Thursday, August 21, 2008

Whatcom Falls - Bellingham, WA

falls Whatcom Falls Park is this spectacularly wooded city park not far from downtown. Through the middle of the park runs Whatcom Creek which runs from Lake Whatcom to Bellingham bay through a series of beautiful mossy waterfalls. The word Whatcom comes from the Lummi phrase meaning "Noisy Waters".

As winter snows melt and the sun begins to once again warm the earth my heart always drifts to thoughts of Whatcom Falls. To me Whatcom Falls represents the best part of summer.

mossy_tree The forest here has a primordial quality. The trees are dense, especially along the creek. The rays of the sun do not touch much of the ground. It is thoroughly filtered by the trees. The sides of the trails are covered by bushes weighed down by bright sweet tart huckleberries. The first water fall is merely 100 feet from the parking lot. It really is beautiful. You can see where the creek has cut itself into the stone. All around the falls are vine maple trees and a thick layer of moss and ferns.

A minute walk from the parking lot is a little slice of heaven. There is a waterfall that empties into a wide pool with cliffs on either side. There are ledges up to 50 feet tall to jump or dive from. It is a fantabulous place to spend a hot summer afternoon. After a day of working in the sun, I would look forward to going to the falls with friends to cool off. We also had a blast trying to show each other up, to see who the bravest was. On the top of the biggest cliff you could climb a tree and jump from a limb into the frigid waters below. You could also dive into where the waterfall hits the water. The walls of the cliff here are more narrow. It only gives you a 10 foot diameter hole to dive into. Nothing beats falling into the froth where water hits water. After touching the bottom of the pool the force of the waterfall spits you out into the wider pool.

cliff_jump04

One day after school many from our senior class left to go jump the cliffs. Me and several other guys decided to jump off of the cliff at the same time. I was on the far end. I guess it was the shallow end. When I hit my feet sunk deep into the gravel at the bottom of the pool. My hair didn't get wet though. I had jumped into an are that only had a few feet of water. It was enough to slow me down... but not enough for my head to go under.

I enjoy taking my kids here now. There are few places on earth like this. You have unsurpassed beauty and spectacular recreation.

A summer day spent at Whatcom Falls was a day well spent.


2 comments:

KelliSue Kolz said...

Awesome job Ernie. I'd love to take my children there and show them where I played, but never jumped off. Can't manage the 5 day drive yet.

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