Swimming with Waterfalls

Grandson David longed to swim at the base of Bald River Falls when we went there in May. Either he or John thought of going with daughter Kate in June, and the weather was perfect for it. John stayed home to drive Nathaniel to work, enabling David, Kate, and me to drive to Tennessee. When the younger two waded into the water, they were sharing the venue with at least eight others. I stood on the bridge above, waiting for some good shots.

071218 Bald River Falls.JPG
Kate is in blue to the left of center.

Gradually, everyone left the water, leaving Kate and David to themselves. They lurched over slippery rocks, heading to one big rock where they could warm up in the sun.

071218 Bald River Falls portrait.jpg

An older man on the bridge saw me use the camera and called out, “Are you with them?”

When I answered yes, he came a few steps closer and said, “How old are they? My friends and I were sure the young girl was going to fall in the water.”

I replied, “That’s my daughter and grandson.”

“Yes, but how old are they?” he asked again.

I answered his question – 46 and 23. (After writing those numbers, I noticed that Kate is now twice as old as David.)

The man’s body language said LOL. “Ha! We would never have guessed! She doesn’t look that old.”

It turned out he and his two friends set out at 7 am from Birmingham, AL on their motorcycles. By mid-afternoon they had already been to several places before coming to the waterfall. He comes there at least once a year, sometimes more often. As the three men rode slowly over the bridge, they all waved goodbye. The spokesman called out, “Hope the young ones have a lovely day.”

As you can imagine, the story made Kate’s day! She always looked younger than her age, and she still does.

Just a mile or so up the road was Baby Falls. That’s the one with a few designated parking spaces, picnic tables, and park-style public restrooms (no running water). A pack of young men and a couple of girls were having a great time diving off the falls and cavorting in the water.

071218 People at Baby Falls.JPG
The young men at right are walking at the top of the falls.

Kate and David stood in the water without being tempted to dive or walk across the falls. Kate rejoined me on the road as David worked his way up the stream to the picnic area.

071218 David and Kate enjoy shallow water at Baby Falls.JPG

They discovered a pile of stacked stones that David couldn’t resist. In adding one more stone, he knocked off several. It took a bit to replace them and add his own, but he did it.

071218 Stacked stones at Baby Falls.JPG

The drive home was long, but we were thanking each other and celebrating all that we had enjoyed. David did all the driving, including the twisty skyline drive going one way and the narrow gorge going the other. It was a day of golden memories that we will remember all our lives.

31 thoughts on “Swimming with Waterfalls

  1. Love the happiness in your words and perhaps voice, if I heard you as you gloried in the mother daughter time and grandmother grandson time and stored up memories.
    Kate is so glamourous looking and no wonder- she keeps young at heart and physically too.
    Keep sharing with us your adventures for we readers can only see these waterfalls and the beautiful sights of NC/ Tennessee through your eyes, Anne.


  2. Beautiful shots, Anne. One of the reasons I love having out-of-state guests is because of a section of highway between here and Portland. It too is scattered with irresistible waterfalls that are close to the road and still very tranquil.


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