Grant - “Let’s go hiking at Clifty Falls State Park!”
Me (Owen) – “Yeah let’s do it! We’ve got some extra time.”
Hiking Clifty Falls State Park is exactly what Grant and I did in between two of our chapter visits while in District XII. Now let’s take a step backwards to get the full picture. The night before we met Grant’s aunt so she could lead us to the place we would be staying the for night in Madison. As we drove up the tightest road I have ever been on, winding back and forth up what I thought was a mountain, we were slightly skeptical of where we might be staying. Then we saw it, a little house on top of a wooded hill that had a clear look over an amazing landscape that lead the way to the beautiful Ohio River with the moon reflecting off the water. It was incredible.
After we woke up the next morning , we went to get some doughnuts from a local pastry shop, then drove to our first visit of the day, Jennings County FFA. There we had an amazing time facilitating to a great group of students. As we left the school we tried deciding what to do with the extra two and a half hours we had before we went to be at Madison High School. So, Grant says, “Let’s go hiking at Clifty Falls State Park!” With no other alternative in mind I said, “Yeah let’s do it! We’ve got some extra time.”
Now, for everyone reading this, I have compiled a list of reasons you shouldn’t hike a state park in Official Dress.
1. Your shoes are not made for the steep cliffs and slick rock
2. Your corduroy jacket gets way too hot, but you know you can’t take it off because that would be breaking the rules set in the FFA Handbook
3. You will get mud all over your black pants
4. If you have a degree chain, it likes to get stuck on rocks and hand rails
5. Did I mention the jacket gets too hot?
6. The wooden bridges may be slick after a rain
7. Other people ask you why you are hiking in a suit
8. You will have your picture taken, and you know that they are going to make fun of you
9. Your hiking buddy may be far more athletic than you (Grant is more athletic than I)
10. You may smell afterwards
Now, Grant and I may have learned all these lessons the hard way, but it may have been the experience that will stick with me the longest. We decided to stray off the path at one point along the way. As we maneuvered through the brush and trees we suddenly found ourselves on the edge of massive over hang. Pictures don’t do this rock face justice. It was amazing. On one side was a waterfall, and on the other an even higher over hang. As we looked out over the beautiful landscape I came to realize something. We can spend our lives going through the motions, or we can take the occasional detour. It would have been just as easy for us to take a nap in the car, but we decided to try our hand at hiking. I guess that is just one of the places that our wonderful blue jackets can take us. So where will you go?