Posts Tagged With: bikers

HIKING-ANGELS CREEK TRAIL.

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From Highway 49, Glory Hole Recreation District at New Mellones, a free hike was advertised for New Years Day, rain or shine. You can see people warmly dressed as we strangers met at the entrance station and introduced ourselves.

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Dogs are allowed on the trails. We met two bikers and we saw evidence of horses using the trails. Walkers are asked to give way to horses, but we didn’t meet any.

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Ranger Josh, guided the group and pointed out the growth patterns of this type of forest and explained in some detail the various flora and fauna.img_0455-copy

At the beginning of the Angels Creek Trail, the forest has a mixture of digger pines, black oak, live oak and thick underbrush.  Ranger Josh admitted the underbrush is a fire hazard with chemise and buck brush.

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I was impressed by the girth of this giant manzanita specimen and the lichens and bright, green moss growing on it. Ranger Josh noted that the east side of the hills get most of the water. He told us that manzanita burns very hot and can burn up your stove, actually melt it if you use enough of it.

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Angels Creek is low, in tune with the current drought situation. The trail is a 2.5 mile hike.

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I looked at just about every mushroom, hoping to find a “buckskin”. (Not it’s scientific name.) The old Italians knew their mushrooms and would pick up large delicious mushrooms under manzanita habitat. I didn’t find a one. Deer feed on these, as do various insects.

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I didn’t get many pictures of the hikers. Strung out in a line, it is hard to capture everyone. The trail is narrow in most places. Looking back and forth I believe we had about 30 people on the hike. The Calaveras side of the Recreation Area has seven trails of different lengths and are rated easy, moderate, challenging and so on. This trail is moderate.

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When guided, Ranger Josh makes many stops and he even played a couple games with us. He formed us into a walking caterpillar, eyes closed, to just walk and tune your ears, nose and senses to the trail. If you are a lone hiker, you get the sense of quiet that being in a natural forest gives you.

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The sun didn’t come out during our 3 hour hike. This tree, etched against the overcast made a nice contrast, with the west side of the hill in the distance showing meadows; more barren than the brushy east hillside.

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At the end of the trail was a pretty view of the lake with an island showing that isn’t visible when the water level is normal. Drought conditions persist here in California though the recent rains are encouraging. The Calaveras side has seven trails and the  Tuolumne County, Tuttletown Recreation area also has seven trails.  Senior Citizens, with their pass can enter the hiking trails free at anytime of year. For most, there is a day use charge.

This was my first excursion with a new social singles group  and I got to meet the seven people at the end of the hike. Cindy is the key organizer and can be reached at this phone number if you are interested in joining. I didn’t ask permission to print her phone number, (no addresses are given), but her number was published in the newspaper ad for this hike, so here goes. 209-559-8517. The only qualification, you must be 50 or older. We picked up two new members at this event.

 

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WE RIDE FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T

We meet a lot of veterans on the road as we travel like this Air Force Veteran.  He and a Navy buddy ride together and are proud to have ridden all the way to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.  I visited the Memorial;  I don’t remember what year it was. We, like many others, traced the name of a friend.  It was an emotional experience. Especially the notes, and flowers, and meaningful (to them) trinkets that people lay next to the wall where their loved ones names are etched in stone  forever.

We’ve seen several of these Veteran Biker Groups on various missions.  Just seeing them reminds us of All Gave Some, Some Gave All.

Wherever I see a vet just minding his own business, I feel shy about walking up to him and thanking them, but we do smile in a friendly way and say hello. If they have cameras we  offer to take their pictures for them.  It is one thing I can do, as small as that may be.  This duo let me take their picture for my blog, and we took their pictures in front of the ruins we were all admiring, with their cameras.

Both of these guys made the trip All The Way in 2011 and in 2012.  The theme is We Ride For Those Who Can’t.  I didn’t ask their names,  but I’m going to make a point of doing so the next time we meet a veteran biker and post their pictures on the blog.

I fly to Vegas this afternoon for a visit with my son and daughter and their families for two days.  Then, home to Murphys for my family reunion. Besides everyday business to catch up on, each time I return home, I make it a point to finish one major  project  I started.  I’ll be in touch via this blog and give you a look into what goes on in my very active community.

We’re parked in the City of Farmington, in  a huge parking lot behind the shuttle service that will deliver me to Alburquerque Airport later this morning.   Then Jim will head for high ground, cooler temperatures, hopefully, and more rest for his injury which still plagues him.

 

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BIKERS AND PEDESTRIANS ONLY

We left Wilsonville to continue scenic Historic Highway 30 with Jim complaining about poor signage. We kept seeing highway 84 East. We finally found the way, only to drive a couple miles and discover that Highway 30 is closed for four and one-half  miles to everything but pedestrians and bicyclers.  The roadway is a state park. The ranger informed us that the tunnel entrance and overpasses were made for Model A’s and modern vehicles can’t get through them.

Here is a picture from the visitors center showing a section of the old road we didn’t get to see.

And, an old photo of the building of this almost insurmountable task. It’s quite a show.

What we did see was pretty spectacular.  The switch-backs  take your  breath away.

The scenery does too.

No water falls on this section, but the hills were abloom. We stopped at several overlooks but the wind was so fierce we didn’t hike very far though there are many trails available.

We covered a short nine miles yesterday and dropped into the visitor’s center. We ate lunch in the parking lot and spent two plus hours viewing the history and learning about the geology of the gorge.  A very worthwhile stop for all travelers.

Unique to this center is an educational showing of several raptors they keep. All have been injured in some way and cannot be released to the wild. The kestral, above is the smallest raptor from the area.

A female red tail hawk has an injured wing.

A male great horned owl is nearly blind and can’t feed itself.

Yesterday, we visited the Bonneville Dam and fish hatchery near the end of the day. It, too is worth a visit. I had never seen a fish ladder and always wondered how they count the fish.

The ladder was built after the dam. No one knew if it would actually work, but the spawning fish took to it right away. Ladders are easier than some of the falls and rapids they have to navigate.  They are provided a resting area that funnels them by windows where counters view them and press a button for every fish they see moving  upstream.

The viewing windows for the public were pretty murky. Various breeds spawn at different times of year. The Chinook spawn is just about over. We didn’t see many fish, but it was fascinating even so. We are parked at the Dalles.

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