Posted in Travel And Exploration

Sunday Funday At Transformus!

The last day at Transformus was time to bring out Troop 69! I was super excited as this was my first adventure with it. I’ve always wanted to be a girl scout. Here’s was my sort of chance haha. We started early because this day was supposed to get really hot! Don’t want the cookies to melt!

For this particular burn we were making people do funny tricks for cookies. Depending on how cool it was….that determined the “level” of cookie you got. We had regular store bought and we had homemade samoas and thin mints!

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Getting the cookies together 🙂

We needed a megaphone so we went in search of one. During this time most people seemed to be asleep so I took advantage of this and got some photos of my surroundings.

If you’re unfamiliar with communal style camping…here’s how we wash the dishes!

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All gray water is taken off property to be thrown out. This is a typical scene at a camp that may cook a lot for it’s guests. I carry a plate in my go around bag but other than that I don’t do much cooking or dishwashing at burns. 

Our neighbors for this weekend in Mysteria were camp Fuck You,I’m A Wizard! The wizards where a lot of fun and they have Koda….the cutest dino ever 🙂

Still searching for a megaphone…oh look they are making margaritas a very interesting way…

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I have no idea….but they get it done 🙂

Flavious???

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I swear he looks familiar,hahah. Flavious /Jesse lets me borrow his megaphone! Now we are set.

On the road with Troop 69!

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I’m discovering places I hadn’t even been to yet haha

Troop 69 is not a sober shift…

Troop 69 usually always ends when my attention spans starts spazzing because of heat…But I had a blast 🙂

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Next up….get me out of this dang shirt and into something cooler. I ate,hung out a while…wondered around the small beach and then got picked up by The Love Boat! And guess who we pick up!

The Matrix..with bananas…

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The fact that one the 3rd day of a burn my socks are still white speaks to the lack of rain that year 🙂

Tonight is the temple burn so we get all snazzy for that 🙂

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Swag

Hanging out with friends in Philosopher’s Stone.

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Anti-Sanecraft in the background.

I don’t have a ton of photos from the temple burn. Me and Jess sat on the hill watching it and we were lost in our own world. It was a feeling that I can only describe as transformation. At one point I noticed a movement and looked around. Around me were thousands of people…waving glowy things. I swear I had felt like there was only the two of us in the whole world. No drugs..no alcohol…it was a moment i’ve never duplicated in my life since.

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Magical.

The next day we pack it all out and head home. We stopped at Sunny Point in Asheville for foods and flushing toilets!

This was my favorite Transformus,hands down. So many unique things happened that showed me how energy works in this world. I made great friends and spent quality time with fabulous people. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

If you want to see the first parts of this journey or for more info please check out :

Follow Us Around Transformus 2011! , Adventures At Transformus! and Happy Burn Day From Transformus!

And until the next adventure…

~Moonkitty

 

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Posted in Travel And Exploration

Happy Burn Day From Transformus!

So far you’ve followed us around Rangering,a Slut Pride Parade and attending a rad party at Pretty Titty Bang Bang complete with kitty kat pasties in Adventures At Transformus!  This next morning I’m waking up super early for my volunteer shift at Greeters.

You can choose to hitch a ride to this section of Mysteria or you can choose to take a morning stroll down the road through the beautiful forest. Seriously…I wouldn’t miss that stroll for the world.

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I’ve arrived! Greeting is my favorite volunteer activity. I especially love being a Greeter on burn day! It’s so much fun to welcome the remaining people into Mysteria. Everyone is super excited to be home!

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So here’s me and my fellow greeters for Transformus burn day 2011. If you came in during the morning…IT WAS US!

Early morning is also very chill. There is plenty of time to get to know your fellow greeters…fold paper cranes…haha. And as luck would have it I already knew a few of these awesome people. It’s the best of both worlds!

We also made lists of what we wanted to do at Transformus during the rest of our time here. I know mine said DON’T GO ON THE SLIP AND DIE. But…anyway 🙂

After Greeting it’s on to more fun! Me and Jess have discovered that we are 2 of The Village People and make way to find our remaining members. They have to be here right??? Let’s find out!

SO CLOSE…..well at least we are making friends along the way. Also I can’t believe I wore white knee-high socks to a burn. Bahaha.

So close….

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It’s a different sort of Village People.

But Then!!!! BOOM!!!!

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It’s fun to stay at the ….Y…M…C…A

YMCA-AAAAAAAAAYYYYEEEEEE!! They ain’t got nothing on us…well they have more members but ya know what? I couldn’t remember and we don’t use cell phone here in Mysteria haha.

