Friday, August 22, 2014

The Dismals (+ the time I saw my first snake!)

This post took me a million years to finish, but it's finally done. My life has sort of been taken up with apartment hunting, but mostly we have just been sitting around waiting for the apartment people to call us back (why must you play with our emotions in this way, apartment people?!). One day feels like a week when a good apartment is at stake. Forrest and I each have at least one meltdown a day and feel like we are probably going to end up living either a)in our car (why didn't we buy a bigger car?) or b) an hour-ish commute from our school. Each way. In traffic.

Anyway, we're still waiting for some calls, so I figured I might as well be semi-productive. 
Brad and Megan and Forrest and I went to the Dismals Canyon: a place that our grandparents and parents (except not Forrest's parents) visited and swam at many a time in their youth. My grandma told me that once she saw a snake there so she never went back. I guess I know where I got my fear of snakes (or I'm just a normal human).
They had a super cute gift shop and cafe with big porches for us to sit on and wait for tours to begin.

We decided to go all out and took the night tour to see the famous dismalites. Dismalites are a type of glow worm very similar to those found in New Zealand and Australia. I didn't take any pictures of the night tour because it was kind of impossible, but they basically just looked like little blue lights (sort of like stars). It was interesting to see because that is really the only place they are found in such a high concentration. 
The next day, we went down into the canyon again to walk around and also to go swimming because the heat + humidity were sweltering.
ALSO, we saw a snake

I had never seen a venomous snake in real life before except at the zoo and it was terrifying! I mean, I'm not scared of reptiles in general..or non-venomous snakes like the cute garter snakes in Washington that run  (er.. slither) away from you. It's more the fact that it could KILL ME with no warning that makes me cringe just a little. It didn't actually do anything to us, but I mean it was right next to the trail in a very convenient location to bite an ankle.

After this incident, I made Forrest buy me a snake-bite kit.
The canyon itself was beautiful. There was abundant moss akin to the Pacific Northwest and the bluffs were tall, cracked, and impressive. I saw all manner of colorful fungi, several frogs, a few interestingly colored bugs and one giant yellow butterfly.
We went swimming in the arctic pond at the top of the waterfall and, once we were nice and frozen, we headed down to wade in the mysteriously warmer water at the bottom..and to sit in the waterfall. As you do.
A butterfly landed on my head and wouldn't leave. I had to be extra careful not to dunk my head under water. 
And here we have Forrest trying to get back on the dock for a self-timer photo. I'm sorry to say that none of us were fast enough swimmers to ever beat ten seconds. 
And there you have it. If you're ever in Northwest Alabama, I would highly recommend a trip to the Dismals. It was somehow the first time I had ever been there (?) even though I've spent the majority of my summers only ten miles away. I guess I'll blame my grandma's fear of snakes and the convenience of their pool.

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