(5/23/19) I got a little late start on my day. I’m not sure why. We didn’t have a long day of hiking yesterday. I was in bed at a decent time. Perhaps I just felt like sleeping in a bit since I was in a comfortable hotel bed. As usual, when we stayed in hotels, I quietly grabbed a few things, and ventured downstairs to the dining area for some coffee and breakfast. I finished filling my belly and headed back up to the room. Mulligan got up just as I finished plowing through some work items. While he was grabbing some breakfast himself, the Colonel called.

The Colonel and I spoke about our plans for the day. Or the lack thereof I should say. We all seemed to be moving a little slow. We did agree it would be nice to meet up again, so the Colonel decided to head our way again, in his van. We all needed to resupply, so we headed over to Walmart to do so. We grabbed what we needed and went back outside and packed our new food items in our packs. It was hot. Really hot. We decided to go to Devil’s Backbone Brewery in Lexington. I didn’t realize they had two locations. The other location was right off the AT, and a popular spot for a lot of hikers to stop for a beer, food, they had showers, and camping spots too. The one in Lexington was not off the AT though, and it just had food and beer.

We ate lunch and tried to figure out our next move. It was pretty late in the day and the chances of us making it back on the trail and getting in some good miles was dwindling. One thing we talked about was how we missed Apple Orchard Falls. And how we wished we would have got to see it. Well, with not a whole lot of time left in the day, we figured that would be something we could do. Though we’d be hiking 2.5 miles, these miles weren’t on the actual AT, they were on what’s considered a blue blazed side trail. So we wouldn’t get credit for any real white blazed miles today, we’d at least get to see some pretty scenic waterfalls. We agreed this was a good idea and were off.

We arrived at the falls and started our hike down the 1.25 miles trail. It was beautiful. There was a creek that cascaded down alongside the trail as we descended deeper and deeper into the forest. We made our way to a small footbridge and as we crossed it we could see the first set of falls. We stopped and took some pics and video and then continued down the path. We arrived at the main waterfall. It was huge at about 200′ tall. We took more photos and videos and sat down on some benches they had available for viewers. We stayed there for some time just taking in the scenery.

The hike back up was nice and gradual so pretty enjoyable. The stone steps led us through a tunnel of rhododendron flowers. There was a clearing where we could see mountains in the distance. It was like a fairytale world. We were glad we got this 2nd opportunity to see this place. It was definitely worth the trip. We grabbed a quick bite to eat on the way back to the hotel, checked in, showered, and I again caught up on some work items, while Mulligan watched TV, before falling asleep.