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Chapter 42 - Tallulah Gorge - 3.6.21

The day when seventeen ch8sers chose to #Embr8ceTheCh8se, one step at a time.

For just one moment, pause with me and read the title of this blog again. Do you see what I see?

This, the forty-second, documented, ch8se adventure is amazing to me. You see there were a few scouts, and numerous waterfall adventures that were not documented, because at that time, I didn't know I was building the foundation that has us here at forty-two chapters.

At the time when I was reclaiming my life, and reaching for my own healing, I had no idea that such a phenomenon was being birthed. In my time of selfishness and self perseverance, never in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined being here authoring yet another blog about the adventures of beautiful black women, and now men, ch8sing waterfalls, embr8cing the ch8se, finding healing, restoration, peace, belonging, love and laughter. Who knew?

Chapter 42. Wow! Why chapters? I am glad you asked. You see each ch8se adventure tells its own story. Each adventure has a narrative of its own and in this book of ch8sing waterfalls, each entry unfolds a new chapter. This one is no different.

Chapter forty-two took us back to Tallulah Falls. It is here we meet our new friend, and photographer Ronnie Pettit. Ronnie and I met on Instagram after Wander North GA shared their post of Ch8sing Waterfalls being the first ever recipient of the Wander With Grant. It was on Instagram that Ronnie and I began planning our meet up. Ronnie donated his time and talent to showcase the ch8se faces of Ch8sing Waterfalls, and he did a very nice job. His black and white images are magical. We all look forward to the opportunity to work with him again.

Ya'll Ronnie is a pretty cool guy. I look forward to the chance to work with him again. We had the best time. He brought out his 1940's camera, which I was completely mesmerized by. I have a pretty cool camera collection, though his was probably the coolest I've seen. He hung out with us for a little while and left us with anticipation of the magic he had just captured.

Here is the magic he created and shared with us:

We began our hike after a mini photo shoot at a point where there was a progressive incline. I had informed the ladies that this was an easy hike; however, at the last minute, we decided to hike the path with the incline, not as easy as I had mentioned; however, beyond the fussing and the challenge, we made it. We made it to the top of the hill, to the mountain overlook and to a point of celebrating our victory. It was here that one of our ch8sers found a release and a space of peace.

We made our way down the hill and on to the path that proved easier than the initial climb. By now our hearts were pumping, and we were thoroughly enjoying our walk. We hiked the hill, but the rest, was a bit of a walk in the park. We encountered a few inclines, a few steps, and a lot of magical beauty.

Unlike the day we scouted this route, the sky was clear and the weather was perfect. We totally embr8ced the ch8se and took our time doing so. We captured countless pictures and videos along the way. We made our way to all ten of the overlooks on this trail, and found it to be a really nice walk. At the end of the trail, after a few more pics and videos, we reversed our route and returned to lookouts two and three. It is here that half of our group chose to descend the hundreds of stairs, while the other half shopped in the gift shop and awaited the return of the stair climbers.

We enjoyed great conversation while refueling before lunch. Once we were all together again, we loaded in our vehicles and headed across the street to the beach for lunch. It was here that we were able to each share our reflections, our takeaways from the ch8se. We shared our emotions, our support, our love for one another. We even shared our lunch.

Each of us carry our own pain, our personal struggles, our disappointments, as well as our victories, and our desires. It is here in this safe space that we are allowed to share without judgment. We yield to whatever rests on our hearts to share, and lovingly accept, acknowledge and support one another. It is here, at lunch that we empower ourselves and we empower each other. This is our sacred space, this is how we #Embr8ceTheCh8se.

Nature is a natural healer; however, combine it with like minded, beautiful spirited individuals, then you have magic. Ch8sing Waterfalls is committed to healing, and increasing diversity outdoors. To embr8ce the ch8se is to welcome peace, love, joy, and inclusion.

Until we ch8se again, love, peace and waterfalls.

Your Ch8se Champ

Deborah McGlawn


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