I guess I should say, however, "South County"; it's actually Washington County. Rhode Island has a whopping Five! Whole! Counties!, and the southernmost of those is most often referred to by its nickname. I don't know why.
(Other counties: Newport, Kent, Bristol, Providence. If I ever get picked up by Cash Cab, I hope this is one of the questions they ask me).
Geographical digression aside, there is some beautiful land in the southern part of the state. We went, specifically, to Arcadia Management Area, which holds the tallest waterfall in Rhode Island. The rain and swiftly melting snow made the waterfall swell, so it was quite monumental:
It is currently, apparently, twice the size that it was in summer. I can say, at least, that it sounded really big, and it was made a bit more exciting because of the snow and ice on the ground; the slight chance that the ground would give way to freezing, rushing water did give the experience an extra tinge of adventure. (Yes, of course, the location of the trees helped to indicate where the true banks were, but I played at adventure nevertheless). Thrill was totally superfluous, though. I mean really, check this out:
There was nobody else out there, and it was beautiful and silent except for the water, and despite the fact that I am beyond ready for winter to sink into spring, this was like a fairy tale landscape after the previous night's few inches of snow. Time-wise, I couldn't totally afford to take this hike; everything-else-wise, I couldn't afford not to. Five and a half miles took about two and a half hours, so we were moving at just over two miles an hour; with the snow a foot deep in some places, that's actually not so bad. I was sore and exhausted in the best way.
And today, though it's still very cold, the sun is shining and the snow is melting, and I actually caught the smell of grass and earth on the walk home. Spring officially begins in about three weeks, which reminds me: Brad says that once, in grade school, his teacher told the class that it was officially the first day of spring, so he asked her if that meant he should start wearing shorts. I laughed when I heard that story, but I am beginning to see some merit in it. Maybe if I start wearing springy clothes, spring will move in to accommodate me. Might as well give it a shot.
And a final unrelated note: every single teacher in Providence has been pink-slipped. Ultimately, the mayor expects only ("only") about forty percent of them will actually lose their jobs. "Only" = 800 teachers? So I guess approximately 24,000 students will have to fend for themselves from now on? File this under "Education: Who Needs It?"
Send luck. Until next time.