Let me finish up the hike that I took last week, exploring the last hollow in the area of state forest just north of Cantwell Cliffs. Here is part 1.
It just got more spectacular the more I went along.
First, a reminder of my route. Here’s a map of it; I went counter-clockwise.
When I left off, I had just entered the recess cave near point “U”. The creek ran right along it and had quite a bit of water running in it, due to the 1½ inches of rain that had just ended earlier that morning.
This was the shot looking back at where I entered.
Again, this is one of the benefits of hiking barefoot. I didn’t have to worry about getting wet socks, or worry about whether clunky boots were sufficiently waterproof. Bare feet worked perfectly well, whether traversing a dry rock surface, stepping on leaf litter, or walking right in the middle of a creek. They didn’t care—actually, they did care, because they cared to feel and enjoy what they were walking on.
I’m never really sure what to call these out-of-the-way places I visit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the locals might have a name for them. Or maybe not. They may have been named 100 years ago, when people owned them and went into them frequently, but now that it’s been state forest for 50 years, is there anybody around who still remembers the names?
So I tend to name them myself, mainly for my own use, and to describe where I am. I’ll usually use names taken off of old property ownership maps. Here’s one I’ve put together showing the owners from 1876.
This shows almost exactly where each landform feature fit into each property. Anyways, the recess cave I’d entered was on the old McBroom property, so I guess you could call them the McBroom falls.
And here’s what the waterfall at point “U” looked like from inside the cave.
It was just delightful to be there. [Click for the large version; you can do that for most pictures.]
It was easy enough to exit the cave near the falls and head up the side. Here’s is a stitched, panoramic shot of the falls themselves.
There was actually a third little waterfall a bit to the right.
From here I decided to visit the tips of all the other hollows I’d visited in the past, this time staying above them. The first place I made it to I guess I should call Potter falls, at point “V”. I’d visited it twice before, both times coming up from below. Those trips were described at the end of Slump Rock Gorge and Into the Cantwell Cliffs Wilderness.
Here’s what it looks like from afar and above.
Just a little hole in the wall.
But as a reminder, here’s what it looks like from up close, coming from down below (from “Slump Rock Gorge” in early April of last year).
And as you continue in, and look back, you see this (from “Wilderness” in July of last year).
And here’s how it looks from directly above (on this hike).
Doesn’t look like much, does it? You really have to be in it to win it.
Continuing, I made my way over to what I’d called Slump Rock Gorge, due to all the huge slump rocks that littered the floor there. Up top, above any of the cliff faces, all the rain had energized a bunch of springs that I otherwise would never have known were there.
Making it to the creek feeding that waterfall, I took this picture of the water cascading down the Blackhand sandstone, getting ready to head off the edge.
From last year, here’s one of the big slump rocks down in there.
And the waterfall with recess cave, again from last year and from below.
Here that is from the top of the waterfall.
If you look carefully, you can see one of the slump rocks at the upper right. And here’s a better shot of the slump rock.
Finally, as I left I took a look back. Now, when I’d been there last year, inside the hollow and working my way to the falls, I’d passed this “menhir”.
This time I saw it while leaving, and from above, which gives a much better perspective of how it sat.
The hike was only about 2½ miles, but it took me nearly 2 hours. Bushwhacking is always slower than trail-hiking—bushwhacking in new, scenic territory with a camera is even slower.
What’s really neat, in my perspective, is that I’ve now seen another of the hidden Hocking gems.