Paradise is Sharing...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Our Final Walk with Destiny....

The Sweetest Thing, I've Ever Known is Loving You... 

June 15th, 2012

After being lulled to sleep by the loons, frogs and party animals across the river cranking Johnny Cash til 2am, MyHoney, Lexi, Derby and I set out on our adventure.  Loaded in the car with water bottles, trekking poles, and my back pack.. we set off to TownShip E - location of Angel Falls.  Out of tradition, I drove the long way in, down Bemis Track, and through the bumpy, washed out, and narrow dirt road.
Along the way, there were more yellow butterflies in the road than I have ever seen in my life.  If I had more presence of mind, I would have pulled over and taken a picture.  At first, it was like driving through a fairy land full of winged color and wonderment.  After a while, each time one slapped on the windshield or to the grill of my car, MyHoney and I would sigh and say "Awwwww...."  slap slap slap "awww ... awww!   AWWW!!!"

Then July 3rd, 2008 - Derby and Destiny hiking into Angel Falls
Now June 15th 2012 - Derby and Lexi hiking into Angel Falls
After a few dozen miles, my butterfly slathered car pulled up to the head of the trail, and we set off... and at the very first stream crossing, I knew we were in for a challenge.  The water was high. Very high.  MyHoney and I were both wearing hiking boots, and I pulled out the trekking poles.  He managed to hop-scotch across half-way, lost footing and soaked his feet.  After seeing his valiant effort go awry, I just sucked it up and waded across.  My feet were soaked, but I didn't care, I was doing this for the Queen of Ten Ass City.  Nothing stopped her that day, and nothing was going to stop me.

We could hear the river long before we reached it.  When we arrived, our dogs hesitated at the edge, looking at us for reassurance.  Derby felt the need to keep coming back to "help" us across by being in our way.  Lexi timidly walked each rock like an Olympian Balance Beam Gold Medalist and waited for us at each crossing.  By the time we reached the waterfall, MyHoney and I were soaked.  I was already physically and emotionally drained and ready to take a rest.  The last crossing served to be the trickiest, and my heart replayed the day that Destiny stood at the edge of the rushing water refusing to budge an inch.  I froze myself a few times wondering if I had the tenacity to cross.... and I could practically hear the strangers that day chanting "C'mon Destiny!"   If the Queen of Ten Ass City could do it.... so could I.... the weight of my backpack tested my balance, but the trekking poles helped me scurry across.

MyHoney, Derby & Lexi crossing the River to Angel Falls

Once we rounded the last bend, the jewel of the trek revealed itself... there she was in all her glory -Angel Falls.  Because of the heavy rains we had this spring, the falls were roaring and heavy - spraying mist and creating a glow of rainbows in the midst of lush green trees and mossy rocks.


I took off my pack and rested it on a rock, and MyHoney and I took off our soaked shoes and socks and I set about the task of unpacking our picnic lunch.   The dogs rested, then became restless (as they recover much quicker than we do) and began exploring their surroundings.  Unlike the last time we hiked in, we were the only people there, besides another couple who had hiked in with a black lab.

Then - Destiny resting on the rocks - Angel Falls

Now - Lexi Resting on the Rocks - Angel Falls
Lexi and Derby chilling out at Angel Falls
After we rested and thoroughly enjoyed our little piece of heaven on earth, we decided it was time.  I pulled the little pine box out of my backpack.  Holding it on my lap, I turned it over, expecting to see a latch to release its contents... and instead I saw four phillips screws.  Here we are, up a river without a screw driver.  Disappointment wasn't the word to use.  My eyes filled with tears and my heart tried to interpret what this meant.  It must be a sign.  Maybe Destiny isn't ready to leave me.  Maybe today isn't the day to do this.  But it had felt so right.  The weather was perfect.  I had never seen the falls so beautiful.  We were all together.  I can't open her box?  That's just like Destiny - stubborn to the end.

