Becky Branch Warwoman Dell Merrell And The Reset Button
Written By Guest Blogger Camille Prawl-Pettway
When I tell you Ch8sing Waterfalls is magical...Believe it! Listen, I know what that TLC song says, but I challenge you…dare you…DOUBLE DOG DARE you to try it! Hey, if isn’t magical for you…”Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to!”
So, the morning started with my Vibe Tribe meeting at my house promptly at 6:30am! (I get a bit cranky if we are late!) We load up our walking poles, lunch bags, hiking boots, and extra layers of clothing should we need them.
After an hour ride north, we stop at a familiar spot I call “Chef Rod’s MeetUp.” We relieved ourselves, got our lottery tickets (it’s a thing…don’t judge me) and made a call to our Ch8se leader. Deborah advised that the Embr8ce the Ch8se convoy would be about 20 minutes behind us. Did her GPS misguide/redirect her again, or did some other thing happen? Anyway, we proceeded to Warwoman Dell, where Deborah had stated, there would be NO SIGNAL. She didn’t lie! At the entrance there was Lindsey our Merrell representative. We exchanged pleasantries and Lindsey showed us an array of Merrell hiking boots to test for our Ch8se / hike. We took pictures and flexed in our new loaner kicks. My Moab 2s were tan with burgundy trim. They were comfortable, good ankle support and fitting for the terrain. I was determined to test the “waterproofness” of these kicks.
The convoy arrived shortly thereafter and the magic intensified! This Sisterhood and Black Girl Magic is Real!
Before the hike, Deborah gathered the Ch8sers in a circle. Ch8se champions remind ch8sers of the purpose of the Ch8se, conducts introductions and a Ch8se prayer. Ch8se Champion Ajay went over safety guidelines. Ch8se Champion Marionette invited the group to join in cleaning up the trail. She handed out trash bags and gloves. The goal was to pick up trash along the trail. What a great and simple way to keep the trails clean, preserve the earth and do community service!
And into the woods we go! As we began, a hiker friend mentioned there had been a controlled burn the day prior and the bridge on the Bertram trail was out! We were not deterred or shaken…Into the woods we continued. Along the trail, we saw beautiful budding blooms under shaded broad leaves. We stopped took pictures then continued. Along the way, we saw brooks and streams nestled along the woodsy trail. We traversed a narrow, eroded path that required careful navigation. About a quarter mile in and a quick steep incline, brought us to the first waterfall, Warwoman Dell. She is a small lady in comparison to other waterfalls I’d seen. Three-tiered, and with a manageable gradient, Warwoman Dell is striking. On any other day, I probably would climb her to get some great poses and cool pics. Don’t judge me…Join! The wooden bridge to the other side of the trail was indeed out so Deborah decided we would not cross – and besides, one Ch8ser had abruptly taken a seat! She was fine! Slips happen! I couldn’t help but think though if Chef Rod was with us, we would’ve found a way to get to the other side…Fo Sho!
We doubled back and reversed pace. Then I saw her…Wisdom! This tree is spectacular. She is mature, curvy and majestic. Her energy pulled me in. We embraced, connected and exchanged energies. She relieved my anxiety. Why didn’t I notice her the first time I passed? Goes to show you that sometimes, what we need can be right in front of us, and we miss it looking down! Sometimes we need to change our gaze. Sometimes we need to look out, or up. Then I remembered Deborah’s opening exhortation “Be…Be in the moment” be yourself, be one with nature, be free, be connected, be disconnected, BE whatever brings you healing while out in nature. I hadn’t noticed Wisdom because I was in my thoughts looking down and not present. It took overhearing my SiStar Yolanda saying, “…this is what I call my reset button” to awaken my awareness! She was spot on! Being outside, the terrain, the weather, the waterfalls and the energy of the ladies around cumulatively was indeed a reset button!
Back to the parking lot where the trail began, we headed on a gravel path, up some 50+ rocky steps, passed by a campsite, and wooden bridge. We stopped for pictures, hydration and snacks of course. On this trail, there are historical markers and nature facts about the wildlife and foliage. The pathway is narrow and often times steep. Thankfully, the weather is perfect and we have this trail to ourselves! I am getting excited…I can hear her beckoning and calling! The sound of the water cascading over the fall and hitting the rocks below can be both deafening and soothing. About a half-mile in, is the tall, slender beauty that is Becky Branch Falls. Yass! Becky with the good flair! She was flowing from about a 30-foot drop! (I’m not good at estimating height…I’m 5’2) I couldn’t wait to be up close and personal! WAP! WAP! WAP! Waterfalls And Pictures!
Did I mention that we take a LOT of pictures? Yeah! That part! After every Ch8se, I personally have AT LEAST 800 pictures and videos! Again…don’t judge…Join! We lingered around Becky for a good half-hour taking pictures, enjoying the views, and the sisterhood.
We headed back on the trail toward the picnic area and parking lot. We passed an underground structure. Really it looked like a tunnel. According to the history marker, it was constructed for the railroads. Did they steal Harriet’s idea and claimed as their own? I mean, it is possible!
The Ch8se lunch is another highlight for me. It’s not about the food, ok maybe a little bit…but the intake of the shared experiences and joys of the day’s adventure. It’s the sharing and reflection that makes us connect in a way that has to be experienced and not described! Oh, and did I mention that cool raffling of prizes? Some lucky Ch8ser always walk away with a prize! I mean, really innovative and meaningful prizes. I was really hoping to win that GoGirl! Look it up J
So, the day didn’t end there…We handed in our loaner Merrell boots. Lindsey was phenomenal for hanging with us on this hike that was mostly about taking pictures than walking! I am happy to report that as soon as the Moabs go on sale, I plan to get a pair! I purposely stepped in muddy puddles, and submerged the boots underwater. They passed the test. My feet were dry at the end of the hike. We loaded up the cars and headed…?? …We just followed Deborah in her Jeep!
And then we arrived at one of Ch8sing Waterfalls’ favorite spots…Wander North Georgia in downtown Clayton. The staff was welcoming and accommodating when our large group visits. I enjoyed smelling their natural soaps and checking out hiking books and outdoor products that I would otherwise not be interested in. Yes, there are books about hiking! Did someone say something about taking more pictures? Cuz the 1000 we already have is not enough! And there we were! A complete Ch8se takeover of an azalea and rhododendron filled park with an adorable gazebo! The backdrop of the park was a brick building with creeping vines. It was a perfect spot for the Ch8se leaders to pose for the park takeover! But why were some of us…(Ahem) contorting our bodies to spell A T L? EventZee? Oh, but Auntie Lynn, Ms. Vernetta and Ms. Donna was not having that! At least on laying on the grass! They were chilling on the swings letting us “BE” (Reason 1002 why I LOVE this group). These ladies go with the flow and flow with the go. They are spontaneous, flexible, fun, respectful and sensible. Are you willing to go with the flow? Are you willing to just BE and let nature reset your button?
And then it’s Monday, I’m at work and still looking at pictures and videos…Being Joyful.