A quick text after church, a quick lunch, a meet up, and a short hike to the falls. The creek is in such a narrow, deep draw and given orientation that the winter sun doesn't reach the creek or creek bottom in most places. Given it was nearly 3 PM by the time we started, you could feel the cold drainage and the snow was persistent while gone other places.
Harper Creep Falls
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
If you care to look it up, you can find where this hike is.
I had intended to take several pictures of my son and daughter-in-law, but they turned back before we reached the falls due to prior engagements.
Most of the hike was a nearly flat stroll creekside, but a little at the beginning and more so one place about 2/3 in was rather steep up over cliffs. The following picture shows how fast the trail rose above the creek in an 1/8 of a mile. The little ridge was narrow, rocky, and steep on both sides. Just where we were supposed to turn down, my hiking partners decided that they needed to turn around. I understood and was glad that they think it important to be on time to things.
I like to hike with people, but I also like to hike alone. The light was getting a bit dim, everyone else had headed towards their cars, and the creek was the only sound to be heard. The solitude allowed me to think about life beyond the immediate and pray about many people and circumstances. The water, snow, and shadows added a chill and melancholy air to the surroundings and soul. Reflection and quiet are good for the soul and the body. Nowhere to be, no need to hurry, no one to answer to save my Lord.
The trail is quite near the creek at times. Only on the hottest of summer days would I venture into that water, and even then, I would look for a sunny rock upon which to warm up afterwards.
This section of trail has a few problem areas. As you can see from the following picture, the water would not need to be very much higher to cover the trail.
From the heavy rains the day before and snow melt, the falls was higher than usual.
You can see from the dark of rock and white of icicles on the right that the water had been much higher.
The spray and splatter in the splash zone coated many a branch and twig.
One of the reminders this few hours in the woods gave to me was that not all that chills the body chills the soul. In fact, the beauty and solitude can quite warm one to deeper consideration. I am thankful to God for these little jaunts in the forest. I am never alone because He is near, and I must confess that my most lonely feelings, though infrequent, occur in crowds where everyone's a stranger. The trees, sky, and ground are supposed to be quiet, but they resound with the glory of their Creator.