Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hiking the Cascades in one day-- a good hike

                                                   Cascades Falls, Pembroke, Virginia

    I took oldest son Zeb and his girlfriend Stephanie on a hike to "The Cascades," a well known spot in Virginia but one we hadn't been to yet. The falls are well known, and I'd heard something about the trail being a little rugged in parts and they were right. The so-called lower trail took you close to a cool stream with various little falls. You were stepping on rocks that were pretty flat, or stone steps, or stepping around the above ground, thin roots of trees that were also on the trail, so it wasn't flat by any means.
      Being as it was July, there were very few wildflowers making an appearance along the trail. But there "were" some pretty white and pink bordered rhododendron flowers, as well as some bergamot, white and yellow avens, leafcup, and a bit of wild ginger leaves too. I also picked up some "heal all". I thought it might help Stephanie, who fell and broke her foot!
    Actually, "comfrey" might have been more helpful as some kind of poultice, though she didn't have an open wound. When we first got to the falls my spouse and I took off our shoes and socks and put our feet in the cold water. But Zeb and Stephanie took off their shoes and walked together up to the falls themselves. She said the stone was slippery, and she turned and her left foot fell into a crevice, fracturing a little of her foot above her toes. She went down the "upper" steeper trail without all the steps but mostly dirt, using our walking sticks like crutches. The next day she "did" get crutches and we found a few places that would have wheelchairs we could borrow for her so we could visit a few places.
     When we got back to the parking lot she soaked her foot in the cold stream water and I got her a towel, as the men did most of the cooking of our steak shish kabobs. Before her mishap she actually got a lot of good pictures. I didn't take too many as my camera was acting up, without its full compliment of power,  I guess. It was 4 hours to the falls and back. A lot of exercise!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Nature, Travel gets you out of whack, People,Writing

    Emerson said travel was a "fool's paradise" and that people are basically the same as you go from place to place. My travel in June has me tired. I slept fitfully during half of it. And your system gets 'out of whack' by not eating your regular diet at a regular time --- I admit their had great desserts (choc. cake, cheese cake, choc. cream pie, etc.) at the writers' conference. And I wrenched an arm and wrist a bit falling down (being attacked by) an escalator getting off Amtrak's train in New York City. I was helped up, ironically, by a black woman behind me with a cane, and a uniformed Amtrak employee.
    Hamilton (N.Y.) was a neat looking little old town with a very scenic campus with a good variety of tree types, some of them labeled. You actually drive onto Colgate University's campus, not far from town, surrounded by these big, shading oaks (on Oak Drive). The college must be three times the area of the college where I work (Radford U.), which is part of the "main drag" in town. There is little room to expand and they keep swallowing up the green spaces and parking lots for bigger and better (?) buildings. I can see that whoever had the fortitude to have a writers' conference at Colgate saw there was room for visitors and students alike,with a nice pond (they call it Taylor Lake) to sit by and contemplate. Or see a sunfish shaped fish whose mouth area was an iridescent light blue! And the swans left their (crappy) calling card on the grass near my wooden bench, encouraging me to write a little poem about it.