Last weekend I went on another waterfall hike with my Venture Crew. We were a small group this time, just 2 kids and 2 adults. The other kids didn’t want to go, saying they had to do things like study for the SAT. We now have over 20 kids in our group, so to have such a small group was a treat, there was plenty of room in the truck!
The plan was to drive about an hour to a dirt road, then drive 4 miles on the dirt road and check out a campground for future camping trips. Then we were going to continue on the dirt road for about another 4 miles until we got to the path for the waterfall. Then a hike down to the falls, hang out there for awhile, hike out. Continue on the same direction for another 4 miles on the dirt road, which would loop us back to the paved road we started on.
Now there is a little something you should know about me. I get a lot of kidding, because even when I am going on a short day hike, I pack as though I am going to spend the night. You just never know! I always bring extra food, extra water, a knife, a lighter (better than matches for starting a fire) and a set of polypro underwear. Polypro underwear is long underwear that is warm, yet unlike cotton long underwear, it stays warm when wet and it packs real small. I also bring a rain jacket. This way I figure that no matter what happens I’ll be warm and dry and not hungry!
The day started out beautiful. We have been having lots of rainy days so to have a nice sunny day was a real treat. We made good time getting to the dirt road. Because of all the rain the dirt road was soon a mud road and we put the truck into 4 wheel drive. The 4 miles to the campground was slow going, but eventually we got there and were pleased to find a beautiful campground complete with water and pit toilets. (Absolute luxury for this group!) Hiking around the campground we found that it had it’s very own waterfall. We stayed and had lunch and just marveled at the power of the waterfall.
The sad thing is, I didn’t have my camera with me this trip. The battery is dead and I can’t find the charger. So if you would like to see pictures click on the links to Leon Turnbull’s waterfall site. His site is where we find out about many of the waterfalls that we visit.
Click here to see a picture of the campground waterfall.
Edit: It turns out my phone takes OK pictures. I’ll include some of the pictures that I took.
As we are eating out lunch, and the sun is beginning to warm up the rocks, thousands and thousands of lady bugs start to emerge from all the cracks. Soon we are surrounded, and I am sorry to say quite a few ladybugs were crunched as we made our way back to the truck.
Back on the dirt road again and it is getting more than a little rough. At one point we have to drive around a huge boulder that is in the road. Later we drive around a tree that has fallen. And then we arrive at the slight widening in the road that is the trailhead to our hike to the waterfall.
Well the kids hiked and I went down on my well padded behind. It wasn’t really a trail as much as a faint deer path that went straight down for almost a mile! Quite a few times I told the other adult that I didn’t think this was such a good idea. How would we ever get back up? What if we lost the trail? What if, what if. I didn’t want to get left behind in the woods, so I just kept sliding on my backside and before I knew it we were at the falls.
There are not words to describe how wonderful these falls were. Thanks to all the recent rain, the water was thundering. There are a total of 7 waterfalls, each about 40 feet high pouring water through granite rocks.
More pictures and a better description here.
Sitting, watching the waterfalls, it was suddenly totally worth the literal pain in the a** it took to get down to the falls, and I knew it was well worth the trek back up. These were waterfalls that not many people would get to see. Boy I wish I’d had my camera!
Going back up was not as bad as I had anticipated. It was very tiring, but I took lots of breaks. I was very happy to see the truck!
Back in the truck we headed out a different way than we had come in. As the road climbed up the side of the mountain we began to see snow. We stopped for awhile and the kids had a snowball fight just so they could say that they hiked to a waterfall and played in the snow, all on the same trip.
Then there was the tree… across the road. Darn, at this point it would be 11 miles back on the dirt road and we didn’t want to do that. The GPS told us that paved road was only about 1 mile ahead.
So the two guys decide to try and pull the tree out of the road using the truck and the tow rope. Us girls decide to get out of the way and scout up ahead on the road. We find a few more trees across the road, but they are small so we move them by hand. A little further up the road, another large tree down.
We go back and I tell the adult in charge about this new tree across the road. He says he doesn’t want to back track, and he will just use the truck to pull it off the road. It turns out there are lots of trees across the road, but we make slow progress with the guys using the truck to move the big trees, and the girls pulling the smaller trees off the road by hand. Altogether I think we moved at least 10 trees with the truck and at least that many by hand.
And then we get to the monster tree. At this point we have spent about an hour clearing the road, and have gone less than a mile. This tree is huge, and unlike the other trees that have broken off, this one is totally uprooted with a huge root ball. (I really wish I’d had my camera.) I say, now we have to turn back, he says, no I think we can pull it out of the way. The guys attach the tow strap, hit the gas, and the truck goes nowhere. They try again and again.
This is when I am happy that I bring my extra food and clothes. I am thinking that if the truck breaks, we are spending the night. There is no cell phone reception where we are, and soon it will be dark. I really hope he doesn’t break the truck. Finally, to my surprise, he admits defeat. We are turning back. It is very painful knowing the paved road is so close, but we can’t get to it.
An hour later we are back on pavement and it is very dark. As soon as we get cell phone reception we call the parents and let them know that the kids are safe, we are just running late. (Did I mention that my kid didn’t come, but I went anyway!)
All in all it was a great trip. Once again I did a hike that I didn’t think I could do, and we had a great adventure moving the trees. And the waterfalls were awesome!