Little Feet in Cold Creeks

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What is it about kids and water? I guess for some people that fascination never goes away. There’s just something magical about children’s love for rushing waves and rivers.

When my parents took us kids camping, we always claimed spots next to running water. Any location without running water nearby always felt like something was missing. I can guarantee there were times when they regretted it once they remembered that they’d have to make sure no one slipped on rocks or ventured off down the creek without anyone noticing.

My dad and me in 1983.

Eventually we’d come in from the water and let our parents relax, but not for too long. My dad knew the best spots for sliding rocks. Our favorite was Wildcat Creek in north Georgia near Blood Mountain. It wasn’t really on the map, but the locals and regular visitors to the area knew about “the rock.” Today, thanks to the internet, its not much of a secret. It’s rare that you’d find yourself there alone, especially in the summer. My dad, sister, brother and I would climb up the side of the rock and take turns sliding down into the icy cold pool below. It was never too cold. We were never worried about bacteria in the water. We weren’t thinking about snakes or hitting our heads. Of course, my mom, who would watch us from the rocks below, was most certainly thinking about all of those things. Now, as a mother myself, I understand what she went through.

Wildcat slide 2
Kids enjoying the ride at Wildcat Creek.

We recently took our kids camping for the first time, and my youngest daughter took to the creeks and rivers like she was born for it…not unlike myself at that age. We camped next at Andrew’s Cove right next to the fittingly named Andrew’s Creek. At no point did Piper stop asking to get back in the water. Her little legs and feet would turn red from the cold, but she didn’t seem to notice or care. She ventured further away than I was comfortable with, hopped seamlessly across the rocks, downright fearless. Watching her, I remembered doing the same things, before we were taught that everything was scary. I missed that feeling as I watched her, and I didn’t want to deny her that same joy. I stopped rushing her every time she’d stop along a trail to “just get her feet in.” (Isn’t that the line we all used on our parents, only to turn up moments later, drenched from head to toe and deliriously happy?)

Piper playing at Minnehaha Falls.

Even as an adult, I’m drawn to that rushing water, and I’m grateful to be able to share that with my family. I’ve started researching all the waterfalls in our area; some I have been to and many I have not. There is more exploring to be done, and we will always take precautions to make sure everyone is safe while on our adventures. Having a daughter that is fearless will keep me on my toes, and it also, thankfully, keeps my toes in the water with her. Many magical swimming holes and waterfalls can be found on maps, and when you get there, you know you’ve most certainly found your treasure.

Piper in Andrew’s Creek.

What are your favorite places to take a cool dip? Point us in the right direction for more fun in the water.





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