Warnings at High Falls State Park

Imagine the feeling o top of the world as you tower on a boulder above a rapid river. Suddenly, your foot slips, you plunge beneath the surface as intense water pressure and gravity forces you to the bottom of the mad river. The temperature of the water is the least of your worries. The half of breath left in your lungs is all the survival you have before fluid replaces the air and you drown. Perhaps your last thoughts are the four warning signs you passed to get to that boulder. Your last feeling is regret for not heeding those warnings.

According to the 11Alive.com investigation article at High Falls State Park, there have been fourteen reported injuries since 2013, three fatalities.

When I recently visited the park, bright red warning signs were outlining the rapid river bank. Honestly, how could anyone miss them? You can barely get a decent photo of the waterfall without one of the many signs in the way. An observant hiker takes note of information boards that are usually located at the beginning of a trail. As I read the board, I notice the same-o same-o about the history of the area, the map of the trail, what committee sponsors the trail, blah, blah, blah. Management of the park posted a warning post stating that anyone climbing on the rocks has to pay a $5,000 fine and do over 100 hours of community service. It probably results in janitorial duties. Yikes.

You see the first few warning signs when you descend the steps leading to the best view of the waterfall and rapid waves. After that, it is obvious what you should and shouldn’t do while hiking the trail. Park management went so far as to create a barrier using twine to rope off the bank’s edge. Honestly, I’m not sure what else could be done to clarify the danger of the raging river. I hope that visitors be responsible and heed to the warnings so the park won’t be forced to put up large fence walls.

It’s cold.

Review: My Top 3 Fave Apps for Day Trips

Are you an heir or heiress to a fortune? Did you hit it big in the lottery? Are you living off of a rather gracious trust fund? If not, then most likely, you are working a full-time job (or two part-time jobs). Either way, you have little time for long weekends exploring exotic places. Now and then, we need an escape from our daily lives, so why not take a day trip? Who says you need a weekend to fully enjoy yourself? What if all you needed was a day bag, a tank full of gas, the open road, and three awesome apps that made five to six hours away from home feel like an entire weekend?

Long shifts at a warehouse only made enough time for me to rest on my days off. I’ve always been an explorer at heart, and I enjoy the outdoors. I craved traveling to places outside of my city, so one day, I planned a day trip, and now every week when my off days roll around again, I pick one of them as my day to “disappear off the radar.” Three apps, in particular, helped make my day trip smooth and fun. It’s all in the trip planning.

 

Google Maps

Honestly, what is there not to like about anything Google designs? When they first launched, their browser page stated, “Most comprehensive search engine.” beneath their search bar. Like, bruh! I use Google Chrome like nobody’s business, so it’s no surprise that I seem bias towards then. Beyond that, Google Maps keeps getting better with every upgrade. Now, Google Maps is the one-stop-shop for everything you need to search for in a flash. When planning my trips, I pull up a map of my city and study what cities or towns are within a two-hour radius. From there, I tap the ones I’m interested in and look at images (still and 3D). I know I’ll get hungry so I’ll study the nearby restaurants and shops to enjoy myself. On the day of your trip, Google Maps helps with traffic and detours. It even detects speed traps! (It saved my butt from a hidden State Trooper just two days ago!)

 

Trip Advisor

This website and app are just excellent for pre-planning. Once I know where I want to go, I use Trip Advisor to check out things to do in that particular area. Through the app, you can view images, read reviews from other explorers and tourists. You can even buy tickets or schedule tours you may want to take when you get there. If you’re going to extend your day trip to overnight, you can book a hotel, vacation rental, and flights right through the app. It is a bit of a one-stop-shop. A small but cool feature, you can set up a profile and post all your trips for others to see or view other profiles.

 

Instagram

Honestly, the only reason Instagram is on this list is that Instagram can give you something Google and Trip Advisor may lack. Instagram’s primary use is uploading images of your everyday lifestyle or adventures. Instagram is perfect if you want to discover the world of a town or city you’ve never been to before. Other websites will advertise cute and picturesque photos of a city, but if you want a sense of how the locals live, Instagram is great for that because those images are often not edited for advertisement but to show off to friends. Instagram broke a tie between two destinations I wanted to visited. Beyond that, Instagram doesn’t offer many services to help you to trip plan. It helps, so it’s worth a shot.

Whatever websites you use, take the time to take a day away from your busy life. Four or five hours may not seem like much for a “vacation,” but a trip is what you make it, so make it the best!