|Underneath the bridge, tarp has sprung a leak.|
and the animals I've trapped, have all become my pets.
My family feels neglected when I hike so I left the house really early so I could get back to my family before dark. I left my house at 6:45 and I started my hike at 16 mile camp on the Wynoochee at 8am. My starting pack weight was 18 pounds. That's a lot of weight for day hike. I carried three pounds of camera gear, lunch and dog food, along with extra clothes, a full set of not to light weight rain gear, my mini kitchen an ultra light first aid kit and some toiletries. I left my trekking poles behind, they only get in the way when I have lots of crawling to do.
It's 45 miles to Wynoochee from my house if you go the back way. It's 75 miles if you take the highway. This trip cost me $21 in gas with my Jeep that only gets about 16MPG. The low and lingering snow has forced me out of my home range this winter. I can't drive to the South Fork Skokomish or get up to fir lake and believe it or not, I'm getting tired of Mount Rose and the Dry Creek trail.
I knew that fording the nooch today was out of the question since there has been a lot of rain recently and all the nearby rivers are way up. Too bad the gauge on the nooch is below the damn, so it really tells me nothing about stream flow, it just tells me how much water Tacoma is letting over the damn. Still by looking at local rivers like the Satsop I can get an idea of how high the nooch might be.
My goal for the day was Maidenhair Falls. I made it there by 12 noon and the rain was coming down in sheets. I was not able to take many picture of the falls or spend much time looking at the falls. I was going to have lunch at the falls but instead I went back to the road bridge and had my under the bridge and out of the pouring rain. Wow, it sure can rain in this area. It rained so hard that even I wondered what the heck I was doing out there, but only briefly. Then the rain stopped and the birds came back out and I was able to take pictures again.
I saw two cars on the road as the northern section of the trail is very close to the road. Once I was over the bridge I was past the wildlife gate and there were no more cars. I don't think I would like to hike her in the summer, I get the feeling that it's quite crowded at that time of year.
There are a lot of winter blow downs on this trail an a tree had taken out part of the handrail on the bridge over Maidenhair Falls.
On the way back my feet were wet so I did not bother to try to avoid crossing creeks, I just plunged right in. Wet feet = freedom. I am very sore this morning due to clambering over, under and around windfall, crashing through the brush looking for places to cross streams and stomping around in the snow.
On the way home I stopped to answer the call of nature by the side of the road and I found 4 deer rib cages, two rotting elk gut piles complete with heads and a dead juvenile coyote.. it smelled terrible! I won't be using that spot again.
I was done with my hike by 4:00 and home before dark. My family thought I had only been on a short hike. I fooled them.
I only hiked 11.5 miles but I got 14 mile work out.
Check out the 4 minute video I made of this hike, you won't be bored.
|The trail is paved near the dam|
|Pin lichens or something growing with a basidio lichen|
|Maidenhair falls, my turn around point for the day|
|Lunch under the bridge|
|Bridge at Maidenhair falls|