The poetry of the earth is never dead;
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun
And hide in cooling trees...
- John Keats
I am so thankful for places like the mountains. In such a varied landscape, everything feels different. The temperature, the roads, the air, the weather. It really is such a magical place, with so many hidden gems of natural beauty behind and amidst hills and valleys.
I am grateful to walk these trails, to be in the woods, to breathe the fresh air, to see and hear waterfalls, and get to ingrain all that into memory and write down onto pages.
May I always give glory to God for holidays. For time spent away from home. It makes the coming home all that much sweeter. The beauty of the landscape here captures my soul. It rejuvenates me and the fresh air fills me. On this trip it has been more difficult, because I was so sick for the vast majority of it, but now at last I am coming out of the cloud of the ill and able to (somewhat) rejoin the regular world.
When I felt a bit better, I drove some of the curving, twisty mountain roads to the neighboring town of Cashiers, to park along a busy road for the trailhead. Then a short hike the Silver Run waterfall. The embankment was very steep and eroded and I had to crouch and slid down the rock to the water edge for a view of the falls, and take in the scene of beauty. After a bit of shopping in town, we headed back to Highlands and had the first lunch out on the trip, at the Main Street Inn, a historic, lovely inn on a hill. My favourite meal, by far, I had an open face chicken salad sandwich with homemade chips, and house made berry lemonade. Delicious. If there were more days on this trip, I would have come back for this same meal.
After another stop at the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop, we headed to our favourite mountain spot for ice cream, Sweetreats, where the rest of our gang was already sitting outside with ice cream in their hands, dripping in the warm afternoon.
Without driving more than 10-15 miles, there are countless waterfalls, trails, shops, restaurants, twisting roads, and places of interest. I don't have to leave the mountain to enjoy all these things. We stay up above 4,100 feet and bask in the high elevation of God's country.