I reached for my keys and tried to force the screws out.. no luck.  Derby, who thought I was trying to break into a snack, nosed in to help.  I pushed away his face, and my hand hit his dog-tags... eureka!  I unfastened Derby's collar and worked his rabies tag into the top of the screw.  It was the right size and shape, but the tags soon cut into my thumb and fingers, and the work was hard.  MyHoney took over, and I couldn't stand to watch him labor over loosening the screws.  I kept saying "It's ok if we don't do this today".... I was losing my reign over the Ten Asses - I had to walk away.
Derby, and his dog tags -to the rescue <3

Deciding to capture at least our trek, I took some pictures of Destiny's paw print on the rocks.  Because I was still barefooted, I walked around gingerly with Lexi following close behind, curious as to what Momma was doing.  Greeted by the other couples black lab, I had a lightening bolt idea... and I scrambled over the roclks to the fellow hikers who were taking in the view of the falls. 

A Walk With Destiny
"HI, excuse me... do you have a pocket knife, or a leatherman?"  I stammered.  The guy, a very military looking fellow, who was obviously more woodsman saavy than I was, immediately said "No". (Duh, you do not hand sharp objects to strangers in the middle of the woods)  The woman, who was curious as to why a girl who was walking around clumsily and barefoot, taking pictures of a terra cotta paw print  would ask for a knife inquisitivly inquired, "What for?".....   My eyes filled and I stuttered "to... I want to... I was going to... spread the ashes of my d...d.... d... dog."   Both their faces softened.  They were dog people.  They got it. 

The guy stood up and walked over to MyHoney and with his strong military hands went to work trying to loosen and remove the four 2" phillips screws that encased Destiny's ashes.  While the two men were laboring on the task, we all talked about dogs, our love of dogs, our past dogs our present dogs, and how much dogs mean in our lives.  They got to share a moment with us.... and we got to share this moment with them - Dog People.  That's what Destiny always did -she brought people together.  She never wanted me to be alone.

Finally, Mr. Military exclaimed "HA HA! GOT IT!" and we all hovered over the little pine box.... he gingerly handed it to me, and my eyes welled.  I popped off the cover, to find a neatly wrapped baggie of finely crushed white sand.  It wan't at all what I expected.  I expected to see grey sooty ashes - like when you clean out a fireplace.  I didn't expect to see opalescent, what looked like beautiful crushed sea shells and snow white sand.... like what you would find On The Coast of Somewhere Beautiful...  

Mr. Military, Ms.Inquisitive and Black Lab retreated so we could have our moment, and once I composed myself, I found a rock to kneel on at the base of the waterfall.  Derby stood close by as we released a good portion of Destiny's ashes into the cascading waters.   I reserved the rest to scatter on top of Bald Mountain, At Steep Bank Pool, at my campsite, and will bring some home to the farm.  I have decided not to keep any in the little pine box... Destiny doesn't belong in a little box, her life is so much bigger than that.

Derby watches on as his friend Destiny runs free...
Destiny is now, and forever the Angel of Angel Falls

Me and MyHoney - Angel Falls

Paradise is Here, Paradise is Now - Paradise is on the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful....

A Walk With Destiny - Bald Mountain

View from Bald Mt Fire Tower

Destiny at Bald Mt - I carved our names on this years ago, couldn't find it now... thousands of signatures are on this table

A Walk With Destiny - Summit of Bald Mt

Destiny - Fire Tower, Bald Mt

Destiny, Top of Bald Mt

A Walk With Destiny -Steep Bank Pool, Kennebago River

Destiny, on the dock she would sit on watching me fly fish -Kennebago River

Our Adventures Live On....


  1. many, many tears

    A beautiful tribute to a wonderful pup.

    Lots of Luv & Kisses
    Addie, Lucie and Hailey

  2. What a great tribute to a very special Heart Dog -

    Now she's really free
    Here too!

    Khyra and Phyll

  3. Destiny the Angel of Angel Falls forever and ever.
    She is free!
    Beautiful post.


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