Monday, August 13, 2012

Walls of Jericho Part One

 We have been talking about doing this hike for at least 3 years, so when the weather turned out nice all weekend, we decided to tackle it at last.  The kids were all excited about this one and when Britney was able to join us, they were double-excited.

We went to pick up Gina and Britney in Decatur Sunday around 8 and headed to Gurley where we stopped for breakfast and a few snacks and drinks, then drove right to the trailhead.  It's about an hour from Huntsville, not as far as I thought.  Straight from here without the detour to Decatur, it would have been maybe 90 minutes of driving, we will definitely go back!

The hike is reported far and wide to be 6 miles long with a 1000 foot change in elevation, but back at the van the GPS said 7.2 round trip and 1023 feet change in elevation.  Even though it lied on our 23 mile walk back in the spring and it was really 26 miles, I am pretty good with the 7.2 being accurate.

 The hike down is basically this: nearly 3 miles of switchbacks with a few flattish stretches, then you cross a footbridge at the bottom and the trail goes on for half a mile or so on back along the creek, crossing another footbridge at the cemetery/campsite.  It goes up and down a few times, nothing major, before ending at the Walls of Jericho, a huge natural amphitheater of limestone with a waterfall.  There is some beautiful karst topography, which we all know, is my favorite!

The kids taking a break by one of several sinkholes.

This was WAY more impressive in person!

Another uphill bit!

The kids were walking along the creek, but it kept getting further away, so they climbed up to the trail we were on...right through the poison oak!  Considering Ben can get a rash sitting inside, I worry for his fate later this week.

I came around a curve and saw everyone looking up.  Below is their view.

It's real tall!

 Just a LITTLE more water and this would have been way more fun. It was slippery enough they were able to slide anyway.

 There was a swimming hole at the base of the falls, it had a big rock where the kids are standing.  The rest of the pool was pretty deep!

It's so hard to get a sense of scale from photos, but there are 2 people and a dog at the edge of the lower bowl, near the middle of the photo above.

The source of the water in the pool/falls, which is why the kids screamed a good bit and why I never got in in the first place.  FREEZING!

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.