Do you like to hike? I love going to a park and hiking through the woods, up hills and down, listening for birds and looking for wildlife. Just being outside lifts my heart and stirs my imagination. In Charmed Against All Odds, as in others of my stories, my characters go hiking or for a walk outside. In my latest book, Leo recalls an important day when he and Roxie went hiking at the Walls of Jericho Trail in Scottsboro, Alabama. Years ago, I went with my husband and two kids to do the same thing.
It’s a beautiful place but it’s not an easy hike. The trail leads down to a river and waterfalls, and when I say down, I mean it. It’s pretty steep and winding around trees and rocks and roots in the path. At the bottom is a tree bridge with a handrail to cross the river. There is a posted warning that you shouldn’t hike down to the bottom during or after it rains because the river rises too high to cross. Which means you could be trapped in the valley until the waters recede.
There are two waterfalls, although by the time we made it to the first one, I was struggling so much that I didn’t climb over the rocks to be able to see it. And if I thought I was struggling then, I hadn’t even realized how I’d struggle hiking back to the car!
Remember how I said it was a steep descent? Well, to return we had to go up that same steep incline. I was literally taking a few steps and then having to pause because my heart was racing so hard climbing up. I think I remember that it was a one mile vertical drop and the incline was nearly vertical. Which explains the winding path because you couldn’t walk straight down without sliding and tumbling. Or at least my over-active imagination could envision such an ugly descent…
Obviously, I made it back to the car and survived the hike. But I haven’t ever gone back because if it was tough in 2008 when I was 11 years younger, it wouldn’t be any easier today!
So Leo remembers how they’d underestimated how hard a trail it is and how they’d had to struggle back up the trail and to his old car. And what that meant to them. To me, I felt like I’d survived an ordeal rather than have an enjoyable time. But I did it nonetheless. I can’t say I conquered the trail, not by any stretch of my imagination. But despite my lack of physicality and strength, I still managed to finish the hike without anyone having to call 911. Which trust me was an accomplishment!
Do you like to hike? Do you enjoy a challenge? Do you want to test your mettle at the Walls of Jericho? Or are you like me and rather take an easier trail to enjoy nature?
Thanks for reading!
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Charmed Against All Odds is now available!
Charmed Against All Odds is also part of the Common Elements Romance Project. More than 75 romances—historical, sci fi, fantasy, contemporary, paranormal, suspense—which include the same 5 elements. Those elements are a guy named Max, a lost set of keys, a tall stack of books, a haunted house, and a lightning storm. Visit the website for a listing of all the books by subgenre and for monthly giveaways.
Loving her brings out the magic in him…
Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.
Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.
But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.