The Trek to Mississippi’s Grand Canyon

July 13, 2017
Denise Hyde

The Elders at Wesley Manor, located in Hattiesburg, MS, recently made a road trip to Red Bluff, nicknamed “Mississippi’s Grand Canyon.” A couple living at Wesley Manor came back from a trip to Red Bluff with pictures and stories that they shared with their neighbors.  At the Elders’ request, a trip there was planned in April. The group drove an hour through many small country towns to find the Canyon, which is left unmarked on the roads as to keep it a local treasure. The Wesley Manor bus was taken off-road to get as close as they could to the peaks. When everyone got out, they were surprised by the lengthy hike to the best view of the canyon.

Slowly and carefully, together, they made it up the steep and rocky incline safely, walkers and canes included! Care partners and Elders were both winded by the time they got to the top, but all challenges were forgotten when the incredible views came in sight! They all laughed and celebrated the journey and blessing together. The eldest in the group, and also in Wesley Manor.  She is 96 and reminisced at the top of the cliff about visiting this very site when she was in high school, and how it had changed over the years.  After the hike, a family member that lived close to the canyon reached out and offered a recommendation for a great place to eat nearby. She and her children surprised everyone by showing up at the restaurant to have lunch with the group! After that workout, everyone felt free to chow down as soon as they got to the country buffet. They also managed to save room for at least two desserts!

What a day! Memories from this trip will stay with all who made the journey forever, especially the care partners. It was an honor for them to help a wonderful group of Elders climb to the peak and enjoy the gorgeous views of nature. A few seemed nervous about the trek, but they took it one step at a time with their partner at their side and all arrived safely. Everyone was so excited when they reached the peak, exclaiming, “Today, we climbed a mountain!” and “What a Monday!” There was no accidents, no complaints of being tired, or sweaty. It was only smiles and an awakening for everyone. They learned that you are never too old to have an adventure or do something you think is impossible.

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