Night and Day at McKinney Falls

Recently, I slept Sunday night in a cabin at McKinney Falls State Park. I call it camping.

I like tent camping better. But the logistics are more involved. I didn’t have time for that.

I was there on Sunday night, because that was the only night with a vacancy.  And all the cabins were vacant.

Sunday nights can be unpleasant in tent grounds, because all the buzzards descend to scavenge the leftovers from the weekend campers.  That’s not a problem in the cabin area.

The weekend had been rainy and the ground was wet.  Rain was a chance, but it didn’t fall.

I cooked a simple supper (leftovers from the fridge at home) then I sat outside to watch the light fade from the eastern sky behind the trees. I let my mind wander through memories of my many camping trips there. At dark I went inside to write in my journal for a while.

At dawn I started getting ready to hike.  It took a little while.  I knew just where to go.

Starting from the cabin grounds I crossed the style to the dining hall grounds, skirted by the little amphitheater, and followed the path through the trees and brush down to the shaded long-grass lawn lining the creek.

I walked down beside the creek.  Tall trees edged the far side of the water.  The water ran clear and deep.  Far upstream, it flowed out of the limestone hills, then through the city, and now approached its escape.

At the downstream end of the lawn I stepped out onto the limestone shelf that drops the falls.  Across the fall pool, a few herons woke up and started making their way downstream under cypresses, escaping around the bend.  I watched the water fall and listened to the low roar.

Once, I thought I would escape this land.  No, I didn’t.  I didn’t want to escape.  I just wanted to get away.  And I did.  But I came back.  I always come back.

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