Mill Creek
October 17, 2009
I was trying out some no-slip boots made for trout fishing that featured felt soles and metal studs. They are designed to let water quickly drain out, so I didn't hesitate to wade through the shallow stream.
I hadn't walked very far before I saw movement in the woods upstream. Sure enough it was Randy and his faithful companion Junie. They must have arrived at daybreak to be returning from the big waterfall already.
Junie let out a couple of "woof!"s when I started walking toward them but a quiet command from Randy was enough to let her know everything was o.k. After that she was as friendly as can be.
Randy filled me in on what to expect upstream, then we said our goodbyes and I continued my hike. I stopped at a pretty area where the water cascaded over a short rock shelf that spanned the creek. At another wonderful spot, massive boulders lined the creek on both banks.
Aside from the big falls themselves, my favorite location was a long shallow hole with two large boulders on my left. When I attempted to climb up on one of the boulders, I found it to be covered with a thick, lush moss of a variety I had never seen. I didn't want to damage the moss, so I settled for a photo that only required my tripod legs to rest on the soft bed of fallen leaves and moss.
The hike upstream wasn't always so easy. At several spots I had to choose between walking through deep water or scrambling over small boulders. I chose the boulders, but the studs on my boots tended to slide across the relatively smooth sandstone surfaces.
I spent a couple of hours enjoying the area around the big waterfall. I tried to wade out into the green pool to get a closer photo of the waterfall, but after a few steps the water was already up to my waist. No telling how deep that hole is! I had the thought that perhaps some time in the past this was somebody's favorite swimming hole.
I wanted to explore farther upstream, but ran out of daylight. I made good time on the return hike downstream. As I entered the flat woods just upstream from the big field, I put on my headlamp and set it on blink mode. I knew it was muzzleloader deer season and even though there was a slim chance any hunters would be near my path, I wanted to make sure I couldn't me mistaken for a deer.
I had been looking for a chance to visit a beautiful waterfall my friend Randy Wilson had discovered in the Hurricane Creek Wilderness area. The hike revealed a small, quite stream surrounded by colorful fall foliage in a flat, gentle valley floor. I felt like I was in a secret place few people had ever visited.
It was around 9 when I parked the Tahoe just up from where the forest service road forded Hurricane Creek. Another vehicle was parked nearby, and I suspected it was Randy's. I walked about 275 yards through the middle of a food plot to find the mouth of Mill Creek, which gently spilled into a huge green hole on Hurricane Creek.