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.

Falling Creek Falls

What a long week it has been trying to get my CDL license? Six days a week for eleven hours a day. Exhausting. I knew for a fact for my two days off, I would be getting out of the house and going somewhere. I needed to be lost in some forest or on some nature trail away from civilization. Standing in ninety-eight degree whether watching seventy-three-foot tractor-trailers back into tight alley docks, I was about to blow my own brains out. I made sure I made plans to be far away from anything that resembled mankind.

After discovering that a new nature trail I found was closed permanently, I decided to take to the road. I Googled recommendations and Falling Creek Falls came up. After seeing photos of a waterfall, my mind was made up.

An hour later I finally arrive, and to my disappointment, the creek was dried up. There was no waterfall but a trickle. I honestly could have screamed.

 

Falling-Creek-Falls-690x462

What I saw on Google. (FloridaHikes.com)

DSCN0393

What I actually got when I arrived.

The lack of water was quite understandable because Florida has been short on rain. It hasn’t rained in about three weeks so I suppose I could understand, but I was so looking forward to sitting on the bench next to a waterfall and letting nature take me to another place. The view was lovely, so at least I know it will be worth visiting after a few rain storms.

On a better note, at least I got to see some wildlife.

DSCN0376DSCN0384DSCN0389

My stomach was upset from some food I ate the day before, but I wasn’t going to let it destroy my one real chance from getting away from everything. The building stress from trying to achieve my CDL license has sent me to a dark place. There is nothing like a moment alone in the woods with my music, Nikon, and adventurous spirit to help me bounce back to a better place.