“The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.”
I stepped outside to the sound of firetrucks blasting their horns as they hurtled down our busy Atlantan road. The air was a thick, ninety-two degrees, and I instantly felt a haze settle around me.
“I need water”
But not just a pitcher from the fridge or a chlorinated dip in the pool, I needed real, fresh, invigorating water. My soul yearned for a quietness only the ocean or the mountains could provide.
I looked at Sam. “Let’s find it.”
We drove two hours north of the city, winding through wooded back roads and nearly missing a turn from lack of signage. Anticipation hung in the air like the sweet aroma of a new day. Kala whined eagerly. About a half a mile from the trailhead Sam suddenly slowed. I looked up. A wide stream flowed across the road in front of us. Small rocks and shifting soil lined its bed and we could see that someone had been unsuccessful in crossing it. A fender sat lopsided on the bank and I immediately regretted selling our Jeep for a city car.
“Oh shoot. Can we cross that?”
“…That’s the only way.”
We looked at each other, chuckled nervously, and threw caution to the wind, praying that we weren’t making a stupid mistake. Our little Juke meandered its way across the stream and we held our breath until its wheels hit the other side.
As we drove up the mountain, the temperature began to drop. We gave a collective sigh of relief as we stepped out of the car to cool air and a gentle breeze. Sweet relief was at our finger tips.
We had driven to the eastern portion of the Chattahoochee National Forest, just south of North Carolina, and were planning to take a short hike to two of Georgia’s stunning waterfalls – Blue Hole Falls and High Shoals Falls.
The trail wasn’t entirely secluded, nor was it particularly difficult to hike, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. Kala bounded down the mountain sniffing every possibly stick and plant, soaking in each beauty that nature provided. We hiked in silence, listening to the soft sounds of birds chirping and marveled at the spiring canopy trees and native mountain laurel. The path wound through the forest, over a bridge, and then, once again, down the mountain side.
Blue Hole glistened enchantingly, but it was High Shoals that captured our attention. Fresh babbling water meandered through the forest before reaching a stunning vertical descent. The waterfall appeared like a looming boulder tower wedged into the mountainside.
Scrambling over the rocks and through the pool, we climbed to the base of the falls and sat in rapture at her beauty. Cool spray danced across our skin as the invigorating sound of rushing water piqued our senses. We had made it. Closing our eyes, we sat at her feet, listening to the quiet thunder of nature’s song.