Category Archives: Carly and Dad

Riverbend Trail (last day of “vacation”)

Well, I’ve been on “vacation” for the last week.  My “vacation” has consisted of running a chainsaw, burning brush (from the aforementioned chainsaw), and getting a somewhat feeble start on building a fence.  I go back to work tomorrow and figured I better get at least ONE day of R&R on my week off (don’t feel too sorry for me; I only go back to work for 3 weeks before having 2 more weeks off, some of which will be really cool R&R, but I digress).  Not many better ways to spend the last day of “vacation” than  with my lovely daughter on a short spring hike.  She suggested Riverbend Trail near Red Bluff.  It is a nice little loop of about 5 miles without too many steep hills (good for me since I’ve put on plenty of beer weight this winter).

It didn’t take long to figure out the wildflower bloom is kickin’ at that elevation.  The lupines on the lower end of the trail were especially pretty…20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0011

20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0012

The trail is pretty easy but it is composed of lots of lava rock so I’d advise good shoes and watching one’s step…20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0013

20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0002

Pretty nice view once you reach the “top” (not like it’s some great summit you climb…the entire trail consists of a few  hundred feet of elevation change tops)…20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0001

20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0004

20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0003

20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0006

Also at the top is this cool sign that says some stuff about Jedediah Smith that I may actually read next time I head up…
20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0005

We thought we’d head up on this little rock to kick back for a few minutes…
20170410_riverbend-hike_blog0014

However, the aforementioned lava rock attacked me (note to self, put a small first aid kit in the camera bag)…
20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0007

….nevermind…found the first aid kit….CHEERS!…
20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0008

The walk back down was pretty as well (unfortunately some ugly power lines DO detract from some of the scenery)…20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0009

20170410_riverbend-hike_blog_0010

Not a bad little jaunt!  Time for a couple more of those nice Hop Valley brews to close out this “vacation.”

CHEERS, PROST, PROOST, ZIGGY SOCKY!

Sierra Buttes Lookout

Well, Carly and I finally made this hike, which I have been meaning to do for 2 or 3 years.  Unfortunately, there is smoke on the horizon in pretty much all directions right now (’tis that time of year.  Thoughts and prayers to those who battle these blazes!).  Therefore, the views up on top weren’t as epic as I’m sure they can be.  Smoke or no smoke, it was still an amazing hike!  I was only able to narrow the images down to about 45 (I shot 186 and Carly grabbed some with her GoPro) so bear with me.

We got to the area a bit early so we stopped by Packer Lake to take a gander.  It is one of many pretty little lakes in the area…
20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_010

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_011

Yep.  That little house up there is where we’re going!  What have we gotten ourselves in to?…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_012

Gaining a little ground but already huffin’ and puffin’ and still a good way to go…DCIM188GOPROG0420727.

Just an incredibly scenic hike, all the way up…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_015

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_016

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_013

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_018

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_020

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_017

There are several “teaser” looks at the lookout, just to keep you wondering what you were thinking!… 20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_024

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_027

The breaks certainly got more frequent, the farther we got.  Carly lives at 500 foot elevation.  SEVENTY five and ultimately EIGHTY five hundred weren’t her favorites!…

DCIM188GOPROG0410723.
DCIM188GOPROGOPR0729.

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_019

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_026

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_030

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_028

One of the treats of this hike is the frequent views of these three lakes.  Closest to farthest in this view are Young America, Upper Sardine, and Lower Sardine Lakes…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_022

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_021

This sign, literally translated, means, you still have a ways to go…lol…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_025

Finally getting close.  At about this point, I told Carly, “Oh, by the way, there are 200 spooky stairs to climb at the end.”  This is the first glimpse at those stairs…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_033

Just about…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_035

Great view from near the base of the stairs…shows the smokiness in the air though…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_034

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_036

Just a cool rusty old tank below the base of the tower…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_031

Time to head up!…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_037

Definitely, not for those with height phobias.  If the stairs aren’t enough, you get to walk on expanded metal at the top…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_038

Judging from the fairly modern stove and fridge, I’d say it was in use not all that many years ago…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_039

Absolutely spectacular views and I got 4 bars on my phone so I could check in on Facebook while up there…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_032

DCIM188GOPROGOPR0756.
20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_029

DCIM188GOPROGOPR0762.

Gotta have your nourishment! (and take plenty of water!)…DCIM188GOPROG0430778.

Yep, Carly loved the stairs (Don’t worry.  They’re only slightly more scary on the decent than the accent)…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_040

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_041

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_042

We were treated to some wonderful “golden hour” light and a rising moon on our decent…20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_043

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_044

We made it back to the grocery-getter just in time for the end of a beautiful sunset (one advantage of all that smoke, I suppose)…

20160814_Sierra Buttes Lookout_Blog_045

I certainly want to try this one one more time in some crisp, clean air (which may be easier said than done as the fires could start pretty much any second after the snow melts off the trail). But it was a wonderful hike and we’re only a little sore today! If you’re a hiker and haven’t done it you need to add it to your “to do” list!

If you’re interested there are pretty good directions on how to get there available from All Trails HERE.

Josh, over at California Through My Lens, has a great post related to this hike as well.  It can be found HERE.  His blog is worthy of a look/subscription for lots of other great recreational/travel ideas around the state as well!