Hot Springs sits next to the French Broad River. The hot springs empty into it. Right across the bridge from the town is Lovers’ Leap.They stole the legend from Fenimore Cooper’s Last of the Mohicans. Did I ever tell you that I had a good friend who was a full blooded Mohican? Her name was Ruth Seneca. She was a wonderful woman. And if you haven’t seen my book, here’s my Last of Mohicans cartoon…
This is the river. The flashes in the first scene are cave swallows. They aren’t supposed to be there according to the Peterson guide. They nest under the bridge. In the second scene you can see the bridge in the distance.
I asked some girls if the hike up to the top of Lovers’ Leap was strenuous. They said “Heck no”. Right. When you look at Lovers’ Leap from the river it looks to be about 50 feet high. No big deal. But there’s Lovers’ Leap 2 above that and a mountain above that. This part of the trail, although it doesn’t look it, was about a 30º grade. In places it was even steeper with lots of switchbacks. On the way up a group of girls left us in their dust as they whizzed past.
Here’s the upper Lovers’ Leap.
That’s Hot Springs in the distance.
Facing upstream notice the solar panels. This gives you an idea about how high we climbed.
This was when we got down to the bottom by a different trail. We saw far too much of this in those hills.
One shack we passed – I was driving twisty roads and couldn’t stop for a shot – had a pile of garbage out front that was bigger than his house. And somebody lived there, we saw him on his front steps.