My friend Thomas was about to have his golden birthday. For the lay person, that means he was about to turn the age of the date of his birthday. For him, that meant he was turning 30 on the 30th of the month. For that, he knew he had to do something special. And what he chose certainly qualified for that.
Three of us drove up through Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee in the hopes of finding some good climbing. We'd learned our lesson from before (see: Decide Before You Climb) and had a number of locations scouted out, along with a book that deeply described (with pictures) the walls and their routes. Ultimately, we chose to climb at Foster Falls.
Foster Falls is a magnificent spectacle. Once you decend into the valley, you come to a modern, yet discrete bridge flanked by tall pines on all sides. Beyond them was the corner of the valley and the falls. They were a stark white backdrop for the gentle stream and majestic valley woods.
We camped both nights at the top of the valley and hiked down both days to climb. There were so many well-marked routes that were exceptional climbs. There really was something for people of all ability-levels. We spent two days climbing and getting rained on, but it was all pretty spectacular.
And the best part, besides the climbing and fellowship and sleeping under the stars, was swimming in the icy cold lake at the foot of the waterfall at the end of the day.
By the time we rolled south again, we left tired, but refreshed, and ever grateful that we gave Foster Falls a chance. And so should you, for a golden birthday, or for any other reason you can come up with.