The Makings of an Epic Trip: Exploration

It had been circled on my map for several years. Up a small, trailless canyon was a waterfall that I had reason to suspect was at least mildly great.

It was a beautiful, early spring day, perhaps one of those first days with a hint of truly warm summer heat in the air. We had walked the nice trail that led us to our canyon, jumped off trail, and made our way through the thick underbrush, pushing away branches and ferns, sinking into the moss and mud, being smacked in the face every so often by a random plant that was protesting our entrance into its canyon.

We eventually opted for the creek, which, even with the slick rocks and cold water made the walking easier and had the added benefit of making this little jaunt seem all the more adventerous. There is just something about wading through a creek that screams adventure. I think it’s a mandatory scene in all great adventure movies. The brave explorers making their way up the creek, just before they stumble upon the ancient ruins of some long forgotten civilization, attacked with flying arrows by the local tribe, or one of the non-essential secondary characters is carried off by a dinosaur.

For our trip, nothing too exciting accompanied our bushwack up the valley, just beautiful Pacific Northwest Creek walking. As with most off-trail adventures, the going was sometimes quite tough. We took our share of spills, and came away with bruises and legs covered with scratches (Bushwacking 101 – wear pants), but it was worth it.

We followed the creek as it ran under several huge boulders that marked the entrance to the end of the valley. Around a final turn, our goal came into view — a beautiful and good sized waterall that most people never see. Our efforts had paid off.

It wasn’t a long or difficult journey — the entire endeavor only took us a couple of hours, but this little trip that occupied us one warm Saturday afternoon stays in my mind as an epic trip, not because of its length or diffculty, but because of the exploration involved and the departure from what most people experience.