Saturday, August 24, 2019

Off On Another Tangent

We're working very hard these days to mix the good with the not-so-good times.  Our generator repair is dragging on with the need for new parts or replacing the wrong parts ordered almost daily... I'm trying to keep from slipping into the abyss by running as fast as I can toward JOY!

While cruising the Facebook in the morning, I saw mention of a place called Survivor Falls.  I quickly flip over to Google Maps, always open on another tab, and find this place.

That's all it took for a plan to spring to life.  I texted our Cruiser Friends and they were in!  Off we went on another tangent! This spot is close enough to our home, that we can pick up and go on a whim!

The drive in is a little bit of a challenge.  The last hill down into the ravine is super narrow and very steep.  But I've become accustomed to these roads and hardly blinked an eye as we plunged down to the bottom and crossed an even more narrow and rickety-looking bridge.  These mountain bridges just can't all be receiving regular maintenance.  This is when I really appreciate having an all-wheel-drive vehicle!

Looking upstream from mid-bridge...
Looking downstream from mid-bridge. There are people down there who smiled and waived at us!
Just across the bridge, I joined several parked cars and pulled off the road.  The ground is pretty muddy from recent rains, but again, that all-wheel-drive.  I'm counting heavily on it!

The trailhead was easy to find and I set off in my flip-flops.  Big mistake!  Another big mistake was wearing that blousy swimsuit coverup that kept getting in my way as I attempted to scramble over the moss and mud covered boulders and tree roots that littered the trail!

The trail opened up to the river very soon, and we all stepped out from the bushy trail into the open with jaws dropped!  This place is miraculous!

The water here is very cool, but there was no stopping me!  Bruce and I got right in... well, up to the knees anyway!  The little fishes nibbled at our feet and we delighted at the tickling sensation as we sat there, in no particular hurry to move on.

Looking upstream from the first stop.
Looking downstream toward the bridge.
The lovely April
The boys exploring the trail.

I was kind of content to stay right here and go no further, but Bruce took off up the trail toward the falls.  Soon he returned with the news that the trail, although pretty muddy in spots, was passable.  Well why not?  We've come this far!  We filed off after Bruce into the unknown!

It seemed like a long time that we scrambled along the dark trail.
This is not the most challenging trail we've trekked, but it's pretty slippery!  We are deep in the forest and the scents and sounds are delicious!  This truly is paradise on earth!  Suddenly, again we broke out into the sunshine.  Making the last scramble up between two huge boulders, we were as close to the falls as we would get on foot!  The rest would be a swim!

The water looks calm, but it is deceptive as there is a pretty steady current spilling out from between the rock walls closer to the grotto beneath the falls.  Bruce swam up through there until he could no longer fight the current, then rode the water back into the open pool.  It was fun!

We're in heaven!  Funny thing:  April and Burt also say one of my favorite quotes: "I wonder what the poor people are doing today?".  I knew we would like these people!  Well, the truth is... the poor people (that includes us) were glued to the computer screen back home, watching as the little rain event grew into a tropical storm and threatened to become a hurricane before reaching us!  All of this while we remained blissfully unaware until we returned home!

And here we were playing out a scene from Survivor - completely unaware!
What's yer freakin' hurry???
Since we were so close to Charco Azul, one of our other old favorite spots, we cut our time here short and scurried back down the river to the car.  Bruce was ready to move on, so he took the lead.  he was highly visible in his orange bike-riding shirt!  Hey... wait up!

Come on!  You can make it!
Whoops!  Watch your head!  There are TWO branches!
Nope, I don't need any help...
I've got this!
It might be further down than I remembered...
This trail leads downstream.  We will save it for next time!
That's our car in the back to the right.
Hurry!  No room on this bridge! That lady can hustle when needed!
There must be trails further up and downstream, because we only saw one other couple, yet there were two cars with people unaccounted for.  We can't wait to explore more of this place that has instantly become our Number 1 destination!  We're already planning what we'll bring next time, and it's less than an hour from our home!

Ten minutes up the road and we arrived at the parking for Charco Azul.  Burt and April haven't been there yet, so we couldn't come this close and not take them.
We took off down the trail with our picnic!
There will be evidence of Hurricane Maria for many years to come as the canopy has been tragically damaged.
But there is hope in the new growth that is bursting all around us!

The sights, sounds and scents of the forest are intoxicating and I can't imagine how we ever thought of living anywhere else!  How can other places be as enchanting as this???

A large tree snail can't hide from me!

A tree has fallen across the path since our last visit here.
Last bridge before the charco!
There was water streaming down the trail in sheets in many areas along the trail.  We've had some rain in the mountains recently, that is evident.  When we reached the pool, we found a number of people already here enjoying the serenity.

We staked out a spot on a bench beneath the shade, and April joined me in the water while the boys enjoyed... whatever it is boys enjoy when the girls have gone! Burt is a big history buff, which is right up Bruce's alley!  They could talk forever!  April and I had some girl time as we crept slowly into the water!  Having left my water shoes back in the car, and because we just got out of the water... I was OK with just standing waist deep and enjoying the second half of my exfoliation by minnow!

Taino Sun
More water in the upper pool than last time we were here.

The growing shadows draped the forest in peaceful silence
What a perfectly delightful day! We're very much enjoying exploring with our new friends, and showing them our old favorites while finding new places to enjoy!  Imagine our shock when we arrived back at home with that warm fuzzy feeling, only to have it dissipate in an instant I when took up the computer and found that the storm in the Atlantic had been making a name for himself... and it was Dorian!

That sent us off on a totally new and unwelcome tangent!  Thankfully, after three days of constant uncertainty and anxiety, the day the storm passed us to the east, our weather was more calm than normal.  I hope we can continue to reap the good fortune that we currently enjoy.

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