Wallace Falls middle falls overlook-4 miles out and back, not sure of the elevation.
Pass-Discover Pass Difficulty-3.5/5 (with kids) Rating-3.5/5
This past week we had great weather and this weekend was no exception. Since we had a great forecast, I really wanted to go camping on the Olympic Peninsula. Sadly that didn’t happen.
Saturday morning our landlord had to come by the house with his contractors and fix a leak. We weren’t sure if we wanted to wait around for him, or just go. Finally we decided that we wanted to go on a hike and so we decided to just go. Before we went we had to make a few stops. We stopped at the bank ATM to deposit some checks, but the ATM only deposited one of the checks (but kept the others). So we spent some time trying to get that all worked out. After the bank we had to stop by REI to make some returns and get the kids some rain jackets. We wanted to get the rain jackets before the hike, just in case we got caught in the rain.
The REI here is pretty neat. Its huge! There is a rock climbing wall inside and a huge fire place. There is also a really neat play area for the kids to play in. It worked out well for us; While Chris made the returns and decided which jackets he wanted to get the kids, I watched the kids play. Ryan found a jacket he really liked because it looked educated (not sure where he got that from???). Sadly that wasn’t the one we were going to get him, so he had a mini melt down. We convinced him the new one looked even more educated plus it was green so he would be camouflaged with the trees. He loved it after he tried it on and looked in the mirror and realized that in fact it was educated and camouflaged. Lilly got to pick out a pretty pink one so she was thrilled!
After we finished at REI it was too late for us to go on our hike, plus we were starving. We went to a burger place near our house called Red Mill Burgers. It gets great reviews so we were excited to try it out. Sadly we were disappointed with it. It was loud and crowded, cash only, and the meat tasted like a patty from a fast food chain. Plus it was fairly expensive. We won’t be going back.
We went back to our house and our landlord was still there with his contractors fixing the leak so we decided to go on a bike ride. I wasn’t thrilled about this. I don’t mind riding bikes, but Seattle has SO many hills. Chris guaranteed there were only a minimal amount of hills so I agreed to go. We drove down the huge hill and parked. Chris took us on his bike route that goes to his work. We didn’t go all the way to his work, just part way. It really was so pretty. First we pass by a bunch of trains. Then we are on the Puget sound. We passed by parks, and fishing piers. There were sail boats, and cargo boats. There were a lot of people out enjoying the good weather. The kids loved riding in their bike trailer. We stopped at a few different places to let the kids run around. The kids loved watching the boats, climbing on rocks, and blowing dandelions (wish makers) for wishes. I even made it back without complaining, although there were more hills than I would have liked. 😉
After that we decided to go to a beach that we had heard about and had been wanting to go to. Its called Golden Gardens. There is a fun play ground for the kids and a really nice sandy beach. The kids played on the playground for a bit, then spent time digging in the sand and standing near the water. It was really pretty and I think we will go back. Its less than 20 minutes from our house, so its further than Discovery Park beach, but still close. They are very different beaches, but both are great!
Sunday was General Conference so we didn’t have church. We decided instead being cooped up at home, where we would spend way too much time on our individual screens, we would go out on a family hike. We decided to go to Wallace Falls. It was about an hour and an half from our house. The drive was beautiful and we saw another Bald Eagle. (Still weird for me that we randomly see them.) We got to the parking lot of Wallace Falls, but it was packed. We had to park about a quarter of a mile down the hill from the parking lot/trail head.
This was our first family hike in a while. Ryan has been on a lot and did great in the past, but it has been a long time, so we had no idea how he would do. Lilly hasn’t ever walked much on any of our hikes so we brought a carrier for her. Ryan was a bit sluggish at first. He didn’t like that we were walking on a road (We had to walk on the road to get to the train head.) and he wanted to take a lot of breaks at first. Luckily he wore his Spiderman shirt. We realized that the Spiderman shirt would give him some of Spiderman’s powers. After he realized he could unleash the power he was a trooper. He hardly ever wanted to stop for a break. Once we reached the bottom of the falls he wanted to hike all the way to the top. (Another two miles each way.)
Lilly did OK. She walked maybe a 1/3 of the way. What was tricky with Lilly was that she wanted to walk for a few minutes, then ride for a while, then walk for a few minutes. It was a lot of stop and go for a while. When Lilly decided to walk she didn’t want her diaper. We told her that was OK but she needed to let us know if she needed to go potty. We did have to take several bathroom breaks for her. When she was riding in the carrier she would just drink from the camel back. She did go poop in the outdoors for the first time which was great! She is a pro at going in nature!
Lilly did fall once pretty good. She scraped her knee pretty good. When we were stopped trying to console her we saw a snake. Just a little thing, but it was fun to see. It was great seeing Ryan looking for things and noticing so much in nature. He loved finding new surprises and showing us. Both kids would look up at the moss covered tree branches and call it a tree monster. They noticed how it got colder by the waterfall, and water in general, and warmer when we were away from it. Ryan would also notice little paths we could take for a bonus view. He really enjoyed it and led the way the whole time.
The hike was probably about 4 1/2 miles. Ryan walked all of it with limited breaks, and Lilly walked about 1 1/2 miles of it. There was a decent amount of uphill. Very little flat hiking. The trail could be muddy in spots, but not too bad. We were in the forest most of the way, but a little bit was in full sun. None of us wore jackets. We did take a long time to do it, about 4 hours, but we really wanted Ryan to lead the way, explore, and have fun. Plus we had to stop a lot for Lilly. We all had a great time and Ryan is already asking to go back!