Thursday, May 10, 2007

My Oasis

Serendipity now. The routine of life had me stuck in a rut. Today I took charge of my life and had to take time for me. Today I had to escape the norm and slip off somewhere with calmness and isolation. My oasis point keeps drawing me back to Cochran Mill park in Palmetto, Ga. This 800+ acre park is idea for me to slip off to after a long days work. It’s less than 10 miles from house and provides hours of hiking in the woods with little interaction with others.

As I drove home from work, the sun was shining. I could feel the sting of the sun on my arm as is rested up on the window of my Honda Passport. My mind was wondering in and out places. Then it hit me! Cochran Mill. A perfect day to visit. I quickly called my wife at work and asked what plans she had tonight. She picked up on the urgency in my voice and asked what I had in mind. I explained I needed time at Cochran Mill. She agreed and said her and Little One would do fine without me for a couple of hours.

I rushed home. It seemed every slow poke and school bus was in front of me. Really! At one point going down a straightaway, I was literally behind 3 school buses. I rushed through the house changing clothes, gathering electronics. I can’t go without my Gamin, Palm TX and a digital Camera. Who knew it took a $1,000 to go hiking. That’s just the geek I am.

I pulled up to the parking spot with only one other car in sight. Great! Slow day. This park can either be busy or slow. Just what I needed – a slow day. Before I could strap on the fanny pack with the water and trinkets, another truck rolled up. I had a good 3-minute jump on the guy. I crossed the river at the swimming hole – no one there. I then started down the Oasis trail. A trip to sort things out – a trip to align the priorities.

However, I was in no hurry and the guy quickly caught me on the trail. Nice guy. A fellow Geocacher. We discussed the park and Geocaching for a stretch of the trail and then split company. He had a beautiful boxer dog with him. She really enjoyed the opportunity to run free in the woods.

Along the trail I allowed my mind to roam free with thoughts. My wife, our daughter and other things went through my mind. I had hooked the headphones into the palm and was listening to some good 80 rock n roll. Memories. Lost on the trail in a grown mans mind.

My views were excellent. Like this one of the first river crossing. Looking out over the river and hearing its call was just what the afternoon called for.

As I reached the waterfall area, I decided to pull up and take a short sit. There I sat upon this huge rock that the water cascaded over and splashed into the pool below.

I had two water bottles in my pack and decided I would quench my thirst. When I pulled the bottle from my pack, it was very warm. So, being the smart kind of guy I am. I realized I was sitting next to a “mountain stream”. South Fulton county isn’t exactly the mountains. However, its as close as it gets around here. So, this picture shows me cooling my warm water bottle. Look close.

I sit there probably 10 minutes or so and don’t see a soul the entire time I am there. Awesome. I gather my gear and start up a new trail I haven’t been on. The water falls are a good 30 minute hike back and I usually cross the river here and head along the other sides trail. Not today. I am staying on this side and seeing where this trail goes. I don’t have my GPS on. I am not really in the mood to hunt for geocaches. There are plenty in the park. I just want to be there. Nothing else.

I travel down this trail for about a mile and come upon a trail intersection and find it’s about ¾ of a mile to the right back to the main trail and a ½ mile the other way. I take the cheap way out and head back to the main trail. I stop and think that I need a self portrait. I am always behind the camera. So, here is a shameless self promotion of me!

Back on the main trail I run into a young couple decked out in bathing suits. They ask where the waterfall is and I direct them to it. A little further down the trail as it swings back down by the river (just below the bridge above) there is a family and friends sitting and playing along the waters edge. They have a youngster with them that about 10 months old. They seem to be having fun. I wave and keep on walking.

Through all this about 2 hours have past and I head back out the way I came. I hear lots of noise by the swimming hole at the entrance of the park. It’s there that I find several hippie redneck boys and girls splashing around. They are having a good time. I walk up to where they are. Something has peeked my interest and now I am ready to see if it is true. I see a man perched upon the edge of the hill. He looks as if he wants to jump. The shallow pool area where he is jumping into is about 6 feet deep. I am sure I am about to witness one of those events you see on the news.

“Local man dives into shallow creek and breaks his back. He is now at the local hospital suffering from internal injuries, broken back (no pun) lacerations and a whole lot of drunk friends at his bedside.”

I walk out on the rock where I survey the situation. I count 6 males and 2 females. The females have taken just out of sight in the woods. Hmmm. Anyway. We greet each other and have a little small talk. I see they have an IPOD with stereo speakers pumping out Lynard Skinard. Sounds good – I like it. One of the men is wedging a box of wine into the side of an old stone fireplace. Where, he sets up shop to dispense said liquid into Sunkist Orange soda cans. Can you say first class entertainment? I knew you could.

I ask is that guy going to jump from up there. They said yes and he did. It was a miracle he didn’t die. My brain popped into gear and mentioned to him if he would do it again I would like to take a picture. He was thrilled to look death between his cross eyes again. The previous said redneck (wine pourer) burst out and mentioned he would video it with his cell phone. Wine pourer whips out a blackjack phone and started getting ready. Jumper now heads upwards the hill this time taking a fellow “juice drinker” with him. Could two rednecks see death and laugh at it? I guess strange things do happen. I thought to heck with just a photo. My readers will not believe me unless I also provide video proof that when rednecks give a rebel yell of “Watch this Bubba!!!” They really are about to die or come very close. So, without further agonizing words – I give you the proof.

Everyone have a great weekend and get out and enjoy it. Pool opens SATURDAY. Look for pictures of me in my speedo’s. Just kidding……….hmmmm eeewww!!!

1 comment:

Double-A said...

Ah, now I get it. The video. dee-dee-dee!

Boxed-wine outta soda cans while skinny dipping in a public park. Don't get any more Georgia than that, I guess. :P

Anyway, I know what you mean about having to get away from it all. I believe I'm about due for another trip deep into the woods. Perhaps my lady friend might tag along. Who knows?