Rock Island State Park in TN Will Never Be The Same
By Guest Blogger: Paula Dobbs
Have you ever been woken up by a college party? Well, this time the roles were reversed, and the amazing Ch8sers of Ch8sing Waterfalls were partying in the parking lot at 6am, next to KSU dorms. Why were we so happy, you ask? We were gearing up for a hike like no other, Ch8se #49 was about to go down. As we sang and danced in the parking lot, the energy was simply refreshing and invigorating. We had 3 new Ch8sers with us and boy, were they in for an experience. Once, our parking lot party ended, we set out to embr8ce the ch8se at Rock Island State Park in Tennessee.
Upon arrival, we had to hit the Visitor Center to clear their shelves of pins, badges, stickers, and stamps. You should see our extreme hikers hiking poles covered with stickers and jackets and backpacks decorated with badge (don’t tell them but they are running out room), they love the great outdoors. As usual, we gathered at the Old Mill Gorge trailhead to go over safety instructions, which was given to us by a guest mini Ch8ser, Aubrie Dobbs (10), with the encouragement and back up of Awesome Ay Jay. Aubrie was able to recite the instructions that she has heard during countless hikes with her Nanny, Rocket Rhonda. Once the instructions and trial highlights were given, a group of 17 (yes, we counted by shouting our numbers one by one, elementary school style) headed down a set of beautifully constructed steps to the first waterfall of the day. (pssst, we didn’t know when we started but we were going to experience more than 13 waterfalls that day).
As we arrived at the waterfall, we were in aww of the naturally constructed wall of rocks and water. We had to take the opportunity to do a photoshoot. We had Ch8sers with their shoes off, soaking up the minerals and healing from the spring water, Ch8sers posing under the waterfall and Ch8asers just taking it all in. The laughs and giggles seemed to rush down the waterfall and cleansed our souls. As we wrapped up and head to explore the gorge, we were surprised by 7 other waterfalls in our view. This is where we were taught our new Waterfall dance, choregraphed by Awesome Ay Jay (it’s our version of a Raindance). We had ladies that were brave enough to scale a few walls and spaces to get closers to Twin Falls. As were wrapping up to head to our cars to drive to the last part of our Ch8se, the sky opened up and lightly showered us with its love.
The drive to Twin Falls was scenic but short and worth every twist and turn. As the group gazed at the magnificence in front of us, our Chase Champions decided that we need to drive to Fall Creek Falls State Park to lay eyes on the tallest Waterfall of its kind East of the Mississippi River. Oh yeah, we waited until we arrived at our next destination to eat lunch and boy were we hungry. It was a 45-minute drive of twists and turns and no cell signal (so our Ch8sers couldn’t tell us that they need to visit the nearest bathroom). Of course, upon arrival, we had to get our badges, stickers and pins from the Visitor’s center. After cleaning the Visitor center out (sike), we proceeded to Pavilion # 5 to eat the lunches that we packed. During this much needed time of rest, relaxation and refueling, we were able to win prizes from a raffle orchestrated by our fearless leader, Deborah McGlawn. We trekked on for what was a challenging and slippery hike to the base of Fall Creek Waterfall. The beautiful sight that was before us was well worth the moderately difficult hike of climbing over rocks, pushing your internal breaks and a steep descend to the base.
As the Ch8sers arrived one by one to the base, they were speechless. Cascading before them was a 300-foot waterfall that was absolutely jaw dropping. A few Ch8sers took a dip in the Gorges to absorb the natural minerals and healing of nature. As we gathered to hike back to the top of the waterfall, our Ch8se Champions, Rocket Rhonda and Awesome Ay Jay brought up the rear to ensure that “no Ch8sers was left behind.” Rocket Rhonda was determined to make this a ch8se of a lifetime by suggesting that we embr8ce the ch8se and go see another waterfall. For the 1st time in Ch8sing waterfall history, every Ch8ser threw in their waterfall Ch8sing towel and headed home. The part that I love about leaving, is that we always stuck together. We ride down the highway one car behind the other and then part ways at our respective exits. Our Ch8sers are simply amazing. The next time you are looking for an adventure, look no further, come Embrace the next Ch8se with us.
*Disclaimer, no Ch8sers were hurt in the making of this adventure, but some Chasing Waterfall records were broken. This experience is number 1 for the most waterfalls seen in one day, 14!!!!! Way to go Rocket Rhonda.
Please know Awesome Ay Jay is coming for your title.
That's how AyJay coming for Rhonda's title. LOL!
Until next time, Love, Peace & Waterfalls