Ron and I have a passion for waterfalls, so today we made plans to see five waterfalls in surrounding areas outside this huge park. We marked them on our map, set our gps for directions, and headed toward Ironwood on the Wisconsin border. Our goal: five waterfalls.
We saw one.
It was just a mile out of the campground, the remaining four to be seen further on. This one was striking.
Now I know why the rocks are red here. It’s the iron. The water flows over red rocks. Iron ore was pulled out of these mountains for years. I suppose iron will always be detected on these shores.
So we were off to a good start. On to the next waterfall.
And we drove and drove and drove, seemingly following the directions in the brochure I had picked up on a rack, “Western Upper Peninsula Waterfall Guide.”
“Turn left on USSF222, which turns into 400.”
So we did. We turned left.
It was a beautiful drive down a gravel road through Ottawa National Forest. Miles and miles of beautiful. And of desolate. But it did not lead to a waterfall – or even to a river. Perhaps if we’d gone further?
We did not find that waterfall on the West Branch of the Ontonagon River.
On toward Ironwood we drove, enjoying the beautiful landscapes, slowly but steadily progressing to the next two waterfalls on the Black River, both of which I had marked in the brochure and set on our gps.
“North on Blackjack Road. Past the two gas line clearings. Park off the road.”
So we did. We passed the gas line clearings and parked in a low spot off the road.
No signs. Was it private property?
We did not find the upper and lower waterfalls on the Black River.
We drove on, stopping for lunch at a roadside park on the way. I placed a red-checkered tablecloth on the table , pulled lunch out of my vintage red picnic basket. It was a true picnic! As we ate, we enjoyed nature around us. A yellow butterfly drank nectar from an orange flower. We sat in the warm sunlight, at a picnic table, on the side of a small mountain, in a desolate area. Like the butterfly, we were drinking nectar – the nectar of the moment. We listened to the sounds of nature and ever so slowly started to unwind and leave behind some of the burdens we had carried with us to the north. Afterward, we drove on toward the waterfall on Planter Creek, but we never located . . .
“Wertanen Road on M-28 north after County 519,” so . . .
We did not find the waterfall on Planter Creek.
So we arrived back at campsite earlier than expected, and I stretched out on my new gravity chair, one I’d had for several weeks but had never taken the time to relax in. Now, in the warm, late afternoon sun on what had begun as a cool day, I was extremely tired. Soft waves lapped the red rocks. My body rested. Then my mind rested. It was the Sound of Silence I was seeking when I came to the north just a few days prior. The calm setting brought rest. Physical rest often precedes spiritual rest, the kind I’m seeking by dwelling in His Secret Place. I had made a day’s worth of plans of discovering and enjoying a number of waterfalls. My plans didn’t work out. Instead, I was beginning to find rest in an unexpected manner.
As I rested, reclined in a most comfortable gravity chair, in a most tranquil setting, I listened to His Whisper.
“Kathi, you are good at making plans. But I’m better. Listen and I will give you the right answers. Dwell in my shelter and your plans will be great.”
Are you good at making plans like I am but realizing that most importantly you need to be listening to Jesus Whisper?