It was only the first step that was really difficult, and after that, there was a sense of freedom. Plunging into the stream, the water instantly soaked boots and socks. From the bank the water had looked fast and deep. I cruised across with my (freakishly) long legs- the water seemed only ankle-deep. On the far bank after that first crossing, I threw off my pack and did jumping jacks to get warm quickly. Excess water sloshed out the sides of my non-gortex boots. Adrenaline flowing, heart pumping, I giggling with delight. So far, so good! I turned around and saw that Still Waters was up to her knees in the very same water, and the tops of her shorts were wet! As usual, she took it all in stride.
|On the deepest crossing, the water comes up to Still Water's knees.|
|The crossings get easier.|
No longer filled with worry over freezing, I soaked in the beauty of the clear rushing water and the lush green of the hemlock boughs sparkling in the sunlight. The trail stretched out before us.
The rewards for wet feet were solitude, and after a few miles and countless watercrossings, a series of high and rugged waterfalls. Still Waters found a perch for us to have lunch right at the top of one waterfalls but at the base of another falls.
|Airing out my feet during lunch on top of the falls.|
|Lower falls of Emery Creek.|
If the day had been any colder or if I hadn't worn warm wool socks and my comfy boots that don't give me blisters, I don't know if this experiment in hiking in wet boots would have been so successful. But I was really glad I had my regular hiking boots for those crossings because they offered more stability on the rocks and especially on the other parts of the trail, and they kept my feet warmer than sandals. I was glad to have taken the chance this time.
|Very faint trail.|
|So little traffic, the moss is lush on the trail.|