Wes & I enjoyed a beautiful hike this past weekend just a few minutes drive from the house. The destination was Spruce Flats Falls, one of my personal favorite hikes, which we had yet to see in fall splendor. On the way to the trailhead, we stopped by Subway to pick up a delicious veggie sub and chips for our picnic lunch at the falls. Upon arrival, we were pleased to find that we had the trail completely to ourselves, and it remained that way through most of our lunch sitting at the base of the falls. The hike in was beautiful with the maples displaying the most amazing shades of red. Once we reached the falls we decided to explore a bit and then found the perfect spot for our lunch. With the actual falls in the shade, the top appeared to be glowing with the sun shining on and through the yellow and golden leaves of the surrounding trees. Sitting at the base of a waterfall is one of the most peaceful and serene places of all to me, and always serves as a wonderful place for a picnic.
After eating and taking a few photos, for potential miniature paintings, we decided to try something new. Wes thought it would perhaps be fun to find if the unmarked trail across the way would take us to the upper falls. So off we headed. The new trail was quite steep and switched back sharply as it headed pretty much straight up the mountain. It was a beautiful, but strenuous climb, and we were rewarded with a lovely spot that opened up a bit with freshly fallen leaves completely covering the forest floor and the above canopy glowing. We were able to see sections of the upper falls from there. After taking it all in, we headed back down the steeply descending trail. Once we reached the bottom, Wes came up with the awesome idea to follow the stream at the base of the falls down to the main river. The river was beautiful as the sun was shining down on it and the golden and red colors, of the surrounding tree canopy, were being reflected on the water. It was extremely enjoyable walking down the river exploring new areas and stopping often to either take photos or try to figure how to traverse certain areas. I personally am in my seventh heaven during times such as these and kept expressing my enjoyment of this adventure to Wes through statements of what a wonderful idea he had!
After quite a bit of time had quickly passed us by we decided to start searching for a possible spot to cross the river. We thought this would be fairly easy as the river is low due to lack of rainfall. However, this goal proved to be trickier than we imagined and it took awhile before Wes found what he thought to be a perfectly suitable place to cross. He managed to quickly jump to the rock in the middle and claimed it perfectly sturdy and not slippery. He then began coaching me and telling me to simply jump, that there should be no problem. As I visually sized up this space I was fixing to cross, it suddenly changed into an enormous gorge! Always having been quite agile and not afraid of trying things I decided to go for it. So I leapt out and my right foot landed perfectly on the rock. However, communication was obviously down with my left leg , and I watched in slow motion as my left foot and bottom half of my leg drug through the icy cold water, and I couldn’t seem to lift it and get it to where I wanted to go. So I laughingly sat on the rock in the middle of the stream and commenced to taking off my shoe. I dumped a half gallon of water from it and then wrung another half gallon from my sock. It was then that I decided it easiest to just remove the other shoe, roll up my jeans and walk the rest of the way through the freezing water, laughing the entire time! After reaching the other side, I dried my feet the best I could and Wes chivalrously sacrificed a pair of his drysocks for me to wear. This became the funniest part of the day and Wes and I both enjoyed a beautiful stroll hand in hand down the road back to the trail head, laughing most of the way. I love days like these 🙂
Until next time 🙂 Rachelle