It was Friday night. I was invited by a friend for a hike the next day. I first thought about saying no because of the list of chores to get done. But quickly gave up the idea. It grasped something in my soul. Yes, a sense of adventure. And I knew I wanted to hike. But if it’s a long, strenuous hike, I know I haven’t had that good warm up yet. She didn’t say the place. But I said a worried yes. Eventually sleep overcomes worries and I drift off.
In the quiet of that next early morning, honesty finds me. While sipping the good roasted brewed coffee. I know that I am the person who needs something to be happening in nature to feel alive.
I started young when I was footloose and very curious. With our playful fantasies. We know we have this energy that we need to put somewhere and we’re grateful that we’ve been able to put this energy in something good.
Being in nature, I respect people who call it an escape. But this is where I feel alive. In this modern world, different people have different types of escapes. And these kinds of chances invite the real me to come out. I don’t want to be hard on myself because who knows how much time we have left? I simply emerge. You, like me, want to experience what the world has to offer. And you, just like me, want a real thrill from being somewhere new. Take in all the sights and simply explore.
And I, for one, have this belief that constant exposure to what I really love is good for the soul.
So, I carb myself up. Of course, with rice and some eggs. I expect soon I’ll be in a rhythm. Then, I am ready to go.
We were excited to hit the road by 9am. Hoping that traffic will ease up on us. The weather forecast was encouraging. Predicted to be a clear and sunny weekend. It took a 1 hour and half drive, including a stop at the store for our snacks.
I know I am wearing that half smile in this picture. As if I was just about to understand something the words and numbers are trying to explain. 5 miles? Google says, 9-water-crossings? Sigh. Then I hear myself coolly say, “I can do this.”
While having that happy walk in the woods. Occasionally interrupted by fellow hikers. We talked to them a few times. Some, we can tell, are pro hikers. Giving tips. Mentioning other good hiking spots close-by. Sharing remarkable short stories along the way. I like to listen to their tales of adventures in the woods. Always good to know that we can count on the kindness of strangers. Those random acts of greetings and kindness are priceless.
Or is it something about building a good karma?
A trail angel, a term they call it. A person who helps a hiker purely out of kindness. Doesn’t want anything in return other than a thank you. If anything wrong happens along the way. Looking at each other as best as possible. Well, I don’t want to start getting into those thoughts.
With the forest making its own sound. A soft crispy wind moving through the tree branches.
This spot for me is pretty special. Imagining myself with a glass of coffee.
Where I can fill up to my heart’s desire for a good all positive vibes and serenity.
Window Cliffs is a very well maintained park. Unspoiled nature. Not heavily traveled.
We had a perfect time for the fall season.
Awesome fall foliage.
It has an area of 275-acre in Southern Putnam County, Southwest of Cookeville, Tennessee.
It is reported that conservationists saw Window Cliffs as an important area to protect.
With its magnificent limestone formations and windows, creeks, plants and wildlife habitat. It truly is deserving of its preservation.
Window Cliffs is next to and is managed as part of Burgess Falls State Park
There are 2 portable toilets in the parking lot and sufficient space for many vehicles.
Opens at 8am and closes at sunset. Open year round.
Take water and a snack.
Dogs are not allowed.
The trail is very well marked stating the distances on most of the signs along the way. The trail is rated moderate. There are strenuous parts and easy parts.
I can say there are three remarkable parts to describe the hike. There is the steep downward and upward part, the water crossings and heavily forested part.
The waterfall was a surprise. I wasn’t expecting it, it’s beautiful. This is a superb, excellent hike for me.
There are 9 water crossing out and the same 9 back. The crossings are quite big. You can’t hop across. Three water crossings that were ankle deep. If you have waterproof hiking boots it’s better.
You can walk across small rocks so you don’t get your socks wet. But remember, some of the rocks can be slippery. Especially the rocks at the bottom. There are cables to hold on to. So walk carefully or hang on to the cables.
Approximately 2.4 stream-miles of Cane Creek flow through the natural area.
Looking at this tangerine looking creeks. The 9-water-crossings are the only way to get to the top or go back out. We’ve come too far to turn back now. And of course, we are not.
Enthusiasm carried us. And I am eager to have it all over, enjoy and be done with. Feeling how the cold water cut through my shoes and socks. Shake anything off and get back to moving forward.
Climbing up dramatically. All the way up. Uphill. Drenched in not too much sweat but enthusiasm.
Go all the way to the cliffs. Make sure you see the overlook. If you can climb up. Be careful when you’re up there on top. Experience the amazing panoramic view of the surroundings.
You aren’t allowed to climb through the windows but they are still pretty cool geologic formations.
Climbing on the side of the cliffs is prohibited and can also be extremely dangerous.
Gazing at the mountains. So majestic and vast. That the simple sight of them made my heart race. It’s breathtaking.
I pressed my sitting position against the rock. Filled my vision with the surrounding view. I can’t believe it but still believed it. Here I am, in this drop-dead gorgeous surroundings.
You know we can learn about ourselves by looking at this vast nature. I feel so small. So small and yet so connected to the divine.
But we didn’t stay long on top. Standing on these rocks is hard enough to negotiate. The sign says in danger of falling. We don’t want any of that to happen.
Though I’m optimistic by nature. These are very tough times that call for mindful measures to stay in my sound mind.
Then, powering through again. Coming back.
This experience took more out of me than I thought. This living in the now. It changes me.
From experience, from passion and from common sense. Even if sometimes I don’t realize it while it’s happening. We can’t take back the years that have passed by.
And to mention, research says a successful hike calls for more than the mere exercise of common sense. There is much wisdom to be acquired by experience. Also by taking note as much as possible from the experience of others.But we know that the experience may not always be very pleasant. Life isn’t easy but it is a miraculous adventure when you have the courage to follow your heart. Especially in doing something that only a handful of people wanted to do.
As we emerge from the forest. We feel filthy, but so worth it.
When the weather turns more favorable. Would I do it again?. Yes, I would. Because I wouldn’t have the awakening of any knowledge any other way.
Hiking this trail was one of the best experiences of my life. Another reason to raise a glass for celebration. To where we have been and where we are going. Amazing and well worth the hike.
Thanks for reading.