Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rumsey Bridge

Just off Highway 16 between Esparto and Highway 20 there is a bridge I've been catching a glimpse of on my way to Redwood Valley for years. This trip I finally pulled off the highway and discovered that the Ramsey Bridge across Cache Creek is spectacular!

It was built in 1940 and has two sets of elegant arches.

Sorry to say there was unfortunate graffiti on some of the spans.

The blue sky was the perfect backdrop to the bridge.

Each set of pillars frames a different gorgeous view of the Cache Creek.

More, elegant, small arches decorate the spans of the whole bridge.

And heading back to the highway.......

Happy Trails!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Point Cabrillo

Sunday morning we visited the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. Beautiful clear sky after the past two days of clouds and fog. The stairs to the light were closed to the public. Special tours are available once a month. Darn!

There are three cottages that were used by the "lighthouse keepers" and their families. One is a bed and breakfast type inn that would be a very fun stay. One is a restored family home. And the third is waiting for restoration. As a former "watershed keeper" I have a special place in my heart for lighthouse keepers!

The families were completely self-sufficient while assigned to a lighthouse. My family reading will remember a knife sharpener like this one at the ranch. It was a fun bicycle. Does anybody know the proper name?

There aren't many trees on the spit of land with the lighthouse. Maybe ten or so of these really, really old cypress. I love the bark and my little Elf doesn't have the wide angle lens to get the whole tree except at great distance.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Fish Camp"

Dolphin Island is a mix of permanent year round residents and summer "fish camps" on the Noyo River at Fort Bragg. The river is influenced by ocean tides. It's fun to watch the water flowing "up stream" as the tide comes in each morning. This week-end was a super high tide.

Dear friends, R and P, set up fish camp in the spring and tear down again each October. My September visit is often just as the weather is starting to change. This year on Friday we had a drizzly rain that didn't keep us inside and a lovely foggy morning on Saturday. Both nice changes from our drought stricken foothills!

Downstream from camp and before the harbor is a intriguing collection of boats in a salvage yard. Some of the old boats are still sea worthy and some are sitting on dry land. The "Anita" is picture perfect even on dry land.

The "Fort Bragg" is floating in the water, but I can't imagine it on the ocean.

We kayaked along the fishing boats in the harbor. Sometimes a seal will swim along side for company. J went all the way to the ocean. P and J headed the other direction up the river.

The marinas are usually full of beautiful boats, but many have been pulled this year due to the closing of the salmon and "bottom" fishing seasons. It's been a hard summer for the local economy.

Several interesting restorations are in progress at Dolphin Island, including this 1968 Airstream. The owner plans to be full-time in it by next year at this time.

And the "Linmar" will be a floating bed and breakfast along the Washington coast when restoration is complete.

Here's a shot of R and J returning rented kayaks to the harbor.

There's often something fun or interesting going on at fish camp. These "spiders in butter" were a remnant of the past week-end's shenanigans.

Campfires are the best in recycled automatic washer tubs.

And the camp mascot is a precious gray and white seal who suns herself on a rock each afternoon as the tide goes back out to sea.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pinecrest Kayak

On week-ends and most week-day afternoons in the summer Pinecrest is very busy, in the morning, sometimes even week-end mornings, it's a different story. Often it's just a handful of people fishing, hiking, or kayaking. That's when I plan my visits. First I hike around the lake,
four miles of gorgeous trail along the waterline. Then I do a loop around the lake in my kayak.

My boat rode perfectly on top of the RAV4. Once I got a routine, loading and unloading is easy.

The water is low as seen by the high water mark on this rock that is usually 20 feet or so out from the shore.

Not far beyond these mountains at the headwater of the lake is the Emigrant Wilderness. The thunder clouds were building in the backcountry.

While the water was almost like glass when I started out, my trip was cut short when the coulds and wind blew in from the west meeting those all ready in the mountains. I loaded up my boat and watched the weather until a few rain drops fell, then headed down the hill to home.

Next week I'm going camping for a couple days before snow flies!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sunset Walk

The buckeye trees are first to dry up in August, these leaves are brittle.

The buckeyes are still hanging on the trees.

Thistle down.

Licken on the lava rocks are a study of sunset colors.

And the sunset, not behind Table Mountain, gorgeous just the same.

Acorn Festival

Every fall the Tuolumne Rancheria celebrates the Acorn Festival. Many vendors, dancers,
drum families, and good food.

Grand entry.......

Hoop dancer....

And scared eagle feathers in beautiful arrangement......

Dear nephew ate the WHOLE thing!

Fahey Cabin

West of Long Barn on Forest Road 3N01 the Fahey cow camp was partially restored by the Forest Service in 2005. The the cabin is at the left, barn in the middle, and bunkhouse on the right. In a previous life I was lucky enough to spend a couple summers here. This afternoon visit was so peaceful, and a nice change from the truck traffic at home.

Here is a link to a brief history of the Fahey cow camp.

The original siding is still on the gable end of the cabin.

Most of the corrals are tumbling down. A portion of the rail fence is still standing.

The purpose of these changes is a mystery to me.

Our horses had the run of this meadow at night. They liked to graze at the far end early in the morning before a long day riding the range.

There was just a hint of fall color in the Aspens.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Figs (and Basil)

Dad's fig tree doesn't care that it's hot and dry in the California foothills. The second crop of figs is coming on strong, without a drop of water. Usually I just eat off the tree, but the blue birds are giving me a run. They didn't go for my idea of sharing, they would take the top and I could have the bottom. No deal! These are safe from the birds and will last nicely for a few days.

Also picked yummy basil. I will make a salad of tomatoes, basil and morzarella cheese.

J and J Anniversary

Happy 50th Anniversary to dear cousins J and J. Thanks for a fun party!