Back in February, my husband, Bobby, and I stumble upon the Mohican State Park Covered Bridge on one of our day trips. When I say stumbled upon, I mean we had no idea we would find it or that it would be right next to the trailhead for Lyons Falls and Pleasant Hill Dam. I would have probably encouraged Bobby to make the trek to the falls on that day, but we were not dressed for hiking in any way, shape or form! (I had dressed for a date out with Bobby, not for tromping in the woods.) Yet the call of the trail lingered in my mind.
So when we took our weekend trip for our March 4th anniversary to the Mohican Lodge and Conference Center, I thought that hiking would be part of the agenda. We even ended up buying me a pair of new hiking boots for the weekend, because the ones I used for walking Owney had gotten a little worn out. (I could have walked in them, but Bobby insisted a new pair was in order. What can I say, the man spoils me!)
On Saturday, March 4, after we had enjoyed our breakfast at Wedgewing Family Restaurant & Bakery, we headed out to the trail. We made a brief pit stop at one of the picnic sites and playgrounds near the covered bridge. Bobby let me walk up to the water and even commented on how quickly I was able to find my way to it. (My dad, Bud, used to get so mad at me for going near water. That was because I usually fell in “accidentally.” It was pretty cold on Saturday, so I think Bobby was confident that I wouldn’t fall in that day.)
After some pictures by the water and at the playground, we headed to the trailhead. As Bobby was taking pictures of the sign or the bridge or who knows what, I was reading the information they had posted about the Lyons Falls. We had decided that since we had already seen the Pleasant Hill Dam, we didn’t need to walk to it. Besides, we weren’t sure that we wanted to walk the four miles round trip. So I was reading information about Lyons Falls. It sounded like a nice place to see and then the last few words caught my eye. This is a moderate to challenging trail. (Or something like that — I remember the word “challenging.”)
I believe I read that out loud, but it didn’t seem to deter Bobby, so we set out for what was supposed to be approximately a 2 mile round trip hike. It is a bit deceiving when you start out, because the trail actually has a pretty long wooden walkway. It didn’t seem like the hike would be challenging if it was going to be “paved” so to speak. But it didn’t last long! After a little bit (I don’t do distance) the boardwalk ended and we were walking on a dirt trail.
Thankfully, because it had been colder, the ground was still pretty solid. There were some muddy spots, but not too terribly many. The biggest issue and probably the most challenging part was that it was very uneven and had plenty of little ups and downs. Oh, yeah, and there were also plenty of tree roots that we had to walk over. At one point, when we hadn’t been walking for very long, maybe 20 minutes or so, we came across a difficult spot. Bobby isn’t so sure on his feet when the terrain is uneven, so this area made him a little nervous. I asked if we should turn back, but he was a real trooper and said we should keep going. Although he did say that if we came across another difficult part, he didn’t think he’d be able to navigate his way over something like that again.
We actually didn’t run into anything like that from that point on. The terrain basically stayed uneven with exposed tree roots and rocks often in our path. But nothing too hard. The next challenge we faced was the incline we had to take. There was a rock formation about halfway up, which we decided to use as a bench to rest our weary feet — or actually catch our breath. It is awesome how God had that there just for us! We did have to cross a small creek. I was able to use the protruding rocks as stepping stones. Bobby was not so fortunate. I don’t think his feet got really wet, but I’m pretty sure he did step in the water. (Thank goodness my dad wasn’t there!)
When we finally made it to the falls, I was struck by how little water as actually coming off the falls. I’m a little worried about our water table and a possible drought because of our lack of snow. This did nothing to alleviate that concern. But other than my ecological worries, the area of the falls was quite beautiful. Both Bobby and I were glad we persevered through the difficulties. We were rewarded with the wonder of God’s creation, which never ceases to amaze me.
The walk back wasn’t nearly as bad. I think this is because we knew what to expect. Plus we had the confidence that we had already succeeded in reaching our goal. The rest was figuratively “downhill from there.” Bobby told his Sunday School class that he thinks he would have felt more comfortable if he had walking sticks. I’m thinking this might really be a good anniversary gift, even if it is a little late!