Sunday, September 30, 2007

Feather River Canyon

I spoke to both Jerry and my brother David last night just after they met at the Durango Airport. They were headed out to the ranch, planning to get some sleep before an early morning start. Jerry called me again this morning. The horses and mules were in the trailer and the four mountain men were heading out to start on their adventure. David sounded happy!

My day has been pleasant. I rode my mare for awhile. Brushed our 3 horses and the mule. Gave them all a good soaking with the fly spray. After a few cooler days, it warmed up today and brought out swarms of those pesky little flies, I noticed bot eggs on their legs for the first time today also.

This evening I drove up to Placerville for a committee meeting to plan my riding club 's 'Play Day', or gymkhana. I am the coordinator this year. It went well and we got a lot done.

Last week I spent three days in Feather River Canyon while Jerry worked on a power house job.
It is a gorgeous canyon. The weather was perfect. I spent sometime on site watching the crane work. The rest of my time was spent hiking and reading. I'll share a few pictures and comments.

It's a very narrow canyon with the highway running along the river. Rarely, there are bridges crossing to the other side of the river leading to small settlements. The bridges and the buildings are old!

Another view of the same bridge, taken from our 'cabin'. The highway runs over along the far side of the river. See the pipe coming down the mountain side? It is really huge. They are called "pin stocks" and carry water down to the power houses. There are quite a few power houses along the Feather River. I have toured a couple of them now when traveling to Jerry's PG&E jobs and it is really very amazing.

The front of our cabin. Rustic is a kind description. We even had mice and mouse poop. The bathroom window curtains were sheets of paper towel draped over a home-rigged curtain rod.
The refrigerator, microwave and shower all worked well. We brought a cooler of food and drink. I brought the coffee, the kitchen had a tiny Mr Coffee... BUT no filters were to be found. We didn't want to use the fancy bathroom curtains as filters so the toilet paper was utilized. There is a row of various sized cabins here and I thought of Rapid River.

This picture was taken from our cabin back deck. We were just above the river. After checking in; we hiked across the two bridges and found several trail heads. We started up one which supposedly connected to the Pacific Crest Trail, but soon turned back when I could go no further due to the fear factor. A narrow trail with only straight down for a v e r y long ways made my body freeze, my knees 'gumby' joints, my hands soaking wet, and try as I did, I could go no further. I hate to wimp out with my ridiculous fear of heights!

The second trail we started up followed a little ravine deep into the woods. And we found the strangest little cemetery out there in the middle of almost no where. Maybe 10 or so graves were identifiable. Dates on markers ranged from the 1930s to the 1970s. No fences or organization... just looked like bodies were dug in any place it may have been easier to dig,

We read a few markers, wondered a bit, I imagined a few weird scenarios and then we continued up the trail.

The mountain sides were steep and several dry creek beds full of rocks. Jerry has to check everything out. Maybe he was looking for gold.

This trail started getting higher and higher until eventually there were no trees on the down side of the trail. I do OK if there are trees or rocks on the steep drops. I was already in height fright mode so again we turned and headed back down. No summits were reached that evening. I have done more horse riding than mountain hiking this year, I need to start hiking more and get this fear of heights back under control.

Thursday I stayed at the 'resort'.... I hiked along the river on the cabin side. The clouds were being very creative and I played that finding shapes in the clouds game with myself.

The water was very clear and fast. I love spending time near rapids and listening. I did bring our fly fishing gear but didn't read the regulations until there. The Feather River is catch and release on non-barbed hooks, so I did not fish.

This was representative of the views I was so blessed to enjoy during my day hiking.

Poison Oak! Everywhere. Growing abundantly. It has 3 leaves shaped like smooth oak leaves, I like that it turns red in autumn and then I can identify it. I stayed on the trails!

*sigh* I miss Jerry and miss being in Durango.....


Jenn said...

OMG, paper towels for curtains?! Oh, that's hysterical! And I thought I was hick...

Looks like you had some absolutely beautiful areas to hike...must get over your fear of heights! I suggest bungee jumping or parachuting to help nudge you in that direction.

So THAT'S what poison oak looks like! I guess I should stop ripping it out by hand, eh?

Anonymous said...

Great trails and beautiful scenery.You can send me one of those nice rocks from trail.
But, how can you ride a horse on steep narrow straight drop down trails and you can't walk them? I guess you really do trust the horse more then you trust yourself.
Really now, Rapid River had real nice cabins with real curtains, no mice or poop.
I do miss Rapid River, woods, rivers, Ocean, traveling, the whole works.
Enjoy while you can, but watch-out for all the poison leaves.