Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - su·per·ca·li·fra·gil·is·tic·ex·pi·a·li·do·cious /ˌso͞opərˌkaləˌfrajəˌlistikˌekspēˌaləˈdōSHəs/
adjective INFORMAL - extraordinarily good; wonderful
The biggest, longest, absolute most perfect word I could think of, to explain chapter 27 of ch8sing waterfalls. This ch8se champion has explored more than thirty different waterfalls to date, each magical, beautiful, and basking in its own amazing wonder. And though Energetic Ellen and I scouted this one weeks prior, for this chapter, for the chartered fifteen, High & Hooker Falls, was bolder, bigger, and did not disappoint.
According to some brief research, I understand, and agree that waterfalls often relate to a great release of emotion, rejuvenation and renewal of spirit. I once read somewhere that the waterfall symbol, can mean that severe disappointment will make you wiser. I am unsure of the truth to any of this; however, I can relate to the later in that severe disappointment has made this ch8ser wiser, and has birthed this adventure series of ch8sing waterfalls. I have both witnessed and experienced the power of ch8sing waterfalls release of emotions, its rejuvenating powers and its ability to usher in a complete renewal of spirit, with each and every ch8se. These things I know to be true.
This chapter was every bit of that and more. We will talk about it forever.
This ch8se champion sees a large ch8se chariot in her future. She sees one that will avail itself to allow twenty women at one time to sit comfortably together on a ch8se adventure. This ch8se champion believes in the blessings of her heart and knows that in due time, it will all manifest, and this ch8sing waterfalls phenomenon will be synonymous with all things outdoors, all things nature, all things waterfalls, and everything that is awesome, that is spectacular, that is black girl magic.
Building this ch8se began with a faith call to rent a fifteen passenger van. This ch8se would be two and a half, nearly three hours long, and one vehicle, with all the ch8sers in one place made the most sense to me. Why drive three hours? Why not? Ch8sing waterfalls is an adventure. You do know that the best waterfalls are outside of the city, right? Sure there are more within a two hour drive, and sure, we'll get to those, but this ch8se needed to be in another state. You see, we now have ch8sed Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. See, she has a plan. Just stay with me.
Van secured, advertising, and securing seats. With each week getting closer to the ch8se date, one or two more seats would be taken, and finally, at the last moment possible, this ch8se champion found herself needing a seventeen or eighteen seat passenger van. Though others were more than welcome to carpool along with the van, no one truly wanted to, and they didn't. We're growing and changing ya'll. 2020 the third year of the ch8se will prove spectacular, I hope you join us.
Now back to the story. Where was I.....oh, ok. The meet up is at our trusted Publix on Pleasant hill at 6:00 a.m., we typically meet at 6:30 or 7:00, when the store is open. I failed to acknowledge the fact that it would not be open before we left. Nevertheless, the ladies were troopers. All except for one of the ch8sers got there on time. We loaded up, and hit the road. We literally left in the dark and returned in the dark, but we'll get to that.
The ladies found their groove, got comfortable, and took a few snaps along the way. You remember the snap right, it's the cross between a snooze and a nap. I couldn't decipher the difference in the two, so I just made them one.
We stop, gas up and exercise a restroom break and coffee fueling.
But wait, I must tell you that I attempted to get gas, prior to arriving at Publix; however, I could not find where to put the gas. It was not visible, and I could not find it anywhere. It wasn't until the "you better stop or run out of gas" light came on, that I was forced to find that dang gas cap. It took Google, and YouTube for us to figure out where the space was to fuel the van. Seriously, it was an entire situation. Take a look for yourself, who puts gas here?
Thanks RaceTrac employee for sowing that cup of coffee into this ch8se champions life, instead of having me run back to the van to get money. Bless you. Now we are off, bladders empty, coffee hot, and the sun is rising.
This ch8se was held in honor of Harriet Tubman. The Tubman movie was just released, and GirlTrek nation was in celebratory mode for the release of the movie which honors mother Tubman. November, also launched the 30 day acts of service to honor Harriet Tubman. Each day we are encouraged to walk and focus on different activities. The day of this ch8se, 11.2.19, the exercise was to walk, pray, and read "How Not To Die" by the Crunk Feminist Collective. Well we were about to get our walk on, we prayed before we hit the road. I printed the script, and one of our amazing sisters read it aloud and evoked great conversation afterward. In honor of Harriet, this ch8se champion created goodie bags for the fifteen, and in it was a sticker that says "We Out." Harriet Tubman 1849, because I wanted each lady to have that reminder to stick somewhere reflective.
