Friday, June 23, 2006

the bonas defeat photographic extravaganza

The East branch of the Tuckaseegee river cuts a deep and rugged gorge from where it exits Panthertown Valley at Devils Elbow until it hits the Tanasee impoundment. Tanassee is a small lake and below it the river resumes its erosional spectacularity, if you will, until it runs into Bear Creek Lake.

Bonas Defeat is a 400' cliff less than a mile below the Tanasee spillway where, according to local legend, a hunting dog Bonas fell to his death driving deer (or bear, depending on which version you hear) off the cliff for his owner. This strech of land is managed by Nantahala National Forest for the Nature Conservancy who own (?) it. You can read more about Bonas Defeat here.

Anyway, here are some pictures from our hike down the valley yesterday. It was myself, Josh Haddock (fellow philosopher in training), Prof.Greg Adkison and his neighbor Patrick (whose last name I didn't catch).

It was pretty fucking cool. And today I'm pretty sore.

If they release water from Tanasee I imagine you might be pretty screwed.

There are a lot of potholes on this stretch of river. You can make out an arch between two of them here.

This is a big mat of moss, ferns, liverworts etc. that fell off the rock wall above. Kind of neat we thought.

I didn't get any good pictures of the actual cliff, but here is a shot of a waterfall with the cliff in the back ground. Patrick and I swam there. It was cold.




This is Josh descending from a pothole. I really like this picture.

The potholes are supposedly made by rocks rubbing holes in bigger rocks. Here is a really cool example of this process in the early stages. The smaller rock fit perfectly in that hole. CLICK FOR BIGGER.

A pothole in a pothole. CLICK FOR BIGGER.

Patrick in a pothole. CLICK THIS PICTURE.

Patrick in a "grotto". Not the best photograph, but cool.


This is the section called "Grandma's Kitchen", a view from the top. I came really really close to falling in a big pothole here. That would have been bad. I probably would have broken something. Drowned? Well, anyway, I didn't fall in. CLICK FOR BIGGER.

Grandma's Kitchen from the bottom. CLICK FOR BIGGER.

Another of Grandma's Kitchen:

You can see Greg and Josh in the upper left looking for a way around. We had to go up in the woods here. Just too shady.


This is a little buddy we saw. I think it is Notophthalmus viridescens (Red Eft) and not Pseudotriton ruber (Northern Red) as I claimed yesterday. CLICK FOR BIGGER.

If you go, be really careful and don't go alone. Next time I go I'll probably wear my felt soled wading boots. It is very slippery and there are a lot of shady places to slip onto, around of, backwards by, down in, down through, down on, and into.


Anonymous said...

Hey those are some cool pics.

You'd tear up your felt soles trekking on all that dry ground, Van's skate shoes are pretty good on smooth wet rocks.

Brian said...

Cool photos. I can't believe Josh was able to punch through that rock! He could probably take the most vicious Doberman.

Matthew D Dunn said...


I've often wondered how bad it is for wading shoes to walk on dry ground. I've concluded (with very little empirical study) that the rate of deterioration of felt soles is proportional to the distance traveled in them and not to the type of ground traveled upon while wearing them. And because you're far more likely to walk a longer distance on dry land than in the water, it may at first appear that the deterioration is caused by walking on dry land through the increase in the coefficient of friction of the dry rock and felt soles. But this is a spurious correlation.

Either way, walking down the gorge in wading boots would be bad for the boots because there is both lots of dry rock and it is also a couple miles at least. But it would be good for the person wearing the boots. I don't mind getting a new pair of 70$ Hodgeman's if they save my life.

But the Van's suggestion is interesting. I'll have to check that out. Patrick and Josh both wore Chacos and had no problem. I think Chacos might have some special Vibram sole that is supposed to be better on slippery stuff, but it might have just been that Josh and Patrick are burly as fuck.


Josh is fucking tough.

Anonymous said...

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tyson stager said...

Got to love those natural catherals! can't get enough of God's creation!

tyson stager said...

Lately its been like rolling dice, gettin down there.

Matthew D Dunn said...

Tyson- I hope you keep commenting here once a year for the next 10 years.

Why is it rolling the dice to get down there these days?

Tyson Stager said...

They been releasing the spill ways quite often. Just wanted say, You take the best pictures I've seen for around this area,, I think I got alittle animated in a message, I left 4 years ago.. so I apologize, its wasn't toward you.. Def love to fishin sometime, nice Cat,, im big in esquif canoes!