Cathedral Falls in Gauley Bridge, West Virginia is one of our most popular destinations. It’s a small park. So small that you wouldn’t even have enough room to park a dozen vehicles comfortably. The pathway to the base of the Falls is little more than a deer trail but crossing the creek on the wooden foot bridge is like entering another world where the trappings of modern life cannot pass. Oh sure, you still have cell signal. You can sit down on a rock or a log and stay on the internet until you’re battery is completely drained. But your desire to do so is left behind on the other side of that little wooden bridge. You do need a good pair of river shoes. Something that can handle the mud of the trail and the alga on the rocks in the water for safety sake. I chose a pair of completely rubber sandals because the base of the Falls is usually covered by an inch or two of water outside the pool at bottom. A small island of dry gravel provides just enough space to keep my gear dry as I begin to work.
The voice of the Falls is loud enough to push away the noise of the highway less than a hundred yards from the spot but gentle enough to make for a peaceful setting. A constant breeze is drawn down the cliff face by the flowing water and forms a protective shield against the biting insects. A small group of what appears to be cliff swallows glides through the small box canyon and up into a crevasse to disappear inside the rock as nature plays out the lyrics of the hymn Rock Of Ages. The mountain receives them effortlessly and they stay in their shelter for the whole time that I was there.
With the little birds tucked away safe in their hole I turn my attention to the falls and the logs that lay at the bottom.
This has always been a place where you can find your quiet time. The beauty of the mountains seems to focus on this spot. I imagine that people came here to get away from whatever daily stress they had even as far back as the Adena and beyond. I can envision what it looked like before the road and nearby town. The Appalachian Wildflowers were in great abundance and the little creek was teaming with “crawldads” ( crayfish ). A lone Adena sits by the pool at the bottom and selects certain pieces of slate shale for his tools and art. The stone isn’t as hard as flint but flint is a rare find here. He patiently grinds out points for hunting and hooks for fishing. Using a small piece of granite or sandstone he engraves a suckerfish into a large piece of black state. This was an emblem of his people and they relied heavily on the species. He may not have known my God but he appreciated the world that was created for him.
I sometimes wonder who was more civilized. The people who go about their lives in a rush to get things done or those who simply existed in a world where most things they needed were at their fingertips? I suppose that I’m just blessed to have the best of both worlds when all I have to do is step across that little wooden bridge and enter a natural cathedral.
Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.
For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.
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