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October 01, 2007



Omigosh, that last picture should come with a warning for height wimps! :O

Six years ago, my husband and I were planning to invite friends to Dark Falls (Shenandoah Nat'l Park, VA) to witness our marriage vows. It seemed like such a romantic place in the park brochure. I forget how the descent/climb is rated, but I was so winded and so embarrassed about it that when my husband chatted away easily on the way back up, I could only nod and try to hide the panting. Back at the car, he tactfully suggested *our friends* might not be able to make it and maybe we should find another spot. We settled on the local courthouse---only 6 steps. ;D


When My husband and I visited the Smokeys 2 years ago, we went to the first falls with a ranger guide. If you haven't been and this seems like a good idea, think again. She was 21 years old and raced to the falls even though more than 1/2 of us were flat landers. Hubby had been to the smokeys in college and wanted to share it with me. When I got out of breath, I decided to go at his pace, much slower as he was looking at nature. As soon as we caught up with the group, the guide would take off, since those who live at elevations above sea level were rested. After the 2nd such stop we gave up trying to keep up with this Chick. When asked what we as consumers could do to save the Smokeys she said we should turn off the lights when we leave the room and that we didn't have to do anything as ridiculous as buying a hybrid car.

That girl soured the whole trip for us as we own (then and now) a RIDICULOUS HYBRID CAR. I payed about $80/month for electricity and water. I saved that same amt driving my ridiculous hybrid car.

The falls were lovely but we enjoyed the next falls more since we weren't racing and gasping. We found many lovely fungi and I learned about many botanical specimens. I even learned that my Hydrangeas actually were descended from the ones in the Smokys. Azaleas as well are from the Smokeys.

This was a few years after 9/11 so the ranger folk were a bit more vigilant than necessary. I had asked my hubby to pull to the side of the road as I spotted a bit of color. When I climbed the ditch to admire the flowers which he tells me were introduced by the settlers, I was hollered at for being there. "I hope you weren't thinking of picking MY flowers!" Since they were not in front of this ranger's house, I didn't think they were any more his than mine, and besides why pick what would be wilted within an hour. I was insulted by this behavior. I didn't enjoy it as I might have.

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