Before continuing my story, I would like to address some subjects with you so that I do not have to write in the comments over and over again, what I am about to say. I know all of you have been too polite to ask me, “But, Amy, where is your husband? Why is he not going with you on this trail?”
And the answer is simple. He does not share my passion for Mother Nature or my Love for photography. He considers hiking/walking as exercise instead of fun. Hubby is not too fond of exercise. I would rather he not come with me because any time he has come, he is constantly talking or looking at his watch asking me when are we going to turn around to go back to the car. Nope. I leave him at home. Besides I consider my time at Chestnut Ridge Park time alone away from hubs. Those of you with retired spouses know in spades what I mean here.
Secondly, I am in shape. I am strong. I know how to hike, doing so all my Life. I spent the entire Spring and Summer walking to get my hiking legs back. I walk the “extreme hills loop” at Chestnut Ridge Park, working my way up to 7 miles. I do not take unnecessary chances. I am careful. I have my cellphone on DATA so that if I should fall, my signal will be seen. I carry a bright light with me. I text my sister when I require company. I have emergency numbers in my cellphone. And lastly, these trails are visited by many people so if I should fall, someone would not be long after me on the trail.
Now, do all of you feel better? Perhaps I should not have told this tale. YOU are IT when it comes to me sharing my passion for both Mother and photography. YOU join me, share with me, and then encourage me to better myself in every way, in both my personal Life and in my art. For this, YOU are one of the Greatest Gifts in my Life.
And now on to my story …
Remember me standing on a very high cliff overlooking a gorgeous view and a creek I just had walked in? That was about the 2 mile mark, and I had to make a decision. Do I turn around to go back the way I had come, or do I keep moving forward? That was a no brainer for me!! No way was I about to trudge back through the creek I nearly fell into. Decision was made to keep moving forward.
You know the saying, what goes up must comes down. As I went along exclaiming my good fortune at how easy the trail had now become, the trail began to slope downwards. Too engrossed again in what was around me, I didn’t really get concerned until I turned a corner (There certainly is a surprise it seems around every corner on this trail!) and saw another sheer embankment, this time with a rope hanging from one of the trees!! Are you for real??? OH MAN! And I am supposed to get down hanging on to a rope? Yep, I sure did. When I got down to the bottom in one piece, I looked up and just had to snap a picture. This is what I saw:
And there I was once again standing in the creek to take another picture.
It just couldn’t get any worse then this! I could see the road from where I was standing which made me feel a whole lot better. Little did I know … I actually had one more steep embankment to climb down, this one without a rope, and this one I did not snap a picture of because when I got down to the bottom, I for the life of me could not figure out how to cross the creek that I had to cross. The water was deep here and OH I did not want to get my feet wet!
Before I could figure out a way to cross, I looked upstream and to my utter amazement, Mother shouted for all to see, a HUGE “A” for Amy! She was cheer leading for me!! See? Look for yourself!!! And, yes, do notice how deep the water is!
Now feeling more confident to get across the creek dry, I carefully put one of my feet on a rock and found it wobbly. Oh great!! What to do??? I could see no other place to place my foot without the water coming up and over my boots, so I gingerly went to sit down on the bank, but instead of sitting on my butt getting that wet, I supported myself with my arms and hands, holding my butt off the ground but still in a sitting position. This allowed me better leverage as I carefully got my footing on that rock while my left foot was positioned on the bank, and then before I could think twice, I sprung up slowly and at the same time began to move forward. Once I was moving, I did not stop. When I got to the other side, I heaved a huge sigh a relief and thanked Mother for helping me cross without getting one drop of water in my boots.
Hiking again up, this time not as high as my other encounter, the ground gradually leveled out. I checked my pedometer and the time, one saying I had hit the 3.5 mile mark and the other said, sorry need to turn around to go back home. I knew the road was somewhere to my right. I kept walking until it came into view and that is when I cut over to get on the road to head back home.
To be truthful with you, I was a bit relieved to be on that road. Heading home I felt a real sense of pride in myself for doing what I just did. Yet, this adventure will not be repeated until the ground and creek are good and frozen solid. The way the temperatures have been, that won’t take long at all. I also recently bought trekking poles that Dan recommended for me. Bless you, Dan!
I really hope you all enjoyed my tale. Now all of you know there truly lives in me a very Free Spirit who Loves Mother in all Her Glory!!
Photography/ “Heading Home” 2016©AmyRose
[The actual sequence of events in my last 3 posts may not be accurate. For those of you who are familiar with this trail, I was so intently focused on staying upright and so taken away by the beauty around me, that my memory is a bit hazy where what is what exactly on this trail. That means of course, the more I hike this trail, the more I will come to know it. It also really was not my intention to post about my adventure, so my organization of documenting this hike while on this trail was not as it would have been if I had planned on creating posts as I did.]