“In April I walked to the Adams’ woods. The grass had greened one morning when I blinked; I missed it again...The morning woods were utterly new. A strong yellow light pooled between the trees; my shadow appeared and vanished on the path, since a third of the trees I walked under were still bare, a third spread a luminous haze wherever they grew, and another third blocked the sun with new, whole leaves...
I left the woods, spreading silence before me in a wave, as though I’d stepped not through the forest, but on it. I left the wood silent, but I myself was stirred and quickened.”
-- Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (HarperCollins, 1974)
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Who doesn’t appreciate waterfalls? Most of us are drawn to the sight and sound of falling water. Few natural phenomena are more entrancing and mesmerizing.
A quick look at our schedule will show that every one of our hikes for the next few weeks features one or more waterfalls. Yes, spring is an ideal time to visit falls.
That’s because spring showers tend to be especially frequent, coming on top of snowmelt, so the waterfalls are typically at their fullest and most spectacular now.
Rainfall has been close to normal lately. Streams, rivers, and waterfalls are currently well below flood stage, but they’re nevertheless extremely scenic these days.
Among the areas with beautiful waterfalls that we’ll be visiting are the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (with a whole host of falls in both PA & NJ), NY’s Shawungunk Mountains, and the Taconic Mountains of southwestern MA.
We also have a number of hikes that includes trails alongside lovely rivers and mountain streams, some of which feature roaring rapids when the water is high. Many of our river hikes are in western CT, along with quite a few in NY & NJ.
The appeal of moving water in natural surroundings seems to be almost universal. It appears to be something that's wired into us, perhaps related to the fact that water is life-sustaining, and we’re basically made of it -- and we can’t live long without it.
On the above-mentioned hikes, our rest and/or lunch breaks will typically be at falls. Once we spend some time at a waterfall it can be hard to tear ourselves away.
Many people seem to experience a sense of heightened well-being near waterfalls. One possible explanation might be the high levels of negative ions present. In any case, waterfalls are irresistible to most of us. They’re even a bit trance-inducing.
If you haven’t yet reserved, keep in mind that some spring hikes may fill early. Here’s our schedule: http://www.wildearthadventures.com/schedule-of-trips.html.
-- Charlie Cook