After we got the band back together we decided to enter The Dusty Swan and have a whiskey tasting. This,I believe is where everything got a little spinny for me.

That and then there was Campy Jello Shots Galore…. They don’t skimp on the alcohol in these shots. Whew!!

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So after all this alcohol I’m ready for The Running Of The Brides! Jess has decided to be our police escort through the land and photographer 🙂 I only have a veil so I made due with some black sequin pasties,a veil gifted to me and some cheetah print undies.

IT’S MY SPECIAL DAY!!!!!!!!

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We are all obviously looking for a groom…has anyone seen one???

We actually did find one. A guy in a mint green ruffled shirt tux. So…we chased him all the way to the porta potties. And now we wait….

BINGO!

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After you’ve found your groom and you’re drunk the only possible option left is obviously to go down THE SLIP AND DIE!!!!!

You can see my tonsils in this picture… Slip N Die Bride FOREVERRR!!!!

The Slip And Die goes directly into the lake there and my veil almost drowned me. Haha. Is that a metaphor? Idk…I’m just trying to stay afloat. Jess wasn’t going down either but she did. Never say ever…esp not here 🙂

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I blame you Dusty Swan…

Me and Jess head over to Disgraceland.

A truly magical place you have here,Gizmo!

After this I went back to my camp to eat and chill for a bit before heading out to Ranger perimeter at the burn. This is an important job. You help keep the crowd from the effigy so they don’t get hurt. You would be surprised but people have been known to get a little too overwhelmed or “fire wild” and try to run into the flames. One person actually did. Like I said…important job.

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Anyone remember when hair feathers were all the rage…? Haha…

Happy Burn Nighttttt!

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I have a great spot to see everything going down. The Green Man puppet and the dragon art cars are all lining up to do their thing and there is a hillside being covered in happy hippies waiting for fire.

Beautiful ladies …

It’s getting darker and we all wait 🙂 Fire breathing dragon art cars keep us happy in the meantime!

Holding perimeter,I’m making friends with those around me and saying hey to those I already know!

Now it’s fire time 🙂 This begins with conclave…a group of fire performers dancing around our beautiful effigy. Staff spinners,poi,fans…anything you can imagine…on fire.

A Dragon sets the effigy a blaze! It’s usually a slow burn and it gets intensely exciting. By the time it falls and perimeter lets up OMG I could just explode!

 

The effigy burns along with well wishes written ON it…the memories of times spent and friends met INSIDE it….memorial plagues and art that had been set there…there is so much to this. So much love goes into this effigy..the building of it…the burning of it. It’s a religion all its own. It’s a HUGE release…

It’s also time to run around the sucker and then go party!!!!!

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I fucking love her 🙂

We made smores and drank over at PLF (Party Liberation Front).

The last thing I remember was riding on the back of Davina The Dragon….not this girl here obviously haha but the art vehicle.

But that’s how it goes 🙂 Sometimes you don’t sleep..sometimes you don’t make it back to YOUR tent…it’s amazing we survive at all sometimes. But it’s always ALWAYS an adventure…

Continue the journey in Sunday Funday At Transformus!

Until then…

~Moonkitty

Posted in Travel And Exploration

Adventures At Transformus!

Camping on your own is invigorating. Well,I guess I’m not exactly on my own here…I’m surrounded by 1000 or so of my closest friends I haven’t met yet 🙂

To see our journey into Mysteria or to read more about the event itself, check out part one : Follow Us Around Transformus 2011!

The mornings here are pretty peaceful. Since everything here is interactive I like to walk around getting photos of the art and campsites before there are people on it at play.

Oh hey there Madelyn!!

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You know Madelyn if you’ve seen any of my body paint photos on here. That is her handiwork 🙂

Today I’m Rangering for the first time! I’m super excited and a tad bit nervous. Rangers are like the peacekeepers and first contact in case of emergency at the burn.

YES! Rangering involves hugging lots of people! It’s a great volunteer shift. Tons of interaction…new friends all around…and you get to help people should the need arise. My only issue was…you can’t eat or drink on shift. I completely understand the logic behind it. In Mysteria everyone wants to give you things. Sometimes drinks will have alcohol in them ,etc…and a ranger shift is always a sober shift.

And of course the best REAL lemonade stand in all of the world always just happens to operate while I’m on shift…

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No kids…I never got any…. *cries*

Our shift was pretty chill. My partner wandered the land and got familiar with where everyone and everything was set up.

