November 21, 2012

Frozen Waterfall

Curled up in a blanket in the back of the Jeep, Casco lifts his head with anticipation, as he feels the gear shift into park. He looks forward to adventure as much as I do. We are running late after relying on bad GPS coordinates rather than utilizing the common sense of an atlas. However, a late hike trumps no hike. 

Cracking with each step, I pause momentarily on the iced-over trail and watch the spider-webbing cracks before my weight breaks through. Comparatively to last season, we've experienced much colder daily temperatures and reached greater overnight lows. This should make for an ideal start to January ice fishing. Until then, I'll have to settle for standing on trail-side ice. 

With elevation gain comes a bit of blowing snow. A mixture of fall and winter seem to greet hikers on each corner. One moment brings patches of mud. The next, frozen snow-covered ground. 

An hour in, I pause to top off the Nalgene with ice-cold stream water. The section I dip the mouth of the bottle into is fast-flowing over rocks and white in color. This area is a safer bet than slow and stagnant pools.

Cone-shaped ice caps hang from a dead branch in the stream.  Ice-caked rocks steadily sit in an ice bath. 

Reaching the waterfall on Mt. Jackson, I hold my hand up between the horizon line and the setting sun's position. We have one hour of daylight left. If you've never used this method, each finger represents 15 minutes of remaining light. Unfortunately, we'll have to settle for this being our turning point of the hike. 

I admire hundreds of icicles cleverly clinging to the rock face alongside the falls. Soon the flow will slow to a mere trickle and ice will consume the entirety of the falls.

A deep pool below the falls would make for an reinvigorating summer's swim. Full disclosure: Ms. Backwoods Plaid refused to take the dip today.

Nature is an amazing, always changing, and awe-inspiring attraction  that keeps me coming back.

Today's Gear:


Ben said...

Great pictures. That spot looks like it might hold some good brook trout? Did you see any when you were there? Maybe toss a Tenkara rod in your pack just in case you come across good spots like this.

Rhon Bell said...

The fishing near this area is great, but I left my travel rod at home this trip. Thanks for checking out the site, Ben! Happy Thanksgiving.


Nigel said...

Great report Rhon, I love the colder weather, ours is set to turn cold next week with hopefully some snow. Love those whipcord pants, something else to add to my wish list. I did manage to get a Double Mackinaw this year though so bring on the cold weather I'm ready now. BTW Happy Thanksgiving Rhon to you and your good lady.

Rhon Bell said...

Nigel, I will eventually be getting to a report on the Whipcord Pants, but they are great thus far. To be honest, wore them to the funeral of my Aunt today. These are multi-purpose, great looking pants.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Anonymous said...

We vacation in Maine every couple years. We've visited several falls in summer, but these images make me want to plan a winter trip.


Rhon Bell said...


That would be an excellent plan on your part. Let me know if you need ideas.