Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tumalo Falls, Up Close and Personal

I've been to Tumalo Falls a few times, and have a few photos of it, from a few angles.  But I've recently learned that there is apparently a geocache that involves going BEHIND the falls, which I hadn't even known was possible.  Today, Nathan and I ventured out to find it.

We hiked up the trail toward the falls overlook, but kept seeing that the trails that veered off in the right direction had been blocked off.  So I wondered if we were supposed to head back to the bridge and try from there.  Got there, and no passable trails again.  Nathan thought he'd been there before with one of his relatives on his dad's side, and he thought we needed to go further up the trail than we had before.  I was dubious, but what else were we going to do?  And worst case, we'd still see the falls from the top, and have a nice hike regardless.

Turns out Nathan was right.  There was another trail that did have some logs across it, but not in an obvious "do not enter" sort of way, so we set off on it when no one was looking, and sure enough, it took us right to the edge of the cliff, then along it and down toward the base of the waterfall.  I was nervous about both Nathan and myself hiking on pebbly trail so close to a cliff, but we survived.  It probably wasn't nearly as sketchy as my nerves made it seem.

All these photos are from my phone.  They don't seem very "pretty" to me on the computer--they definitely don't do the actual scenery justice.

The geocache is a two-parter.  A pill bottle near the base of the waterfall was supposed to hold the coordinates to the actual cache.  The description of the geocache made it clear that the coordinates for the waypoint (the first find, which points to the second) were impossible to pin down because the cliffs made it impossible to lock into enough satellites to get an accurate reading.  But it had pictures of the area and indicated where the cache would be.  Unfortunately, I don't get cell service up there, so we had viewed the photos online at home, then had to rely on our memories out at the site.  We searched everywhere that could have possibly been where the photo was showing and plenty of places that weren't.  We searched near the waterfall, and right UNDER it.


I even tried going to the other side of the waterfall, but it didn't look anything like the pictures, and the trail petered out and it would have been really unsafe to proceed any further.  We ultimately had to give up.  :-(  I've messaged the cache owner to see if they'll give me any more hints, so maybe we'll try tomorrow, or I'll try next weekend.  Once it starts snowing, we won't be able to go on that trail for sure, and eventually won't be able to drive to the trailhead until next spring/summer.

Oh well.  That's geocaching.  It wouldn't be so much fun to make a find if you found all of them easily, right?  :-)  

We both got SOAKED, so it was nice to get home, change into warm clothes, and warm up. It made it really feel like fall. 

Here are some more photos:


Cool fungus on a snag 

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