Posts Tagged ‘waterfalls’

 “The point is that when I see a sunset or a waterfall or something, for a split second it’s so great, because for a little bit I’m out of my brain, and it’s got nothing to do with me. I’m not trying to figure it out, you know what I mean? And I wonder if I can somehow find a way to maintain that mind stillness.” – Chris Evans

And Lots of Birds and Scenic Trails

A walk among the tree branches at Natural Falls State Park in Oklahoma. — Photo by Pat Bean

Natural Falls State Park had it all, a waterfall, scenic trails and lots of birds. And I wasn’t the only one who thought so.

Producers of the heart-warming, “Where the Red Fern Grows,” based on the book of the same name by Wilson Rawls, used the park as a setting for the movie.

Natural Falls was my fourth stopping place on the six-month journey I’m detailing in “Travels With Maggie.”

My favorite hike while there meandered around a small lake and through the woods to a view of the park’s 77-foot namesake. At one point along the trail, a wooden footbridge took me up to tree branch level, where I paused awhile to listen to birds.

77-foot tall Natural Falls. — Photo by Pat Bean

By tracking the melody, I located a  northern cardinal and then a song sparrow that sang a duet from the same tree.

Nearby a yellow-rumped warbler, or butter-butt as birders call it, added its drum-beat chirp to the chorus. I identified it when it flashed its yellow rump at me.

Of course I lingered at the park for a couple of days. How does one leave such perfectness too quickly?

Book Report: Murphy’s haunting me. I spilled coffee on my computer yesterday, which is why I didn’t post. I had written my post and had added about 500 words to my book, Travels With Maggie, before the catastrophe hit, and I had to make a 100-mile round-trip to Best Buy in Twin Falls, Idaho. The fix is only temporary until I get the new keyboard in I ordered, and I’m still dealing with delaying quirks. I’ve been saying the S word a lot. Dookie computers. Can’t live without them, at least I can’t, and it’s hard as hell to live with them. The silver lining, which I always look for and usually find, is that I didn’t lose anything. I keep promising myself I’m going to back up, and I keep not backing up.

Bean’s Pat: http://tinyurl.com/cflc44d The deadly results of playing the comparison game. The wondering wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

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“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” – Henry David Thoreau

The start of the trail from the Grotto shuttle bus stop. Come hike me the trail called to me. — Photo by Pat Bean


Walk the Kayenta/Emerald Pools Trail With Me

Rocks form a mysterious tunnel shortly before the trail descends to the Emerald Pools. — Photo by Pat Bean

A two-mile trail between the Grotto and Zion Lodge, the Kayenta/Emerald Pools Trail in Zion National Park is ideal for wandering/wondering old broads like me. It has only a mild, 150-foot-elevation gain but there is something to see around every bend in the road.

The May day I walked it, I had a playful squirrel, hoping for a handout which it didn’t get, follow me for a while, saw a magnificent blue-bellied lizard, and had excellent views of the Virgin River Valley 150 feet below me.

Of course there were flowers: Indian paintbrush, columbine, shooting stars, wall flowers and daisies, just to name a few.

These were expected. What wasn’t was the short tunnel formed by rocks that one had to pass through and the opportunity to walk behind a waterfall.

The waterfall was only a trickle this day, but it was still cool to walk behind it. — Photo by Pat Bean

I wish you had been with me.

Bean’s Pat: Darla Writes http://tinyurl.com/7bl7zo6 The best writing advice ever. I promise. Tell me if you agree.  This wandering/wondering old broad’s blog pick of the day.


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 My Favorite Places: Natural Falls


I never pass a waterfall by without snapping a photo. This one is Natural Falls in Oklahoma. -- Photo by Pat Bean


“On plenty of days the writer can write three or four pages, and on plenty of other days he concludes he must throw them away.” – Annie Dillard

NaNoWriMo Update … 34,559

I spent an hour this morning sharpening pencils. That’s what I call doing things like reading e-mails, thinking about what’s for dinner, ordering books from Amazon, reading blogs in search of inspiration, and staring out the window at birds to prolong the moment when I had to look at the blank space on the page where I left off writing the day before.

While I tried to kid myself I was thinking about the writing, I knew that the next line on the page was not going to come together until I faced the computer screen with my fingers on the keyboard. Me, who collects quotes about writing, finds it interesting how many of them are no longer applicable in a literal sense because they refer to pen and paper.

