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Home > Military Memories > Lower Sigua Falls '82

Lower Sigua Falls '82

One of my favorite things to do on Guam was make the bonnie stomp to Lower Sigua Falls. Unlike most people who went there to swim we went to catch the freshwater prawns that were prevalant in the waters downstream from the main falls. I can remember my dad would wake me up before dark and off we went. My dog Daisy would go with us as well. The falls were located in central Guam and in the most isolated and rugged section of the island. We would park near an isolated fire station and then make the approximately 3.5 mile walk along the mud and red clay trails. The trails were challenging at times and especially difficult if it had rained recently. The area is very isolated and I think we only ran into other people on only one of the trips. The view along the way was incredible and you could see for miles. It was along this trail that Korean Air Lines Flight 801 overflew on August 6, 1997, and tragically crashed a short distance away ultimately killing 228 people. As you can imagine the rescue effort was hampered by the difficult terrain. During our four years on Guam I probably made about a dozen trips to the falls with my dad. We would get a nice bag of shrimp but it was really about the fun. Some things I remember from these trips: Daisy having serious gas in the car on one trip (it was bad!), my dad getting me to grab a four-foot eel that simply slimed its way through my hand, a out-of-shape neighbor who sprained this ankle at the falls and the herculean effort it took to get him back up the mountain side, Daisy having a absolute ball in the water on every trip, the prawns getting your hand with their pincers and you grabbed them (I hated that), standing on the ledge at the bottom of the falls, and the difficult return trip to the car when you were beat tired. The photos below are from an entertaining visit to Sigua Falls in 1982 when my dad reenlisted in the Navy. My dad loved this place more than I can explain. These photos make me miss him terribly. One day I will return to this location and drink a beer in his memory.

The rutted red clay trails you traveled for a few hours to reach the falls. Difficult enough when dry - good luck when it rained!

Atop the trail and your first view of the lower falls in the valley below. After a long walk you now have to get down there! It's not easy. First you go down a narrow path through slicing sword grass. Then it's almost straight down (no kidding) as you hold on to ropes rappeling down into the valley. Getting a cooler down there is no joke.

Finally...almost 2.5 hours from the time you left the have arrived at Lower Sigua Falls. Trust me, it's well worth it.

My dad takes the oath and reenlists in the Navy for another four years.

It's official....well we still have to get the reenlistment papers out of there.

Some of gang from that day. There I am kneeling in front of Senior Chief Pat Bowen.

Daisy joins the group.

One of guys walking up on the ledge about a third of the way to the top.

Good view of the swimming hole. You could stand on a ledge right behind the guy in the water and let the water cascade down on you.

Me and my dad swimming. It was a little uncharacteristic of my dad to get in the water like this, but I will never forget how much fun he seemed to be having..

My dad hamming it up.

Two of the gang climbing up on the ledge. Good view of the width of the cliff face. The falls sit to the right and are not visible.

My dad's boss celebrating the reenlistment. Oh....the language and things I heard on this trip!

My dad after his swim. I am slightly visible on the right getting my shirt on.

A few of the gang avoided the walk (bastards!) and got their own dune buggy. Ok, at least they carried the cooler for us. The red clay and mud trails are visible in the back. Notice the dirt-caked clothes.