Saturday, October 12, 2019

Rearranging That To-Do List

It was a beautiful fall day here yesterday, and even though we have no business doing anything but taking care of what feels like a million things that need taking care of, we decided instead to carpe diem. 

Because sometimes you just must.

I find a walk in the woods is the best way to clear my head and should regularly be at the top of my 'to do' list. Pretty sure the world would be a nicer place if we all spent more time in the hushed stillness of God's green earth.

Hubs and I packed a lunch and headed to nearby Whitewater Falls because we haven't seen those up close and in person yet. We only argued a little as to which blue blaze trail marker was the correct blue blaze trail marker, and of course hubs was correct because he's always correct in matters of direction. Why does he even ask me which way I think we should go when he knows I'm always pointing left when we need to go east or up when we need to head south? He likes to talk about where the sun is in the sky and blah blah blah.

Let's just walk, k?

For the record, I don't mind getting a little lost, figuring it out as we go, maybe seeing something unexpected, and just enjoying the sun on my face and the silence of the forest. Hubs however is a man on a mission and we must get to those falls in a timely manner or die trying.

We began the day at the Upper Falls overlook which is a short easy half mile trek (plus 154 steps) to magnificent.

Did I mention we had the pup with us? He only wrecked my zen a little and had an absolute ball. He ran most of the way all day long and could have done another six miles if hubs and I had said let's go.

We did not.

Because the lower falls trail (once you're on the correct path, ahem) is steep and we were tired. I'd visited the website to get some approximate directions prior to leaving home and the lower falls hike was described as roughly two miles in and out. We must have hopped on from a different starting point because our hike was roughly six miles in and out.

We moved the car to catch the lower falls trail which was a mixture of an up and down wooded path, rocky in some spots, a few downed trees to climb over or slip under in others, tree roots to trip you up if you weren't careful, and a brilliant blue sky overhead reminding you no matter what you're walking through beauty is found when you look up.

I thought we'd see more color here but autumn is rolling in to the Upstate ever so slowly this year. It has been hotter than the double hockey sticks and temperatures plus the humidity level have only recently begun to settle down.

One of the prettiest spots on the lower falls trail was right here-

In fact one of us would say it was their favorite part of the day-

He would have been happy to stay right here all day, but we still had a mile and a half-ish to go so we crossed the bridge and carried on.

And as we walked I thought about some stuff. Thinking deep thoughts and hiking go hand in hand which is one reason I enjoy hiking. It's hard to think deep thoughts when you're staring down your to-do list and see a floor that needs vacuuming and clothes that need washing and suitcases that need packing.

Soul searching comes naturally when you're away from it all.

It happens when you're walking along a mostly flat, mostly clear path until suddenly you're not. You encounter rocks and roots that can trip you up and irritate, and the easy pace you were enjoying begins to feel like a slog you need to just get through.

Your destination begins to feel further and further away, but if you put your head down and press on you'll discover those rocks and roots and irritating big and little things you had to get around or over were part of your journey to something beautiful.

Life, y'all.

Then your hubs the planner whips out his little camp stove and makes you a cup of hot apple cider on the spot...

And you're so glad you didn't quit before you got to where you were meant to go.


  1. Absolutely breathtaking! What a wonderful way to spend the day. I love all the beautiful photos.
    Mark is pretty much right most of the time so when I say "You're right" he laughs and tells me I don't need to say that anymore because we know!!!! So we get a good laugh when I end up saying it anyway.....

  2. What a beautiful place to walk. We like to "escape" our responsibilities once in a while too... one of the perks of being retired!

  3. Beautiful photos and well-phrased thoughts. You sure have a gift for it! Your pictures remind me a lot of my Colorado homeland -- not a single palm tree in any of them.

  4. What a gorgeous place for a hike and your photos are stunning!

  5. I agree with Debi and Barbara above! I started to write that word 'beautiful' and saw it already written. So nice to get away and Hunley sure enjoyed it!! Thanks for sharing!

  6. You deinitely have a way with words Joyce and yes sometimes we just have to ignore the to do list and just be! What a great day out.

  7. What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Oh, my, what absolutely gorgeous photos. It's hard to leave that "to do" list but so good for our souls. Thanks for sharing this enjoyable outing.

  9. What a walk! I would get us lost within the first 4 yards. The falls are magnificent.