Sunday, September 9, 2007


Another day of waterfall hounding, this time, an approach to the bottom of the falls on Thornton Creek, which I haven't managed to reach from the bridge above. My instructions are to follow an old road grade from the base of the Thornton Lakes road. An excellent plan, if the road grade were a little more free of obstacles. As it is, I am climbing over logs, between trees and around branches. The footing is hummocky, and it's a long walk to the creek. I eventually emerge from the thickening woods, within sight of the highway. Note: go straight up the creek from the highway next time.
I start up toward the falls. It's interesting how the old climbing skills come in handy. I have to be very conservative. No jumping (arthritic knees wouldn't like that), no large steps up. Keep on level footing as much as possible to avoid twisting the knees, don't step on any slippery rocks or moving logs. But my ability to find secure handholds is still there. Climbing techniques like bridging and using the ridges on rocks for footholds come back quickly. I feel terrifically pleased with myself when I climb over a boulder and there are the falls.
The very top of the falls is recognizable from my expedition the day before. I was wise to turn around at the lip and not try to climb down, as I can see from below that the upper rock is undercut. I can also see that it will not be feasible for me to bring my paints down to this view, as the cliff runs along both sides of the creek, steep and forbidding.

When I reach the road (going straight down the creek) I find a spot to paint with a gravel bar, and color-matched stand of light tree-trunks dancing against the darker woods.

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