By Dawn Marie Hamilton
You know it's a bad day when the page in front of you remains blank. The more you try to think, the more your head pounds, the more frustrated you get. The thought of cleaning the bathroom all of a sudden seems like a fun thing to do.
What do you do when your muse refuses to whisper to you?
Chocolate? Helps for a short while. Take a walk? Gets you through the rest of the day.
When I'm really stressed, and the words won't flow onto the page, I need to get away and clear my mind.
Where to go? So many choices to choose from. How about an escape to nature, a hike to a waterfall? Perfect.
I'm not sure what it is about waterfalls that refresh the spirit. All I can say is when I hear the roar through the trees as I approach, I tingle with excitement and when the cooling mist teases my skin, I feel eased.
Some of my favorite falls are near the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Where are yours?
Dark Hollow Falls, Lewis Falls, Rose River Falls are within a hike from the Byrd Visitor Center and Big Meadows. The trailhead for Whiteoak Canyon Falls is located near Skyline Lodge. These are but a few options.
On weekends during the peak of the season, Shenandoah's trails can be crowded, especially the most popular falls trails. When I visit, I try to stay for a few days. Though there are lodges and cabins, my husband and I like to camp. We wake to chirping birds. Eat a camp breakfast while butterflies flutter by. And if we are lucky, we might catch a glimpse of a bear and her cubs as they lumber through nearby woods.
When I return home, my muse is energized, and I'm ready to write the next scene.
The park will celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2011. To learn more about the waterfalls within Shenandoah National Park visit Shenandoah Online.