Monday, August 15, 2011

Devil's Falls - Cheaha State Park

So far on the trip we had encountered the steepest roads in our airstream expereince, conquered leveling the camper, experienced a mini flood inside the camper, endured the heat of a hike that ended in a pitiful waterfall.

So now, time for just fun.

But wait, not quite yet. Between day two and day three there was an abrupt awakening during the night. I had been bit. On my stomach. I laid there for several minutes thinking that that was not it. But as the burning continued my mind wandered back to earlier in the day - BLACK WIDOW.

I got up and went back to the bathroom mirror and took a look. Yes, I was bit. I woke up Will. For two reasons: 1) in case the spider was still alive and well in the bed; 2) in case it was a black widow at least he would know and if I started acting weird or foaming at the mouth (I don't think that is actually a symptom) he would know what was going on.

We studied the sheets, no spider. But we pulled them off and shook them out anyway. By the time all the comotion was over and we were settling back in to try to go to sleep, enough time had lapsed, that we felt comfortable that it was not a Black Widow bite (it did take nearly two weeks to heal).

So day 3 meant another hike.  This time to another set of falls. 
Let me say, the day dawned beautiful! The ride to the entrance of the trail was amazing.  The entrance to the trail (after the trash that rude people left laying),refreshing.

Francie hurried to the rocks and hopped around before stepping into the water. We were still pleasantly surprised.

This is the beginning of this section of the trail to the falls. Isn't it lush?!?

It seemed this path was mostly up hill. Most of the way shady, but then it opened up into a dry, rocky section with a nice, steep fall to the right.

And then:

We could hear voices and laughter..

The falls, with a swimming hole, with locals enjoying.

When you arrived at the rocks to the left in the above picture, and turned to look away
from the pool below, this is what you saw:

Crystal clear
 Cool water
 Beautiful trees

As we walked around taking it all in, we were approached by one of the local swimmers.
He asked, "y'all bin hawkin?"
Loogy was the first thing that came to mind.
And being a southern lady (cough), I don't do loogies!
But I did not say that, believing I had heard him wrong,
so I ever so politely said, "I'm sorry, what did you say"
again, "y'all bin hawkin?!?"
I gave him a puzzled look and he repeated himself again, but pointed, this time,
to the trail we had arrived on.
"ohhhhh, hiking! Yes, you could say that"
(In a really we are out of shape 1.5 in and 1.5 out might be the death of us sorta hiking)

We left the congested area went up above that fall you see above.

Funny how with a little more "hawking" and the sound of water, all the noise of
others can be drowned out. We found ourselves in the most serene, peaceful setting.

Sometimes, tough beginnings, or those wrenches, or hurdles, whatever one chooses to call them, lend way to a more pleasant time. I am glad that we did not let the heat, or bugs, or spiders, or.... stop us in our tracks.
We were refreshed at that spot, the name so suitable for the time leading up to that moment - Devil's falls. All the "devilish" details fell away . . .

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Eighteen years. Wow – what a journey. So glad to be on it. . .
Is it wrong to think of your child’s birthday as your birthday too?
I am thinking it is appropriate. I have not felt it this strongly before – but this 18th celebration of life has struck that cord.

A beautiful melody is being played. A sentimental tune ending in an upbeat strumming of what is to come.
Society and tradition have deemed it a passage to the next phase of life. While that is skewed in today’s setting, some rites of passage remain. Some new responsibilities present themselves. New opportunities.
I suppose you could say, when looking back, each year a been a new opportunity for me too. Each year I have grown because of him. I have learned, loved, yelled, pondered. But each experience has not only had an impact on who he is and who he will become, but God has used him to continue to make me who I am, molding me, chiseling away parts that were not suppose to be there or were too rough. Building up muscle where I was too soft. Seeing a bigger picture. Experiencing frustrations, disappointments, confusion and most of all joy and a love beyond human understanding.

So happy birthday to Demolition D (and happy birthday to me too...)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cheaha State Park - Day 2

What I thought would be posted in a matter of a few days turned into weeks. A quick trip that sure has taken awhile to post about!  The first post is here...

This was our first camping trip with the Land Yacht where we had running water and electricity. The other trips we have taken were affectionately called “boondocking.” We took our own water, went when the temps were comfortable and ran the rig off the battery it houses.

Luckily as we emerged from our air conditioned pod, the morning was much more comfortable than the previous evening. We enjoyed a slow beginning. A late breakfast. A few friendly fellow campers short stop/visits. As Will was grilling, one passerby stopped to talk. As he was talking he noticed something on the grill. We had a visitor: A black widow spider. SPLAT!

We loaded up furry and headed to one of the hiking trails that would take us to one of several waterfalls.

Turns out humans are not the only ones that can get out of shape. Francie did great on her first hiking trip. Well, once she quit trying to drag us along. And then once we got past practically dragging her once she was tired...

We had prepared ourselves for a chance of no water falling. We were not sure if this part of Alabama had been in the same type of drought conditions home was.

You know, a mile and a half on a trail sure does not feel the same as a mile and half in the neighborhood...
A mile and half in we found the falls.And the water was running low.

Hot and a little disappointed at the lack of a beautiful, cold, clean pool of water, we hopped around on the rocks some.

Found one snake (harmless) and one artifact.

And found out that, if hot enough, our bath hating water hating dog, can appreciate it. She stepped into an area with water and laid down right in the middle of it.

Next up:  Devil's Falls