An Easter in the Mountain Sun

Susan finds peace with a yoga pose overlooking a lovely valley from the Parkway.
This new trillium was simply lovely.

As has become our custom over the past three years or so, my friend Susan and I spent yesterday’s religious holiday celebrating the spiritual side of our lives by spending time outside in the sun and on a mountain.

This time, we drove up to the Peaks of Otter in Bedford County and sought out Fallingwater Cascades and its lovely, long, loud waterfall and accompanying steep hike. It was just about perfect for the hike of hike we needed on this day, one that is brisk, challenging (over a two-mile course) and full of the new life of spring, spectacular in its light green foliage and its occasional new flowers.

Here is some of what we saw on the way to the Peaks (Fallingwater is about a mile past the Peaks of Otter Lodge) and on our life-affirming hike.

This creek was tricky because the rocks were mostly wet and the fall to the right was dangerous.
We sat on a rock at the base of the falls to eat a little lunch, my boots taking a little cooling water (which was quite tasty).
The views along the Parkway yesterday were simply spectacular because of the clarity of the air.
The first half of the hike is a steep downhill. The second half of the loop trail is a steep uphill, which is backwards for hikers.
Susan crosses the creek, stepping lightly.
Views like this are 30 minutes from my front door. You want spiritual? We got spiritual.
Susan pauses to enjoy the beauty of this wondrous place.
The colors of spring are apparent all around this falling water.
The waterfall is just behind me here.
This shot by Susan might be my favorite of the 300 we shot yesterday.
This is Susan’s “watercolor” of the falls (actually a photo).
Susan found this image of a cross etched into a rock. Rock of Ages …
This sluggish young fellow–a water moccasin, I think–ignored us completely.
The light covering of leaves let us see through to the mountains beyond.

By admin

Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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