Nature brings out what is important.
17.04.2014 - 28.04.2014
As I’ve written plenty of times before, a great thing about my job is the ability to experience those things off the beaten path.
For the past 2 weeks we’ve had claims northeast of Redding. 2 weeks ago we had claims in Redding then the following day in Mt Shasta and Eureka. Lots of driving! This also meant taking roads we’d never been on before.
On the way to our claims in Fall River Mills we had a clear view of Mt Lassen from Redding. The Mt was so beautiful. We were reminded of our hike up to the top many years ago when our boys were young. When we took the grandkids the path was full of snow and we couldn’t make it to the top.
Before arriving at Fall River Mills we saw a sign with an arrow to Burned Falls to the west. We wondered what in the world was at Burned Falls, but had to put it aside as we need to get on with the work at hand.
We finished our claims quicker than anticipated and started on another new road towards Mr. Shasta. We were driving along and saw a signed for Burned Falls but to the east this time. As it was earlier than we’d thought it would be we thought “why not?”
We took the road to Burned Falls State Park; the campground was not open yet for the season but the hike to the falls was open. The falls are not visible from the rim so one must take a walkway down.
A very short walk down the paved walkway leads to a Y: A lookout to the left and a path down to the right. If visiting 1st go to the lookout for a breathtaking site. There are 2 main falls and then lots of small falls coming thru the rock face of the cliff. The path leads to the bottom of the falls and beyond.
We went on to take the walk down to the bottom of the falls, stopping along the way to take photos. The sky was not great but I still took a ton of photos.
This past week I received more claims and at the last minute, as we were driving, I received one in Burney. It was a very long claims day but we thought that we’d stop again in Burney Falls if there was time. We had our 3 younger grandkids with us and thought that it would be a great place for them to do some stretching out.
We did get to Burney Falls late afternoon. I was finishing up some work so Dale went ahead with the kids. When I finally hit the trail I didn’t see anything of Dale and the kids. I figured that this time they took the loop. I just decided that I needed to stretch my legs and go the entire 1.3 mile loop walk as well. The kids, it turned out, ran the loop.
The loop walk is paved from the parking lot to the bottom of the falls then there is a path along the river. One crosses the river over a small bridge, then hikes up other side to a spot higher than the top of the falls, crosses over on another bridge and walks back to the parking lot.
As I walked I was enjoying the peace of the forest, the falls and the river. I stopped at one point to smell the forest. While I was just in the moment of being alone in the forest I thought of my relatives and friends who I’ve recently seen. Ones who will not, for various medical reasons, have the chance to hike like this.
I thought about the fact that we are all born with genes, and while some are good and some are bad, we have no control over them. And we do not know what turns our life will take even 5 minutes from now. The decisions we make, in good faith, may be bad due to another’s bad decision. So many factors; such is the circle of life. But what I knew in that moment is that I must be grateful for my good health, my ability to hike, the ability to travel, to remember those who are not so fortunate, not take anything for granted.
I smelled the pine trees and the fresh forest. I looked at the moss on the rocks, the waterfalls. I tried to soak in the surroundings for those who won’t be able to.
To my cousins and my friend. Thinking of you and I’m carrying you in my heart.