Category Archives: Hiking

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

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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

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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

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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…
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We thought we’d head up on this little rock to kick back for a few minutes…
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However, the aforementioned lava rock attacked me (note to self, put a small first aid kit in the camera bag)…
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….nevermind…found the first aid kit….CHEERS!…
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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

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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!

Snow Strolling

Just thought I’d share a few shots from some short strolls up on the grade the last few days…

This was about the end of the line for the grocery-getter on Sunday morning…
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Given it was all new powder up there Sunday (still coming down some when I got up there) I figured I better put these funny lookin’ things on…20170122_083223

It was chilly, but pretty…
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I tested the weather seals on the ol’ Canon pretty well (had I tested the damn batteries BEFORE i took off, there would have been more shots from that day)…
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Mel humored me the next day after it cleared up but hadn’t exactly warmed up…20170123_snow-hike_janesville-grade_blog_0004

We’ve definitely been getting some of the white stuff around our neighborhood…
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Some times I think my baby takes just as pretty of shots with her Galaxy as I do with my big heavy beast…facebook_1485306053203

Almost back to the warmth of the old truckster…
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We survived and didn’t even have to eat each other!…20170123_snow-hike_janesville-grade_blog_0010

The plow operators have earned their keep on the hill this year…
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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…
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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

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

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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!…

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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)…

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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!

 

 

 

Sifford Lake – Lassen NP

Well, yesterday afternoon I decided I better get in at least one more good hike on my week off.  On both of my visits to Kings Creek Falls I’ve seen a sign for Sifford Lake so I figured I’d go take a look.  This is another fairly mellow hike with only some mildly rolling terrain.  Like many of the hikes in the park, it has quite a diversity of scenery in a fairly short distance (this one is about 5 miles round trip)… 20160805_Sifford Lake Hike_Blog_008

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This little dude decided to strike a pose for me on the way in so I figured the least I could do was snap a shot…
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The lake itself sits over a little rise…
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It is a fairly small body, I’d say a scant acre in size…
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Like the trip to the falls, this one starts and ends along Kings Creek…20160805_Sifford Lake Hike_Blog_014

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The park folks made a neat little bridge to keep your feet dry..20160805_Sifford Lake Hike_Blog_010

On the way in I noted that the compass said the mountain was due east of this spot…20160805_Sifford Lake Hike_Blog_011

So, I figured it would be as good of place as any to see if there was a sunset.   The clouds really didn’t cooperate and, after several attempts in post processing, i still don’t have an image I like.  This is one attempt and it came out sort of ok, if you like the “painterly” look…20160805_Sifford Lake Hike_Blog_012

All in all, it was a great way to get some exercise and see some of God’s country!

 

 

Kings Creek Falls – An Evening Stroll

Well, the plan yesterday WAS to go hike to the Sierra Buttes Lookout with my daughter.  Unfortunately, life happens and she had to postpone.  Hopefully that epic hike will happen before the summer is out.  Needing a Plan B to get some “nature therapy,” and not having a great deal of time, I decided to hike into Kings Creek Falls in Lassen Park.  It is one of my favorite places in the park and I wasn’t super pleased with the last photos I took there.

I’m going to employ a little “artistic license” with this post.  I wanted to make sure to get there in time to set up the camera so I took no photos on the hike TO the falls.  However, it would seem a bit anti-climactic if I put the falls pics ahead of the trail pics so I’m going to put the shots of the hike OUT before the main subject…

The trail-head starts right next to Kings Creek, which you cross at a pretty little meadow if you’re coming from the south (SR36) entrance…
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It is definitely a pretty walk with very diverse landscapes considering it is only a couple miles…20160801_2016-8.1_Kings Creek Falls_Blog_014

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I call this the “falls before the falls.”  Just a pretty little spot on the creek…20160801_2016-8.1_Kings Creek Falls_Blog_002

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The park folks are doing alot of work to this area.  Indeed, the most direct trail to the falls is closed until 2018.  One has to hike around on the “horse trail” to get to the falls.  It is a bit longer but quite scenic. When I was here 2 years ago there was an ugly old metal railing.  Looks like they have spruced it up a bit…20160801_2016-8.1_Kings Creek Falls_Blog_007

