Sunday, May 30, 2010

Webster's Falls

Anyone who knows me well knows that there is not a religious bone in my body. I have never practiced a faith, have never attended a church service, and I do not pray. But those who know me very well know that I could be described as what some people call “spiritual”. I am a firm believer in karma, I believe things happen for a reason, and I have epiphanies often. I derive a great deal of happiness and satisfaction from very simple things, like spending a quiet evening amongst my horses.

Today, I experienced an unexpected epiphany and satisfying experience when I visited Webster’s Falls for a hike and swim with two friends. I had never been to Webster’s Falls, and was told to expect a rocky hike through the creek and some swimming holes. What materialized was like nothing I have experienced before. I found myself cleansed from my own laughter as I stumbled up the creek bed, slipping and sliding on rocks and plunging off ledges into deep holes. The end result for us was not the largely populated waterfall and swimming area that has become a local attraction, but a deserted, far off swimming hole and waterfall only accessible by our hour-plus hike. Diving into the rushing water, I screamed loudly as I splashed with my friends; the sound seemed to clear my own head, leaving nothing to be concerned about except bliss of the moment. Scaling the rocks, I stood for a few moments behind the waterfall before moving directly beneath the crashing flow. The pounding of the water on my head and shoulders and the sound of the deafening rush transported me to my own uncluttered world, if just for a moment.

After making the rocky hike back, we emerged from the ravine and were met with a passing train along our walk back to the car. I have seen many trains, but have never actually walked alongside one as it roared past, with nothing surrounding me but fields and forests. It was a surreal experience, for reasons I’m not even sure of.

A simple decision to take a hike turned an ordinary day into a fairytale. I hope to return to Webster’s Falls many times in the coming months. For more information and photos, visit's_Falls_(Hamilton,_Ontario).

Monday, May 24, 2010


The term "home" has a very loose meaning for me anymore. After moving eight times in the past four years and not having lived in my hometown since age 17, I feel like I have many homes. One of those is certainly Versailles, Kentucky, the town that I left on May 20 to return to Brantford, Ontario, where I grew up and lived for 17 years.

Leaving Kentucky was bittersweet; there was a part of me that was looking forward to seeing the family and friends that I parted ways with on January 4, 2010. But a large part of me was also very sad. Kentucky was a wonderful stop on my world travel agenda, but it became much more than that. I learned more than I could have imagined about life, choices, and change. I laughed a lot, cried a lot, and made friends for life. But most importantly, I made some amazing discoveries about myself, and I'm so glad I took the chances to do that. I am slated to return to Lexington from January - July 2011, and I'm already counting down the days.

I left Versailles around 2:30 p.m. on May 20, and arrived in Brantford at 11:30. The high point of the trip was stopping at the first Tim Hortons on the route in Dayton, Ohio. There is no cup of coffee like it, and it's been a long five months without it!

Upon crossing the bridge into Canada, I was reunited with Canadian country music. Two songs came on the radio not long into Canada that really struck me: Home (Paul Brandt), and Trying to Get Back to You (Doc Walker). These songs are by two of my favourite Canadian artists, and seemed incredibly fitting for me.

Paul Brandt, Home:

Doc Walker, Trying to Get Back to You:

So I have been in Canada four days, seen some of my friends and most of my family, visited the winners circle at Woodbine, and made some fun plans for the summer. It will be nice to have a relaxing few months leading up to Darley Flying Start, but I also hope it goes quickly, because I can't wait to start my next adventure.