Harper Creep Falls

Harper Creep Falls
Harper Creek Falls

Friday, February 10, 2023

On Through

 I have been to Laurel Fork Falls many times over the years, but for some reason I have always come in from Dennis Cove and back or from Hampton and back. This time I wanted to go from Hampton to Dennis Cove. I don't even think that it is a distance of 4 miles, and most of it is a smooth, nearly level trail. The weather started off crisp and pleasant. We met several older ladies and older couples out for a stroll. They come here often, using the trail as their local greenway for exercise. One pair declared that they do the hike once a week all year round. They said that they never get bored of it and have come to like it best in winter. What else would you do if you don't have a city greenway to walk on? 

After you walk over a small hump from the parking lot, you drop down into this amazingly flat little floodplain near the creek. The flat abruptly ends on the other side of the creek into this 60' or so cliff.

The trail continues on fairly level ground and crosses the creek twice. The bridges are much stouter than in years past and well maintained. I know for a fact that one of them was washed out several times, so I guess they made them sturdier and higher.

At about halfway to the falls the trail goes steeply up for perhaps 1/8 mile to get around cliffs. We followed the creek to see if it was reasonable to get around the cliffs. You either had to cross the creek, which was untenable in these temperatures, or you had to traverse a short, sketchy section of cliff just above waterline that might get you wet anyway. We opted for going back to the marked trail and going up, then down. The morning sun glowed in the creek far below.

Just one turn before the falls was this cliff that looked inviting for rock climbing. Oh, that I could get someone to come along and try it out with me.

The word gorge in these parts is used with Doe River, but this Laurel Fork Creek is quite the deep gorge as well.

Ah, it is running well.

Notice how high the cliffs are behind the falls.

My friend was steadying his pictures.

I never tire of seeing the beauties of nature. I am thankful that areas of beauty have been set aside. We have plenty of land to farm, construct upon, and log.

As we stood on the last bridge over the creek, perhaps 1/2 mile above the falls, he pointed out an interesting light phenomenon in the water. He called it, rightly I surmise, "lensing". The flow of the creek stirred water from a deep pool causing mixing and eddies in this sandbar.

I did not well catch the view below, which revealed more than lines, but rather formed and moved rows of black dots.

On the other hand, I think that the following video captures a little of the mesmerizing properties of the "Linear Light Lensing". The quality is not so good as I would like, but look for the rows of dots. In the macro and micro, God's creation is fascinating and at time serene, and it always points to the glories of His person and works.

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