We were warned!! On the next-to-last day of our Washington Peninsula waterfall trip, we were busy. We'd started the morning with Falls View Falls near Brinnon, then moved on to Rocky Brook Falls near Dosewallips. For the hat trick we wanted to see Hama Hama falls.
Instructions were a little vague -- take Forest Road 25 and eventually you come to a high bridge. Look down, and that's it.
The fun began when we saw a Forest Service truck headed our way. We stopped and asked how to get to the falls. Turns out there were two of them ... one on private land fairly nearby, to which Ranger Rochelle couldn't give directions, and the other .... well, there were two washouts between here and there, and she personally wouldn't even try to get there with her truck.
Ranger Rochelle, who was as cute as she proved inaccurate, wasn't clear about distances, but thought the last washout was about 6 miles from the falls. It was actually closer to 15 miles, but who's counting?
"Let's go check it out," said my friend Allan. "It may not be as bad as she thinks, and I'm an expert at this kind of driving." Considering we were traveling in a low-slung Accord with hip-killer seating and a leaking a/c unit dripping condensate on our feet, Allan seemed a trifle over-confident.
But Allan is a very good rough-country driver, and he did navigate the washouts. At one of them, we saw this unmarked, but nifty "old man profile" rock formation:
And the washouts restricted traffic enough so game was plentiful.
Eventually we got to the falls by the simple expedient of reaching the end of the road! Nothing there but a parking lot, a privvy, and a very high bridge.
Unfortunately, it was late morning, the sun was high, and the contrast between light and shadow made good photography really tough. (See last week's post). Worse, when you're shooting straight down on a falls from some altitude, you lose almost all sense of depth and scale. So a couple of pix like this one were the best I could do.
You can see other pictures here .
Back we went, and all was well. Until Allan tempted the fates. We were between the washouts, on a smooth stretch of road, when Allan spied a small stone in the middle of the road. "That's a tire killer," he instructed me. (I've been driving rough back-country roads since well before Allan was born, but hey, who can't learn a thing or two?). So he carefully aimed the car so the rock was dead center, doing about 35 mph.
CLATTERclatter whine bang clatter.
That's the type-setting equivalent of a bad tranny, umpteen miles from home, out of cell phone range, with another washout ahead.
Allan, God never forgives hubris (or arrogance). That rock didn't like being belittled as a mere tire killer, and by George, it proved it by jumping right up from the road to hit us!
After a few minutes the internal bit of tranny that was banging machined itself into semi-silence, and we ventured onward, eventually making it back to Seattle. The car had definite internal damage and a cracked tranny housing, so Allan was facing major problems in the near future. But for now we braved it out, babied the car, and had another adventure-filled trip on the Mountain Loop the next day.