And what are we up to today?
I thought I'd start out with a photo because, hot damn, this trail has some of the most beautiful vistas I've ever seen. The trail we chose on Sunday was Buttermilk Bend, along the Yuba River. I'm thinking I haven't been on the Yuba River until now, because I would have remembered this place. Yowsa.
We managed to beat the crowds and had the trail pretty much to ourselves. It was as though the river were waiting for us, saving each new moment for the next bend. I must have stopped in my tracks twenty times; Dad nearly ran into me more than once. After a while, he just got used to it.
Plenty of swimming holes (you can bet I'll be coming back to this one during the summer), and once you pass the second wooden bridge, the trail becomes slender and curvy, bumping up and down until the very abrupt end, marked quite obviously by a sign.
"TRAIL ENDS." Yeah, no kidding.
On the way back, Dad regaled me with the story of his most recent project, setting up a skyline to transport wood downhill fast. He works regularly out in the field, and on this last venture, the State Parks employed an inmate team from one of the women's prisons to assist. To get the line taut enough to slide the hunks of wood down it, two or three people had to hang on the end, full body weight. A lot of fun to be had, apparently. I wish I had gone along.
The last time I went with my father out into the field, it was to watch a controlled burn up by Burney Falls. I will never forget the drip torches, the hefty yellow safety suits we all wore, and the incredible HEAT when the Manzanita all caught fire. My father does controlled burns to help keep the forests from clogging to the brim with highly flammable ground cover. The living trees themselves are much too wet inside to burn in a small natural forest fire, but should it get hot enough, nothing is spared. Ergo, burn off the extra accumulation regularly, and you get a much healthier cycle of fires that do not devastate miles and miles of forest.
And of course, I must leave you with this fabulous bridge. ^_^
Call this one Hike 1.5; it's more of a pleasantly brisk walk than a hike, but it's 3.5 miles, and as it turns out, a godsend.
I started the day off rather nicely: came down the stairs from my apartment, hit a turn-step-weight adjustment wrong at the bottom, and ended up flat on my back with an ankle that had bent quite a bit more outward than it should have. Luckily, because I'm anal retentive, I had my hiking boots fully laced up and thus probably saved myself from the worst case scenario.
However, no visible bruising and just a little throbbing right up front, my Achilles tendon present and accounted for. Off we went.
Did I learn this for the first time at the arboretum? No. But I thank the arboretum walk for passing this tidbit of Very Important Info along.
Icing and heating the ankle alternately now while I binge on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Gotham, in hopes that I will be able to embark upon the much longer hike I've chosen for this coming Sunday.
2015, I start you off with a hike.
They say that who you are with at the change of the year is who you will be with for the rest of that year. I’d like to ascribe that to what you are doing, too. My goal this year is to realize a dream I’ve had for some time now: to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England. To that end, I have begun what I am calling “12 Hikes in 12 Weeks.”
On the first of January, I went with my father to Codfish Falls in the Auburn area of California. I picked it for several reasons. One, the name is just fun. Caught my eye. Two, it’s short and flat-ish. My sister’s contribution this holiday season was a respiratory flu of some sort (to quote her shout over dinner on Christmas Eve, “YOU’RE WELCOME!!!!”) and our lungs are all still shot. Three, I’d never heard of Codfish Falls before. Yay, discovery!
It's a lovely hike.
To get down to the river (American, North Fork), I bumped and wrangled the car down a horribly rutted dirt road, over run-off runnels, collapsed culverts, and a hoard of rocks jutting up through some very red clay. My dad, who has worked for the State Parks for over 20 years, offered, “Welcome to my world.” It was good experience, driving in less than pristine conditions. The weather was crisp and cool, the sun bright, and the air hazy with ice crystals.
The bridge has reinforced parallel tracks made of wooden boards. Car wheels go there only; to bump off onto the main planking between on either side may very well be to punch a hole right through. I don’t know, I didn’t try it. We ate lunch overlooking the river and then walked at a brisk pace along a narrow dirt trail. On one side, a steep decline; on the other, a steep incline. Moderately dense wooded areas provide shade. At one point, the water coming out of the earth onto the trail itself was still ice.
We went slightly up, slightly down, and in the end, we came to this:
I realize I’ve forgotten how much I love to hike. Towards October, bad news seemed to be coming in from every corner of my circle, starting with the death of my cat. Being a clinical depression survivor, there are things I do regularly to ward off the fell beast, but this autumn, it overtook me and stomped around for a while; it’s been another trudge upward since then, and it can be slow going.
Being raised by a father who works/plays in the great outdoors means it’s in my blood. I’m not saying I’d do spectacularly if I had to suddenly survive off the land, but sometimes there really is no better balm than going back outside, getting away from the city and reminding myself of all the hidden landscapes there are when we have the chance to step outside our everyday stressors.
Thus ends the first venture. Tomorrow, the next!
Hello! My name is Grete and welcome to my writing blog! I am a writer or romance, horror, and general observation