We spent two wet days in the rain forest of Argentina and Brazil at one of the world’s natural wonders – Igauzu Falls. Generally considered one of the two or three best waterfalls in the world, it is in reality 250+ separate waterfalls.
The challenge of photographing such a vast scene, in the drizzle and mist, was daunting. In the end the lighting and coloring provided many interesting views. – resulting in a long posting of 40 photos.
We had a great couple of days in Houston, coming away with a great feel for the city. This posting is to cover the random sights that don’t fit anywhere else, like the featured image above from the Sam Houston Park Village with a little church in the middle of the skyscrapers downtown.
Even though I had been in Houston briefly a couple of times previously I had never seen the Astrodome. The world’s first indoor baseball and football stadium when it was completed in the early 1960s, it still stands unused.
The Wateralls across from the Williams Tower is 64′ high, 1 foot for each floor of the nearby skyscraper.
The ‘Twilight Epiphany Skyspace’ is located on the campus of Rice University. I had read that this was a cool thing to see, but when we got there in the middle of the afternoon I couldn’t understand why. It turns out you must be there at sunset or sunrise – maybe next time.
Houston is notorious for their traffic, with over 6 million people in the area and very little public transportation. They do however have a streetcar that covers a few miles in the center of the city.
As well as crossing a man made pond in the middle of Main Street.
Discover Park has an interesting pinwheel display with a device that when you blow into it just right, kicks off fans that make all the pinwheels spin.
Buffalo Bayou Park is a nice urban park space complete with a skateboard park.
The highlight of the park though was our tour of the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. Once used for retaining water for the city, it is now a cool space to explore on a guided tour.
The city has numerous examples of public art.
I have often wondered who has the concrete contracts for road construction in Texas as they build ramps that seem far longer than needed, and never pile up dirt to make the overpasses shorter.
In the theme of ‘Everything is Bigger in Texas’ – As we left the city and reached the suburb of Katy, Texas we made a stop at a Buc-ee’s. A Texas based chain, Buc-ee’s are massive – this one has over 60 gas pumps (the photo is only showing about 1/2 of them)!
The highlight though was the World’s Longest Car Wash (according to the Guiness World Records) – the 255′ long one at Buc-ee’s easily cleaned off 2,000 miles of dirt and grime. Now it is off for San Antonio!
The Cumberland Plateau is situated just west of the Appalachian Mountains, running from Kentucky through Tennessee and into Alabama.
The area has a number of highlights including this natural bridge in southern Kentucky.
The Cumberland Falls is the most famed natural feature of southern Kentucky. They claim to have the 2nd most volume of water for a waterfalls in the eastern United States (a far second to Niagara Falls).
From below the rush of the water is impressive.
Just south of Byrdstown, Tennessee is the Obey River Recreation Area.
Cummins Falls is a 75′ high waterfall on the Blackburn Fork River in Jackson County, Tennessee. This waterfall has two options for viewing – one is the overlook seen here. The second is to go down to the river and wade for 1/2 mile in the river to get to the waterfalls. Because of high water conditions (and not being prepared for wading waist high in water), we opted for the overlook view only.
Burgess Falls is on the aptly named Falling Water River in east central Tennessee. This remains of an old bridge crosses the river just above the series of waterfalls.
There are some cascades before you arrive at this falls, nearly 80′ high.
But the main Burgess Falls is this impressive 136′ drop into the ravine.
Not far from Burgess Falls is Falls Creek Falls. It is the highest free fall waterfall east of the Mississippi, dropping an impressive 256′.
A closer view of the top.
A robust hike into the ravine gives a totally different perspective.
Within the same park is this nice cliff and small falls.
Also in Tennessee is the Rock Island State Park. It has a number of features including this falls along the Caney Fork.
This falls once powered this historic cotton mill.
The Caney Fork continues down. Depending on the release of water from the dam it can look like those, or be totally submersed in water.
The highlight of the Rock Island State Park are the Great Falls. Here it appears the entire hillside is the waterfalls, with water seemingly coming from everywhere along the hillside.
This closeup of the smaller cascade portion show the beauty of the falls.
Finally we had a bonus waterfalls early in the morning in Tullahoma, Tennessee. The Rutledge Falls is on a church’s property but they welcome visitors to come check them out.
With winter hopefully coming to an end soon it was a good day to check out Hocking Hills State Park, and the numerous waterfalls throughout the park.
For this hike we started at the top of the gorge, where the aptly named Upper Falls is located.
As we made our way downstream we passed numerous ice formations on the gorge walls.
While the icicles are all bumpy, the icy spots on the trail were perfectly smooth, and very slick.
The day was mostly cloudy but we did have a peak of the sun highlight the lower falls and rock formation near one of the trails exiting the gorge.
Much like snowflakes, it seems no two icicles are the same.
The stream continues down the gorge with numerous small waterfalls.
We reached the lower falls before heading off for other trails.
Broken Rock Falls is at the end of a short side trail. Despite the narrow path for the water to travel over the wall, it came down with significant noise.
We moved on to Cedar Falls where the path to the falls took us past more interesting formations on the gorge wall. It seems the ice here was ‘stuck’ to the wall, as opposed to the numerous icicles elsewhere, although there were some here too.
The light mist that comes over the edge causes the light coating.
Cedar Falls is one of the nicer ones in the park.
Another waterfalls was hidden around the corner from the main falls, and all of the people. Note the two logs framing the sides covered in ice as well.
Our final stop was Ash Cave. We saved this for our ‘grand finale’, however the cone at the bottom wasn’t nearly as tall as in previous years.
Still it is an impressive falls.
A close up of the ice ‘cone’ at the bottom with the mist of water barely visible in the center.
All in all it was a great day in the park, and my phone says I climbed the equivalent of 54 stories of a building! Exercise and photography, what could be better.