This week's hike was a six mile round-trip trek to Tamolitch Blue Pool on the McKenzie Trail. The trailhead is about an hour and forty-five minutes from our home, and we went with Holly, Ivy, Char, McKinnon, and Monet. We met up with Christina, Jake, and Landon for the return hike.
[Don’t let the pictures fool you. It was a struggle getting out of the house on time to meet up with the others (I did not win any parenting awards), I missed the turn-off for the trailhead, we were delayed while trying to find a bathroom, our other friends got lost and didn’t make it to the trailhead in time, we started almost an hour late, and I had two very whiny children. Lola screamed/whined/cried for two miles on the return hike because I accidentally caused her to drop Her Special Rock over the cliff. These hikes and adventures are so valuable, but they are not easy.]
The McKenzie River goes underground for a couple miles and comes out under the surface of Blue Pool. The water looks completely stationary. It is ridiculously clear, and although the water appears shallow, it is over 30 feet deep in places. There is no place to wade. If one wishes to enter the frigid water, one must jump right into the depths. The blue is unreal.
The early trail is lush and cool so close to the water. The trail itself is springy with all the decomposing cedar wood cushioning each step.
As the trail climbs up from the water, the terrain becomes much rockier (including lava formations) and the atmosphere much drier and hotter.
The McKenzie Trail allows for a great view of Blue Pool from way up high. The trail passes on without coming any closer, but we took the rugged off-trail hike around and down to the surface of the pool (where the little people are standing in the pictures above and below).
My pictures don’t do it justice, so here is a lovely video to complement them:
We were hot, sweaty, dusty, and cranky at the end of the trail, so on the drive home we stopped off at my favorite place on earth in order to let the kids take a cold dip. It felt so great to wash off the icky sticky dirt and sweat and enjoy the water, particularly since we went straight from this swim to VBS at church without a stop in between. A long, hard, beautiful, wonderful day.