Above is a quick video that I filmed while enjoying my time at Sandstone Falls.
This waterfall was not that far from my home at all. We left at 1:30pm yesterday, then drove an hour and a half on the WV Turnpike, which is a toll rode (very annoying to pay just to pass through). Once we got off the interstate, we were guided to Irish Mountain Rd (synchronistic since it was St. Patrick's Day). This one-lane road was extremely decrepit and uneven, with plenty of gravel and mud.
We were on Irish Mountain Rd for 30 minutes, luckily my Audi is AWD and handled it quite well; albeit a bit too low to the ground at some points. I had to be extremely careful, but there was just no way I was making it all the way up and down this curvy 30 minute road without a hearing some sounds come from under my car that made my inner being wince. We were determined to get to this waterfall, and did not let an obsession with a material object slow us down one bit.
Somehow we still had cell service out in the middle of this big forest, and our GPS took us to the correct location. On the one-lane road we passed dilapidated homes, which looked to somehow still be lived in. It was a total different world than I am used to seeing. One trailer was stationed on a cliff side, relying on cinder blocks to keep it from collapsing.
Just before arriving, we came face to face with another vehicle, luckily there was a small place for me to pull over or else we would have been at a stand-still. I signaled for the older man to roll down his window as he passed so that I could confirm that we were on the right track. He kindly acknowledged me and told me that I had just arrived, and to make a right turn at the bottom of the hill. The hospitality of locals in suburban places like this has never been anything but wonderful. Trying to ask a random person a simple question in some urban locales can be seen as rude. It is good to know that there are some other humans who still have their arms open.
I was supremely focused on traversing through this tricky road, so I did not take any photos during the drive. Plus add in the fact that my friend and I were almost always having some sort of deep conversation about some random subject. This made the whole traveling part of this adventure fly by like nothing.
Sandstone falls is located in the Appalachian Mountains (oldest mountain range in the world) of southern WV, on the east coast of the United States.
The falls are just outside of Beckley, WV.
Positioned along the New River (oldest river in North America), which flows north, unlike most rivers which flow south.
Arriving at the Falls
We pulled into the small parking lot, only one other car was there. Upon first stepping out of my car I noticed that it was the muddiest I had ever seen it in my life, quite the spectacle. I was more focused on the fact that I could already hear the falls. So we took off on the winding boardwalk to see where it led. We saw a small set of falls immediately, which worried us that perhaps that was going to be all there was. As we continued on the short walk towards the end of the boardwalk we caught glimpse of the other two people who were there. They were below us, on a rock smoking who knows what. Eventually we made it to the final point of the boardwalk, there we had a decent view of the massive falls that are Sandstone Falls, but we wanted more.
So we went off into the forest, one thing we noticed right away were sea shells everywhere. This surprised the two of us quite a bit since we are seven hours from any ocean. As we kept walking towards the direction of the falls, we came to a few points where there were no big rocks to walk across. This meant we were going to have to get wet. We did not come prepared for this at all, but we went through with it anyway. The water felt as though we had stepped into the arctic circle, immediately our feet were freezing cold. We soon forgot about that, as we approached a close up view of the true beauty of the falls.
Below are some photos that I took, although they do not do this pristine area justice :
As you can see, all of the tress were still leafless since our winter has yet to finalize.
Here is a picture of what these falls look like during the summer when everything is green :
Appealing to the Senses
I could have stared into this rapid water for hours. I was getting lost in the blur of the gigantic boulders being smashed by white water.
The sound drowned out all of the thoughts in my busy mind, I could easily fall asleep to that frequency every single night.
A mixture of fresh water and fish. Somehow it smelled amazing.
The mist was not only visible, but able to be tasted just by sticking your tongue out.
Everything seemed nearly untouched by humans, instead hand carved by nature. It was not easy to get up as close as we got. I almost didn't even want to lay fingers on the community of moss, but I just couldn't help but do so because it looked so soft and green. I was gentle, and made sure not to destroy the home of many microscopic beings.
I am extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to go visit such a breathtaking place, especially with someone who is like-minded and actually responds to some of the odd things that I talk about. We both needed some recharge time with nature, and I'd say that is exactly what we got. This makes me very excited for this summer and all other future findings on Earth.