Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header Picture for October shows another favorite place to visit anytime of year, but especially this month. This photo of mine shows you "AUTUMN in the SMOKY MOUNTAINS of Tennessee".

Monday, March 16, 2020

Blackwater Falls State Park---West Virginia

George, the Birthday Boy,  enjoying Blackwater Falls,  3/9/20
Hello Blog Friends and Family,   We are home after a little trip to Blackwater Falls State Park,  West Virginia,  to celebrate George's Birthday...  It was a fun, relaxing trip ---and both of us were feeling good enough to do some hiking.  On his 'actual' birthday (3/9/20),   he was THRILLED to get up-close-and-personal with beautiful Blackwater Falls.   My Sweetie LOVES waterfalls --and loves taking all of the water pictures he can get!!!!  I loved sharing this with him on his birthday.

We only had 2 full days there --and unfortunately,  one of the two was a day of RAIN.  (I think it followed us from Tennessee... ha ha)...  BUT--we made the most of the one day we had to hike and search for waterfalls...

They had had about 6 inches of snow the day BEFORE we got there.  SO--luckily for us,  the roads were already fairly clear but there was a little snow still around for me (the snow-lover) to enjoy!!!!  The hardest part for us was hiking in the shady areas where there was quite a bit of ICE... I can walk in snow and mud --but struggle walking on pure ICE....  BUT--we made it!!!!

Some of the areas we hiked/walked to were Pendleton Point,  Pendleton Lake,  Gentle Trail --where we could see Blackwater Falls from above, Balanced Rock Trail (hardest one we did due to the ICE), Elakala Falls,  and Lindy Point.   All of these areas will be featured on other upcoming blog posts.

Today's post is mostly about the lodge and Blackwater Falls...   Hope you enjoy!!!!


On the road to the lodge;  You can see how much snow was still there (3/8/20)



Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge,  where we stayed for three nights  (3/8/20)



The lodge on a beautiful day,  3/9/20;  This was after our hike to the top of Elakala Falls.  



We first took the "Gentle Trail" (flat and paved but slippery) above the waterfall --just to see it from above.  If you look to the left of the falls,  you can see the platform which we walked down to get a close view. There are a couple of people standing there.



Once we finally made it to the bottom overlook,  I turned around and took a picture of the platform where we had just been (see picture above)....



OKAY---now we are beginning to head down those ICY steps. There were 214 steps to get to the bottom.  Going down is usually easy --but not this time with all of the ICE.... Miss Betsy was hanging onto the edge the entire way!!!! But I was determined to do it!!!!! ha



The first several steps down were 'trying' to clear (since the temperature was in the 40-50's on this day).  BUT--still treacherous for the 'faint of heart'!!!!



I had my boots on --but even that didn't prevent me from slipping some.  "Hang on, Betsy!!!"






Slow and Easy was my MOTTO!!!!!SO pretty though!



The farther down we went,  the more ICY it got.... That may look like snow --but it was NOT!!!!




I stopped and took a picture of the Icicles and snow along the side of the gorge.



We made it to the bottom!!!!  Yeah!!!  So totally amazing... Wish you could see/hear my videos showing the "power of the water"....  WOW!



At the bottom of Blackwater Falls,  there was an amazing RAINBOW.... Wish you could see my video of this also!!!!



George pulled out the tripod and took our picture together on his Birthday (3/9/20)



I'll close with this awesome picture that George took of Blackwater Falls.  I love it when he makes the water look so silky!!!!!  My man is just SO amazing!!!!
There's so much more to tell ---but as I said above,  that will come later!!!!  Going up and down those 214 steps was a challenge to us two OLD people --and I think we were the only older folks who ventured all of the way down!!!  BUT--it was SO SO SO worth it....

On the way home in the car,  I asked George what was the highlight to him.   He said it was getting down to the bottom of Blackwater Falls and taking pictures and videos there....  I totally agree with him.

I have been afraid  to travel much and hike much these past several months --after having several small (and short, luckily) A Fib attacks...   When my stinkin' heart starts beating hard and heavy,  I just have to stop everything and let it do its thing.  So far,   since my ablation last June,  I have been very healthy  (I'm on NO medication for my heart now except for my blood thinner) for the most part and these little attacks have been short ones (about 24 hours max).

Anyhow,  I tried to remain calm and not get anxious (even when hiking on the ice) ---and that seemed to work for me.  I made it through the trip (and since being home) without an attack!!!!!  One of my major triggers for my A Fib is anxiety---SO if I can do my deep breathing and relax as much as possible,  I seem to do better....  I'm so thankful for a great trip --not only for George,  but also for ME!!!!   Thanks be to God!  (Now --I'm ready to do another one!)

Prayers around the world for all of us --as we deal with Covid-19 (Corona Virus),  doing everything we can to stay healthy.   We always wash our hands and did that long before this virus.  Since elderly people (US) are most susceptible to this virus,   we need not to be 'stupid' with our choices and decisions. BUT-we need to do everything possible to stay as healthy as possible.  We definitely do not need to live in fear,  and over-react to the situation.    PRAYERS for you and your family!!!

Have an awesome week, my friends.  Stay HEALTHY!!!!!
Hugs,