Kentucky Falls

May 19, 1996

The sky was overcast and threatening to rain. A slight cool breeze touched our faces as we gathered at the SEHS parking lot. After taking the attendance check and introductions, we piled into the Rayles’ sporty van (it was awfully nice of them to volunteer to accommodate all of us! But I’m sure after the trip there was a slight reservation if they knew then what they know now!). We started off about 9:00 am for the 1¾-hour trip to the trailhead. On the way we encountered beautiful mountain scenery, some rain, some downed/leaning trees and little waterfalls. The weather was trying to operate by not raining and displaying patches of blue sky. As we made our way down to the falls, a floral exhibit, cascading upper Kentucky Falls and creek, lizards, slugs, snails, birds and periodic sunshine accompanied us. There were signs of winter storms we have had: downed branches and trees, but the trail was open all the way. At the mighty, thunderous falls — Lower Kentucky and Smith River — we admired the volume of pulsating water as it rushed over the cliff edge and crashed into a pool at the bottom. To the right of the falls, hikers received a misty spray as we stood on the wooden observation deck. After lunch and noticing an approaching dark cloud, we headed back to the van, stowed away our gear and proceeded to take “a shorter route” back. After many winding miles on Smith River Road we arrived about 2¾. hours later …! I thought the group was going to stretch my neck! But I was lucky — I was with sympathetic companions. I really appreciated everyone’s patience. At Kentucky Falls were Ray Mikesell, Jake Dudell, Dick & Lucy Rayle, Bob Lemon, A.N.Other and Fred Foust, leader.

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