Every so often, my husband surprises me with a romantic gesture that steals my heart. He’s a clever fellow, so he saves them up and only disperses them on rare occasions, ensuring that I will always be surprised and wowed because he has gone above and beyond. This time he surprised me with a special two day getaway tacked on to the end of the ACFW conference in Nashville.
I flew one-way to Nashville, did the conference thing, then he drove the 880 miles to join me on Saturday night. Then on Sunday and Monday, he took me on a tour of 8 waterfalls in the forests of Georgia. I love waterfalls. I love hiking to waterfalls. Opportunities to do so do not exist in West Texas. So my fabulous husband planned this excursion just to make me smile. And to prove that there will be some benefits to an empty nest once we set our last two fledglings free. Always thinking, that man. 😉
Some of the waterfalls were at major attractions. Some were out-of-the-way hidden trails where half the adventure was simply finding the trail head. And one in particular will be etched in my memory forever – not because of the fabulous waterfall, but because of distance errors, darkness, and an unexpected trail companion.
Here are some of the highlights:
And then there was the adventure at Raven Cliffs Falls. This was our last stop for Day 1. Wes’s research had said it was an easy 1.5 mile hike to the falls. So 3 miles round trip. It was late afternoon, but we had plenty of time. So we headed out. Only, after 1.5 miles, there was no waterfall in sight. So we kept going. Apparently, the hike was 2.5 miles, which meant 5 miles round trip. Yikes! Now we were cutting things close. And the only people we had seen had been coming down. We were the only fools still going up this late in the evening. Well, except for one fellow.
When we finally reached the end of the hike, we didn’t see a waterfall . . . at first. But I was determined. There must be one. We did not hike all this way through bear territory, not to see a waterfall! So I climbed a little farther up a section of trail that looked more like a mini rock slide than a trail, but eventually I found it. Hiding in a crevice of what must be Raven Cliffs.
But that wasn’t the end of the adventure. On the 2.5 mile trek back to the parking lot, darkness fell. And dark in a forest is DARK. Not knowing how much battery life we had on our phones, we stumbled through the shadows without our flashlights for as long as possible. The lack of light made our progress even slower, of course. And every time a twig snapped all we could think about was the bear. We broke down and used our phone flashlights for about the last mile and made it back safe and sound. But it was a very memorable adventure!
Sometimes, it’s the unexpected trouble turned adventure that creates the most lasting memories.
- What unexpected adventure have you encountered that made for an unforgettable experience?