Monday, June 6, 2016

Ammonite Falls Adventure

Yesterday was a real adventure! More that I was expecting for sure. The plan was a nice family hike - under 10k long, with a couple of steep sections with ropes (or so we were warned) - and a picnic lunch at the falls. It all sounds great, then you realize that the day was one of the hottest so far this year - the truck thermometer was saying 33 degrees Celsius when we were on our way back from the park. Thankfully, most of the trail was well shaded - and we all brought plenty to drink as well as sunscreen.

Everything started out smoothly enough, except that all the hills were down on the outbound leg. Everyone knows what that means when you're returning along the same trail. Moderately easy, though I wasn't looking forward to coming back. I slow down a lot on uphill legs of a walk or hike.

Then we came to the first of the steep sections. Silly me. I'd envisioned something like big stairs with a rope acting as a railing. Nothing close at all. And the first of them was something that you could in theory pass through without needing the rope. I didn't try. I used the rope all the way down - wasn't going to be taking a chance. It was the next segment, to the bottom of the falls that was the real adventure though!

Ammonite Falls Trail.
I've never done something like this before, and I wasn't too sure how to go about it this time, but got plenty of coaching from the Ammonite Falls veterans in the group. It's pretty intimidating to go down a hill backwards so you can't really see where you're going, but that's really the only way to do it - and hang onto the rope good and tight!

The scenery at the bottom and the picnic lunch were worth it though. The falls were beautiful, and the pool looked like a wonderful swimming hole - I didn't do any swimming, but I'll admit to paddling my feet and sitting on the edge. The rocks though were pretty slippery, so I didn't keep that up for very long - and the water was pretty cold.
Ammonite Falls - the top section

Ammonite Falls - the bottom portion

If getting down the slope was fun, going back up the ropes was even more of a challenge! I'm just going to call it a full body workout and leave it at that - with the note that I'm paying for the hike today in stiff muscles.
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