I just love chasing waterfalls, even during the Pandemic! You know, the Covid thing. Nearly everyone in the world has been adversely affected by this “bug” and we’re still fighting it today. For Cindy and me, our 2020 got derailed with my cancer diagnosis. Last year was so terribly difficult for us that I only made it to a few waterfalls in 2020.
I don’t remember much about the hike to Catawba Falls, although I do remember getting lost trying to find it. I think had I read the directions a bit more closely, we might not have taken a wrong turn. If you remember anything about Catawba Falls, remember this. Driving east on I40, you take the Old Fort exit (#73), but you do NOT take it to the end of the ramp. Look for a road cutting back, on the right hand side. That’s Catawba River Road (SR1274). If you find that road that cuts back prior to the end of the ramp, you’ll find Catawba Falls without getting lost.
Why don’t I remember the hike? I was worried about having enough energy to complete the hike, after having already endured 4 chemotherapy sessions. I had been walking around the neighborhood quite a bit, so I figured I could hike two miles, round trip. I was preoccupied with my upcoming surgery that would be way more involved than any orthopedic procedure I’ve ever had. That laparotomy, with tumor debulking was a mouthful of words I really didn’t comprehend. I had a bandana covering my bald head and hoped like hell people wouldn’t stare at me. Lots of things make me forget the hike itself.
What I do remember is the glorious smell of the woods, being on a trail, looking for wildflowers, taking photos of everything in sight. I was in the middle of the biggest health scare of my life and I was in the woods! Nothing felt better to me than hiking a trail to a waterfall, especially one I’d never seen before. Making this hike extra special was having the strength to complete the hike just a few days prior to surgery. Life was truly good that day!