The Land of Waterfalls

Brevard, NC is considered the “Land of Waterfalls,” at least according to the Transylvania County Tourism and Development Authority, boasting over 250 waterfalls and an elusive local white squirrel for a mascot.

I’ve managed to hike to several of the waterfalls, some of which are fun to wade around the bottom of and some are torrents that Skye and I stay well away from. We’ve yet to brave the cold water for a ride down sliding rock, but Hooker Falls and Key Falls are favorites for wading.

The trails in Dupont State Forest have improved significantly since I first stated hiking there with my grandmother in high school. Pisgah Forest, similarly, has excellent trails. On the SC side of the mountain, 3.5 miles later, two worn-out toddlers were less-than-impressed with Raven Cliff Falls. High Falls and Triple Falls are on the card for this weekend, an easy 2-mile loop.

The while squirrels, apparently, are a common enough sight for everyone except me. Geoff even drove me around one of the downtown neighborhoods trying to spot on. While I saw lots of brown squirrels, and a few white Styrofoam cups I initially mistook for a squirrel, I’ve yet to actually see one. According to everyone else, they see them all the time.

Coming into a new area and getting to know it is both fun and work. While we have some friends already here, it takes a while to expand your social circle and get to know others. Tagging along to group dates and the brewery, hanging out at birthday parties, attending community events, and getting to know the neighbors is good, but slow going. Skye has settled into a school with several other kids her age and comes home every day with new knowledge about farm and mountain life (she’s attending a school on a farm).

Part of my process for exploring an area is running several Google searches on things to do in the area. Between that and picking up the local print advertorials, we get a pretty clear picture of the options. Some are less than impressive, but occasionally, you get surprised.

Last week, Skye and I went to the Serpentarium, home to well over 200 snakes, frogs, toads, turtles, tortoises, spiders, scorpions, and who knows what else. From the 19-foot long python to the scale-less albino rattlesnake (it furiously wiggled it’s rattle-less nub at Skye, trying to scare her away), we talked about snakes, both the friendly and the unfriendly. She spent well over half an hour happily betting a spiked lizard named Ozie and was nervous about the two-headed corn snake (this was a hit for me).

We still have a long list of things we want to do this summer while exploring the area, but hitting more waterfalls, and finding a white squirrel, are totally on the list.