Crabtree Cascades

Next week is my Grandfather’s birthday.  It would have been number 95, but he has been gone for a few years now.  He was a great influence in my life in many ways.  I find myself thinking of him at times throughout the year.

One of the loves we shared was the outdoors.  He did a lot of camping and boating in his younger years, followed up with a lot of golf in is older years.  The fresh air seemed to relax him in the same way that it calms me.  I loved talking about my hiking trips with him upon my return.  In that spirit, I am writing about Crabtree Cascades this week.

The morning sun warms my skin as I walk through the forest. Water trickles below my feet, and the sound echoes through the forest as if it’s on a loudspeaker.

The blueberries in my muffin seem to explode in my mouth. My senses are wide open in the fresh mountain air.

I’m alone in the forest. I love Thursdays on the trail.

Today’s hike follows Crabtree Falls, one of my favorite places in all of Virginia. It’s a place that sticks to my soul, building a stronger bond every time I visit.

Crabtree Falls has one of the highest vertical drops east of the Mississippi River, yet it does not do so in one elegant plunge over a cliff edge. Rather, Crabtree Creek spreads multiple drops across 2 miles of the George Washington National Forest.

The trail has been placed perfectly for enjoying this beautiful waterfall. It winds back and forth across a series of switchbacks, climbing the mountain and meeting the waterfall at various points along the way.  The sound of water echoes beneath the shade of mature hardwood trees.

Emerging from the forest I feel a spray of mist on my face and a loud welcome to the waterfall.  Moss-covered boulders lie jumbled in the creek bed, forcing the creek to zigzag through a tight maze.

Stone steps momentarily lead me into the water before turning back up the mountain.  I stop here for a snack and a few minutes to study the braided water patterns.  A few minutes go by and I realize that I am transfixed by the fallen leaves, dark mosses and the cool waters.

Words do not adequately express the serenity that I feel here.  Success!

Thank you for reading along and sharing this moment with me. I hope you enjoy the transition into fall!  As always, I’d love to hear from you.  Please drop a comment below!

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