09-19-2013, 05:41 AM
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
I was headed for Willapa Hills Trail however I didnít pay attention to the trail part and was looking for a State Park. I headed for where I thought I would find the "state park" but I didnít see any sign nor a park. The road turned to dirt and after I went around two switch backs I stopped to see where the GPS pointed the geocache to be. It told me it was back where I came from but I didnít see a park there. I decided since I didnít know where the road was going I would turn around.
After going back down I decided to give up on that one, for now, and go find the cache at the Rainbow Falls State Park. It had been a number of years since I had been to that park and at the time you could access it from Hwy 6. Now you have to cross the river and access it from the North side.
I liked the blue Geiko gecko. Itís trackable and even though I thought it was cool I left it for someone else to find. Sometimes I will take trackable items to a new cache but other times I donít.
Iím starting to get some stamps on my two page "passport".
There is sign describing a flood that went through in 2007 which change the park to some degree. I looked it up after I got home and found this article: http://blog.oregonlive.com/terryrichard/2008/06/rainbow_falls_a_peacful_place.html I donít remember when the last time I was there but I know it was before it flooded and the fish were swimming up stream. It was the first and only time I have seen fish and "climbing" a falls. The falls isnít big but it is swift. It was very memorable.
This time the river was pretty dry, so much so I didnít even bother to take any pictures of it. I was looking forward to seeing the old bridge again and it was gone. All in all it was a fairly disappointing stop. The up side though is I did check out the campground and it looks nice. When I stopped before I didnít even realize there was a campground there. Knowing where nice campground are makes it easier for me when Iím traveling especially in areas where you really canít just pull off and set up camp.
As I was leaving the Rainbow Falls State Park I saw a sign Willapa Hills Trail and an arrow pointing east on Leudinghaus Rd. Ok I would follow it and see if I could find that cache. As I was riding along it finally dawned on me that I should be looking for a trail and not a park.
My GPS didnít think I was going the right way and wanted me to turn around.
That road had me back to where I was earlier but coming in from the other side. At the bottom of the hill I once again didnít see any trailhead signs. I rode a little ways and as the GPS indicated I was moving away from the cache I decided to turn around and go back. There was a small parking area and I realized it was for the trail.
The only sign indicating the trail. I was looking for a state park tail sign so didnít pay much attention to this sign when I past it. Observation sometimes is missing in my little bag of tricks
Maybe thatís why there are no signs, the trail is closed.
I looked at the gate and I donít like to do things Iím not supposed to do so I walked around trying to decide what to do. I didnít want to access a closed trail but at the same time after coming all this way plus the effort it took me to find the trail I hated the idea of not getting the cache.
While I was thinking I took time to enjoy the flowers.
Finally I decided to go ahead and walk down the trail and look for the cache. The cache was only a half-mile from the parking area so I figured all would be fine and heck there was no one around. I couldn't imgine anyone would catch me going where I wasn't supposed to be.
I kept seeing squiggly lines on the road and wondered what made them.
Then I found the culprit.
Maybe he needs a GPS to show him where to go.
Ahead there were two small deer in the road. I thought they would get spooked when they saw me but one in particular was very curious, watching me and started walking my direction. Meanwhile I could hear the mom in the bushes whistling that high pitch whistle deer make when they think there is danger.
I looked at my GPS and realized I had passed the cache so I left the deer alone and returned to find the cache.
The GPS reception was very spotty in this area but luckily the owner of the cache had a good description in the hints so I was able to find it.
From the trail you couldnít see the cache but from behind the tree it was easy to spot.
With the cache found I started the walk back to the bike. The trail is on an old railroad bed and is flat, straight and fairly boring. It would be a nice bicycle path though. As I was walking I spotted this feather and stopped to check it out.
As I was looking at the feather on the ground, I like how deep blue it is, I heard a noise ahead on the trail. I looked up to see the cab of a state park pickup pointed down the trail. Ahhhhhh crap. The noise I heard was the gate opening so they could drive in. My mind started to run in circles, wondering what to do. I didnít think they had seen me, I could hide in the bushes. I didnít want to do that since if they had seen me then I would look like I was up to no good. I kept walking trying to come up with a good story as to why I was on a closed trail. I couldnít say I didnít see the sign. I no longer can get away with batting my eyes and looking cute (that ship sailed years ago) I didnít have a good reasons for being there and I couldnít even come up with a believable lieÖÖ Crap, crap, crapÖÖthis is why I donít like to do things Iím not supposed to do.
As I continue to walk to the trail entrance the pickup came toward me, I figured I would just tell them I was looking for a cache. Going for the truth would be best. When the pickup got to where I was I smiled and waved. The two people in the cab smiled, waved back, and kept going. WhewÖ.. no explanation needed. I was doing a lot of sweating for nothing. I didnít like that.
The map doesnít look like finding the Willapa Hills Trail should be all that difficult. I just made it harder than it needed to be.