We are moving right along and entered into our final hour, looking for the next rest stop, which we found at an Ingles on the way. I failed to mention that this ch8se was a planned brown bag lunch situation. Each lady brought their lunch. We were in for a six hour drive, there was no way we were going to go to a restaurant and add a likely two to two and a half hours more to the day. Nope, we packed it in. After the final stop at Ingles, we find ourselves less than thirty minutes from the park. Remember, Ellen and I have scouted this place, and were supposed to be ready and equipped to lead the ladies. Well we had to get into the park first. You see, sure, we scouted the area, and got there the first time without fail, no turn around, no doubts, nothing, just a straight shot. But for the life of me, this time, with fourteen ladies in this fifteen passenger van, this ch8se champion second guesses the distance. While looking at the navigation, which tells her to turn prematurely, wishing hard for that Garmin GPS device in that moment, because the directions were not making sense. Together we figure it out, and make our way into the park. We even found a pretty good parking space rather quickly. We unload and fall in line for the ladies room.
And we're off. Into the woods we go. Ellen and I are forging on familiar territory. I lead and she sweeps, all is well. We reach a point in the hike which dead ends, well, this is not like the scout, but no worries, the ch8sers are with me, they aren't concerned, and encourage us to just continue on. With a little hesitation, I submit, to the discovery. Surprisingly, the bottom of this area is exactly where we intended to be, we just needed to walk down the stairs. Just go with the flow, Deb, just go with the flow.
We are now at the base of High Falls and all of its beauty. We're at the top of the rail looking out into the massive multi-level fall, just resounding music to our ears. We commence to taking several dozen selfies, groupies, and pics and continue on to Hooker Falls. Here we descend over one hundred stairs to reach somewhat of a middle point of Hooker Falls, and again take several dozen selfies, embrace the beauty of the ch8se and ascend to the next overlook of Hooker Falls. We take advantage of the pause to hydrate and refuel before we return to High Falls.
Hooker Fall was intentionally bypassed during the beginning of the ch8se, because we knew it was the one that would allow us to get close in. We knew we would have space to sit and truly embrace the ch8se, to feel the water, to smell the air, and to touch as much of it as we wanted to, and we did just that. We practically posted up on a rocky space that was perfect for us. Then some of us went so close into the waterfall that we were drenched from head to toe. There had been rain, and the fall was bigger and more boisterous than it was when Ellen and I had scouted. The space Ellen and I had ascended to was too dangerous to consider reaching, because of how wet the area was. The mist off of the falls was a literal shower, and unavoidable. It was as though it was luring us in. Remarkable Rhonda, Awesome AyJay, Energetic Ellen, and Dynamic Deb went as far as we could safely go, walking away soaking wet in 40 degree weather. It was so worth it, so much so we can't wait to return in the summer.
While we were in the mist, we were able to capture this magical pic of the ladies watching our foolery from afar. It is true, a picture is worth a thousand words. How many have already run through your head, at first glance?
Take a look at the pic below and see what treasures lie at the end of the rainbow. Pretty awesome, right. That's gold, black gold, Texas tea. Seriously, it's the beautiful GirlTrek ch8sers of chapter 27.
The four amigos, return to the group, wet, invigorated, in awe, laughing, full, cold and did I say wet? It was an experience of great reward. One that will have three of us more prepared with a change of clothes, packed and ready to change into. However, honestly, by the time we got back to the van, the hiking pants I got from the W, proved to be the real MVP, cause they were dry, with no sign of ever being wet. Very impressive.
We've loaded into the van, and the original plans of heading to the scenic overlook for lunch was squashed with new plans, which unfolded when our Vivacious Vernetta inquired about a gift shop. Directions lead us to the Ranger's station at Pisgah National Forest. We were welcomed by the friendliest rangers and staff, who were as helpful and informative as they were kind. We sat in the crisp air on the park benches there on the grounds. We shared and received such great reflections during our lunch.
This ch8se was equally as magical as the twenty six before it; however, our newest sister, ch8ser Tameka wasn't with us. She unloaded her reflections dedicated to nearly each member of this ch8se. She expressed how much she enjoyed the ch8se, the sisterhood, the conversations, the energy, and all of the positive vibrations. The ladies all shared similar sentiments, and once again epitomized the beauty behind what it means to #EmbraceTheCh8se.
I know I say this often, and always, but it is undeniably true. This movement, this ch8se, this powerful sisterhood is an infectious, contagiously powerful phenomenon that is by far one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. Each ch8se leaves me speechless, and in awe of the magic of it all. Despite what society tries to dictate or express, the narrative we choose to write is proof positive, that our beautiful brown faces are out here in these beautiful green spaces. Our narrative is proof positive that we are Harriet Tubman, she would proud. Our narrative is proof positive that we hike, we camp, we own hiking boots, backpacks, hiking poles, canteens, bandannas and carabiners. This is us, this is our narrative, this is ch8sing waterfalls, and yes, this is GirlTrek.
Until we ch8se again.
Love, Peace & Waterfalls
aka Deborah McGlawn