They have this saying here: Ithaca is Gorges.
And it really is. There are too many waterfalls and gorges in Ithaca for me to even count. Hundreds and hundreds. Last Saturday we took a little trip to one right off the freeway, literally 10 minutes from our house. Hence: Buttermilk Falls!
We hiked in the perfect fall air, following a brave little toddler who liked to climb and fall and run all by herself, most of the time on the very edge. My heart may have jumped out of my body a few times. So we walked. And we ran. We played in the water and ate bites of sandwich and fish crackers and watched as Viv noticed the tiniest things. She made a small collection of leaves, threw rocks into the path, and dragged us along in her excitement. My girl loves the outdoors.
After walking up an endless amount of chiseled rock stairs and passing monstrous walls of slate and rock, we marveled at the beauty that is Upstate New York. The leaves are just starting to catch fire, and hints of color are popping up here and there at the tops of the trees. Golden leaves littered the ground like coins all around the clear water. It made the gorge feel rich and homey, like a fire and a cable knit sweater were waiting for me at the end. Fall does that to me; makes me all nostalgic and stuff.
On our way back, we meandered along, picking up leaves and pinecones when the wind started picking up, whipping loose leaves around us in a whirlwind. Viv squealed with delight and started chasing the flying coins all around the path. And then it started raining. And then it started pouring. And then we got soaked. And that Viv? Well, she threw her arms out to catch the raindrops, and lifted her face towards the sky, grinning from ear to ear. And so we walked back....slowly.....in the rain, as if it wasn't even there. Isn't it funny how a new set of eyes can make you appreciate the wonders of the earth? Watching my daughter experience such beauty and creation for the first time is like nothing else in the world. I love watching her be.
By the end, we were soaked and happy and tired. We looked like a homeless bunch of tourists, and we were ok with that. Especially since we got a big, juicy burger afterwards, and it was delicious, the end, amen.