Waterfalls or interstates?

Published 9:12 pm Friday, December 4, 2015


By Michael Baughman

Which one would you choose?

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This past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend, a weekend where we come together and overeat with our loved ones. It’s also an opportunity to spend time with that long-lost cousin who shares a little too much on Facebook. I have a BIG extended family, with lots and lots of cousins. Some of these people I have not seen in decades. Shame on me!


I took the opportunity to attend a family reunion of sorts with a side of my family I rarely see and it was a weekend to remember. I could have just as easily stayed home and not made the effort. (It was a two-hour drive each way and remember I have little children who just love long car rides). Thankfully, we pressed-on and had an experience worth remembering.


One of my cousins has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia and he’s 54 years old. To complicate matters even more, he has two relatively young children still at home. It was a wake-up call to me that each day is a gift and to go make the most of it. We just don’t know what tomorrow will bring, do we?


One of the side effects from this family gorge fest (a.k.a. Thanksgiving) is traffic, lots of traffic. Unless you live in Tryon/Landrum/Columbus/Saluda or Green Creek and decided to celebrate at home.


On our way back from visiting my family, we decided to get off the interstate and head up through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We stopped off at Table Rock State Park and hiked into a couple of small waterfalls. It was an afternoon I hope I never forget and recreate often. Time seemed to stand still as our kids stopped at every bush, stump and rock to explore further. No hurry, no crowds and no problems. I could have just as easily stayed on the interstate, gotten home a lot sooner and missed out on this powerful family experience. Thankfully, I took the road less travelled.

Here are Ellie and Jack NOT sitting in traffic

Here are Ellie and Jack NOT sitting in traffic

Living in Tryon is a lot like choosing a waterfall over an interstate. Sure, there are more convenient places to live, but, I sure do like waterfalls.


And, the next time you have the opportunity to spend time with those you love, make it happen. Who knows if you’ll get that chance again.