Before the rain and hail descended, I squeezed in a short 3-mile+ rt along the Wilson River out past Wilson Falls in Tillamook State Park. But first I visited the Bridge Falls across 6, which was a very busy high-speed two-lane highway heading east out of Tillamook.
Of the two falls, the Bridge Falls was prettiest. Wilson Falls was anticlimactic, especially after the spectacular falls of the last two weeks in Silver Falls State Park and Niagara Falls. In fact, Wilson Falls was so unspectacular, that I picked my way across the water running across the trail without realizing that I was passing by it. Just another no-name falls, I thought. There are so many in Oregon.
Shortly afterward, I met a woman named Julie – Hey Julie!- hiking back. She had continued past Wilson for a little or so before turning around wondering if that could have been Wilson Falls back there. We decided to forge ahead in the hopes of something better, until we met two hikers starting from the ranger station hiking down river who informed us that we had passed Wilson Falls. So we all continued towards the Falls.
Julie and I shared the hike back, enjoying each other’s company. She was a very nice lady. She is relatively new to hiking, having been a trail runner for a while. We got into a discussion of gear, when she observed my hiking shoes might work better than her trail runners.
I had been wearing trail runners in drier climates for several years, but switched to hiking shoes in Maine, which was wet and rocky, shredding my initial and back-up pairs of trail runners. I have been happy with hiking shoes, which provide more protection to the feet and dry out more quickly than hiking boots.
So what is my day-hiking gear? My poles, useful when needed, like crossing a stream; my GPS beacon attached to my day pack, so that I can call for help and be found, if necessary; one small light on the pack and a back-up inside; also inside: two bottles of water, a water filter, two large Snickers bars and two meal bars, a sit-pad made from a section of a foam sleeping pad, a rain jacket, a puff jacket, a medium weight wool shirt; a pair of socks; a tube of cloth that might function as ear muffs, neck gaiter, face shield, or bandanna; a fire starter; some tinder; a small first aid kit; and a small knife. In my pockets, my phone and camera. I think that is it.
It was a good decision to turn around; when Julie and I arrived back at our vehicles, a drenching rain mixed with pea-sized hail began pelting us. Down by the coast, the hail stopped, but the rain continued off and on all night.