Chapter 34 - The Ch8se Must Go On!
This will be my last time, I mean the absolute last time I will mention this pandemic in my blog, because, guess what, I am OVER it!! This ch8se confirmed how over it I absolutely am.
I lamented, prayed, and debated on whether or not to ch8se because of all that is going on in the world. And in the same prayer, I was reminded of how important it is to stay the course, to remain focused, and to press on in the midst of it all. I was reminded of the magic of the ch8se.
I know the healing powers of #Embr8cingTheCh8se, I know the magic of the great outdoors. I appreciate the fellowship, I admire the adventurers, and I absolutely adore the beauty of the #BrownFacesInGreenSpaces.
The ch8se must go on, is exactly what I heard, and exactly what I did.
I purposed to maintain a small group of ch8sers, so I sent the invite out to a select few of ch8sers and friends. Just like all ch8ses, the invite goes out, and the number of attendees fluctuate and are only exact the morning of the ch8se. Basically, I have no idea, nor control of how many ch8sers will actually show up. It is always a surprise. This morning was no different. Three cars, with six of us show up at our meeting spot and head to Hemlock Falls. There we discover that our sista Camille has brought her vibe tribe. Three more vehicles and seven more ch8sers. Yes, the ch8se must go on.
In true ch8se fashion, this ch8se champion opens with introductions, the ch8se choices, the walk before the talk, safety checks, and expectations. We had several new adventurers to embr8ce the ch8se. This ch8se like one other, welcomed three men to the adventure. I find it comforting to have the men along on the ch8se, and enjoy the energy they bring. I am so happy that my Rock It Rhonda shared her awesome husband, Mr. Griff with us, and her completely adorable granddaughter Aubrie. She is so fabulous, with the best personality ever. She was my co-lead for this ch8se. Just like her grandmother, she helped to keep us on track. I am also thankful to Camille for inviting her husband Nehemiah, their friends Mike & Juanita, and her cousin Karlene. My girl April brought along her beautiful friend Rachael, and with this crew, the narrative of chapter 34 began to unfold.
We began the two part ch8se at Hemlock Falls. But before we begin, let me tell ya'll, one of the brothers, was a complete and total character. I told his wife I would pray for her more often. He was a lot of fun, and kept me on my toes. And no, this blog is not about him, I just literally laughed to myself, reminiscing over the entirety of the day. Yep, one of those, you'd have to be there kind of situations. Nevertheless, back to the narrative of chapter 34.
Hemlock Falls was and is as beautiful as I remembered. With nearly every step we took, we were engulfed with the amazing sounds of water to both our left and to our right. The small streams were as delightful to see as they were to hear. The air was crisp and the day was absolutely perfect. During the ch8se chatter, prior to starting the hike, I encouraged the adventurers to literally embr8ce the ch8se. Each person is encouraged to embr8ce the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the overall experience. I encourage the ch8sers to respect the space and enjoy the moment, and that is exactly what we did.
Along the trail were varying aspects of the beauty of nature. We stopped at the openings that afforded us the ability to safely get closer to the streams. You know, those places where we could capture the best selfies, and photos, of course. We paused to breath the fresh air, and look up every now and then.
The trail led us across a bridge in a spot that was extremely picturesque and surreal. We crossed a stream that lead us on an uphill climb. We leveled off to a continuation of the natural beauty of the woods that guided us to Hemlock Falls.
Oh, I almost forgot. We left it all behind. The ch8sers were encouraged to grab a leaf along the trail. The leaf would act as a depository for anything and everything that we wished to rid ourselves of. Whatever thoughts, or emotions that were negative and did not serve us, were to be transferred into that leaf, and it would be here, at the base of the waterfall, that we would release the leaf and everything we transferred into it, and literally, leave it all behind. We paused, silently prayed, and collectively released our leaves as a symbol of letting it all go.
We gather our things and head back to our vehicles. This trail is an in and out loop, so the beauty that led us in, led us right back to where we started. The ch8sers all brought a lunch. Though there was one table in the area, it wasn't big enough for us all to enjoy our lunch and practice social distancing. We still had a thirty minute drive to Minnehaha, so we chose to have our lunch and ride. Thirty minutes went pretty quickly, the road was a bit rough, and ya'll, I did it again. This ch8se champion got side tracked, and started down the wrong street. I don't know how or why I do that, while looking at the nav. Nevertheless, before we went too far down the wrong road, I self corrected and got us back on track. Oddly enough, I ended up doing the same thing, and the same intersection on the way home. Oh, but Nehemiah was right behind me this time, and made sure I knew that I was being nosey and trying to go the wrong way again. Thanks bro.
I remembered Minnehaha to be a short, easy hike; however, I was only half correct. It was a short hike, though one we should have used our hiking poles, instead of leaving them in our vehicles. It was mild, not easy, with a lot of exposed roots, that hiking poles could have helped us navigate. Note to self for future ch8ses here. We make it to Minnehaha, and ta'da! There she is. Just as bold and beautiful as ever. Here we unfolded the ch8se banner, took our group shot, countless selfies, and photo shoots commenced. We climbed onto the sides of the falls, stepped into the cool waters at the base of the falls, and even slipped up a few times getting there. We washed our stones, and simply embr8ced everything that this space had to offer.
We spend quality time at this magical space, and head back to our vehicles. Typically, at lunch we revisit our experience and share at least one take away. With this being the end of the ch8se, this ch8se champion asked the ch8sers to share with the group, and some did. The overall consensus was an experience enjoyed by all. There was comic relief from the husbands, who insisted they were forced to come; however, we know they enjoyed themselves, and can't wait to ch8se again.
Ya'll, I could go on a few paragraphs more about this day; however, I'll just drop a few more pics for you to see the energy of the day for yourself. Each ch8se leaves me refreshed, renewed and so much lighter. I leave more grateful than I came. I leave eager and excited to plan the next ch8se, and the next, and the next.
Until we ch8se again.
Your ch8se champion, Deborah McGlawn aka Dynamic Deb