We believed Seth when he explained the waterfall was not too far now and showed us with the map. See, here we are. Here's the waterfall. This is how far we came. It won't be long now.
We agreed with this as well as the fact we would not be leaving the trail the way we came. Seth said he saw an alternate route on the map. Maybe we were delirious from our experience on the horse trail or maybe overconfident in the coolness of the shade. Whatever the reason we were soon lifting our packs and following Seth's directions to the waterfall.
Not long into the wooded hike we began noticing the ticks, small blood suckers falling from the trees, seemingly diving for Slater. And they were successful. We marvelled at their accuracy, and I concluded that Slater's Dad and I must have biologically come together for a genetic tick dope. Those ticks must have been waiting their whole little lives for Slater's scent. No amount of repellent seemed to do the job so he spent most of the hike swatting and running from the enemy bombers.
Seth was right. Maybe it was an hour, maybe two, but the hike to the waterfall didn't seem so long in the shade and the world appeared to open around it. A vast clearing, a nice sized cliff. We were on top looking down into the spray, the rocks below. The rush of the water, it's fall to the stone, the crash of the collision was the best music I had ever heard.
Off to the far right below we saw a fellow hiker, a lone guy. Seth waved his arms above his head and yelled out, Hello.
The guy ignored him.
Again Seth called out but louder, Hey you!
The guy looked up, did a slight wave, put on his backpack and walked off into the woods.
Slater and Isaac had run to the stream feeding the fall. I was pulling out snacks, setting up an impromptu picnic when Seth turned to me and said, Serial killer.
What are you talking about, Seth?
He's out here by himself. He's a serial killer.
Dude, really. Do you have to go there? That guy may be making some major decision in his life. He may be wanting to ask a girl to marry him or change jobs or move. He may just need the solitude of this place to make a proper decision. How 'bout that?
Go play, Seth.
Off he went but not before planting a seed of serial killer in my head.
To be continued....