Falls — Noun and Verb

Issaqueena Falls

Issaqueena Falls

An uninjurious fall or two was a pittance of payment for a visit to [a small number of] the waterfalls of Oconee County. The park at Chau Ram was the first stop, but was gated until (as was posted) March 2014. Curses! The first falls to which we in earnest arrived just happened to coincide with my daily “spell.” They also happened to be the most treacherous (three words: “wet rocky precipice”) of stops my wife had lovingly researched the difficulty of. Had I not been in a state this wouldn’t have been a hard piece of nature to traverse — I grew up on a crik (“creek”), and spent a childhood learning the careful methodology of treading river river rocks.*

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[insert Blair Witch Project acid trip]

The Brasstown Falls, however, were a sudden stranger — autumn leaves plastered the small canyon and flickered around me like a Blair Witch Project acid trip. Hell, even Cowboy was scared of this one, and Cat thankfully took hold of both dogs while I focused on safe navigation with cane. There was a tiny spill over some larger precipice rocks, then one more full-body sudden descent into a soft, mud-n-moss capped hillside. I engineered that one like a pro. My Physical Therapists would have been proud of the implementation of their teaching; on the trek back I kept my gaze focused on the path before me (neck/body movements exacerbate symptoms), engaged my abdominals for stability and counted each footstep as though I were in one of their obstacle courses.

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spot the beaver dam

The next falls were easy-as-pie to reach, and stunning. The last ones we hit before dark actually never got found, but the walking was intense through, around, and under trees downed, tiny and low. It was an ambitious endeavor, but I felt more victorious than pained when I emerged without falling once on this trail.

I was glad for the overcast of tired rainclouds and forest canopy. Glad, too, for long stretches of time sitting in the same position while driving, for small town diners and gorgeous independent bookstores. Our dogs were thrilled with the entire day (in addition to hundreds of new odors to discover, they each got half a sausage biscuit and some boiled peanuts… it was their Daycation too).

that smile is my heart

that smile is my heart

What I come away most grateful with is knowing that, even when she gets a wild nature hair up her bum, my wife plans for the accommodations I need and keeps an eye on the terrain for me when I can’t control the movements of my own. She drew up the routes to all of these very-backwoods locations and did all of the driving… after making sure the kitchen trash was empty, my coffee pot was clean, the dogs were fed and other various preparatory tasks.

*… And also that most of the shark teeth and vertebrae excavated there came from the Oligocene epoch. The one bone fragment I treasured most I thought, as an amateur paleontologist, was perhaps an even more prizable fossil from the Plesiosauria family. Adult hindsight suggests it was a deer tooth from neighboring hunters.

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