Ok, I guess it is about time to “land the plane” before this post gets too long.  I think this is one of the prettiest waterfalls in northern California.  Some day I hope to get truly excellent photos of it!  To make that happen I think I’ll have to hike in in the early morning dark and shoot it in the golden light of the morning sun.  In the evenings, the sun is low and behind the falls making it hard for me to properly expose the falls without turning the sky into an ugly white mass.  However, these shots illustrate the splendor of the place fairly well…

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(As always, clicking any image above will allow you to view it larger)

 

Wildflowers and Waterfalls

We had to be in Chico and Oroville for the past couple days to take care of some business.  We didn’t have as much time for recreation as we would have liked but we did get out for a nice stroll in North Table Mountain on Monday afternoon.  The place wasn’t in as full of bloom as I would have hoped but I it was still nice and green and a few of the small streams were still flowing.

This little waterfall caught my eye.  As were were there before ideal photography light, I had a difficult time capturing what I wanted to but I snapped a few just to give it a shot (as will all posts here you should be able to click any image to view it larger)….
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I’d say this old fence is about 20 years overdue for some maintenance…

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It was definitely a gorgeous afternoon…

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Spotted this pretty redhead playing by the creek…

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We did catch a FEW wildflowers still in bloom…

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While killing time before Tuesday afternoon’s appointment we took a spin by Lake Oroville.  Saw these fellas hanging out at the Lime Saddle Campground.  Probably a smart place for them to be since I do believe the season is open…

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I can think of way worse places for a drive home than the Feather River Canyon in the spring time.   We pulled over a couple times and snapped a some shots of a couple of the seasonal waterfalls that dump into the river this time of year…

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The new (to us) Grand Cherokee seems like it is going to run for us.  Hoping it takes us to many more great destinations over the next several years…
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Gila Cliff Dwellings – April 5, 2016

My cousin Roseanne and I took a drive from Deming up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings this past Tuesday.  I’m not super happy with the way the photos turned out but it was a fun little day trip.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and 3 Questions Cafe and Living Harvest Bakery in Mimbres is a great place to get a hearty one.  It is run by the local Mennonite clan who serve up a small but very tasty breakfast buffet for $6.50.  Of course, with all the baked goods and their wonderful “Jammly” (not jam, not jelly; jammly…lol) for sale, my $6.50 breakfast ran me a touch over 60 bucks…

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The visitor center at the park.  We got there just at opening time of 9AM….

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The first thing that caught my eye upon entering the park is the really cool rock formations…

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The first view of the dwellings on the way up the trail….

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The park service keeps the trail in very good shape for easy access…

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The Mogollon folks were definitely industrious…

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Genuine native American first aid kits inside…

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Another look at all the construction that was done.  It was tough to really capture it, even with my camera lens as wide as it could go…

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A room with a view…

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My cuz and I gettin’ the necessary touristy selfie shot before heading down the mountain…

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First step’s a honey if you continue this direction.  I found it a touch sad they felt the need to post this sign…

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Rockhound State Park – April 4, 2016

Earlier this week I took a trip down to Deming New Mexico to pick up my mom’s ashes and wrap up some final affairs.  As mom was as much of a shutterbug as I am, this post and the one that will follow is in her memory.

On Tuesday afternoon I took a wonderful short hike through Rockhound State Park, just a few miles south of Deming.

The diversity of plant life differs significantly to that I see on my local hikes…

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I thought of a Valentines heart for my gal when I saw this prickly pear (yeah, I’m a hopeless romantic at times)…

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I tried to get all “photographic” with this one!  I wish the sun was higher so the starburst could have been at the top of the yucca blossoms but I sort of like the effect anyway…

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Spring has sprung as this prickly pear’s new growth illustrates…

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The desert can be a gorgeous place when it blooms in spring…

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Does this qualify as a “selfie?”…

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Ok, same scene without some redneck getting in the way…

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