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yes…

Along the way I run into Jess at Disgraceland trying on a dress. The Running Of The Brides was an event I was excited to do later during the burn…and she’s looking snazzy already!

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Yes intentional moop. This is Disgraceland!!

There is a Miracle Berry event happening over here. If you have one of these really rad tablets then all the sour or bitter foods you eat will taste sweet!

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So many beautiful people around…art vehicles…theme camps…costumes…

After my shift I hung out for a while,everything is so diverting. Then it was time for The Slut Pride Parade! Hey…why not? Basically we are parading around Mysteria handing out care packages of condoms and lubricant. Safety matters!

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Proud carrier of the “Slut Bucket”

Later that day it was time to dress for night-time adventures. I won’t lie…my tent is a mess!

Me and Jess had plans to party at her camp,Pretty Titty Bang Bang. They have a fully stocked bar in sort of a steampunked environment. Umm hells yea!

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I think we are dressed appropriately ! I made these kitty kat pasties special for this burn!

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Yes,Moonkitty is home.

Moustaches are always necessary!

And this is where we end our night…at one of the largest bars in Mysteria…dancing,drinking,meeting all sorts of new people and having a blast 🙂

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Hehe

I leave you here….but tomorrow we will discover Burn Night!

Until then…

~Moonkitty

Posted in Travel And Exploration

Follow Us Around Transformus 2011!

Welcome home!

Transformus is a Burning Man sanctioned regional Burn experience dedicated to the principles of inclusion, gifting, decommodification, self-reliance, self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation and immediacy. We have also added Consent.

Everyone at Transformus is a participant; there are no spectators.  It is an experiment in temporary community. A city that is formed by and for its citizens for just a few days and then it vanishes, leaving absolutely no trace behind.

It takes place at  Deerfields, over 900 acres of Appalachian paradise: a land of forests and fields tucked into a mountain valley near Asheville, North Carolina. There are hiking trails, two lakes for swimming, and miles of streams and pondlets stretching up into the shady woods of the valley’s branches. Transformus changes the property into an ethereal, dream-like world of supernatural beauty; a world that the locals call Mysteria. We also call it Home ❤

Mysteria is an homage to the mythic, heavenly planes that are archetypal to the human experience: Eden, Narnia, Shangri-La, Xanadu, Valhalla, Nutopia, Argonath and the Elysian Fields. In these different areas you can experience art, culture, music, food,and every type of human interaction possible.

Packing for this is so much fun! Alcohol…snacks…actual food…glow things…costumes…cookies for Girl Scout Troop 69 to hand out!! The cats love it when I pack 🙂

Me and Jessica are ready for our road trip!

Asheville is only a few hours from Greensboro. If you’ve ever been to Transformus then you know that very last Ingle’s! Everyone stops there for water or one last flushing toilet! Odds are you WILL see someone you know there!

We have arrived!!! Once you hit the stretch off the main road it’s like you really are in a different world. My cell service was gone. And that is what’s so lovely. Turn it off and disconnect from all that mess. Reconnect to actual people.

The 10 principles line the drive. We stop at Greeters station….Jessica is a Tfus virgin!! Welcome home hippies!

Her and I are staying at two different camps for this burn so she drops me off at Fuck Me Harder,Baby to set up my tent and she heads over to Pretty Titty Bang Bang to set hers up. We are just across the bridge from each other so we met up afterwards to take the car back down the mountain to park it. There are no cell phones to coordinate this …you just make shit happen 🙂

One of the members of DMV (Department Of Mutant Vehicles) will bring you back up to the top of the mountain by decorated golf cart. DMV is just one of the many volunteer forces that help bring our temporary city to life and make it run smoothly.

It’s night by the time we get unpacked,return the car and get back to the top of the mountain. Night one…this is where the real fun begins. The first night is usually chill for me,though. The calm before the storm of all things.  This night we ran into some people we knew and then made some new friends up in the effigy.

This was the first year we brought Troop 69 out to play and some ladies brought official badges to hand out. You saw them pinned all over people’s clothing…hilarious! Troop 69 wuz here!!!

What footwear people wear to a burn always fascinates me. You see everything! And yes I have indeed seen barefoot AND stilettos. I usually sport a pair of black boots that goes easily with any of my costumes but in the later years I was all about some rain boots!

