WOW! Thank you for the beautiful support I am receiving from all of you.
I appreciate your cheering me up as I go.
Every time I am about to post, my heart stops. This part of opening myself to you is harder for me than hiking by myself in the woods. I am still trying to understand why I'm choosing to be so open. One thing I know for sure, is that I'm sharing the feelings and emotions we all have. I am just willing to put them out there for you to read so you know you are not alone and that I am no different than you. If I can do it, you can too.
I'm a realistic and particular person. I felt I did all the thinking and research before embarking on this journey, but planning and reflection are far from experience. It took me almost a week to understand that I was not on vacation as it might seem. Yes, I'm traveling and seeing new places, so isn't it a vacation? Not right now. For me, it is a new lifestyle for the year ahead that I chose to experience. When this idea sank in, it somehow permitted me to be kinder to myself while adjusting. That is a new feeling since I know I am my worst enemy.
I'm into my second week. I visited Asheville for a few days. I stayed at a hostel and enjoyed meeting solo travelers. Most of them were women.
I enjoyed the Biltmore and spent a day at the River Art District.
As an artist, it was a treat to see and talk to many talented artists.
It's always fascinating to see how artists paint the same subject in many beautiful ways. After Asheville, I drove to Brevard. Well... I fell in love with the little town and the beauty that the area has to offer. Brevard is known as the land of waterfalls, and I love waterfalls!
I spent five nights in Brevard, exploring the many waterfalls around. On my second day, I'm on a 5-mile hike to Daniel waterfall on a very well-marked path. After four miles, I get to a point where a sign tells me the bridge is closed (it was gone, probably washed away in a storm). "AllTrails" show me the trail continues behind the bridge. I have two options to follow "AllTrails" and try to cross the stream so I don't miss the waterfall, or follow the marked path. So I followed "AllTrails". Very quickly, it became obvious it was not the safest way to go. At that point, I turned around and chose to listen to my gut. While walking on the marked path, I could hear the waterfall in the distance, knowing I had missed it. While I continued hiking, I felt pleased to make the right choice. My safety comes first. I will see other waterfalls in the coming days.
Later I stopped for lunch at a beautiful spot along the Davidson River. The sounds of the water flowing are always music to my ears, and the wind was blowing the fall leaves in a magical dance. Right there, I was wondering if I missed Daniel Waterfall or if I got a gift from Mother Nature for listening to my inner voice and choosing safety over adventures.
Our gut is a voice that needs to be listened to and be trusted!
The next day it a rained a bit in the morning. The skies were gray with a hint of blue undertones, which let the colors of the foliage be able to present themselves in a rich and muted way. Although I wasn't sure when I planned my travels if I would miss or hit the foliage, I'm so glad I hit it right in the middle. I hope you can experience the colors through my photos.
It is Friday, my last day in Brevard. My day starts at the laundromat. Then I plan to hike to Bridal Falls. Bridal Falls is one of the most visited falls and was on the top of my falls list to see. So you can imagine the disappointment that took over me when I got there, and the parking lot was full.
I decided to stick around with the hope of finding a spot.
You know when you want something so badly that you asked the universe to grant you just a one-time wish? Today's parking spot was my wish. Well, I tried, but the universe was busy at that moment granting much more important things to other people. So this notation helped dissipate my disappointment a bit. I did stop in another parking lot and hiked a bit, it wasn't to Bridal Falls, but at least I was in nature for a bit before I needed to get back to run some errands and go grocery shopping.
Lesson learned... keep track of the days of the week. Work harder to let go of the things I can't control.
It's time to get ready for a week in the smokies. The weather calls for some rain, and the temperature ranges between 70 degrees during the day, and 30 degrees at night.
I feel much stronger now after two weeks under my belt. The dreaded feeling I had last week is a in the past. I am ready for the challenge ahead!