Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eagle Falls/Rapids

On a rocky precipice above Eagle Falls

I volunteered to do some guard duty at Scenic Hot Springs this past Wednesday in our attempts to control trespassers and vandals heading into the springs without permission. It is getting to be a big problem for us so every once in awhile we will make the long drive to sit up there and turn around those who seem to think these hot springs are theirs and they can do as they please.

While access is not a problem if asked for and there are no other concerns, irresponsible people continue to ignore and/or tear down the signs. Night time soaking is a problem. Fire builders are a problem. And teenaged drinking and partying are a problem. So we do guard duty in an attempt to educate these people and forestall problems in the long-range. Such is what I was doing up there Wednesday.

Boring, mainly. I turned back six cars of people . . . and waited patiently for two sets of people already up at the springs to come back down so I could give them a little education. Two of the cars were full of teenagers and one of them didn't even bother to continue the drive up to the gate . . . opting, instead, to back down without stopping. Guilty, one would presume.

In any case, boring. No nude time . . . no hot springs soaking. Around four pm I left, heading back to Seattle and pressing engagements later that evening. A shame to drive so far into the mountains and not get a chance to enjoy nature au' natural. As I drove I kept thinking about where I could get in half and hour or so of nude time. Passing Baring, I thought of Eagle Falls . . . if no other people where visiting that scenic location right beside the highway.

Eagle Falls and rapids are just west of Baring, WA along Highway 2. They result from a narrowing of the Skykomish River as it is forced through a hard cut in the basalt and granite of the terrain. Right off the highway in a large pullout that attracts many drivers to just stop and view the cascade of the river being forced through this rocky narrowing. Might as well be a viewpoint for it's popularity.

But today is a weekday, traffic is light and the weather (cloudy, mid 30s, misty) less than fun for clambering over slippery basalt to get down to the river. In the summertime this is a very popular swimming location at the large pool immediately downstream of the rapids. The smoothed basaltic extrusions make great partying locations right up against the river. Skinny dipping even happen here on occasion, despite the fact that most of the falls is visible from the viewpoint and the highway above. A little bit of discretion is called for. Nevertheless, there is plenty of room to be naked and not be seen from the highway. Just the tonic I was looking for.

All in all, a very enjoyable half hour just wandering around, taking pictures and enjoying the high-running river as it came roaring through the gap.

The photo album of this impromptu visit is here

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