Pine Creek Falls hike... partway anyway - Thurs, 6/27/13
Well, dang it, the trout fishing this year hasn't lived up to our expectations. The "cute culprit" seen swimming directly below Tergel the other day may be one of the reasons! An otter can eat its weight in trout in no time. One of the other fishermen saw the otter with TWO little ones in tow. Hmmm... it must be time for us to try a different venture, like perhaps a hike.
Pine Creek Falls is only a one mile hike (up) from the trailhead, and it's a favorite hike we do every year. It's an easy, lovely climb. We always continue hiking to the top of the falls, maybe another half mile up, with views that are unparalleled. Last nite we had a BIG thunderstorm - after we were comfortably inside - and we wondered if the trail would be muddy. I wondered if we'd get beyond the cataract.
Here's the first thing we see on the trailhead sign board. Glad a whole week has gone by!
Yup, this tiny stream had to be crossed. We did it - no soakers!
The trail gets bumpy in places.
Western Blue Virgin's Bower (Clematis occidentalis). I'd seen this vine elsewhere and had been wary because "leaves of three - leave it be." Poison ivy and me don't get along. But, the pale blue flower hinted at something else. Now we know what 'tis. Weird name.
Jimmy at the leaning bridge over Pine Creek Falls. The roar of the cascade was deafening! Pine Creek was in spate!
And because of snow melt, combined with last nite's heavy rain, the falls had split into two cascades - this one we couldn't get across. Well, technically we could if we didn't mind wading in furious knee-deep water that may have been 40 degrees - maybe. Heck, we would've gotten swept off our feet and careened down the watercourse. We had to turn around...didn't make it to upper falls. That's ok, we enjoyed our hike - it was something to see the water like this.
Spotted coralroot (Orchid family) - we "spotted" several clumps along the path. Cool looking!
Much of the path was cushioned by layers of conifer needles.
Wildflowers are blooming everywhere. The heady scent of wild roses followed us on the path.
We didn't see a bear or any other wild animals. We saw lots of wildflowers, quite a few hikers, and most of them had at least one dog. Haven't heard a melodious hermit thrush since we were in Washington a couple of years ago, but we heard it in this forest today. Such a musical sound. Nice change-of-pace hike. Pretty day.