The day after I hiked up to Rainbow Falls, I decided to take another quick trip in the morning, to Blue Hole Falls. This is a short, half-mile hike to the waterfall, which flows out between cliffs into a pool of water. It is this pool of water that gives the falls its name. I figured a swift in-and-out hike, but it ended up a bit longer than expected.
Getting to the trail requires a sharp eye, to find the roads that lead to the trailhead. The directions say to turn onto Cassidy Bridge Road, but the sign is very hard to see, and it is really only identifiable by its number, rather than its name. So, I had missed it the first time, and then had to come back. After finding that, you have to turn left on to Rich Mountain Road, a very gravelly road, which leads to another gravel road, Cedar Creek Road. Finally, one has to park in an unlikely spot, a "road" called FS 2658. I use the term "road" very loosely, because one wouldn't want to drive on it without a very off-road vehicle, with a lot of clearance.
Anyway, I headed down the road with my camera bag, tripod, and hiking pack. After walking the road for a while, I saw a snail on a branch, and stopped to take some pictures. I was still playing with my new filters and different camera settings, but I feel like I got some good shots of the snail.
The road eventually leads to where a trail breaks off to the left, down a relatively steep embankment to a creek. To the right, there is a calm looking cascade, and to the left, the creek rushes by and you just see the water drop off out of sight. According to the directions, it just says "cross the creek". Easier said than done, it turns out. There are no easy stones to cross, except for a precarious ridge of rocks that are slippery. I decided to go, anyway, and it took some time to get across without falling in with all of my equipment or sliding down the rocks over the falls.
Once I got to the other side, I slid around a bit more down an embankment, and traipsed over rough terrain to where I could see the falls from a narrow ridge of trail. I found a good spot and set up for some pictures. They weren't the best, but I didn't have much space to adjust. The trail continues on down to the pool at the bottom, but the trail was extremely narrow at that point, and I opted not to attempt it on my own with all of my equipment.
When I got back to the creek, I made the decision to cross without the rocks. I took off my boots and socks and just waded across. The bottom was still slick, but the water wasn't too high to endanger my camera bag, and I traversed the distance in a much shorter time. On the far bank, I got out my spare socks (I was glad I brought some), and after waiting for my feet to dry, I got my socks and boots back on and made my way back out.
This time, when I followed the trail, it looked different. In fact, it seemed easier and shorter. Once I got to the road, I realized that this was probably the correct trail down, not the one that I had originally took. So it is. Thus, my "brief" hike for the morning.