Monday, November 26, 2007


I looked for the photo because my phone rang this afternoon and someone said —"Are you..."

I hadn't seen or spoken to Miriam for decades.

Over the years I’ve recalled this trip. It took some convincing to assure someone who had never hiked that she would love hiking up Little Stony Man Cliffs—really a large rocky hill. We had five children between us—I took this photo when we all reached the top. With a successful first ascent everyone was up for another foray. We selected Dark Hollow Falls and hiked down until we found a calm, shallow pool.

But, with little warning and a sky that changed and darkened we altered our plans. The rain started quickly—no drizzle first, just sheets of pelting rain. We found some sort of shelter under a protruding rock. No one complained because this fell under the rubric of adventure. Finally the rain stopped and we walked back to the parking lot—bedraggled, wet and a little chilled. It seemed like the best plan included hot chocolate and dry clothes.

Because this was a day hike and the weather prediction was for fair weather we didn’t pack any extra clothes. We headed for the camp store and purchased a Shenandoah shirt for everyone and then found the laundry and dried shorts and socks. I recall that Miriam and I still had wet clothes—I took off my clothes, stayed in the bathroom while Miriam dried my clothes and then she took her turn in the stall. With all of us in a quasi dry-to-dry state we headed for the promised hot chocolates.

My memory of the day is so clear, but I wonder what—if any part of the day—each of the other people in the photo recalls.

“Do you remember the day at Shenandoah?”
“Yes,” say Miriam. “We bought everyone a tee-shirt.”


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