In this very wet ending to 2015, we went in search of the silver lining in all the rain we’ve had: rushing, gushing waterfalls. Our hike took us to Snowbird Creek in Graham County, NC, where we chose a shorter version of the Big Snowbird route from Jim’s Backpacking Overnights guidebook. In the 60-plus-degree temps, it reminded us of a backpacking trip we took in 2008 to New Zealand, tramping four of the country’s nine Great Walks—lush, green, and with plenty of water on the trail as well as in the streams. There’s only one bridge over the Snowbird, so there was ample opportunity to get our feet wet.
Snowbird boasts several steep cascades; our destination was Middle Falls, where we stopped for lunch before the hike back. About half an hour from the trailhead the skies opened up again and drenched us from above as well. Again, we couldn’t help but think of a poem we encountered in New Zealand, one we saw actually printed on a wooden sign as we struck out onto the spectacular Kepler Track.
So with rain drumming on our office window as we head into 2016, we wish you a happy New Year and leave you with this:
It rained and it rained and rained and rained
The average fall was well maintained
And when the tracks were simply bogs
It started raining cats and dogs
After a drought of half an hour
We had a most refreshing shower
And then most curious thing of all
A gentle rain began to fall
Next day was also fairly dry
Save for a deluge from the sky
Which wetted the party to the skin
And after that the rain set in
—Anonymous Fiordland Tramper, 1984