The Noahs recently returned from our annual trip/pilgrimage to Ithaca, and we did all of the usual stuff: apple picking, hay rides, seeing animals on farms, and wandering around Cornell. But the highlight of the trip came when we went to see a waterfall.
One of Eli’s teachers asked him to get some colorful leaves while he was upstate, so we were on a bit of a mission. We had a picnic lunch at Taughannock Falls State Park, and after eating and collecting some foliage, we checked out the waterfall. We were up pretty high, and as Eli looked down, he saw people walking far below us, at the base of the waterfall. He asked, “How did they get down there?” I told him that I wasn’t totally sure, but there must be a trail somewhere. “I want to go down there,” Eli decided. And I thought that sounded like a wonderful idea.
I mean, isn’t that a great attitude? To see something that may be challenging, but is definitely doable, so why not just go for it?
No, we don’t automatically do everything Eli says. But our other plan for the day was to go to the Sciencenter, a children’s museum they have in town. And it’s a great spot for kids, but we’ve been there before. The weather was beautiful, and going for a walk in nature seemed just as educational as an exhibit about bugs or magnets or whatever. So, without any advance planning, we decided to hike down to the waterfall. A rare spontaneous adventure – what a treat!
We figured out where to start our journey, and after a short drive, we discovered the hike was only about a mile along pretty flat ground. We are far from expert hikers, but we figured that was something even we could handle.
Along the way, we saw a heron fishing, trees growing on a hill with their roots stickng out, and all kinds of other cool things. Plus, because it had been a dry season, there were long stretches that we were able to walk right on the rock where water would normally flow. Eli thought that was extremely cool, and it was hard to disagree.
At the end of the walk, we were able to get up close to the waterfall and snap a few pictures. Behold:
It was a great excursion, and I am extremely grateful to Eli for suggesting it!
In the interest of fairness, it’s only fair for me to comment on Grace’s incredible spirit as well. Anytime she hears music, even if it’s off in the distance, or someone just singing a few bars, she starts dancing. And by “dancing,” I mean she rocks her head back and forth as she smiles. It’s not a brand new thing, but I noticed her doing it a lot in Ithaca, and once again, I am inspired by her outlook on life. I mean, imagine if everytime we all heard a fun little tune, we allowed ourselves to do a happy little dance. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
You got to love the indelible, incredible spirit of children!