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Post details: Cunningham Falls

Cunningham Falls

In my little book of great outdoors, a very special place is reserved for waterfalls. But not the kind that stampede off the cliff into hundred meter abysses so that the sheer volume of their acoustic output makes you stand in a respectful distance, far from the several metric tons of mist that they churn into existence every second. Their photo may look great on a travel agent's coffee table, but you probably wouldn't want to take them to your Mom. I like the small community waterfalls that you can find in nearly every location if you just research the creeks of your local hills. The personable waterworks that usually spring from stumbling streams, the kind that you can wade into, jump over or sit right next to.

This Memorial Monday, we took a trip to Cunningham Falls in Catoctin Mountains, just north of Frederick, and about an hour drive from DC. We overpaid for parking near Hunting Creek Lake and took a short trail studded with stones, crooked roots and rookie chipmunks. After about 15 minutes we came to the foot of the waterfall and made it our base camp for the five mile hike to Hog Rock.

Cascading waterfalls are my favorite. Hopping barefoot from one boulder to another is a very invigorating experience and it always makes me feel as if I am being plugged into some secret underground source of life. I could sit for hours by the streaming waters and marvel at the never ending and almost frivolous display of motion. Day and night, rain or shine, it never turns off. Where does this Energizer Bunny hide its recharger?

And as I watched the endless packets of water rush effortlessly by I thought it was pretty silly that so many politicians down in DC still believed that burning some oily gunk that dinosaurs threw up eons ago was the coolest way to make energy.



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