Photo of the Month: Ol' Gator Mouth

Photo of the Month: Ol' Gator Mouth
Showing posts with label Flooding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Flooding. Show all posts

Sunday, March 28, 2021

High Water Everywhere

I'm pretty sure I have one of these posts every few months, and at least once every year or two, but here is the most recent version of water, water everywhere. Rainfall yesterday (Saturday, March 27, 2021) into early this morning produced flooding across middle and east Tennessee. My wife and I decided to go for a drive and perhaps a little hiking today and see if we could get some good pictures. The water was even more than I had expected.

Our destination was Lost Creek Falls. This out of the way gem is not much as far as a hike goes, but it is scenic and also offers some nice wildflowers. While in the area, we also like to head down to the upper Caney Fork at Big Bottoms and also stop by Rylander Cascade. We accomplished all of those, but the water was so high we almost didn't. 

We had barely left home when we started coming across lots of debris in the road from high water. Huge rocks, leaves, branches, and just normal gravel were all strewn across the road in places. We carefully drove over what looked like some serious tire popper rocks and kept going.

As we descended off the Plateau, we came across the first excellent waterfall for the day. Wildcat Falls is right on highway 70 between Crossville and Sparta but much closer to the latter. You pass the falls as you drive up or down off of the Cumberland Plateau. Today it was really rolling. We stopped along with several other people to take some pictures of what is normally a small trickle. 

Wildcat Falls on the Cumberland Plateau near Sparta Tennessee
©2021 David Knapp Photography

Wildcat Falls near Sparta
©2021 David Knapp Photography

After enjoying the impressive sight, we continued our drive towards Sparta, Tennessee before turning off to take back roads to Lost Creek Falls State Natural Area. As we meandered through the countryside, we began noticing several lakes and ponds we hadn't seen before. Then we realized it was just people's fields full of water. Several houses were completely cut off by the flood waters. Thankfully, most of them at least appeared to still be dry. 

As we made our initial drive past Lost Creek Falls, we both were in awe of how much water was going over the falls. Before stopping to take pictures, we decided to head further down the road and visit the upper Caney Fork River and Rylander Cascade. The new canoe launch down at the Caney Fork River was inundated with water. Not a good day to be canoeing!

Upper Caney Fork River Big Bottoms Canoe Launch
©2021 David Knapp Photography

The road was covered with water here. We saw a big truck drive through the flood waters and almost not make it. Next, an ATV did the same thing and came even closer to getting swept off of the road. This was a good reminder that flood waters are not a joke. If water is over the road, don't risk it. The power of flood waters never ceases to amaze me. 

Turning around, we stopped to take pictures of the water surging through fields along the main Caney Fork River channel, then we headed back up to check out Rylander Cascade. Turns out there was a little water there as well. 

Rylander Cascade Trail Crossing
Rylander Cascade Trail ©2021 David Knapp Photography

After some careful negotiating of the trail, we were able to enjoy an impressive view of the cascade before heading back to the car to finally hit Lost Creek Falls. 

Rylander Cascade
Rylander Cascade ©2021 David Knapp Photography

We carefully made it back down the trail and back to our car, ready for the final adventure of the day. Lost Creek Falls is an impressive sight no matter what the water levels are. This is very similar to Virgin Falls which isn't all that far away. Both falls emerge from caves before falling into a sink and disappearing. Lost Creek Falls is not as large as Virgin Falls, but still impressive nonetheless. Normally, Lost Creek Falls disappears immediately at the bottom of the drop. Today, however, the sheer volume of water had overwhelmed the usual outlet holes and it was flowing down through the large sink and into Lost Creek Cave. I took pictures and video of what we saw. Here are a couple of the pictures.

Spring flood at Lost Creek Falls
Lost Creek Falls ©2021 David Knapp Photography

Lost Creek Falls wide view
Wider View of Lost Creek Falls ©2021 David Knapp Photography

I also took a quick video or two of the falls. You can see it on YouTube HERE or watch it below. Remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Listen to the water roar over the falls! So much power in the water today...