While the sun was getting up, I had plenty of time to google around for things to do on day two using the lodge's piss-poor WiFi. I really shouldn't complain. I didn't expect WiFi at all. Ann had mentioned the afternoon before that she would like to go visit Pendleton Lake on the other side of the river and perhaps see Pendleton Falls. She showed me a really intriguing photo of Pendleton Falls the evening before, but when I started looking into it, I saw that Pendleton Falls is where the outflow from Pendleton Lake meets the Blackwater some 200 feet below on the canyon floor. Moreover, to see the falls is a bushwhack with no maintained trail and a very, very steep bushwhack at that. Ann's left foot isn't 100% or I would have gone for it. But I really didn't want to get all the way down in the canyon and she not be able to walk out.
Backpedaling on Pendleton Falls, I looked around for other amusements in the area and quickly came upon Elakala Falls and Douglas Falls, both of which I had heard Ann mention the night before. I found that Elakala Falls is a series of falls on Shays Run right next to the lodge while Douglas Falls was a couple of miles from the park. The pictures of Douglas Falls had me salivating: we had to go there.
After a coffee run down to the lobby of the lodge (free coffee!), we got showered, packed up, checked out, and our stuff packed into the Jeep. Then we walked across the front of the lodge and into the dark hemlock Hansel und Gretel woods just to the west. Not 100 yards later did we hear a waterfall and then suddenly we came to a wooden footbridge across a creek. We were standing on top of the first of a series of four falls on Shays Run collectively known as Elakala Falls as they make their way down the canyon wall to the Blackwater below.
|And a Slower Shutter Speed|
|More of Same|
|Elakala Falls Up Close|
On our way back to the lodge, Ann spotted the gleam of water in this sluice. Although on rare occasion she remarks that I sometimes spend too much time taking pictures, she's really good at pointing out things I should photograph. I hustled upstream to see what the sluice was all about. I still don't have any understanding of why it is here but it is pretty cool, especially because it makes the big right-hand bend that you can see in the photo.
|Sluice on Shays Run|
The short traverse through the open woods led us through an area with many small shrubs with lots of berries, shrubs with which I am not at all familiar. This area was also full of high-bush blueberries, tall purple and tall white asters, and lots of other flowers. I certainly expected to see lots of deer in the open woodland and I would not have been surprised to surprise a bear feasting on the berries, but we didn't see a single large animal the entire trip, though Ann said she saw some deer dropping near the lake.
|Unknown Berries: Another Harbinger of Fall|
|There Should be Dozens of Deer Here|
|The Lodge from Pendleton Point|
|Blackwater Canyon from Pendleton Point|
|Lilies, The Water Shield, Brasenia schreberi|
|Unopened Milkweed Pods|
|Ironweed, Vernonia spp.|
|A Really Nice Snakeroot|
|Running Cedar, Diphasiastrum digitatum|
|Wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbens|
|An Unkown Groundcover|
|Cairn at Pase Point|
|Looking Southwest, North Fork Merges on Right|
|Photographing the Photographer|
|Enjoying the View|
|Blackwater River from Pase Point|
|Six-Leaf Whorl of a Joe Pye Weed|
|Basketball-Sized Joe Pye Weed|
|On the Dam: Rudbeckia, Red Clover, Queen Ann's Lace|
|A Hypericum on the Dam|
Previous: Part Two of our Labor Day Getaway, Next: Part Four of our Labor Day Getaway