The bluish green Brandywine creek followed us for a while, before hiding behind a cluster of brown branches and trunks. Then there was just us, the hard paved road, and the quiet of the woods. In that almost meditative silence, we heard the wind howl, and birds sing. As if lured by these sounds, we walked towards them, not minding the steep slope, the wet ground, or the slim paths that grew slimmer. The woods now seemed thicker and chaotic, like a brown crayon scribbling by a child. Our shoes brushed fresh yellow buttercups, while our eyes grazed the flawless blue sky. When we returned after an hour-and-a-half walk, the bluish green creek still stood calmly waiting for us.
It was a pleasant day. The sun shone bright. The sky hung cloudless above us. But as we walked along the Brandywine Creek State Park, Delaware, the black tarred roads disappeared under a layer of cracked ice. With walking sticks, we found our balance, moved thorny shrubs, and poked on frozen mire that lay like lumps of dark chocolate. The creek followed us, often changing its appearance from a crease-less sheet of glass to a colony of ice blocks. Shoes muddy, foreheads sweaty and jackets unzipped, we wrapped up our little three-mile adventure and called it a (pleasant) day!
We braved the crowd to sail on the Maid of the mist.
June 16, 2018
It’s been close to two hours. Our shirts are drenched in sweat, and eyelids heavy with exhaustion. The queue extends to as far as the eyes can see. And beyond that, we catch a glimpse of a white boat full of people clothed in blue ponchos. We want to be on that boat. We want to be the people in blue plastic ponchos. So we wait. And use up all the resilience, patience and the last ounce of energy. Around us, families break the line, and walk out. We refuse to be demotivated. And after what feels like eternity, the queue leads us to two elevators. We descend, our eyes now wide open with a gush of excitement. We become the people in blue plastic ponchos, and walk up to the boat that’s called the Maid of the Mist. Slowly, now un-anchored, it sails. Like it has, faithfully, since 1846. It passes the American Falls, where sheets of water crack on top of a cluster of giant rocks, get reduced to a spray of cool mist and land on our hair and face. Just a little ahead, a little intimidated by the wide and overpowering American Falls is the Bridal Veil falls. Alongside which, rows of people in yellow ponchos, submit to it, and get willingly drenched. The boat then makes a turn, along a curve marked by tall curtains of water. The Horseshoe, as it’s called, unveils itself in quite a dramatic way. A cloud of smoke rises at its feet, and beams of light run along its body. As we distance from it, it’s overbearing appearance reduces into a postcard-perfect beauty that we capture, preserve, and re-live.