed to get to them!)

Here's Adam at the trail's end!  We decided to try to take the hillside, since the water was about 8" deep and we didn't want to hike with cold, wet feet.  So, here's what we faced... was super steep...and slick under the leaves as well!  When we rounded this hillside (winded, muddy, and thankful for our safety), here's what we saw...
  The falls were really spectacular!  They are 60 feet tall and 60 feet wide...and full of water!  The photos just don't do justice to the sounds and beauty of the falls.  The water was dripping off of these green mossy rocks, creating an almost fairy-tale like image.  We took several photos, and then I wandered down the hill to the base of the falls (or technically about 4 feet up, as I didn't get into the water at the base).

Wandering down the hill really wasn't my brightest idea ever...though I was hoping to walk back to the main trail along the opposite side of the creek (to avoid climbing that steep slippery hill again).  I went down, using both my feet as well as my butt.  (Yes, it WAS that steep!)  Sadly, I made it to the lowest rock and discovered that I had about a 4 foot drop to the creek bed.  Unfortunately, the rock below was covered in moss and algae and I KNEW it was slick.  There was no good place to get footing (and I wasn't feeling like injuring myself on asprin therapy), so I was forced to climb back up.  Before heading up, I took these...

This next one is sideways (stupid Blogger won't orient it properly), but it shows just how steep the hill was.  see Adam at the top???

I then climbed back up to where Adam was (this was challenging and resulted in a bruised right knee) and we finished the trail.  Overall, it was a wonderful short hike with some good challenges!  My jeans didn't make out very well (as you can see below), but Adam posed just to prove that he came out "clean!"

Nothing like a good Saturday adventure!!!  Because I was so dirty, we came home and changed clothes.  We then went to Murfreesboro for dinner and a tad of shopping.  Overall, it was a perfect day together!!!


Samantha said...

LOVE this, you guys so need to share some of that energy :)

Anonymous said...

Just now seeing this. It does look beautiful. I'm glad yall love going hiking and being outdoors. Your kids are going to love that one day!
--Love, Leslee