The original plan, after my summit of Mailbox Peak, was to meet my sister and her husband for a short (but steep) hike to Pinnacle Peak near Enumclaw.
Unfortunately, while I was on Mailbox Peak she decided it would be good to have a roast for dinner... so into the oven it went.
Luckily, we made phone contact before I left North Bend... saved me a drive to Enumclaw.
With the change in her plans, I decided that a short visit to Twin Falls State Park would be a great cool down hike. It's located on the south side of I-5 just east of North Bend. A hop, skip and a jump from the Mailbox Peak trail.
The nice weather seemed to have brought locals out of the woodwork and the parking lot at Twin Falls (west entrance) was jam packed. Parking was in limited supply, but it seems parking along the road is acceptable.
With only a few snacks, a camera and a tripod I made my way along the river toward the falls.
It was slow going as my exhausted muscles began questioning my sanity in starting this second hike of the day.
My only visit to Twin Falls was long, long ago... back when Rob and I first started our hiking adventures. One weekend we spent a day in the Olympics, hiking up to Flapjack lakes (well, almost to Flapjack lakes, turned around due to snow just short of the destination). That was about a 14 mile day - one of the longer hikes that I've done as a grown up. After overnighting at his place, I decided it would be relaxing to visit the Twin Falls trail on my way home.
As I look back at my long list of Trip Reports, it seems that trip was probably in the early summer of 2004... just before I started documenting my hikes in Trip Reports.
The soreness I felt today was much like the soreness that I felt after the Flapjacks hike.
Way back then I recalled how the trail designers chose to have the trail go up and down through a number of drainage's before reaching the falls... and wonder why they didn't try to follow the elevation contour lines instead.
All the ups and downs made the hike more difficult than I was expecting for such a local and popular destination. Surely, if both visits hadn't been preceeded by pushing my physical limits the trail probably really is eazy-cheezy.
There were a lot of families along the trail. One not-too-concerned father stopped to ask me if I had seen his two kids which seemingly wandered off while he wasn't looking. He said he last saw them about 10 minutes ago.
After checking my watch, I told him I did see a couple kids that could have been his out near the trailhead. They didn't seemed concerned or worried but were merely having a conversation which I had overheard as they passed. The sentence I overheard included something about 'finding their parents'; although given the context and their behavior it didn't seem as though they were talking about not knowing where their parents were at that precise moment.
That was 20 minutes ago.
The father thanked me for the info and let me know that they frequented this trail often and the kids were experienced in the outdoors. They probably weren't worried and he'd probably locate them in the parking lot. Onward he went.
After a while, I finally arrived at the falls. Out came the camera.
Knowing there is an eastern end to the trail, I decided to continue beyond the falls to see whatever there might be to see.
After about 1.2 more miles, the trail eventually intersected the John Wayne trail with little fanfare or items of interest. Mostly, it was just a gradual ascent of more elevation.
Having had enough, I turned around at the intersection with the J.W. Trail.
I didn't cross paths with the 'father looking for kids' or 'kids looking for parents' on my return. Presumably they all made it home safely.
By the time I returned to my car my stomach was grumbling something fierce and my legs were, well, on their last leg.
Into the car, off to Starbucks, a stop for teriyaki and then home to unpack and collapse.
What a fantastic day!