Team hike number seven was an amazing!!! The Cataract Falls are part of the Marin Headlands Watershed. You travel up a very windy road past the Mount Tamalpais Inn, where you can get a good meal, a cold drink and a fantastic view. You eventually come to the trailhead and follow the Cataract trail. Coming in from this end you go down hill for quite some time and knowing that what goes down, comes back up I enjoyed every step down without thinking too much about the coming back up. I like it when the trail welcomes you like this:
It has been a pretty wet spring and the water level is really high. We hiked thru some nice woods, it was a little wet and it was very quite. Each and every week I am stunned at the beauty that surrounds us here in the Bay Area. If there is only one hike you ever do in this area, do the Cataract Falls in the spring you will enjoy it.
We hiked for about an hour when we came to the first falls, if you have seen the falls of Yosemite or Niagra Falls you might not be impressed. I have seen them both and while they both are spectacular this little fall took my breath away. I could hear it before I could see it and the water flowed over the rocks covered in moss. The water was clear and the air was crisp and it all made me so glad to have seen it.
The largest fall had about seven levels and was worth the two and a half hours it took to get to it. We met up with the big dogs, the A-level hikers, the ones that go really fast and longer than the rest of us. Me, I am not a big dog. I am a puppy, I hike slow and steady and am usually in the last group in, so to say they were surprised to see us is an understatement. Of course, they were on their way back up and we were on the way down. We got the evil eye from the team captain because we had been told not to come down this trail, but all us puppies were really glad we did.
I can see why this is the favorite hike of so many in my hike group. The hike back did not take us as long as we thought, even with all the stairs, yes stairs, we got back early because we missed a trail so we turned around and hiked back down the trail for half and hour and then back up for half and hour.
So I'm coming back up the trail and see something that I think is a deer jumping across the trail. I point it out to the person hiking with me and we stop and watch for a minute. Another flash of fur out in the field and back across the trail, then some running thru the woods on the side of the trail, then it runs across the trail again and doubles back and comes right at us down the trail! That is when I think am I in Alice in Wonderland? There sitting on the trail looking right at me is a huge..... jack rabbit! The ears were about two feet tall and were pointing straight up in the air. It sat there looking at us for a few seconds, I swear it tilted its head to the side like it was wondering what we might be and what we were doing there and then it did a little jump up into the air and in the middle of the jump changed direction and took off across the field. Crazy!!
Until next week....