WAS IT THE ONE?
So having declared Dark Canyon Falls a loss, we backtracked for a few minutes towards the Fuller Mill Creek Picnic Area, arriving at 11am. However, there was a wide bridge with large pullout next to it, and we figured that that was the place to park the car to do this next excursion for the Fuller Mill Creek Waterfall. The pullout was nice and shady and there was a couple of other cars parked here (I’m guessing those people were also looking for the falls or have already found it as well).
Anyways, this time Mom wanted to stay behind and be with Tahia for a bit. Meanwhile, Julie and I pressed forward with this “easy” hike (at least according to the Ann Marie Brown book).
We started off by going on the far side of the bridge. We had read that the trail on the left side of the creek near the pullout was much rougher, and from looking at the initial steep scrambling descent, we could see that it was a little dodgy.
Once we were at the start of the hike, that was when we were met by a pair of signs indicating the creek was closed to protect the mountain yellow legged frogs. We weren’t sure if the hike was off limits or not, but we definitely had no intention of going in the water anyways. So we pressed on.
But right off the bat, we saw that the hike followed a narrow trail of use with plenty of dead falls and plenty of opportunities to either get lost or lose the trail if we weren’t paying attention. So we were glad we didn’t bring Tahia along on this one.
Plus, the book said it was only a five-minute walk, but it was clear that we spent way longer than five minutes on this hike, which so far involved keeping our balance on narrow sections as well as climbing up some fairly steep scrambles. It was definitely non-trivial.
Given our expectations that this was supposed to be “easy,” we began to doubt whether we were doing this trail right or not. I guess it goes to show you that what might be “easy” for one person may not translate well to others. Either that or the trail must’ve really degenerated since the time the book was written.
Anyways, it was probably about 11:40am when we finally scrambled over to a rather underwhelming waterfall that was probably no more than 10 or 15ft. Everything else on the creek was mostly rapids and bouldery cascades, so this was the only real vertical drop that we’ve seen, and it was an underwhelming one at that.
Julie and I weren’t sure if this was the one, but there was another pair of those yellow-legged frog signs near the creek. So we snapped a few photos, but somehow we wondered if we should keep pressing on.
So that we did.
But only about 10 minutes later, it appeared that the trail either started to disappear into creek or it started to become ill defined. We weren’t sure if we had hit a dead-end or not, but we weren’t very comfortable continuing on. So we turned back thinking that waterfall that we originally saw was the one. Yet somehow we left with a very unfulfilled feeling.
At 12:20pm, we were back at the car. Even finding the way back wasn’t that easy, especially in the parts where we had to scramble down. And apparently Tahia (who was fussy earlier at the Dark Canyon closure) seemed to be in a better mood now.
So with that, we decided to head on over to Idyllwild and see what that town is all about. Mom said that she and Dad took my brother and I here many years ago. But I definitely don’t remember it. Perhaps that might be an indication of whether Tahia will remember any of what we’re doing during these formative years.
We made it into the village at about 12:50pm. While Julie had to tend to some business preparing more milk for Tahia, Mom and I went on a quick walk with Tahia in her stroller just to get a feel for the village’s center while also scoping out a place to eat.
We eventually settled on this place next to a bank with a fairly impressive menu. So we spent the next couple of hours just soaking in the relatively quiet Idyllwild while making sure Tahia was comfortable. We did have some concerns about how Tahia’s rest would be impacted from the loud motorbikes being rev’ed up from time to time.
At 2:55pm, we finally left Idyllwild and headed home. We managed to catch the very end of the Lakers Hornets game in which the Lakers were upset at home. I guess that kind of summed up a rather “not-quite” kind of a day…