Date Visited: 4/6/2019
We started our fourth and final day taking in the sites along the Natchez Trace Parkway with one of the more popular waterfalls along the route.
None of my research indicated that this stop had any memorable historic significance, but it’s natural beauty makes it well worth 30 minutes of your time.
We followed the short trail from the parking lot across a few wooden bridges that crossed the creeks feeding the waterfall. The trail led us to an observation platform overlooking the upper portion of the falls.
Since I still wasn’t feeling well and the path from here down to the base of the falls was steep and mostly unimproved, I chose to stay behind while Mr. McGee traversed the terrain to the bottom.
There was more than one waterfall along the path which included a few small barely noticeable trickles and some larger falls.
None were as long as the main attraction, but from the pictures Mr. McGee took I could see that each had a beauty all their own.
After rounding a turn he could then see the upper and lower sections of the main attraction. Following the rest of the trail across the final boardwalk he finally arrived at the base of the main waterfall.
I was disappointed that I wasn’t feeling well enough to take the steep trail down to the falls and the very steep set of stone steps that returned you to the observation platform, but it wasn’t a complete loss for me because I was able to have a conversation with one of the most interesting women I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.
I didn’t get her name (which I sorely regret) but she is my silent hero.
If you remember we had taken a trip earlier in the year to the Ocala National Forest. As we were driving through the area we passed a a solo female hiker who was hiking the National Scenic Florida Trail. At the time we commented about her stamina as she was probably a few years older than me and I was already in my fifties. Even though she had an enormously large pack on her back, as we passed her she smiled, raised her walking stick to wave and never missed a beat.
Backtrack to yesterday as we were headed to the Meriwether Lewis campground when we passed a solo female hiker who looked vaguely familiar. We joked about how it would be funny it if were the same hiker we had passed earlier in the year.
Well, Lo and Behold if we didn’t run into her again at Fall Hollow. She was ascending the steep steps from the waterfall as Mr. McGee was hiking the trail down. Seeing I was alone, she stopped to chat with me until he returned.
The picture below is her walking away with her very large pack and walking stick.
After talking for a while, I discovered that it was indeed the same women we had passed on the Florida Trail earlier in the year! She told me how she goes on these long hikes and helps to research and sometimes co-write hiking books with a woman who also lives in the same county where we live in central Florida. What a small world!
She was the sweetest woman I had ever met; both understanding and sympathetic of my condition while also encouraging me to enjoy what I could. Her influence is what has motivated me to stay off the couch and not give into the idea that I can’t have a life lived outdoors.
So yes, I missed the breathtaking views of a beautiful waterfall, but what I gained was an optimistic approach to living the best the best life I can and for that she will unknowingly be my forever hero.
Join us next week when we learn about a Tobacco Farm and take another short drive along a portion of the original trace.
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