“Contemplating the lace-like fabric of streams outspread over the mountains, w are reminded that everything is flowing -- going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks both in solution and in the form of mud particles, sand, pebbles, and boulders. Rocks flow from volcanoes like water from springs, and animals flock together and flow in currents modified by stepping, leaping, gliding, flying, swimming, etc. While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood globules in Nature’s warm heart.”
-- John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra (Sierra Club Books, 1988 -- first published in 1911
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Who doesn’t love the soothing, often hypnotic sounds of naturally flowing water? Who isn’t entranced by rushing streams, roaring rapids, or mesmerizing waterfalls?
Since they’re often extra full in springtime from rain and melted snow, scenic waterways are featured in the vast majority of our hikes from March through May.
By my count, this spring we’ll be visiting waterfalls on at least 11 different hikes, rivers on 7 more hikes, and splendid mountain streams on several additional hikes.
Although there wasn’t a lot of snow this winter (a few inches fell several times), we received LOTS of rain in February, so the waterfalls are wonderful right now.
As you presumably know, listening to moving water for an extended time (as we sometimes do during lunch breaks) tends to be incredibly relaxing and therapeutic.
Why is that? There’s evidence that the super-abundance of negative ions generated by moving water enhance our sense of well-being. Plus the sounds of water are inherently soothing, and they’re associated with one of our most primal needs.
The visual beauty of a flowing stream, river, or waterfall isn’t to be underestimated either. And watching the patterns of moving water can be incredibly relaxing.
When it’s time to leave, some of us have to tear ourselves away, given the magnetic pull the water has on us. It can make a hike especially memorable.
-- Charlie Cook