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After a few of us left the effigy we went back to Pretty Titty Bang Bang and hung out on the Bang Bang Bed with some new friends. It was pouring rain. People wandered in and out. We were gifted some awesome necklaces and it was just magical!

I don’t even know what time it was when I made it back to my tent. It’s always difficult to sleep at a burn. BUT tomorrow is packed with adventure and costumes so…for now…goodnight from my huge tent at Deerfields…

We’ll pick back up with The first full day at Tfus tomorrow on the blog. A fun day consisting of an early morning Greeter shift, theme camps, Running Of The Brides,Kitty cat pasties, my first ever Ranger shift and more!

If you want to see photos from other burns here are links to my experiences at Alchemy in Ga!

Our Roadtrip To Alchemy: The Georgia Burn , Happy Burn Day! Alchemy 2011

Until then…

~Moonkitty

 

 

Posted in Travel And Exploration

A Day In The High Country

Located in the Northwest corner of North Carolina, the High Country includes the towns of Boone, Blowing Rock, West Jefferson, Beech Mountain, Valle Crucis, Wilkesboro, North Wilkesboro, Jefferson, Todd, Seven Devils and more. It’s perfect for a day trip and is particularly beautiful in Autumn!

Since we already lived in Blowing Rock,at this time, the four of us began our day by heading to Oktoberfest at the Sugar Mountain Ski Resort. In off season these resorts always remind me of The Shining 🙂

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This version of Oktoberfest was smaller than others I’ve seen but filled with awesome crafts and yummy foods! There were even scenic lift rides available to see all the beautiful Autumn foliage! Not much more I could have asked for!

You have got to try the bread pudding with apples and whiskey sauce from House Of Douglas Celtic bakery!! It is LIFE. Everything they make is fantastic.

There was a beer garden and inside some authentic Bavarian cuisine including Bratwurst, Knockwurst, Sauerkraut, strudel and pretzels! Yummy! I can tell you that I didn’t know the difference between Brats and Knocks before this haha. If this type of food is not music to the ears of you or your children then they also have various other options like hot dogs and hamburgers.

No Oktoberfest is complete without the sounds of an Oom Pah Band! I love their outfits 🙂

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From here we decided to take a trip through Grandfather Mountain. They have a zoo with animals and beautiful views on the way up! This black bear IS model elite and he knows it! That’s not my camera on zoom…he’s just right there!

I hadn’t crossed the Mile High Swinging Bridge since I was a kid! I think it was a little more scary THIS time! haha. Autumn looks amazing from up here! The fog rolls in and I’m in heaven.

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The Winery At Grandfather Mountain is one of my favorite places to visit! It’s a peaceful,beautiful place and the staff is always friendly! In Autumn this place can be bustling with tourists from all over. We were lucky and had the place basically to ourselves!

You can have the wine tasting inside and then take a bottle or a glass of your favorite outside to drink by the river or among the vines themselves. Completely dog friendly and there are usually one or two winery dogs that will even try to inspire you to play fetch with them!

And that’s where our day ends…sitting beside the river in an adirondack chair,in perfect Autumn, with a glass of wine and great company!

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Till the next adventure….

~Moonkitty

Posted in Travel And Exploration

St. Louis Cemetery No.1

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest and most famous of of three Roman Catholic cemeteries in New Orleans, Louisiana. Most of the graves are above-ground vaults constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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It was opened in 1789, replacing the city’s older St. Peter Cemetery (no longer in existence) as the main burial ground when the city was redesigned after a fire in 1788.

 

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Burial plots are shallow in New Orleans because the water table is very high. Dig a few feet down and the grave becomes soggy…filling with water. The casket will literally float! Eventually New Orleans’ graves were kept above ground, following the Spanish custom of using vaults.

The cemetery spans just one square block but is the resting place of many thousands. Cities Of The Dead. A Protestant section (generally not vaulted) lies in the northwest section.

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During a visit to New Orleans me and my friend ,Rhonda, explored the cemetery with Haunted History Tours. Our guide was Ernie,he’s the absolute best! We had him for two tours this trip,both excellent! The tours generally meet up at Pat O’s. We sat around,acting goofy and eating pralines until it started 🙂 People watching is awesome here.

For the tour they give you skull fans. These were well needed,it felt like 1000 degrees out and we were going to be doing  a lot of walking. They also make great props for photos,hehe.

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The tour started with some history about the area,the land. I didn’t realize we’d be getting all that as well. I just thought we’d be hitting the cemetery. I love history! As you learn you’re getting closer and closer to St.Louis No.1

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Walking through the gates here,it’s almost like the air changes. Even in a group of people,everything felt still.

