My waterfalling adventures began in the White Mountains in New Hampshire in July 2009. It probably wasn’t the first waterfall this former Girl Scout had experienced, but it was undoubtedly the first one I couldn’t keep out of!

Our close friend, Shauna, had been leading wilderness training with the Young Marines, a youth education and service program, for several summers and we had always longed for that experience for our three sons … and us, too!  It was finally time since our oldest was 15 and our twins were 11.

That first day, we arrived early, parked at our campsite, and headed into the woods on the Falling Waters Trailhead on Little Haystack Mountain.  Our first waterfall encounter was Stairs Falls, looking just exactly as you’d think since you could walk among the shallow pools and up the granite steps.  The boys sat for THE BEST pic, big smiles on their faces, walking sticks in hand … one I’ll never forget.

As we continued the 7-hour hike among the alpine flowers and blueberry bushes on Franconia Ridge, we learned from Shauna that earning trail names is customary.  Kenny, our alpha dog, always within earshot but rarely seen, became the Leader of the Pack.

Luke, as a result of insisting on wearing and continually utilizing his new CamelPak water backpack, became Falling Waters for obvious reasons, marking his territory every ten minutes.  And Brandon, my self-designated “indoor child” transformed into Walking Tall, obviously finding grounding and strength in that woodland experience almost mimicking the birch trees we hiked between.

As we ascended the long, steep, and rugged trail, we eventually reached Swiftwater Falls, 60 feet of cascading plunges,  and we were ready to cool off in the icy water. I could hear my husband and kids taunting me to “get IN it!”  And it was there, in that idyllic moment, surrounded by family and our dear guide, that I fell in love with water falling.  Waterfalling, by MY definition, is the joyful adventure of hiking through forests to experience the exhilaration and peace of falling water.

I later came to realize there is science behind the health benefits I was feeling that day.  The negative ions created from the water crashing together increase the flow of oxygen to the brain boosts energy, releases more “happy” hormones, and more.

And eventually, my husband fell in love with them, too, but that’s a story for another day.  But every single vacation we plan around the globe is driven and enhanced by our love of that sparkling, rushing, living, therapeutic water!

Have you ever been waterfalling before or do you have a love of flowing water?


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