North Trail Canyon Road is rated as “lightly trafficked” so I was surprised to see a line of cars on either side of the entrance to the road which would ultimately lead to the trailhead. However, we never did encounter as many people as there were cars (which is disconcerning in its own way.)
Once on the canyon floor, the sound of water was steady, although its source was not always seen.
There was no ultimate destination to be seen. The trail wove around the hills, its incline unknown.
Just as the opening to Land of the Lost started playing in my mind, I heard a woman’s shrill scream… followed by a brief pause and the laughter of boys.
“Did you not see that thing?!?!” the unseen female yelled at her male friends who were laughing at her. “That snake was huge! It was right there, off the trail!”
The threesome came around another bend as Tucker and I waited to make room for them to pass by. “Well I don’t think it’s there anymore after that scream,” I said to her.
She continued with, “It was huge! Just lying there on the side of the hill!”
I asked if they had been to the bottom or the top of the falls, since their attire leaned toward swimming, not hiking.
“The bottom,” she said.
I asked how to get there, since I only had directions to the top.
“Oh you’ll see, there’s a small path and then a rope to help climb down.
“Ah, a rope. I guess I’ll be sticking to the top.”
The girl had much more faith in Tucker and me than I had. “Oh, he could do it,” she said, assessing Tucker. Sure he might have the muscle, but the lack of thumbs is a major hinderance when climbing a rope.
Tucker and I continued along the path, and found that even to get to the top of the falls, one had to get down a hill. This one didn’t have a rope:
I turned around and saw a guy there.
“Is there an easier way down?” I asked.
“Yeah, if you keep going along the trail, you can find a better spot to climb down,” he replied.
“Okay. Thanks. I think we’ll give that a try.”
I climbed back up awkwardly with Tucker and continued down the path that I had initially set out on, but thought it wouldn’t end up where I wanted.
In fact, it ended up in an even better place.
Pride and body unbroken, I helped Tucker climb up the slippery rocks and we strolled further upstream.