christopher575 (christopher575) wrote,


A week ago at the aquatic center, I was soaping up in the shower when I heard, "Chris!" I was naked and covered and suds, and not in the mood to explain that I only go by Christopher and that I wasn't actually done showering, just conserving water since the blasts in that facility don't last very long and it takes tons of pumps to get just a little soap, so I stepped out of my stall and peeked around the wall. The gentleman I'd been talking to about hiking earlier was across the locker room and wanted to suggest Necklace Valley as a place I should check out. We'd talked about the fact that I went to Lime Kiln, which he maintains, on Martin Luther King Day, and I guess he figured I'd be looking for another new place for Presidents' Day. I figure weekdays off don't come around very often, so I may as well check it out.

It's over an hour's drive out there, so I was a bit bummed when there was a mile and a half left to go to find this.


A snowy mountain road? Pass. I'd already been skidding around on the dirt and gravel leading to there, and just wasn't in the mood to deal. One of the reasons I like living where I do is that it almost never snows, and when it does, I won't drive in it. I'd passed Wallace Falls State Park on the way out, so that became the new destination.

Wallace Falls is one of the state parks that requires a Discovery Pass, which thankfully you can buy when you arrive. It's $10 for a day pass or $30 for a year, so of course I paid $30. There's a lot to see there that I didn't get to today, and also a big section that's closed for logging, so I can easily go back a couple of times. Plus there's a sizable list of other parks I should check out, too. Not a bad way to spend 30 bucks.

It never really stopped raining this morning, but Wallace Falls is the kind of place where it mostly doesn't matter.


The trail leading in is wide and well-maintained. The first fork in the road is an option for how to make your way to the falls. One's a wilderness trail, and the other is a trail made on the former railroad grade. I chose the latter, thinking I might actually head out and back that way because it'd be easy. Not easy in every sense; there's still a ton of climbing to do. but it's a wide path with no mud or challenging root systems to climb over.


As is usually the case, it's a great place if you like that particular mossy shade of green.


And the bridges are pretty nice.


This bridge is as far as I made it.


The lower falls weren't that much farther, but I could see at the end of the bridge that it was a going to be another climb up, and all the extra driving had left my back pretty sore. I was satisfied with the distance and figured I'd head back via the woody trail instead of the railroad grade I'd come in on. Turns out that trail runs surprisingly close to the river.


I have no idea what purpose these stairs could possibly serve. They're like a safe route to a sure death.


I took quite a few more pictures and some videos, which you can find in the new Wallace Falls State Park album.

Today's awesome walk, 4.71 miles in 1:49, 10,123 steps, 550ft gain
4.71 miles in 1:49, 10,123 steps, 550ft gain

The rest of the day was lovely. I stopped by yet another Japanese restaurant to try yet another chirashi bowl. It's my third so far and also my least favorite of the three I tried. It wasn't bad or anything, it's just that the other two blew it out of the water.


I also figured there would be a sale at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop, and was right! I showed a lot of restraint by buying exactly one thing: a set of vintage fake grapes.

I've wanted vintage fake grapes for years. Found these today for $13, minus 50%, at a Presidents' Day sale.

I've been wanting some of these for well over ten years. A club in Seattle that's no longer around that I really liked had very eclectic decor, including a whole display case full of vintage fake grapes. One of my big regrets was that I never managed to get back to that club before it closed.


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