Hike 59 – Wahclella Falls

Like I mentioned in the previous post, I did not hike for four months. Beyond being slightly traumatized, I re-injured my back and my knee. I tore my meniscus in 2003 and I herniated a disc in my back in 2013. I had surgery on  both at the time. Both injuries had returned. I went to the gym and worked with a trainer. I went to physical therapy every other week. I started getting acupuncture regularly. At present, I still have a herniated disc. I still have a torn meniscus, and I have added a torn meniscus in my other knee. Acupuncture, activity, and collagen in my coffee keep me comfortable. I don’t even take Advil. My sister’s theory is that I’m just super resistant to pain. Maybe I inherited that from my mom. She’s one crazy tough chick.

As summer break set in, I was spending a lot of time at the river. I swam in the Clackamas and the Salmon over 50 times in 2015. Cold water and no-impact are miracle-workers for injuries. However, when the wonder-mom, Becky Curry, called to see if I wanted to hike Wahclella with the Curry Crew, I was in. I figured my first hike should be slow and cute. It did not disappoint.

We packed lunches to eat at the falls and we headed out. Wahclella is the perfect hike for beginners or kiddos. It is one mile each way, with negligible elevation gain, and a lot of pay off. Plus, the Curry Crew had hiked it before, so I was basically with experts.

It was slow going, but it was a beautiful day. We stopped frequently to enjoy nature and for the girls to claim this rock or this tangle of trees “my house.” We spent a lot of time looking at these houses and then upgrading around the next bend. When we reached the falls it was incredible. The sun was shining and sparkling in rainbows as the mist hit the air. There were a lot of people there, but not enough to make it crowded.

While we ate our food and chatted, crazy people jumped into the water and swam around. It was not warm enough for that. I contemplated it, because I’m a bit of a dare devil, truth be told, especially about water, but I had no swim suit and a slow walk back in wet pants sounded like no fun at all. Instead, I took off my boots and socks and soaked my feet with the giggling girls. It was heavenly.

Eventually we had had enough waterfall time and we headed back. As we walked on one of the steeper portions of the trail a snake came slithering down right in front of us. Small “screams” and back-stepping toward the cliff were the result, but we all survived.

It was an incredible day and I can’t wait to do it again.

For information about Wahclella Falls click here.


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