This doesn't go with my free-spirited artist image, I know, but I'll be honest, I like plans. I like agendas and datebooks with things penciled in neatly. I like knowing where I'm going on what day and at what time and what I might expect when I get there. Plans, while subject to change on a dime, ground me and give me some sense of stability and security. I like looking at my calendar and seeing notes and times jotted down. I like knowing that on a particular day, I'll be doing this, that, and so on.
Sometimes, it's nice to shake it all up, however, with a bit of spontaneity. One of the most spontaneous people I know is my cousin Mike. When we attended his son's birthday party a few weeks back, he suggested - after the cake and ice cream festivities, that we ride up to Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaqueena Falls and take a hike.
Say what??? I had planned on attending the party then driving home through nearby Seneca, stopping at a book store and restaurant along the way. I hadn't planned on driving up to the mountains and hiking down a waterfall...no, that had not been on the agenda at all. And I wavered, still, even after he told me it was only a short drive from where we already were.
I had no good reason for hemming and hawing, but I did, thinking everything from "I'm not dressed appropriately" (I had on tank, long skirt, and my favorite Sanuks) to the fact that I'd all but broken my little toe tripping over my son's skateboard the day before, and my foot really hurt. But when my son heard the word tunnel he was over the moon with excitement about going.
So we all piled into cars and headed up...and had an absolutely amazing time. I'm so glad Mike suggested this and that I got over my hesitation and went along! Hiking around in the mountains feels like home to me - I spent most of my late teens and early twenties on a peak somewhere along the Blue Ridge every chance I got!
|Scampering through the hills like a Mountain Goat...|
|Always on the lookout for 'shrooms!|
|Atop the tunnel!|
|Yes it's another 'shroom pic. Bear with my addiction, please...|
|Descending in the mountains is often harder than ascending. We had to climb down to reach this fall, but it was worth it!|
|Taking a well-earned rest!|
|Mike and I at the base of the fall!|
|Another 'epic' tree, to quote my son!|
|You can't tell from this picture, but I had a serious case of hiking-induced jelly legs coming on!|