As you may already know, we're in a severe drought here with a burn ban, and no prediction for rain anytime soon. Camping isn't much fun without a fire, so we opted for a day hike this weekend. Well, it was more of a nature walk. We decided to take the pup along today, so we took it easy. Noccalula Falls is one of nature's wonders that we've been blessed with here in our hometown. We've done many hikes here over the years, and it never gets boring. A little history about Noccalula first: "The legend of Noccalula came from the early times. Originally known as the Black Creek Falls, the legend, as written by Mathilde Bilbro, says that "long ago, on a mountain summit within sight and sound of a rushing waterfall, lived a great Indian chief whose young daughter, Noccalula, was famed far and wide for her beauty and loveliness of character." Many gallant braves sought the old chief for the hand of Noccalula, but only one was favored by the girl's father, a rich chief of a powerful neighboring tribe, who had much to offer in exchange: wampum, horses, and blankets. Vainly, Noccalula pleaded that her heart was already given to a young brave of her own tribe. This young warrior, though noted for his skill and valor, possessed little in worldly goods. The old chief refused to listen and ordered his daughter to make ready for the marriage he had arranged. What was a maiden's silly fancy against many horses, much wampum, and union with another strong tribe? The girl's lover was driven from the tribe and a marriage agreement was made with the neighboring chief. The wedding day came and a great feast was prepared. In silence, Noccalula allowed herself to be arrayed in festive wedding robes. It was incredible! To be sold to a stranger by the father she loved, her chosen lover forever banished! Overcome with grief, she quietly slipped away from the merrymakers during the festivities, the soft rhythmical rush of waters called her. A moment she stood poised upon the brink of the yawning chasm. One leap, and her troubles were over. Heartbroken, the remorseful father gave the great cataract his daughter's name. Since that day the waterfall has been called Noccalula." The beautiful Noccalula statue overlooking the falls today: As you can see, there's no water in the background. This is about the driest we've ever seen it here. For comparison, this was taken on one of our past hikes: And today: The City of Gadsden has spent a ton of money in recent years to revitalize the park and build new trail systems. It's really turning into a beautiful place to visit. They've even added a small wedding chapel. Caesar loved it! So many new sites, smells, people, and other dogs... ...and new places to mark his territory! :giggle2: Not our normal adventure, but fun nonetheless. We couldn't pass up the chance to spend such a beautiful day outdoors! And because I have the most wonderful husband ever, this was our post-walk dinner: Marinated steaks ready to go on the grill... ...then onto our plates... ...and into our bellies!