Della Falls here we come....
Preparation day. Backpacks packed. Home base is comfortable. And one of our sons celebrated his 15th birthday. Honestly I am feeling bitter sweet. Every time I leave my family for 2-3 days I become anxious, worried and feeling somewhat guilty. My husband is great, he encourages me to take time for myself. So I chose to hike and carry approx. 60 Lbs for 7-8 hrs a day in the wilderness with my thirteen year old son, my sister and my niece. (This is time for myself) lol While tucking in my children on the night before my 6am departure was hard. I tried to explain to my littlest daughter that mommy was going away for a few days and I will be home soon. She kept yelling, “Night, night!” Leaving my explanation questioning her comprehension. Always day 0 seems to be the hardest. 11:45pm came fast and 6am is coming early. My son with his first time hiking has no idea what he's in for....the adventure awaits.....
No sleep from the previous night and a 5am start. Upon leaving I wrote all our children, “I love you” cards and we were out hiking at the Della falls trail head by 8:30am. The first little animals we saw was a bull frog and a squirrel. Other then that we were eaten by mosquitoes and horsefly’s. Day 1 after a 30 minute boat ride was a challenging 16 km hike (if you were a soaring eagle going straight) otherwise it was over rugged and steep terrain with continue twists and turns. It seemed like a 26 km hike when we were done! We pulled ourselves across a cable car bridge and walked across thin metal tressels.
There was points during our day that were extremely challenging. On Day 1, I received 4 massive blisters, lost 1 toe nail and my hip started giving me grief. I became silent. My son tripped twice but other then that, everyone did an excellent job considering that my sister and I agree Della Falls is a more challenging hike then Cape Scott, The West Coast Trail, and the Juan De Fuca trails by far. During our first evening we set up camp underneath the falls, and just laughed over all our pain and suffering. On day 0 I mentioned that my son didn't know what he was getting himself into....... neither did I. I felt not only physically challenged, at one point I just wanted to cry. Although there's something to say when you reach your destination, when you persevere through everything, it's an accomplishment. And within Day 1 it was! If we didn't get enough punishment from Day 1, Day 2 we're hiking to Love Lake, comparable to Mt. Arrowsmith – straight up with a rocky steep terrain. One way it takes approx. 3 hrs, the 3 hrs back to our base camp. Definitely looking forward for day 2! lol Now all four of us are aching lying in our tent with no life forms around just listening to the sound of falling water. Very quietly soothing......
The half toilet
Located on top of Mt. Septimus, In memory RCAF, Captain Eric Hedderson, 1951-1993, of Newfoundland, who slipped the surly bonds of Earth
An oatmeal and nut breakfast started our day after a long night. Sleeping on the ground, tossing and turning with several aches and pains from our hike equalled into a long night. Our Mt. Septimus decent started roughly at 10am. It was treacherous. After two and a half hours of climbing we finally reached our destination, Love Lake. There was moments where we were sopped in with fog and we had to contemplate on turning around but the skies opened up and we were able to capture the sights of Della Lake with the free flowing of Della Falls. My son and sister both jumped into Love Lake gasping for air and quickly returning to shore. Love Lake was worth the effort, a glacier fed lake with surrounding mountains and snow. Crystal blue waters and as clear as if you were looking into a mirror. Looking over Della Falls, sitting having lunch by Love lake was surreal. Coming down Mt. Septimus it started to pour rain. It continued to pour. We were drenched. Cold, tired, sore and completely wet. All four of us were in our tent by 6pm. We reminisced about our best and worst experiences so far. My son said, “My best was jumping into a glacier lake and I don't have a worst” My niece said, “My worst was hiking up hill and my best was seeing Della Falls” My sister said, “I don't have a best, I love all of it and my piss off is the rain!” For me, “My best was seeing the sky open up so we could see the top of Della Falls and the worst is being cold and wet” We then laid in our tent looking at our pictures and after 14 hrs later we moved out of the tent and onto Day 3......
Beautiful Love Lake
That's where we started....way down there...is the Great Central Lake
Top of Della Falls
Me, tired hiker at the top over looking Della Falls
Got to love the 10 second leap having your camera set, ready to snap!
Sopping wet. Night of Day 2 down poured. It poured so much out tent dripped on the inside. We were soaked. With not much sleep, we had a long wet hike ahead of us. By 9am we wished for blue skies...and from above of Della Falls to the base we made it and our wishes came true! Blue skies appeared and the sun came out! All four of us showered at the Della Falls base. It was pounding cold. “Yahoo” From there we hiked 16 km out to the beginning of the trail head of Della Falls. It was brutal. My niece suffered 4 bee stings (from stepping into a yellow jacket nest) 7 blisters and a river fall. My sister strained her calf muscle while I lost now 6 toe nails, 8 blisters (1 large open infected blister) plus two sore knees and my son escaped
injury free. We made it back to the Della trail head on our 3rd hiking day. Day 1 we hiked straight up to Della Falls, Day 2 we hiked further to Love Lake and Day 3 we were sitting around a fire with our tent set up where we started. At the Great Central Lake. We high fived each other. Personally, all I can feel is pain BUT for the past 3 days we did nothing but hike Mountains. An adventure no one will understand until they conquer it themselves. For our last night we ate dinner on the boat dock and thought about home......
The sun came out!
My sister and I underneath the base of Della Falls
Day 4 Homeward Bound
We awoke to more sunshine and to boats coming in with more hikers. We warned them about the yellow jackets that borrowed into the ground and wished them luck. After breakfast we laid in our tent discussing what we wanted to eat when we returned home. I wanted Sushi. My sister wanted red wine, my niece wanted Mcdonalds, pizza and Thai food and my son wanted burritos. It's interesting when you're limited and for only four days that food is on top of the priority list. While we waited to get picked up we reminisced, and I thought about home. With having no service, I had no idea what I was walking into next.
Being towed on our way home (seen below)
The Della Falls Shoe tree, we hung 3 and a half pairs. The other shoe remains a mystery. (Seen above)
Broken down.....an extended trip! (Seen above) lol
We were picked up, then we ran out of boat gas in the middle of the lake. Fortunately a friendly boater was passing by who gave us gas and even offered us to wake board. Later, we hung our shoes on the Della Falls shoe tree. Our trip was eventful. Not only were we temporarily stranded on the Great Lake, we then had a trailer flat coming home. Hours later we arrived. To conclude, all in all I wouldn't change anything. These are memories we will never forget and a destination worth hiking too. Long story longer, if you don't take the steps towards great adventures, you miss out on many opportunities that life has to offer. Take the plunge, the challenge, and be prepared for what life throws at you, you'll be greatly surprised on how rewarding life really is. Della Falls (my sister) I thank you!
I'm now at home, tired and it's still Day 4 as I write.........to update, homeward bound is safe and sound. Everyone is happy and healthy. I thank my husband for managing our fort, I'm extremely proud of my 13 year old son and even with one infected foot and several missing toe nails – this is and will be one of my fondest memories accomplished with my sister, my niece and my son and I - this summer of 2013.