As the sun shone in on Clara's birthday party the day before we had identified three potential hikes to keep the guys busy during Nicole's Northwest baby shower. Rattlesnake Ridge was too long for McKenna, the new puppy Les was bringing. The Owl Spot on Mt. Washington would be shorter, but probably wouldn't have too great a payoff. That left Kamikaze Falls on Mt. Tenerrife.
The hike promised a minor elevation gain over the first 1.2 miles climbing from 950 feet to 1240 along an old logging road. The trail from the road to the falls was only 0.4 miles long, but climbed 1220 feet. Ouch. Still don't get it? That's a 40% grade. It felt like we were climbing stairs.
The dogs (Tokul, Addie, and McKenna) would run out ahead of us then run back when we called. There were clearly tired, but seemed intent on showing each other they could continue to run without being worn out. The only time Tokul didn't come right back was when she met Cheech on his way down the mountain.
Although the map only showed the trail going to Kamikaze Falls this guy said he'd taken the trail all the way up to the Tenerrife summit. Dan and I had made it there via the roads from the summit of Mt. Si, but this approach offered a completely different experience.
We struggled our way up to the base of the falls and were awed by the height. It looked like we could continue up so we put our soles back on the trail to gain another 100 vertical feet to a small ledge between the upper and lower sections of the falls. I've no idea how high the falls actually are, but they seemed insanely high. The water shot off the edge of the rough rocks and the stream broke apart in mid-air before crashing down on the next section.
I climbed up higher to pose with Clara and then down to take pictures from the base. Carl insisted on climbing below me to catch me if I fell. Actually, he was there to pluck Clara out of the pack as I fell past him, but at least one of us might make it.
After a few moments and a bundle of pictures we reluctantly turned back to the trail and down the hill. Although uphill is hard on the muscles and lungs downhill is murder on the joints. By the time we were back on the road we all had shaky legs. All except McKenna, that is. Her youthful enthusiasm knew no bounds as she tried to induce Tokul and Addie to play, but to no avail. Clara also had a surplus of energy and shouted at the dogs as they ran back and forth on the final stretch of the road.
We ended the adventure at Scott's Dairy Freeze with burgers and fries. A couple of hoochie mamas reminded me that at some point I'd lose control of what Clara wore and that'd be really hard to deal with. That was a ways down the road, though, so we just laughed at the girls and fed Clara fries.