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.
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 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.