Saturday, March 27, 2010

WCTDA Event and Pick Your Favorite Photo Time

The Watauga County Tourism Development Authority recently held an Outdoor Recreation Summit in Boone, North Carolina. Several excellent presentations were made by local promoters of Outdoor Activities and tourism development in Watauga County. It is a goal of the WCTDA to make the high country the PREMIER Tourist Destination for Outdoor Recreation in the state and region.

Different outdoor opportunities were promoted including Hiking, Rock Climbing, Fishing, Paddling, and Biking.
A booth was set up to promote awareness of our Watauga County section of the Mountains to the Sea Trail.
A photo album of trail accomplishments and a interactive online link to the MST WATAUGA blogspot were shared with the large group in attendance.

Visit Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail here

Watauga Task Force volunteers Gerry Staninger and Shelton Wilder discussed our trail accomplishments and emphasized the important role WCTDA has played in assisting us with our trail construction.

While we have experienced quiet a set-back due to the winter ice storms we continue to press southward.

We believe with the continued support of the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority we will be able to complete our section in the upcoming year.

Please take a moment to enjoy some of the photos taken last year from along our trail.
Most of the photos have links attached to the numbers which will lead you to the post.
You can vote for your favorite at the end of this post or by email. One lucky winner will receive a postcard print of the most favored photo.



Thanks for looking. 
Please let me know which are your favorite photos.

To leave a comment you simply click on "comment" below.
You may also email me your favorites 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cascades ~ Crossing the County Line

This is the destination,
you'll see it again later in this post.
What would you call this?
Today may have been the last of the WINTER WALKABOUTS!
Let me say, I hope so, but, like most of my joys, I know I'll miss it when it's gone.
While the Cascades is just across the Watauga County line and into Ashe County
it seems a natural walkout from our section in Watauga. Most often I am bothered by signs along the trail. But in this section this reminder is safe to be heeded.
Finding the trail in the deep snow was a challenge unto itself. In good weather, this is an easy walking trail.
But winter storms have dropped trees and limbs all along the MST in Watauga and Ashe counties.
There are two observation points on this trail of the Cascades Waterfalls. Even the access was blocked by down trees.
All along the way there were frequently creek splashes that offered beautiful ice formations.
This is the upper observation point and the snow was about 12 inches at this point.
Gary and I took a break to mug for the camera.
And then commenced to take in the spectacular formations of ice along the riverside.
At times transparent and translucent ice was side by side.
Other formations were crystalline and fractured as if made of glass.
But we were determined to make it to the lower observation point. As you can see, the trail and steps are under debris. These are the steps down to the last point.
Forcing us to scramble over and under to reach the rock wall.
But once in and through the downfall there was room to stand and observe.
Taking a moment to clown for the camera.... ;-) STAY BEHIND WALL!

There is a sign at the start of the descent to the Cascades. I have always been touched by the poetry in the description that was given of these falls. I have pondered who wrote these words of grace.

Water plunges
like liquid lace
from overhead
and dashes past
to swirl and slide downward

in an abandon
of spray
and foam-lipped ripples.
Time to head out another excursion into the quiet of winter ending
for the day, for the season? Perhaps for this year.
E B Jeffress ~ Teacher - Journalist - Public Servant
more here
The view from the parking lot is breath taking. But all of the trails in these mountains are under the damage of the winter.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is planning an all out effort to recover the beauty. Unfortunately little will be done to help our trails. There is so much to do on the parkway proper. Follow this link if you are interested in the effort: Blue Ridge Parkway Recovery Plan
Standing one more moment at the edge of the world, the edge of winters retreat.
It's there, it's waiting,
spring's rebirth
is on the horizon.