Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wynoochee to Maiden Hair Falls

I had trouble deciding where to hike.  I had a trip up South Mountain planned with a relative, but they changed their mind the night before.  I am still going on that hike though, so I needed something different to do today.  Nothing appealed; I’m getting bored with a lot of my hikes.  

  I mulled over the different places to go, nothing excited me.  Then I remembered that Wynoochee is really not so far away now that I have discovered Cougar-Smith road.  It’s really no further away then the places I drive to from my Mother’s condo when I go there.  Wynoochee is 45 miles from home, not too bad, but the days are short, so I needed to get an early start.

I woke up at 8am.  Whoops, no early start today.  I tried to get out of the house as quickly as I could.   I had to make a stop to get gas before I could go.  I finally made it to the start of my hike at ten minutes to ten.

I drove a few miles past the dam and then down a little side road that I knew would intersect the trail.  My plan was to do an 11 mile hike to Maiden Hair Falls and back.  I did not want to try to do the whole loop around the lake.  The days are too short for a 16 mile hike and with the water being so high.  I knew that a fording the river for a 12 mile hike would not be possible.

I had a very pleasant hike as it was a quiet day on the Wynoochee.  No cars went down the road that parallels the trail, so it felt like I was on a wilderness hike.  There was a fair amount of debris over the trail and I was sure I did not want to try to negotiate around the debris in the dark, so I set 1pm as my turn around time.  I made it to the falls with just 5 minutes to spare.  I had a short lunch break on the bridge.  I gave Patches more hotdogs than she could eat, so she begged for my lunch.

I finished my lunch break at 1:45, I had intended to take a half hour lunch break, so I would have to hurry a little if I wanted to make it out before dark.

I managed to keep my feet dry in my waterproof boots in spite of all the stream crossings.  I stopped just before I made it back to my car to try to take some shots in the blue light.  When I reached my car it was after sunset, but before dark.  I drove my car down the boat ramp to the river and then I had a nice cup of coffee on the river break as darkness set in.

It was good and dark by the time I drove home and it was raining and there was no fog line on boundary road, so I took my time driving.

I enjoyed my hike; it was good to go somewhere a little bit different. 

People are hovering around me and it's hard to get this typed up.

11 miles with 200 feet elevation gain

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