Heed not the warnings of early 90s R&B groups. Waterfalls were placed on this earth by Our Lord God for one reason and one reason only: To be pursued.
I realize that many of you may have a strong inclination towards sticking to the rivers and the lakes to which you have grown accustomed, but what you likely fail to realize is that puttering around in large, stationary pools of liquid, or immersing yourself in freshwater as it runs towards an ocean can in no way match the physical and emotional fulfillment one can achieve from chasing a waterfall. Not even close.
So if you’d allow me, I’d like to go ahead and refute some of the most common arguments against the pursuance of water which happens to be flowing down a steep grade due to the effects of gravity along with a rapid drop in elevation.
MYTH #1: YOU WILL DROWN
Highly unlikely. Contrary to popular belief, the average waterfall does not have sufficient volume to drown an average person, even if they were to stand directly under it. When many people think of a waterfall they imagine a heavy torrent of water which travels off a steep cliff into a deep pool or chasm. In reality, these types of falls are fairly uncommon, and make up only a fraction of the waterfalls on this planet.
“Fan” waterfalls, for instance, spread horizontally while maintaining contact with the bedrock; while the “horsetail” style falls behave much in the same way. I’d venture that the average person would be hard-pressed to drown in waterfalls such as these.
MYTH #2: YOU CAN NEVER CATCH A WATERFALL
This is patently absurd. A waterfall is not some “notion” like tort reform or an illusory visual entity like a rainbow. It is an tangible physical construct which exists in real three-dimensional space. And not only that, but waterfalls are, by their very nature, stationary. As such, they can easily be caught and/or captured by even the most dim-witted of humans.
MYTH #3: YOU’LL FALL TO YOUR DEATH
If one follows proper waterfall “fair chase” regulations, there is absolutely no chance whatsoever of this occurring. First of all, even waterfall pursuit laymen know that the proper way to approach a waterfall is from the front (i.e. the area of lower elevation, bottom of the cliff, etc). Proper procedure dictates that one should never approach a waterfall from the rear, as doing so can lead to so-called death plunges, in which the chaser simply runs off a cliff or outcropping near the waterfall and “plunges” to his or her “death”.
It should be noted, however, that in extremely rare cases, the face of a waterfall can be approached at a 45-60 degree angle during a chase. But this is only recommended under the direst of life-and-death circumstances.
MYTH #4: EVEN IF YOU CAUGHT UP TO A WATERFALL YOU WOULDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT
Once again: False. There are a number of options available to those who manage to catch up to a waterfall.
Depending on the size of the waterfall and the body of water from which it flows, one could either place an extremely large cargo container at the bottom of the falls or rig up a complex series of dams, troughs, and aqueducts which could then divert the waterfall into the receptacle of your choosing.
It is possible to gaze thoughtfully at a waterfall while ruminating on universal truths or engaging in wistful musings on the nature of humanity.
Many waterfall chasers enjoy wallowing in a waterfall upon successful completion of a chase. Some find it pleasurable to stand in the falls’ spray while rubbing their hands all over their bodies and moaning, while others prefer to simply raise their arms to the heavens and let out a throaty bellow. Team chasers (groups of waterfallers comprised of two or more individuals) might consider removing their clothing and engaging in some water-based “high-jinks” (splashing, dunking, or the spitting of fountains of water into the air) in or around the falls.
Upon reaching the a waterfall, some will inexplicably choose to view it as the embodiment of all those who have wronged them. They often begin to verbally abuse the falls, disparaging them with insults and ethnic slurs, before resorting to vicious personal attacks on the falls’ loved-ones.
Occasionally, these individuals will be so overcome with misplaced hatred that they will even begin to hurl objects at the falls while screaming “I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU!” The falls will make no acknowledgment of these transgressions against it, and will remain utterly silent. In time, the attacker will become exhausted and fall unconscious. Upon awakening, they will discover that they have been purged of all ill feelings towards others. It is only then are they able to achieve inner peace.
Hopefully this article has helped you reach a clearer understanding of both the joys and the potential dangers of waterfall-chasing. I would only add that if you’re going to insist upon having it your way or nothing at all, I would be remiss if I did not point out that I strongly believed that you were moving too fast.