Waterfalls are fairly plentiful in this part of the country. Although they’re not the Rockies, the Appalachians are mountains, and mountains lead to waterfalls. Niagara is an outlier, of course, where one great lake drains into another. In the area around Ithaca and Watkins Glen, in New York, there are great falls where the water, through the eons, has eroded the softer rock to flow down to sea level. While most of the waterfalls in Ithaca are free, you have to pay to get into Watkins Glen. The waterfalls cascade down into Pennsylvania as well, where the geology is similar, where the bedding planes of ancient seas left layer after layer of rock washed away by yet more water millions of years later.
Bushkill Falls, like Watkins Glen, is privately owned. Deep in the Poconos, it offers a shaded walk around what has been called “the Niagara of Pennsylvania.” When we went, it had been mostly a dry summer. Still, there’s a draw to all that water. Like Watkins Glen, there are stairways to ease the access among tourists; there are those who might be inclined to sue should they lose their footing. There were lots of others there the day we went. Many speaking languages other than English, deep in Trumpian, xenophobic territory. In nature we’re all just human. Water washes and water erodes. Water smooths out rough edges. There are many parables in water. It makes life as we know it possible. It flows to the lowest point, creating incredible beauty as it tumbles over many different types of rock that make up the crust of the earth. There’s a wisdom in water.
The red trail, around the outline of the several waterfalls, has 1276 steps to descend and climb. Going down the stairs at the start of your journey assures that you will need to climb at the end. The air is full of negative ions around breaking water. Positive feelings are created. Perhaps people should live near waterfalls. It’s difficult to imagine hatred thriving in such a place. I recall a family walk, back in some troubled times, when my older brother led us all to a waterfall hidden deep in the western Pennsylvania woods. The tension and strife melted away. We probably all knew that it wouldn’t last, but at the time the present was all that mattered. Water is so basic, but so unbelievably wise. Paying attention to such things is worth the price of admission.
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