Teneriffe Falls

My first hike of 2021. And my first uphill hike since my foot fracture. It felt amazing to be outside, on a hiking trail. And lucky for us, it was super dead. We passed a handful of people along the way. The original plan was to hike Wallace Falls. Karann picked. And we’d meet in North Bend, at the Safeway parking lot like usual. I get a bit of anxiety worrying about parking in hiking lots if I’m not there at sunrise. Karann doesn’t. So she drives us from the Safeway parking lot. And I usually grab a pre-hike donut before we head out. There is never any issue parking at trailheads. Eventually I’ll get over my hangup.

We met up and were in Karann’s car, pulling up the directions to the Wallace Falls trailhead/parking lot. Hahaha. Goes to show how much we both read the hike information… Wallace Falls is over off the 2, which is a good hour away from North Bend, and in the opposite direction than we both came from. We laughed and then decided to drive over to the Mount Si trailhead. There are several trails to nose around from the trailhead. We settled on Teneriffe Falls.

For a Sunday mid-morning, on a three-day weekend, it was DEAD. I thought for sure the parking lot—which is massive for a trailhead—would be jam-packed. Nope. There was even parking in the first row. We parked and made our way to the trail. We quickly looked at the trail map, deciding which trails to take to get over to the main Teneriffe Falls trail. There were a few different ways. We chose the most direct route.

It was beautiful. I love hiking with Karann, we’re like little kids… we stop at anything and everything. A mossy log will stop us for 10 minutes, while we admire the thing. After stopping and admiring everything from rocks to moss-covered trees, we eventually made it to the Teneriffe Falls trail. It’s a wide trail, with fern forests on both sides. Green galore. Gorgeous.

Gorgeous greens!

When we made it to where the main trail turns uphill into a narrower trail, there were two women—maybe 10 years older than us—walking from the opposite direction, on the main trail. They asked us how to get to Teneriffe Falls. We we literally standing in front of the smaller trail sign with an arrow pointing uphill, that said Teneriffe Falls. We laughed and said, we think this is it?! They laughed, and said they had been so busy chatting that they passed it while walking on the main trail. It looked like they had gone off-trail, because the main trail became awfully bushy if you passed the turn-off. Which is where they were walking toward us from. Haha, the older I get, the more and more I appreciate female friendships. They were having a blast, We let them pass us because they were meeting two friends up by the falls. And, I don’t like hiking with people close behind me. I like space. Even before Covid.

Mushrooms everywhere.

Up the narrower trail we went. It was more rocky and rough, and became more so as we approached the falls. We heard and saw a waterfall, and noticed there were people walking even further up on wet boulders. We started and then looked at each other, and both agreed we were good with calling this the falls. Karann had foot surgery early last year and I had just recovered from my foot fracture… we both decided calling it good was best for our feet. I find I’m way more cautious now, after having broken my foot back in 2016 and again dealing with the foot fracture hell of last fall. Karann is also cautious.

The narrow, rocky trail.

We admired the falls—at least the part we could see—and made our way back down the narrow, rocky trail. As we made it back to the main trail, there was a group of college kiddos making their way up. I was never a group person; I always preferred hanging out with one or two people, if not Brian. I’m still that way. Which is what I thought about when passing the college group. They were enjoying themselves, so more power to them.

Teneriffe Falls, the lower part.

When we made it back to the start of the main Teneriffe Falls trail, we decided to head back to the parking lot a different way, adding an extra mile or so to our hike by taking Talus Loop. I’ve hiked Talus Loop before, last summer. Our feet were feeling great and it wasn’t super uphill. I wanted to be somewhat careful of not going too uphill since this was my first hike with my foot healed. We passed a young family—a mom and dad with two young kiddos, maybe age four and two—and the two-year-old had found a small puddle to jump in. He wasn’t wearing rain boots. We were fairly far from the parking lot and mom looked done. She held it together as we passed but I totally understood her body language. I felt for her.

These trees in the middle of the trail! I love them. Rebels. And the fern forest that felt like it went on forever, on both sides of the trail.

On Talus Loop, we had to traverse a rocky waterfall that crossed the trail—that was deeper than it looked—followed by a massive downed tree that blocked the trail. We actually had to stop and figure out if the downed tree was actually on the trail. It was hard to tell because the tree split in different sections along the trunk, and branches galore poked out in all directions. We figured it out and climbed over the sucker. The rest of the trail going down was smooth sailing. My only complaint was this one guy… he was pulled over off the trail, talking on his phone. No biggie, he was being polite stepping off the trail. We passed him. He ended his call and hopped on the trail right behind us. I don’t know if maybe I’m oversensitive to having people hike on what feels like my back, but I wish he had waited a bit before resuming hiking. He was maybe 10 feet behind us, keeping our pace. I finally just looked at Karann and pulled to the side. He passed and we waited a bit before hiking again. Sometimes I wonder if men realize they can feel threatening. Not that I thought he was a rapist but personal space on a trail, in the wilderness, when nobody else is around is preferred. I digress.

The rocky waterfall across the trail.

We passed a few waterfalls along the trail.

A smiling tree! How adorable.

It was a fun outing! I’m anxious to hike with Karann again. It’s always a great time, making great memories.

2 comments

  1. You and Karann remind me of me and my hiking buddy, Lori! She is a science teacher so we’re always stopping to examine rocks and plants and flowers.

    Those trees in the middle of the trail are the coolest, as is the tee with moss on every branch and the trees with mushrooms growing out of them.

    Hahaha that guy’s mind was probably 1000% on that phone call that just ended and he probably had no idea that he was breathing down your necks, but I would’ve done the same thing as you. Hopped off to the side and let him get far ahead of me, but of course then I would worry that he was up ahead, waiting to stun gun us. LOL

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