November 2, 2015 (by Angela)
Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year, and in particular I look forward with anticipation to the weeks between the middle of October and the middle of November. It had been my hope that Jim, Chewie, and I would spend each weekend in this time period out hiking. Things got off to a great start the weekend of October 17 and 18 this year with a hiking trip to Tishomingo State Park in northeastern Mississippi; however, Mother Nature decided to help out by sending some needed rain, and she sent it each of the last two weekends, so Tishomingo has been our only fall weekend hiking trip so far this season.
We contacted our youngest son, Nathaniel, and his wife, Rachel, who currently reside in Florence, Alabama, to see if they’d like to meet us there to hike on Saturday the 17th. Where they live is about the same distance to the park as it is from our RV park. They agreed, and the four of us had lunch and then made our way to the park, dogs with us, to explore. Tishomingo offers about seven (7) trails ranging in distance from 3/4 of a mile to about 3 miles. Since the “kids” were with us “old fogeys,” we suggested a warm-up trek along one of the 3/4 mile trails. We’d not gone far when Nathaniel asked us if the trail really was a good “warm up” trail as it quickly became an up-hill climb. Jim and I persevered, the “kids” were patient, and all of us made it through very well, arriving back at the lake near where we had parked.
I know Nathaniel and Rachel got tired of us (mostly me) trying to figure out where we wanted to go next and how to get there, but they were both good sports. We decided to find and walk the trail that would take us to the waterfall, and we also finally figured out how to get to the parking area near the trail after a few wrong turns. Crossing a swinging bridge, built over the river about 80 years ago, was the first thing we had to do on our trek down this trail. While willing to give the bridge a go, the sign above the entrance warning that no more than five (5) people should be on the bridge at the same time did offer a moment’s pause.
By this time, all of the humans who wanted them had walking sticks, and we set out on a longer trail in search of a beautiful waterfall. Our journey carried us over small wooden bridges and down by the river, where dogs and grown-up “kids” played for a while. Being the elder hiker in our group, I took a bit of a rest by the river while they played.
Unfortunately, the sought after waterfall was not truly found – only the spot where we think it should have been. You see, at this time, northern Mississippi was under severe drought conditions. Had we really thought about how low the lake and river were at the time, we might have considered that a spectacular waterfall might be elusive on that particular day. Still, we all had a great time visiting with each other and got some much-needed outside time and exercise.
Thanks for hanging out with the “old folks” Nathaniel and Rachel; we sure enjoyed our time with you!