Hastily I jaunted up the stairs, all the while knowing that I wasn’t paying my surroundings enough attention.
A year ago I made a trip to Toketee Falls with the family and paused at every turn to peek at the river rumbling below, marveling at the intensity of nature.
My daughter noticed the heart-shaped cavity the river had formed. If I hadn’t known where to look this time, I probably would have missed it.
I had a meeting half an hour later and to kill time I decided to visit Toketee Falls “real quick.”
The trail is perfect for a quick visit, or a stop for weary travelers on Highway 138. But 20 minutes was too short.
I darted from rock to log to avoid stepping in puddles left behind when the snow melted. I squeezed by families trying to take a photo with an impressive Douglas fir tree. All just to get to my destination faster.
Living in close proximity to a bevy of waterfalls in Douglas County has spoiled me.
Perhaps, spending some time in the deserts of Eastern Oregon later this summer will remind me how lucky I am to live so close to all this natural beauty.
Even though I didn’t appreciate the trail, as soon as I rushed down the last flight of stairs and got onto the observation deck my worries about missing my meeting and my other everyday stresses washed away.
The Umpqua River rushes through the basalt rock and plunges 80 feet into the pool below. The contrast of the quiet pool and the rushing water is remarkable.
Just as I had been running, rushing and speeding on the trail, the water had been rushing, thundering.
And now, it had all come to an end.
The pool was quiet and peaceful, and I could do nothing but stand there and admire it and the basalt cliffs surrounding the water.
But then, my alarm beeped on my phone to let me know I should be heading back to my car.
Reality set back in and I jogged back up the stairs, slowing down as I approached my fellow hikers.
It shouldn’t be about the destination, but about the trip as well.
This is a journey that would have been better slow, as it was last year.