One of the tallest waterfalls in the United States, Crabtree Falls, is right here in the state I’ve lived in my whole life, lless than two hours from where I live now. Yet, I had never seen it until a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been to England, France, Ireland, Italy, and Belgium. Even spent a few hours in Iceland. And yet I had never seen this super amazing thing miles from home. There’s a thinly veiled allegory in there about not seeing the things right in front of you, right?
But I digress. Two weeks ago my husband and I rented a cabin near the falls. Early on chilly Saturday morning we set out to see this wonder of nature. It’s a short hike to the top of the falls, just a little under two miles. A little research showed that if we hiked about another mile from the there we could then hop on the Appalachian Trail for a four mile hike to rock with a view. Since hiking the famous Appalachian trail was also something neither of us had ever done, despite the fact that (once again) it’s practically in our backyard, we decided to go for it. Now, if you’re keeping up with the math, you’ll realize that once we hike all that and turn around and come back, we’re talking 14 miles.
Totally do-able. The weekend before we had run and 8K (that’s just under 5 miles) and gotten our best times ever– walk 14 miles. Please, piece of cake. And you know what, it was. Until we hit those last 2 miles down from the falls. Walking down steep paths and earthen-rocky-wet steps after walking 12 miles feels a little different from walking up them when your legs are fresh and rested. But, you know what, we did it. A little (by which I mean a lot) tired and shaky by the time it was over, yet still in awe of all we saw. All we did. What we accomplished. (Because 14 miles!) Insert thinly veiled allegory number two about big, beautiful things being worth the work.