The Pool of Winds

We have seen a number of waterfalls during our various hikes, but Rodney Falls held something unique. The sign said that the trail led to the "Pool of Winds." I found that name intriguing, and when we saw the Pool of Winds for ourselves, we felt the name was perfect.

We came down the trail, and saw below us the bridge crossing Hardy Creek, with Rodney Falls cascading down the hill to the left. The setting was beautiful, with the forest, moss, trail, and sounds all blending together to excite the senses. To the right, across the bridge, lay the trail to the top of Mt. Hamilton. To the left, running up the hill was the path to the Pool of Winds.
The trail led up some stairs, with the goal lying off to the right of where I was standing in this picture.

There is the viewing area for the Pool of Winds. The metal rail is a welcome safety feature, because there is quite a drop from that rock ledge, and the stone is continually wet and slippery from the waterfall mists.
The metal rail is constantly wet, as is all the stone visible in this photo. The puddle on the ground shows how damp it is. The Pool of Winds is just around the corner to the left.

Looking up from the same spot that the previous picture was taken from, the top of Rodney Falls is visible, as the water is dropping down into the Pool of Winds.
Another view of the top of Rhodney Falls. You can see that the water is flowing quite rapidly; shooting out from the edge of the rock drop-off.

This is the chamber that creates the Pool of Winds. The rock forms a cupped enclosure into which the upper falls drop. The fall pool is contained in the cup, and is of an indeterminate depth. Gushing forth from the slit opening in the side of the cup at the bottom is the water of Hardy Creek, and above that pours constant mist laden winds. The wind was cool, and the mist coated the handrail and surrounding rock surfaces. I could only take one photo before having to wipe the mist off the lens for the next shot.
Taken from a distance, this photos shows more of the enclosed Pool of Winds. The water is crashing down, and the sound is all focused out the opening on the side. When you are standing there the sound is deafening.

This one is taken from the handrail area. The opening in the enclosure seems narrower from this angle, but the water is beautiful, white as a wedding gown.
Using some zoom, and sticking the camera around the corner and snapping the picture, I found that the actual fall point was visible inside the Pool of Winds. The noise at this location was very intense.

The hard part was getting around the corner enough to see the falls. By sticking the camera out farther than I could get my head, I was able to get a picture of what I could not see directly. If this enclosure is volcanic in origin, as one of our hiking books suggested, this pool could be very deep.
The water was churning by us as we stood in the handrail area.

The handrail and surface stone are perpetually covered with wetness from the mist from the Pool of Winds.
Looking down over the handrail, the water is seen in is drop down to the bottom of Rodney Falls.

Moving back along the path, the lower Rodney Falls look more impressive as they fall just under the bridge.
Returning to our original path, we are looking at the lower Rodney Falls once more.

Moving out onto the bridge we can view the entire falls, with the handrail area at the top, beside the Pool of Winds.
Looking straight at the lower Rodney Falls from the bridge. It reminds me a bit of the "Fairy Falls" on the Waheena Trail.

Still looking from the bridge, but looking in the other direction, downstream. Hardy Creek heads on down its course towards Hardy Falls which is only a short distance from here.
Looking forward to where the trail leads from here, you can see the series of steps we will be taking on our way towards the top of Hamilton Mountain.

Our last look at Rodney Falls before we head for on for the top. The bridge and stairs along this part of the path are all constructed from rough cut trees, and they really feel like they are native to the forest. We just love the way they keep up the trails like this one.