It was a little warmer this morning when I woke up around 7:00. I grabbed my briefcase (laptop) and headed off to work. :)
With the Trenton Business Center closed on weekends, I had to find another source to connect to the internet. I learned that the Krystal hamburger fast food restaurants now have free Wi-Fi and there just happens to be one in Trenton.
So I ordered something that resembled a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich and set up shop for a couple hours. Their connection was a bit slow, so I skipped a couple of things I would normally do, but it was a lot better than nothing.
During the Journal entry and email checking, I listened to a voicemail on my cell phone. It was from late Friday. "Mr. Payne, your parts have not arrived yet, so it will be a waste of time for you to come in first thing Monday morning."
Great. So now what do we do? Do we stay here or move closer to the dealership? When will the parts be in? I guess we will figure all that out on Monday.
Back home, the campground was bustling with all the people. We had made plans with Tiko & Misti to leave the park for a little geocaching in the area.
I had found two "hides" within ten miles on Geocaching.com. They were both located on private property owned by the Lula Lake Land Trust. The property is only open to the public on the first and last Saturday of each month, so our timing was perfect.
After taking one wrong turn, we finally found the small entrance and went down the long narrow gravel road until we found the parking area. There was one guy there taking donations and handing out trail maps.
He said the property was purchased a little at a time starting back in the 1950s by Robert Davenport whose father was a co-founder of the Krystal chain. Krystal started in 1932 in Chattanooga and is the second oldest fast food chain in the country.
The original intent of Mr. Davenport was to develop the land, but instead he started the land trust via his will. The trust now owns about 5,000 acres. The website (link above) tells more about the trust.
We started down the main trail along the very scenic Rock Creek. We knew that our first geocache was located just beside the trail. After passing it, we backtracked and Linda spotted it right away.
After going through it and explaining geocaching to Tiko & Misti, we continued on. Soon we came upon a rushing waterfall spilling into an emerald pool. I took a few photos from above the waterfall.
Then we proceeded a little bit further where we were able to walk down to the edge of the pool that is known as Lula Lake. Beautiful!
After admiring the scene for a bit, we gave up our prime seats on the rocks for others to enjoy the view. I had to take another shot of the creek as it left Lula Lake.
After going a few hundred feet further, we were treated to the sight of Lula Falls. Wow! It was much more than I imagined.
We can't believe our fortune at finding such a gorgeous spot that relatively few would ever know about or have the opportunity to visit. All because of geocaching - this is why we do it. :)
We found a somewhat treacherous path down to the base of the falls.
We had to go slowly and be very careful. But it had to be done since the second geocache was located in the roof of the cave behind the falls.
Lula Falls is much bigger than we imagined and the mist from the falls was soaking the area. We had to be even more careful on the slippery rocks and mud, but we managed to make it behind the falls.
It was cold and windy (Linda's hat kept blowing off) as we made our way past the falls to duck into the nook behind them. After a few minutes, I lucked into finding the small geocache preserved in a 35mm film container. Linda signed the tiny log and I took some quick shots - they had to be quick because the mist would soak the camera.
Tiko joined us as Misti was having none of the slippery rock climbing. We got a couple more pictures just before climbing back up from the falls.
Back at the top, we started up a slope toward the bluff ridge. Linda and I always keep our eyes and ears open, and she stopped quickly. "That sounded like a hummie!" Sure enough, I spotted it about 50 feet ahead of us.
The tiny hummingbird was gathering cobwebs off of a weed for nesting material. We had read that they use cobwebs in their nests, and now we had personally witnessed one grabbing a few strands. Cool!
We made it to the top of the bluff which looked out over the valley. Our campground sits at about 1800 feet, and this bluff was a little over 1700 in elevation.
We sat on a picnic table talking and taking in the view. Then it started to get colder and we needed to get back before the gates closed at 5:00.
What an afternoon - another amazing adventure! If you get to Cloudland State Park on the first or last Saturday of a month, don't miss Lula Lake & Falls!
Instead of returning to the campground, we were hungry. Plus, Tiko & Linda wanted to check some things online. We had both laptops with us, so we headed back into Trenton to Krystal.
I set up the laptops at a table so that the cords would not be in any aisle. We had our own little internet cafe as we alternated between eating and surfing. :)
After that we all needed to do a little grocery shopping. We made one last stop before we headed back to the campground.
Back at our campsite, Linda invited our friends over for games. But Tiko & I were both falling asleep, so we scrapped that plan.
The crowds at the campground seemed even bigger tonight. We were all very happy with our decision to get away from the park today. It was as if we had a Krystal ball. :)