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Movies like,Easy Rider,were filmed in this cemetery. It seems after that though,they no longer allowed it. The actors got a little too friendly with the vaults,we were told. This one mainly…

Walking freely you can discover many things in this City Of The Dead… see how the dead are honored here.

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A main draw for many is the tomb of Marie Laveau, a Creole practitioner of Voodoo who is renowned in New Orleans.

Tourists continue to visit and some draw “X” marks in accordance with a decades-old rumor that if people wanted Laveau to grant them a wish, they had to draw an “X” on the tomb, turn around three times, knock on the tomb, yell out their wish, and if it was granted, come back, circle their “X,” and leave Laveau an offering.

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The offerings of whatever people had on them at the time. I brought pennies 🙂

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As of March 1, 2015 there is no longer public access to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Entry with a tour guide is required. This change was made by the Archdiocese of New Orleans to protect the tombs of the Laveau family as well as those of the many other dead interred there. Continued vandalism and destruction of tombs forced them to do so.

St. Louis No 1 is truly a beautiful place. If you are in New Orleans,it’s well worth a visit. You can’t beat the history and architecture!

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Until the next adventure….

~Moonkitty

 

Posted in Travel And Exploration

Our Journey To Compression Falls

Compression Falls is a beautiful 30 foot waterfall located on the Elk River in the very eastern most section of Tennessee. It’s a popular swimming hole in a pretty remote location. And we are going to jump off of it!!

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Should I write my will now?

Summer in Greensboro is HOT. I had forgotten how hot until I moved back from Blowing Rock. Since it’s Hell’s arm pit you are always looking at spots to cool off in…this brought us to Compression Falls. Me,Dave and Brian S decided this was a must! It’s located just a few hours away from Greensboro and we love a roadtrip 🙂

My friend Brian H was in town this weekend so it was the perfect opportunity to drag him along on an adventure!! Let’s hit the road!

Driving directions were a bit sketch and I just happened to pick a rainy chilly day. Summer up in this area isn’t 100 degrees typically anyway but when you’re used to 100 degrees….65 seems COLD. Let’s go jump off of a waterfall!

Once we got closer,outside the Boone are, we got a bit lost. There were 2 Poga roads and we were at the wrong one 🙂 We explored our area….where are we?!?! Cell service is crap,we are in BFE ladies and gents! But we finally managed to figure it out.

We remedy our issue and get to the where our friends are! The parking for this looked to be basically in someone’s yard. So strange. And then the FUN begins.

I had read up on the falls before we went..saw many warnings. They were all correct.

The hike starts from a dirt parking lot down a gradual and wide 0.3 mi. trail to a sharp left turn straight down a 60 degree quarter-mile slope through the forest to a riverbed. At the start there is a rope to help you get down into the trail. This was all just as “FUN” as it sounds.

I already wanted to die by this point.

On this  trail you have to use roots & rocks as steps and tree holds to maintain balance. It’s INTENSE.

But we made it! The pay off is incredible! So worth it!

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Extremely popular spot! There were already people jumping and sliding off!

WOW

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30 foot looks like 1000

The path over is no cake walk either. Thank goodness for great shoes!

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I think I’m still catching my breath from the trek in…

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But you aren’t done yet. In order to jump or slide from the falls ….you first must get to the top. This is a slippery,dangerous trek as well. Brian H went several times so I was able to capture his slide down 🙂

In all honesty I almost chickened out at the top,I had my friend push me. Haha. It was terrifying and awesome and crazy. I screamed all the way down 🙂

It’s a beautiful spot. I could happily sit here for an hour…

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Yes it was cold,haha. Mountain water is the coldest! It makes you feel alive though!

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Beware the water goblin,she lurks 🙂

I had packed a hoodie and extra socks in my bag. These were a life saver!!!

We also made friends with a Hellbender! This guy is a HUGE salamander,the photos don’t do him justice!

After you spend your time here it’s time to head back out. And yes ….now you will be climbing straight up and on outta hereeee.

How on Earth did I survive this? Haha. Worth it? YESSSSS. I just kept telling myself this over and over.

Warnings: Dangerous,steep,rocky,slippery treks. Very slippery rocks. People HAVE been injured here.

If you chose to investigate wear great shoes! Also pack extra socks,a jacket if you tend to get cold (yes even in Summer), first aid kit, food and water and a towel.

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Until next time….

~Moonkitty