Sunday, April 10, 2011

Welcome Home

Almost immediately after moving into my new home, I was back out on the road again. Several thousand miles later, I returned briefly to get my NC license, open a credit union account, and settle a few other things. I did get to paddle around Lake Norman a bit, but then I was in the truck again.

Now, after owning a Charlotte address for a month and a half, I finally got to see what all the fuss was about. Tasha had been joining hiking groups left and right, and it was with one of these groups that we hiked up South Mountain.

The trail began at a parking area where we met about twenty other people. Once gathered, we set out to conquer the trail. It traced the edge of a stream where a man in hip waders was fly fishing before crossing a narrow foot bridge. Then, it was all uphill from there.

Over boulders and mounds and up the mountain we went, ascending through the tree-covered slope. The sound of falling water grew in volume until we came to the source. The waterfall originated high in the mountain, but the source was obscured from view. From where we first glimpsed it, only the lowest portion could be seen.

Higher still we hiked, skirting the sides of the falls as we followed it up, closer to the source. The trail was steep, one of the steepest I'd ever been on, but worth the effort. At the top, the roaring falls came into view and those standing nearest the uppermost pool were getting misted by the rushing water.

We stood there a while, watching the churning water fly from the ledge overhead and thunder down onto the rocks below. It was magnificent to say the least.

The hike, up to the falls, to the top of the mountain, and back down to the bottom, took several hours and  a lot of energy, especially for someone from the flat country of south Louisiana. Tasha and I weren't accustomed to the elevation gain, but we didn't let that get in the way. It was just another obstacle to overcome on the way to enjoying the great outdoors.

I wonder what day two will bring.

P.S. Thanks to David and Florence from the hiking group for the photos. We accidentally left our newly-repaid camera at home for this trip. Oops.

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