No, I did not kayak the falls. You should know me better than that.
I did not kayak, and I didn’t fall. Okay, I did fall once, but that was later in the day at Lake Julia.
On Saturday, I headed up to DuPont as I do many weekends these days. I parked at Hooker Falls and headed up the Triple Falls trail towards – you guessed it – Triple Falls. As I approached the bottom set of falls, I saw a guy carrying a kayak up the stream towards the falls and thought to myself, “Well, this might get interesting.”
I hiked up to the middle falls and descended the stairs to the landing where you can get out onto the base of the second set of falls, and sure enough, kayak guy (which turned out to be kayak guys and camera gal) was just arriving on scene. Being that this was the first day of spring break down here, and a fairly nice Saturday, there was already a good crowd on this popular trail, but it grew as people realized someone was considering running the falls.
The guys spent quite a while looking at the lower falls before deciding that there wasn’t enough water flow to attempt it. They then climbed up above the middle falls, and eventually above the top falls, to scout out lines.
This actually took quite a while, and the crowd had grown considerably at this point. It was a nice day to relax while waiting though.
Then it was time to haul the kayak up the middle falls, a job I’m glad didn’t fall to me.
The first guy got set in the pool between the top and middle falls, while his buddy Hunter scrambled down to be ready in case a water rescue was needed. It was hard to tell from below when he was ready to go, so a few false starts rippled across the crowd, but then finally it was time, and I captured eight frames per second of the first run:
There was a noise somewhere between a cheer and a sign of relief as he paddled over to the water’s edge and celebrated with his friends. A few minutes later, they switched roles and first guy set up below as Hunter made his run down the same chute:
I’m not a sports shooter, and I didn’t have a super long lens with me, but I think these pictures turned out pretty cool. I’d been there for about an hour at this point, so I went over and shook their hands, then got back to the business of making miles.
And now for something completely different.
I made my way around to the equally-crowded base of High Falls, but took no pictures on this day.
I then hiked over to Bridal Veil Falls for the first time, but didn’t take any pictures there either.
On my way back up the road from Bridal Veil, I did wander around the barn and fields a bit, which I had not done on previous visits to DuPont. I also shot a few frames (the last two below) with my new 12mm lens to see how I liked that focal length.
As I reversed course and hiked back towards the car, I ran into coworkers and friends Sandy and Gary at the High Falls overlook area, where I grabbed a quick shot as it started sprinkling:
As I drove back past the visitor’s center towards Caesar’s Head, I was amazed at the number of cars parked all along the road at each trailhead – it was several times busier than I’ve ever seen it, so I’m glad I got out on the trail early this day.
All in, I did around 7.5 miles on a perfect day for hiking – on and off sun but cool enough to be comfortable.