Kentucky Falls & North Fork, Smith River

April 19, 2002

Chilly, yes, in fact we drove along gravel roads with two to three inch frosting of snow before reaching our respective trailheads. Wet, yes, many creeks to ford and Norma was gently let down into the drink by a leader who suffered delusions of strength. Challenging, yes, that 80 foot log across the river is still without rails contrary to some optimistic rumors. Beautiful, yes, even with a minimal amount of sun; the understory blossomed with luscious foliage. The big leaf maples and alders were just unfurling their blossoms and leaves, thus letting in lots of light to enjoy the river that accompanied the hikers most of the way. Always, impressive, the Smith River Falls and the Lower Kentucky Falls didn’t disappoint. The Upper Kentucky Falls seemed especially impressive this year to both groups of hikers. Jim Clarkson led Max Brown, Chris Stockdale, Peter & Kitson Graham, Chuck & Sandy Reul and “Cookie Man” Wayne Deeter from the lower trailhead on the North Fork, and Melody Clarkson led Sharon Ritchie, Rick Ahrens, Norma Lockyear, Sandra Larsen, Sheila Wood and soon-to-be-Obsidian Kathy Hoeg down from the Kentucky trailhead.

Twelve of the fifteen: Norma Lockyear, Kathy Hoeg, Peter & Kitson Grahm, Melody Clarkson, Sharon Ritchie, Sheila Ward (front), Chris Stockdale, Sandra Larsen, Jim Clarkson, Max Brown, and Rick Ahrens. Chuck & Sandy Reul, and Wayne Deeter off camera.

Lower bridge on the North Fork of the Smith River

The North Fork

Unfinished bridge

Chuck crosses one of many streams

Small falls on the North Fork

Plants growing out of suspended log

North Fork Falls

Lower Kentucky Falls

Upper Kentucky Falls

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