Continued from yesterday’s post . . .
After a quiet lunch and a couple of errands, we headed up toward’s Devil’s Courthouse (named by the Cherokee because a cave in the mountain is where Judaculla, a fierce giant who ruled the Balsam Mountain area, held court. Note that the next hike I will talk about, Richland Balsam, is where Judaculla lived. So we spent our Sunday afternoon in Judaculla’s territory). But before we got there, we stopped at one of the hundreds of waterfalls in the area. Nothing like the sound of water crashing down the slopes.
But on up the road to the Devil. There are a couple of ways up to the top, but we took the shorter, more tourist way this time. When the summer crowds build, we will take the longer, but more quiet, trail. Fortunately, today, we had it mostly to ourselves. But first, a good picture of Devil’s Courthouse:
From the top, that rock outcropping is pretty impressive. Here is a picture from the top looking down over the rocks. Sat up here one day last fall watching a film crew getting some shots of rappelling, but I never did figure out what the filming was used in.
From the top, you have a close to 360 degree view. This is looking due North and the largest knob you see is Sam Knob. That is also a great hike, but we are saving it for another day. By the way, you are also looking in the same direction as Cold Mountain – yes, the one the movie and book are about. The funny part is that the only way to it is by foot and for several hours, so you actually see relatively little advertising for it despite the name recognition. That, and we couldn’t figure out how you film a movie about a place without actually using that place. Oh well.
The dogs, for the most part, just said it was getting warm. Here they are trying to find some shade for a few minutes. Kiska furry behind to the left, Kodiak in the back, Qannik against the wall, and Natasha sitting with her back to us on the right.
Final picture of the day. In the lower part, you will notice how empty the parking lot is this time of year. Give it a month, and it will be packed. Of more interest is the mountain rising up in the center of picture, but in the background. That is Richland Balsam – our next and final stop for the day. Pictures from there tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to go read about Kisk’a adventure at Richland Balsam last summer during the Rain Storm.