Tag Archives: waterfall

Sliding Rock: Natural Fun, Freezing Cold…Can I Go Again?

16 Mar
Sliding Rock in Brevard, NC

And away we go!
Photo courtesy of Flickr

Sliding Rock is even better than it sounds. A naturally-occurring 60-foot waterslide that lands in a seven-foot deep pool. Surrounded by the trees and mountains of Brevard, North Carolina.

Um, is there a limit to how many times I can go on the slide?
No? Perfect.

Sliding Rock, Brevard NC

Watch your step or the water will take you
away before you're even seated!
Photo courtesy of the Sliding Rock website

What’s the Attire?
People wore wading boots, tennis shoes, river shoes, and no shoes at all.

One woman navigated the rocky creek bed while holding a cigarette. It didn’t last two steps.

A Gaggle of Girl Scouts
A Troupe took over the slide and every single girl squealed. They wore goosebumps and life-vests.

Sliding Rock, Brevard NC

Splash!
Photo courtesy of Flickr

This was a delight for my inner child and for my actual self.

What travel experiences have turned out to be perfect for both your young and real-age souls?

An Amazing Flume. And We’re not Talking about a Ride at Six Flags

9 Jan

Franconia Notch FlumeSome places are breath-taking. Others are breath-giving. The Flume at Franconia Notch in New Hampshire gives breath, wonder, and glee.

Vocabulary Lesson

  • Notch – a mountain pass
  • Flume – in this case, a natural gorge. They’re also built to create a gravity shoot, using the water’s power to move items, like logs, down a mountain pass.
  • Log Flume Amusement Ride – finding fun in the olden ways of productivity. This was nothing like that.
The Flume Gorge

Flickr, thanks for the picture

A Hike that Exponentiates
in Beauty

The trek begins at the base of the flume, where the water trickles. Lovely.

Then you pass milestones like a 300-ton boulder and crossing a covered bridge built in 1886. Awesome.

Now there’s water rushing by; with an agenda all its own. Perpendicular granite walls 70-90 feet tall align the path. But it’s more like a protection than a claustrophobic thing.

Created by wind, water, and time (as are all natural wonders), the Flume hosts the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen. Perhaps it’s because you start with the trickle and then get to the power. Or you have work to see them. All I know is that there’s something special here.

On your way out, crawl through the fox den and take a look at the deep basin pool formed at the end of the Ice Age. Just your everyday stuff.

This is Why I Travel
How delectable to get caught up in a space, in a moment. To look at nature with amazement, awe, and respect. To find something spectacular when you think, “I’ve seen waterfalls before.”

Perhaps I’m laying it on thick. I don’t care.

This excursion reminded me that in my life dedicated to finding adventures big and small, I can become jaded: is that swamp as good as the one I just went to? How many mountain passes do I really need to see? Turns out, I’ve got to check it out for myself. And what’s to lose? A day of beauty and certainly the chance to learn something new.

How do you keep fresh enthusiasm for destinations?
How do you keep from comparing them to each other?

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here. Unless otherwise noted, these pictures are mine with a few Flickr supplements.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Journey vs. the Destination: Bish Bash Falls

9 Nov

Bish Bash FallsIt’s fun to say, isn’t it? Bish Bash Falls. Go ahead, say it out loud–you know you want to.

This Massachusetts state park is beautiful and the falls are indeed impressive, but the hike itself was actually more compelling for me. And in fact, the hike back to the car, not the anticipatory hike to the falls.

It’s a steep and cumbersome climb down and logic predicts that the return is even more breathless.

On my labored way back up I met an Indian family with a grandmother dressed in magnificent sari and flip flops. She had a hard time maneuvering the log bridge across a moderate gap and trickle of water and she was already out of breath. Her family asked about the rest of the trek and I answered honestly that they had a ways to go and it wasn’t an easy path. Grandma decided to turn around.

My steady pace suddenly slowed and this Grandmother and I were now holding hands. I gave her my hiking pole and we began our journey together. This was unfamiliar territory for her–she didn’t know where to place her feet, to look out for tree roots, how to let others pass on the path. And she didn’t speak English. Or have water. I motioned, guided, and shared my drink.

This isn’t a post to boast of a good deed. But to recognize that what feels like home and adventure for one is scary and difficult for another.

I thought about the guides who helped me learn to hike on high school excursions. I thought about the friends who taught me about gear and pacing.

We reached the summit; in this case, the parking lot. And to her it was beautiful. She smiled, pressed her hands together in Namsate style, and did a head bobble I’ve been told can mean many things and knew in this case meant thank you.

In truth, it was a gift for me to stop and enjoy the hike instead of plow through to the top. To experience my comfort in a place that wasn’t always so for me. And to think about the nameless people who have figuratively and literally lent me a hand.

When has someone given you a metaphorical hiking pole?
When has a stranger walked the path with you until you felt safe?