Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Two roads...

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled"
-Robert Frost
This past weekend I went to Blacksburg to get away for a little bit.  It was a fun, relaxing, enjoyable time with family and friends.  On Saturday morning we decided that we wanted to go hike the trail that leads to the Cascade Falls which is a local waterfall that is very popular.  It is about a 30 minute drive from Blacksburg.
Upon arrival at the park where the waterfall is located, you find the trail head.  At the trail head you are met with two options.  There is an high road trail which is a very wide open trail with few rocks and an easy climb and descent to the waterfall.  Then there is the low road which is along the water that leads to falls. The low road is full of slippery rocks, mud, and rock stairs that make you constantly go up and down.  It is a much more intense trail but the same distance as the high road.  Both trails are 2 miles long.
So a decision had to be made, do we take the high road, the easier trail, or do we take the low road, the harder trail.  We decided that we would make that decision when we got to where the trails split.  So off we went on our adventure.  It was only about a tenth of a mile before we had to make our decision.  We decided to take the low road so we crossed the bridge that lead across the creek to the low road trail.  Immediately we were met with an obstacle which were some downed trees which seemed to have fallen the night before.  They were huge trees that had broken in half. 
This was an opportunity to turn around and take the high trail, but we chose to climb over the trees and continue down the low road.  The low road was hard and very slick.  Many times I came close to falling.  There was a lot of mud and wet rocks.  The neat thing was at it was right on the water as we walked it and there were so many opportunities to take pictures along the way.  We would stop and take pictures and then move on.  About an hour and 10 minutes into our walk we thought surly we were close to the falls.  We saw a bridge leading back across the creek so we thought that right around the corner was the falls.  When we reached the other side of the bridge, we were met with a sign that said, "Congratulations you are half way there!" 
I was in shock.  I couldn't believe it.  I thought surly we were done!  Nope, we had another mile to go! 
We finally made it to the falls after 2 hours of walking.  It was hard but at the same time we never would of seen the sights and sounds of walking along the creek. 
(Moment of clarification when I say creek this thing had rapids and huge rocks but wasn't as wide as your typical river so it was hard to call it a river.) 
Once we had enjoyed the falls we decided to take the high road home and made it back to the parking lot in less that an hour.  It was so easy and well defined.  People were actually running the trail for exercise.  It was definitely easier.
I think that is the road that most of us travel is the high road.  The easy road where we can see what is up ahead of us.  The road that we know is safe and free of obstacles.  The road that is well defined and the most traveled.  Unfortunately I think we miss out too often on the sights and sounds of the lower, harder, less traveled road.  The adventure and excitement that fills us as we turn a corner or see something we have never seen before.  Yes that road is hard, yes it is long but the sense of accomplishment or excitement when you finish taking the less traveled road is a far better feeling than when you just take the easy way out.  When you are faced with two roads in life, I suggest that every now and then you take the one less traveled.  The low road that leads to wonder and excitement. 
I do suggest that you wear boots though because that road can be pretty muddy and rocky but the sights and sounds make up for it!

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