Talkin' Taughannock while Walkin' Through Time
By ice rivers
Last week we took a breathtaking walk in the park to Taughannock Falls in Ithaca, New York…a stones throw from Cornell.
We stopped above and inhaled the scenic overlook at the Falls. We noticed tiny people walking around the base of the falls and wondered how we could become tiny. We pulled into another parking lot and discovered there was indeed a way to get much closer. We asked about the intensity of the walk and learned that it was very walkable and flat…zero killer hills either way.
We embarked on the hike and it was as advertised. Three quarters of a mile to the base of the falls. Total time including wonder at the base would take 90 minutes tops.
We took the path but many people chose to walk in the gorge itself. Gorgeous, of course, George.
People of all ages, all races, all gender identifications, all trekking together, getting along.
Since recovering from prostate cancer, I've got to be careful about how long any walk takes since I've become a you'reapeein'. This distance was perfect. Parts of the gorge are filled with water which didn't help my situation although the kids frolicking in the various water holes and rivulets couldn't have cared less.
Naturally, I had my camera. I discovered that my new sunglasses make it difficult to see the readings on the camera. Lesson learned. Can't be cool and take pictures at the same time. I mean I can take the pictures but not with the precision that I desire. Although I was a little irritated at the time, the Zen of photography has helped me to learn that there will always be another picture.
Always is the most reassuring yet tragic of words.
Approaching the Falls, an older gentleman (about my age) spotted my camera and said "wait until I'm famous" to whihc I responded "you better hurry up."
I'm guessing there were maybe three hundred of us spread out on the walk. I'm also guessing that most of us were in a time warp as we passed through formations that have taken millions of years to be sculpted in nature's grand plan.
Suddenly, I found myself in another time warp, probably much different from all the other hikers.
Fortunately/unfortunately I had just been reading Raven Rock by Garret Graf...the story of the US government's secret plans to save itself while the rest of us die.
Graff claims that if everybody started lobbing their nuclear arsenals at one another, mankind would be wiped from the planet in an hour .... less time than the wonderful walk I was enjoying.
About the same length as Custer stood for the last time.
Sobering for sure, but a reminder of the fragility of our lives and the need to make the absolute most of the mortal coil we weave and the "peace" we take for granted.
This I pondered as we embraced our walk through Taughannock.