All right so this one is a bit interesting. This little waterfall is not really something that I would include on my website. It is 20 ft. high, but is disqualified because it is not on a named stream. It is just a little side stream and cascade. Yet it does flow for much of the year, even in winter of all the silly things. It is not a named waterfall of course or otherwise documented elsewhere. So I believe that means I have naming rights to it. Hoo Hoo.
Thus my name for this little thing is Gladys Falls, in honour of my mother. It is, after all, in her very backyard (practically). It is found along a new little trail that begins immediately below my mother’s property in Rossland BC. And she is the first one (that I know of) that photographed it. So are there any objections? Good, I thought not.
I went down here with Tara and my dog Kaya one day. Kaya just loves Grandma’s house in Rossland in the winter, she loves the snow and loves going for walks in the snow (even if it is deep!). She did not want to leave with us when we were on our way to drive home, she wanted to stay at Grandma’s house (I am not kidding). She just abhors the car rides now (and of course, it is a 800 mile drive to my mother’s house!). This is not good for her at all. She used to be so much better when she was younger and did not mind the car rides. Not so anymore, and this was the worst year ever for her. She basically just gets so stressed in the car the entire time we are driving, and not much we can do about it. Poor old girl. I think her days of going to Grandma’s house in Rossland are over, unless we can figure out a solution. Maybe give her a couple beers before the drive. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
The view of the North Fork American River from the Canyon Creek Falls viewpoint is simply stellar. It is of course my favorite river on this planet. On this morning the river was raging at around 7000 cubic feet per second. By Sunday afternoon, it actually got up to 30,000 cfs. Wow, I wish I would have gotten out to see it then. If it was clear, you can see Lovers Leap from here, which also has some waterfalls on it, if they are flowing. You can also see some ephemeral falls at the top center of this photo, and in the lower left, the main Canyon Creek trail going down towards the river. It is a very awesome view.
My rainy day started out looking for waterfalls on Monumental Creek. Instead I found this.
I learned about this location from the late Russell Towle, well off the beaten path, towering pinnacle rocks called the Monuments, from which the creek was most likely named. There are four or five of them in this area, and the largest one shown here in my photo is certainly over 100 feet high, rising right out of the creek bed; it is an amazingly phenomenal structure. I knew about these Monuments from Russell, but did not know exactly where they were. They were not hard to find even though it did require scrambling up a steep slope through very wet brush.
But I came looking for waterfalls, not monuments. Russell also mentioned several waterfalls on this creek. However, whenever someone says “waterfall” and does not mention any sort of height, I should know by now that the “waterfall” is not likely to be one of significance. Nonetheless, after studying my topo maps, I thought it was possible there might be a 20 footer on this creek, and thus I figured I must at least go check it out. I did not, in fact, find anything of significance. The biggest of the “waterfalls” was only about 5 feet, and you can see it in this photo, a tiny ant speck in the midst of the towering monuments. Even though it was raining quite hard, I had to take a photo of these incredible pinnacles. I continued from here further up the creek, but still found no waterfalls of any significance. Reluctantly, I retreated back down the canyon and headed up to North Fork Falls, just a few miles away.
I have been to Horsetail Falls probably nine or ten times before, yet I (surprisingly) had never been to the very bottom of the falls before. From the spot of my previous photo (of the upper falls) there is still one more drop below that, a 35 foot cascade. After shooting the main upper section first, I set out to remedy this calamity on my way back down. There is a path through the bushes leading down to this lower section but the final part is a bit on the steep and slippery side. I decided I could butt slide down it because it was not really too bad and I was pretty sure I could easily get back up since there were plenty of bushes to grab onto (and indeed it was easy getting back up). Well I made it down and imagine my surprise when I found a waterwheel here (a waterwheel is formed when the fast rushing water collides with rocks or holes, then sprays out and upwards in a large arc). I had no idea Horsetail Falls had a waterwheel. I have never seen any photos from this location before but it is certainly an incredibly sweet place. Discover something new every time, that may be my new motto.
I took some photos but I was not happy with them, so I returned here again the next week (yesterday), anxious to explore this area more intently. There was actually quite a bit more water flowing in the waterfall than the previous week, and more bugs (but not mosquitoes). Strange. Anyway, I put my water shoes on so I could make my way down right to the bottom of the falls, then crossed over the rocks to the far side, as far as I could possibly get. The stream was rushing too fast to cross completely or even get in the middle of it, but I was able to get some fantastic perspectives. This is an amazing secret little spot. So remarkable. So beautiful. Who would’ve thunk that Horsetail Falls had so much more to offer. Once again, I was the last one off the mountain, and I returned home happy happy happy.
Well it has been awhile, but I am just now back from a vacation. We drove up to Canada to visit my family and celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. As I write this, I am sore, tired, and sick. I did not see as many waterfalls as I would have liked, and I did not take as many photos as I would have liked, but it was not for lack of trying. More to come on this later.
On the drive up, I was hoping to get a good sunrise shot of Mt. Shasta. In order to accomplish such a feat, I got up at 2AM and drove up from Folsom. I picked my family up in Red Bluff (at my wife’s parents’ house) at around 5AM (she was not all that pleased about the time). We arrived in the Mt. Shasta area and it looked to be rainy and overcast, and the mountain was not visible, so we kept on driving. North of Weed, we came to a vista point at sunrise time. The clouds were clearing up, and it was a cold, but pleasant sunrise. Though the color was not very interesting as I had hoped, we did get some nice alpenglow on the mountain. It was a good start to our trip.