Waterfalls pepper the landscape of Western North Carolina. This particular one comments Daniel Ridge Falls, can be found in the Pisgah National Forest, about thirty minutes outside of Asheville. It was a hot, dry summer, but I am told that in the early spring when the showers are abundant in the snow is melting, the falls are spectacular. Despite the dryness, everything was green and alive.
Kemper was much younger then, and he made the hike in a pack on Anna’s back. He has seen this photograph of the falls, but I doubt that he remembers them personally. I, too, have memories of places that I’ve been through pictures, such as climbing on the rocks in Bar Harbor, Maine. My grandparents used to spend months of the summer in a rented house on the coast (Down East), and when we visited them, I was, apparently, enamored with the rocks.
I am not sure what memories Kemper will have of the places we have taken him as a child. Nevertheless, I have recorded everything and every place that we have ever taken. Thus, he may have memories of places through the photographs that he would never otherwise have. He has seen England, California, Maine, and others; the photographs themselves are memories, but for a child they are sometimes all that exists to trigger the memory of the place.
I have vague memories of scooting down the hill in Bar Harbor, but because there are no photographs, the memory is just a blurry snapshot. I do, however, remember vividly (whether by first-hand knowledge or more likely through the photographs) climbing on and through the rocks on the coast, the smell of the bay, and even the way the barnacles and seaweed felt under my young feet.