I did not find that evidence.
Not that I’ve ever been to Yosemite.
So perhaps I’ve set Yosemite standards too high. Or perhaps in the Ven diagram of the two, I simply hadn’t hiked far enough to reach the overlapping circles and was way off to the left, wondering what all the fuss was about.
Now please understand: Nature is always something to fuss about. I look forward to every footfall that doesn’t involve manmade pavement, and I appreciate the details of beauty that make up every glorious vista. But when you hear that something should be the likes of Yosemite…
I have been to the “Grand Canyon of the South” and having been to the western one, I can see the comparison. Certainly it was not miles upon miles of caverns etched through time and looking like a painting from the south rim, but it was a pretty cool canyon on a small scale in southeastern United States. I was impressed and entertained.
I will blame my disappointment of Panthertown Valley on my own expectations for Nature never disappoints, but I disappoint myself quite often. And I clearly had some pretty high expectations.
Tucker and I set ourselves up in a cabin in Fairview, North Carolina, just south of Asheville. On our first stop on our back-to-California-the-long-way-around trip, we had three full days to hike, write, explore, and rest. Panthertown Valley had gotten such excellent reviews, I chose that as our first hike. With concentric loop trails, we had the opportunity to go long or go short around the valley. We chose to start long, and ended up short.
The lower trailhead was located half way back to Georgia, but I didn’t mind the drive. The upper trailhead would take just as long to get to and it would involve having to get back up the hill once our explorations were done. I always like to start at the bottom so that the way home is downhill.
This is a valley of waterfalls. We had plenty to choose to from, so I planned a route that would hit as many as possible.
I chose the almost-upper loop and down Tucker and I went back under the brambles.
I prayed this was the right way because there was no way we would be able to get back up it. This was what it was once it leveled off: