Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hikes in Evercreech Forest Preserve: It's kinda like Middle Earth

I haven't posted in a month (again) because, well, mostly life is same old same old. What with becoming increasingly large and pregnant, I really don't get out much, and other than a lot more large spider sightings than last year (I'll post photos at some point to make people cringe), not much has happened.

But Phillip and I did finally manage to make it out to the West Coast last weekend.

As far as "stuff", there really wasn't much there that I was aware of. Because Phillip's job involves driving all over the state to move people, he really only mostly knows what areas have really pretty scenery and are the worst to move into as far as houses in hilly areas with ridiculously steep driveways. And even though he's grown up here, he's never really been anywhere in a touristy sense. But, he told me the scenery driving out to the West Coast was really pretty, and, thanks to Google, found a few tourist attractions.

Now, obviously, being that it is the West Coast, there is a, well, coast. There's the Bay of Fires, and, um, that's all I really remember. What Phillip told me he read was that it looks like the bay is on fire if you get there at the right time of day. That time being sunset, or close to it. But, since it was a 3 hour long drive, we didn't plan on getting there to see that since it would mean coming home extremely late. Oh well, other times if camping is a possibility, perhaps.

Our main plan ended up being: hiking through the White Knights, which are a type of massive eucalyptus tree. Then, depending on how pregnant I was feeling (walking can be... difficult at the moment. As can sitting for long hours. Too much of either leads to remarkable pain and discomfort), we were going to take another short hike to see a waterfall in the same general region as the White Knights.

From Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
This is what was described to us.
From what Phillip told me (and later told me he read somewhere), the White Knights sounded like walking through that forest scene in Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings, when the fellowship enters into the woodland elves realm.  All those massive white trees, kind of glowing and breathtaking. No undergrowth, and just, well, MASSIVE white trees.

Picturing this made the real thing somewhat disappointing. Not FULLY disappointing  as there are still a lot of similarities, and it wasn't that the hike wasn't beautiful, it was just... well, it was a lesson in realistic expectations.
What a majority of the White Knights ACTUALLY looked like.
Not the massive 300-yr-old ones, but still, beautiful.

Estimated at around 300 years old. This is the biggest tree I have ever seen.
It's quite majestic.
Big fat 300-year-old tree and big fat pregnant lady.
Just for some perspective (I know I have a long way to go yet!).
Honestly though, the walk was nice and easy, through some temperate rain forest (lots and lots of massive ferns) and then seeing those massive white trees. They really were quite impressive and beautiful. And the walk itself was just... nice. Really pretty.

Phillip enjoying the walk.
Or something I said.
After a nice picnic lunch of mostly lots of fruit, we drove the twenty or so minutes to Mathinna Falls. Waterfalls, of course, need plenty of water to be in existence. We really, at this point, haven't had much rain in 2-3 months, so Phillip and I weren't very hopeful that the falls would be going, but the walk promised to be easy again, and nice. Water was flowing in the stream the path followed so we weren't surprised when, nearly halfway in, we could hear the roar of rushing water. But it was much stronger than we thought it would be! And SO beautiful!

Not the BEST picture of the falls, but the one Phillip got needs some touching up.
We'll pop it up at a later date for your enjoyment.
We had planned on taking a brief trip to the beach and going for a swim, but we needed to fill up on petrol. However, it seems that all the towns within a 30 minute driving distance were the kind that you blink once and you miss. And all of them only had one petrol station. That was cash only. And closed on Saturdays. So, we never made it to the beach, but instead turned around to go back home, in the direction we knew we would get petrol before the car died.

Also, driving through the forest on the way to the waterfall, we saw plenty of kangaroos. REAL kangaroos. Which still impress me since most of what I see around home are wallabies. And most of those tend to be roadkill.
Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Overall, it was a nice trip. Not so much the driving (our air conditioning doesn't work well, if at all, and Phillip doesn't like to have the windows down as much as I do). Also, sitting for long periods of time makes my back and belly all achy. But getting out and seeing some reasonably new things, very nice. Being able to take nice easy walks through said new things? Even better for my achy pregnant body that can't decide if sitting is too much or walking is too much.