The deep freeze across the east has lasted long enough for some of the local waterfalls and even parts of the French Broad River to freeze. This doesn’t happen every year, we need sustained weeks of sub-freezing temperatures for the ice to form around running water. It was 27 degrees F (-2C) last weekend when we decided to take a hike and see some of them. Yes, we are a bit nuts to hike in this cold, but the skies were mainly clear, the wind was very light and the hikes were short. Bundling up in coats, hats, scarves, gloves, jeans and our hiking boots, we drove out to DuPont State Forest to see the first two. The parking lot was mainly empty, of course. Only the truly crazy go hiking now. But there were a few other intrepid souls who wanted to appreciate the beauty of the white ice sculptured by nature. We headed out on the bridge over a partially frozen stream.
The half mile hike wasn’t too bad in the cold, only one really steep section.
Coming up the hill, Triple Falls can be seen in the distance.
Getting a bit closer, all of that white that looks like froth is actually solid ice.
Look to the left of the upper falls, see the icicles?
There is still some water flowing, but most of the falls is frozen in time.
Back across the bridge and a short 1/4-mile hike later, we came to Hooker Falls. This one is not tall but really wide. The very middle is still flowing, but both sides are frozen solid.
DH took this picture across the face of the falls, the ice is pretty thick!
Gorgeous, isn’t it? The entire left side still looks like flowing water even though it is frozen stillness.
As usual for me, I notice the details like the crystals and air bubbles under the surface here at the water’s edge.
The fractured pattern is interesting. Along the right lower edge of the picture below is a gentle rippling over a rock, amazingly still moving ever so slightly.
Downstream from Hooker Falls, lovely contrast between the dark rocks and the light ice.
The next day, we drove out to Pisgah Forest and all along the road were scenes like this, icicles from the watershed forming on the rock faces.
The prisms of light inside the icicles were really lovely, but the camera couldn’t see them.
In warmer weather, these sections have dripping water.
We drove to Looking Glass Falls, also a winter wonderland. It looks like a frothy falls, but in actuality, is frozen ice. I usually try to get pictures without people in them, but this one gives you a better idea of the majesty and height of this waterfall and the stone canyon.
A little zoom in, look at the frost in the trees on the left, and over the rock face on the right, all formed from the spray from the falls.
Several minutes later to walk down the icy stairs, where the temperature dropped another 10 degrees, and the falls still look exactly the same.
Frost covered the lower rocks next to the solid ice lagoon, with icicles hanging from the ledges.
The ice was inches thick, beautiful but dangerous. The ice wouldn’t support the weight of a person.
Downstream from Looking Glass Falls, there is a trickle still moving in the very center.
For my northern hemisphere readers, is it frozen where you are? Southern hemisphere readers, do you have scenes like this near you in winter?