The Tallest, the Biggest and the Best

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Charlottesville, VA from Carter Mountain with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background

The Blue Ridge Mountains are only blue from a distance.  Up close the colors are on the yellow and red side of the color wheel.  We took an afternoon ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway to see for ourselves.

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Standing on the Twenty Minute Cliffs on the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you are working in fields of the valley below and you see the sun shining directly on the cliffs you know you have 20 minutes until the sun goes down.

The time was well spent.  We saw some beautiful scenery.

Most of the things we have seen in the past become blurred and hazy in our minds.  A few things we see are so inspiring and beautiful we create a mental image, a picture in our minds, that stays with us.  If we want to keep the image we can, and the moth and rust corrupting scenario doesn’t apply.

We found a great spot for mental images.  It wasn’t a planned destination for us that day. We just ran into it.  Actually we knew we were somewhere close to the mission boundary and were anxious to work our way back home.

So here it is, Crabtree Falls.

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Section of Crabtree Falls

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Sister Ware at the base of the falls

When the Forest Service and locals promote the falls they say, they are 1,200 feet high. Actually, Crabtree Falls is a series of cascading waterfalls, with five major cascades.  One of the cascades has a 400-foot drop.  This drop gives Crabtree Falls the distinction of the  tallest vertical drop in a waterfall east of the Mississippi River.

Finding things that are the tallest or biggest or best seems to catch our interest.  It seems we want to know what is at the top so we can make comparisons.  We want to know where a thing stands relative to another thing.

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Crabtree cascade

I read about one guy who turned our curiosity into a big business.  Sir Hugh Beaver was in a shooting party in Ireland in 1951.  He was in an argument over which was the fastest game bird in Europe, the golden plover or the grouse (everyone knows it is the golden plover).  He tried to look it up, couldn’t, and decided there was a need for a book about extremes – the tallest, the biggest and the best.

The result was the Guinness Book of World Records.  The book itself holds a world record, as the best-selling copyrighted book of all time.  It appears to hold another record.  It is one of the most frequently stolen books from public libraries in the United States.

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Pretty spot. Crabtree falls

Since our visit to the tallest water fall west of the Mississippi, I’ve been thinking about some of my tallest, biggest and best.

For me, the best chili is made by my mother.

Some of the prettiest (and best) girls I know have the last name Ware, or they have had that name.

The tallest I ever stood was on the evenings I walked into General Priesthood Meeting at the stake house with all my sons and son-in-law.

The best thing to do when you are 63 is to serve a mission with your wife.

The hardest thing to do when you are 63 is to be away from your grandsons.

The best place to get married is in the temple.

The best way to live your life is to follow the prophet.

“Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;” (D&C 46:8)

Elder Ware

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