Up until now, my writing has been focused on keeping things going. Now I need to tie up all the loose ends and try to create a conclusion. It’s giving me writer’s block. Aaaagggghhhh!

Perhaps I should follow Babs Hoffman’s advice. “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.”

Her words refer to travel, but seems appropriate for NaNoWriMo as well. I read them this morning as I was ditzing around not writing. I found the quote on Marina Chetner’s Nov. 11 blog, “When a Bolt of Inspiration is Required.”  Thanks Marina.

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 My Favorite Places: Zion National Park


Emerald Pools waterfall in Zion National Park in Utah -- Photo by Pat Bean


There are so many different kinds of writing and so many ways to work that the only rule is this: do what works. Almost everything has been tried and found to succeed for somebody. The methods, even the ideas of successful writers contradict each other in a most heartening way, and the only element I find common to all successful writers is persistence-an overwhelming determination to succeed.” – Sophy Murnham.

NaNoWriMo Update … 28,717 words

NaNo goal of 2,000 words met, physical therapy appointment kept, drive from my daughter’s homein Dallas to my son’s place  in Harker Heights accomplished, segments of my novel written out in my head as I drove,  hugs and kisses from my autistic granddaughter, yummy liver with onions and bacon, rice and gravy and green pea dinner with family, ice cream sandwich for dessert, Survivor show watched with my son, and now I’m writing and posting my blog post.

I’m pooped but happy.

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Somewhere over the rainbow is Mesa Falls in Idaho -- Photo by Pat Bean

My Favorite Places

 The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. – Agatha Christie

NaNoWriMo Update … 25,743 words

Two glorious days of writing going well, followed by two miserable days of brain farts. At least I got a little more written these last two miserable days, and thankfully I was ahead of schedule.

Next two days have chunks of missing writing time: Doctor’s appointment, final physical therapy appointment (The therapy for my neck went much better today than the writing.), and drive to my oldest son’s for his the official retirement ceremony from the military after 37 years.

I sure hope Christie was right about writing going on even when you’re not writing. But just in case she’s not, please send words my way.

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Bluebonnets -- Photo by Pat Bean

The Wichita Falls waterfall.

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it’s taken for granted.” — Bill Bryson

Travels With Maggie

After hiking a mesquite grove at Lake Arrowhead State Park, stopping to photograph bluebonnets that I figured would be the last ones I would see for the year, and visiting Wichita Falls’ tiny skyscraper, a Ripley’s Believe It or Not wonder, I stopped by Lucy Park to see the city’s better known landmark, its waterfall.

While the city is named for the waterfall that once dropped down from the Wichita River here, this is not it. That falls washed away in a flood back in the 1800s. The replacement for the original is a 54-foot tiered waterfall created by man back in 1987. They say you can see it as you cross the river bridge on Interstate 44, but I wanted a more personal experience.

It was a gentle walk to the falls through the landscaped park along the bubbling river, past ponds favored by mallards and beneath pecan trees. The time it took to view the falls, however, put me behind schedule. I create that problem a lot.

Once back on the road, it was quite windy. So I stopped just 50 miles down the road in Vernon, where I checked into the Rocking A RV Park and fixed some red beans and rice for my dinner.

I shared with my dog, Maggie, then together we took one final walk around the park before settling in for the night.

Since my travels are not measured in miles, I was one contented traveler. Maggie appeared pretty happy, too.

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A lofty observation tower provides a spectacular view of Niagara Falls. -- Photo by Pat Bean

What’s your favorite waterfall?


“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” — John Muir

Travels With Maggie

 There’s a large Barnes and Noble located on Interstate 15 between Ogden and Salt Lake City. I drove by it frequently when I lived in Utah. Well, not exactly by it. Whatever vehicle I was driving, as if programmed, always took the turn leading into the bookstore’s parking lot.

Gypsy Lee, my RV, does the same thing these days for waterfalls. In fact, it will even detour many miles for a view of falling water.

OK! I admit it. I’m the vehicle programmer. The four-wheels moving my dog, Maggie, and I along only go where I tell them to go. But rarely do they pass up an opportunity to let me walk the aisles of a bookstore – Back of Beyond Books in Moab, Utah, is one of my favorites – or gaze at the tinkling splash of falling water, be it the thunderous Niagara Falls or the less noisy Firehole Falls in Yellowstone National Park.

