Falls Creek Falls

In case I haven’t mentioned this, I work for what may just be the best company ever. Like at most places, things are slow at MMI right now. Most days I come in and try to find something productive to put my hand to but some days…

This past Tuesday was one of those days. I was finally able to hook up with a great old friend from my Garfield days, Henry Mitchell. We’ve talked for months about hitting the trail together but until now hadn’t made it happen. If you’ll look in my pics under Falls Creek Falls you can see Henry in one of the photos. I’ve always thought he resembles a gnome but on the trail this day it was if I were walking with Myrddin Emrys…the wise Merlin. I told him as much. He doesn’t actually discourage the comparison, either.
At 6am we met at Stax (Original) for some delicious bacon, grits and eggs and about a gallon of Dr. Pepper. (That was me. Henry had a greek omelet and hot tea.) I threw my pack into Henry’s truck and me made off for the short jaunt to Jones Gap, where he regaled me with tales of crazy aunts and bad cooking. We were on the trail shortly after daybreak. (On the way, Henry pulled off to call his boss and inform him that he”d be doing some “geologic surveying” which apparently is code for “I’m on a hike, again.” Guess we’re both kinda lucky, huh?) I quickly discovered that Henry and I make good hiking partners. He slows my pace enough so that I can actually appreciate my surroundings. Somedays I enjoy hiking in silence. Today I was blessed with the conversation of an old friend. It seemed that wherever our talk meandered, the conversation had a way of coming back around to the subject of our mutual Friend and third hiking partner. Being in the woods will do that…as will being with either of us, I guess. As we approached the falls we stopped for a silent visual draught of the view overlooking the valley. It was beautiful, of course. Henry spoke in hushed tones of his daughter Kate (I think he’s kind of proud of her) and one of their hikes together. As they took in a similar view from another trail, she said that the ancient Celts believed that the purest worship music was found in the solitude of the wilderness, as the rivers, the wind and the trees lifted their song to the Creator. If you’ve ever spent much time in the woods, I think you’ll agree.
After laughing our way back down the mountain (Not quickly enough, if you ask me. For some reason I opted for the Spinx bathroom over the one God provided and my bladder was at critical mass) we made our way to Hardees where we lingered over a cup of coffee, neither of us wanting to end our journey. We talked of ecology, and politics, old times and yes, the Great Interrupter.
Looking forward to another morning walk, soon, Henry. Tell Jane Ella hi, for me.

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