My trip to the North Carolina Whitewater Falls

Guin Rogers, Special Section Editor

I walked down the path, admiring the beauty of the forest with every green you could imagine, and suddenly I heard it. One of the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard, it’s source mere yards from me. It grew louder and louder as I climbed down possibly fatal terrain that we probably weren’t supposed to be on in the first place. Boulder after boulder, branch after branch, tree after tree, very close to falling multiple times, exerting almost all of my energy, and then there I was, standing atop one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen.
My grandparents and I were just miles from the border of South Carolina, having crossed it to go see a place where my grandparents had their first kiss. The place was called Whitewater Falls, and there’s two of them: Upper Whitewater Falls, and Lower Whitewater Falls. The three of us had parked and hiked about half a mile to an overlook of Upper Whitewater Falls, where the view was astounding, however, I wanted to go closer to the actual waterfall. We saw a path that was partially marked off by a railing, and behind it stood a sign that read “Danger! A fall from this height could be fatal! People have died here!.” We decided to take it anyway.
We walked about a mile, with my grandfather having to teach me some climbing tricks because some of the “path” was almost vertical. When we got to the top of the waterfall, I simply stopped and admired the beauty of what was before me. Despite the danger of the situation, my soul was filled with a peace that I cannot explain. It almost seemed to whisper “Come closer. I was made for you. I am yours.” The sound of the water was so loud that you had to yell if you wanted to communicate with someone, and the water was going so fast that you would most definitely go down the river and waterfall if you were to fall into it, and yet I could have stayed there for hours. There was a cave close by, which, despite the graffiti that covered its walls, was beautiful too. It was almost as if the people wanted to leave their form of art next to the Earth’s natural art. My heart felt like it was finally at home, and it ached when we did finally have to leave; despite not being there anymore, it has left its footprint on my heart, and I will always have the memory of that beautiful piece of art.