Multnomah Falls just off Interstate 84 outside of Portland, Oregon, is one of my very favorite waterfalls. -- Photo by Kevin Kay.

While books open up the world of reality and imagination to our minds, waterfalls unfold one’s soul to magic. While logic tells us it’s simply water falling from someplace above, it appears to be so much more. I see waterfalls as Mother Nature showing off, the equivalent of a rainbow in the sky.

More importantly, a waterfall’s symphony of water pinging off rocks and into a pool below never fails to calm my spirit. You should envy me if a waterfall’s wonder doesn’t touch you in a similar way, too.

Now here’s 10 of my favorite waterfalls to add to your bucket list.

Shoshone Falls, Twin Falls, Idaho.

Multnomah Falls, Highway 84, 30 minutes from Portland, Oregon.

Yellowstone Falls, Firehole Falls and Lewis Falls, Yellowstone Falls National Park, Wyoming

Niagara Falls, New York/Canada

Gorman Falls, Colorado Bend State Park, Texas

Upper Emerald Pools’ waterfalls, Zion National Park, Utah

St. Mary’s Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana

Natural Falls, Natural Falls State Park, Oklahoma

Bridal Veil Falls, Provo Canyon, Utah

Bridal Veil Falls, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

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Natural Falls -- Photo by Pat Bean


Travels With Maggie

“To be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life. — John Burroughs

Natural Falls State Park

The 1974 movie version of “Where the Red Fern Grows,” the story of the love between a boy and his dogs, was shot here where this 77-foot waterfall flows year-round. Trails take you both above and below this scenic Ozarks’ spot, which is located near where Cherokees were forcibly marched during the infamous Trail of  Tears in the 1830s.

I viewed it on a hot late spring day and relished the coolness that radiated from its flow.

The park is located off Highway 412,  six miles west of Siloam Springs, and has excellent full hook-up sites for RVs. If you can, plan to stay awhile.  



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Travels With Maggie

Upper Narada Falls ... Photo by Pat Bean

“There is no wondering about what the waterfalls were like yesterday, no way to know what they’ll look like tomorrow. There will always be a shade of difference, a nuance noticed or not, but to see them right now, in this moment in their powerful splendor—that is the way to celebrate the present.” — David Gershner

When I’m driving and see a sign pointing to a waterfall, my heart skips a beat and I immediately pull off the road to investigate, or even take a considerable detour down a side road if that’s what required to view this cascading, frothy gift from Mother Nature.

I did the latter to view Upper and Lower Mesa Falls in Idaho, leaving the Teton Scenic Byway near Ashton, Idaho, to follow the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. These falls flow down the majestic Snake River, which is also host to Shoshone Falls near Twin Falls, Idaho, where I lived for two years.

Many were the times I drove down to see this magnificent waterfall, whose flow varies in magnitude according to the area’s irrigation needs.

Copy of Thomas Moran's painting that hung in my living room for over 20 years.

A copy of Thomas Moran’s painting of Shoshone Falls, complete with the misty rainbow that thrilled me every time I looked, hung in my living room for many years. The original was an unexpected discovery found in the Twin Falls library during my time in the Magic Valley.

The painting by Moran, who is best known for his Yellowstone Falls images, now hangs in my youngest daughter’s home because it wouldn’t fit in my RV.

Stopping to enjoy Narada Falls during my recent visit to Mount Ranier National Park was a no-brainer. The road from the park’s Nasqually entrance that leads to the Paradise Visitor Center, where you can follow a trail and touch a glacier, crosses it.

Me playing touist ... Photo taken by a willing bystander.

From the Narada Falls’ parking area, one has a good view of the Paradise River’s rock strewn tumble just before it plunges 241 feet in two tiers. A steep but short path takes one down to the bottom of the upper falls for a much better look. If one feels up to it, a rougher hike will take you farther down the cliff for a view of the lower tier.

When the river’s flowing fast and high, one gets wet during the hike down. This day all I felt was a bit of misty spray. A sign posted on the way down is intriguing in that it informs hikers that the path they are on begins on a Mt. Ranier lava flow that occurred only a half million years ago and passes by 5 million to 23 million year old rocks of the Miocene Epoch.

At the bottom of the upper falls I played tourist and asked a female stranger to take my picture. Her husband immediately popped up beside her.

“Honey, move her to the right for a better shot,” he said after she had snapped off the first shot. So she did.

I liked her first shot better. But the humanless shot I took of the falls ended up my favorite.

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