I say “first” because I will definitely be going back. Soon.
Devil’s Millhopper (link goes to office state park site) is a sinkhole. An ancient, gorgeous sinkhole. There are 232 steps to the bottom, and a half-mile nature trail around the top edge (although the path is far back enough from the edge that you can only see forest from the trail, not the sinkhole itself). It’s beautiful outside today — 78 and breezy. The park is completely shady, and it was perfect. There were a fair amount of people there, but not so much that it felt crowded. I went down the stairs, back up, walked the trail, then went back down and up the stairs. I was amazed I was able to do it twice. I confess that near the top on my second trip up, I thought for a moment that I was going to have a heart attack. I had to stop, take a drink of water, and stare at the pretty scenery while I waited for my heart to slow down. I may walk a hell of a lot on flat paths (including 5 miles this morning), but I am completely unaccustomed to stairs. Especially that many stairs. 464 each trip up and down, so 928 total. I am suddenly impressed with myself… As I left the park I sat on a picnic table for 10 minutes or so and just enjoyed the beauty of the place.
I got my digital camera is yesterday’s mail, and I am delighted to report that it takes amazingly good photos. I highly recommend it. (It’s a Canon Coolpix s33.) I took 47 photos and only a few of them sucked. I also took a video of the waterfall by the stairway, and it’s 1080p and stunningly beautiful. (It’s the camera and the scenery, not any talent of mine!) Everything’s in a Flickr album, but here are a few of my favorites as well as the video.
And the video…