Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Clifty Falls

This morning, a gentle thunderstorm is rolling through. I imagine myself still in bed, windows open with curtains fluttering, dozing. Imagine, I say because animals and children do not share my love of thunderstorms, gentle or not. They must be reassured and, then, fed. Outside, the morning light shines through all the green, giving the world a eerie yellowish color.

Yesterday, we took advantage of the milder, sunny weather to go hiking at Clifty Falls in Madison, Indiana. Most people think of Indiana as flat corn fields, but in several places Indiana is quite hilly, and along the Ohio River in Madison, forested limestone cliffs provide waterfalls (sometimes), creeks, and interesting hiking.

With packed lunches and my latest book, I harbored the ridiculous hope that we'd hike to the creek, the boys would eat and throw rocks, explore the creek, and I would read, basking in the sun. Rather, they ate quickly and wondered, "what next"?

Their bare feet were tender on the rocks. I showed them how to find clay, pound it with hard rocks and make pliable clay. When I was child, a friend of mine lived near a creek that had a small waterfall and we would sit on rocks and pretend to be native Americans, making pots. The boys loved this - for about ten minutes. Still, I was glad to pass on this memory.

Daisy enjoyed the hiking.

Reluctantly giving up my reading, I decided that a hike up trail #2 was the ticket. Trail #2 is straight up the creek, and you must sacrifice your shoes. It was worth it. And the kids really enjoyed it until Anna spotted a snake. Joey, my nephew, had already been talking about watching for copperheads (we've not many poisonous snakes here), but I remarked that the snake, which escaped into the creek, looked more like a water snake or water moccasin. Was I stupid enough to say water moccasin? It took some convincing to get them back into the water to continue our journey. Going back would be worse than going forward.

We found some cool fossils (one that looked like a lobster tail) and overhangs. We could not go in the caves, closed because bats here are suffering from white nose syndrome, and they are trying to curb the spread of it.

The creek, of course, ran at the bottom of the hills, and we must go back up. I may or may not have occasionally taken people on short hikes that turned into long marches, so my suggestion to take a "shortcut" was met with skepticism. But, find our way we did, although we had to rest a few times on the arduous climb up. These knees of trees provided a good seat.

The rain this morning is likely gushing down these hills now, heading to the creek, causing it to rush and tumble, though yesterday it was calm.

My writing must end now as two boys want pancakes and bacon for breakfast.

I left our creek-soaked shoes outside last night to dry. Great idea, huh?


Arby said...

These are nice pictures of the 1% of Indiana that is not a mind-numbingly boring, flat state. But the skyline in Gary is beautiful!

whitetr6 said...

we're big fans of Clifty Falls. Never been there when we did NOT see a bunch of snakes, except of course a winter hike. Glad you all had fun

pita-woman said...

I protest! I've never thought of Indiana as flat, dull or boring. If you want hills, visit the Floyds Knobs area in Floyd & Clark counties, or visit these wonderfully rural, yet not totally flat counties, Harrison, or Crawford, Orange. I love driving the backroads of Indiana, and as a former Hoosier ('though still one at heart) I can safely attest to the hills and curves.

Cloudia said...

You know I love YOU, but perhaps your kids need to be a little more self-sufficient for their own sakes?

If you do too much for them. . .

None of my business of course. . .

They seem like great kids!!!!
Comfort Spiral

Lauren said...

I absolutely adore that picture of Daisy. :)


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