Sunday, June 22, 2014

Return to the Salmon River

The Salmon River in Northern California that is. We lived on the North Fork of the Salmon River in Sawyers Bar for 5 years from December of 1974 to the summer of 1979. We've been back a few times, but will probably be going back every year now. The new owners of the saloon in Cecilville, on the South Fork have begun a disc golf tournament on Father's Day weekend and our children play disc golf.

We began the trip with a visit to our friend Sarah Colvig in Finley Camp.
Down the side of the mountain to the valley below. This road used to be dirt but is now paved and wide enough for two cars in most places. Finley camp is right at the bottom. Quite a few people I know or am acquainted with live down here. Not all year round. We parked the RV and had a lovely picnic supper and visit with Sarah.
Thanks to Sarah for this cute picture of Bill and I. It gets cool in the evening in the woods. Sarah's Jambalaya is famous all the way to Bali. 
The next morning we head into Sawyers Bar.
A few more people live around here than the last time we came through in May of 2006.  The Town Hall we helped build is still here. The stores are all houses now and the school is a community building. We drive on down to Forks of Salmon and as far as the school where I taught special education for a year. The road is all paved. Fewer ruts but we question whether it is safer rounding blind curves on a one lane road without the ability to see the dust of an oncoming vehicle.
Across the bridge where the north and south forks come together and up the road on the south fork side. Some familiar names on mailboxes here too. We had decided to have a family camp out at Mathews Creek Campground. There was a free campsite at Cecilville, but no dogs were allowed and daughter does have her Golden Retriever puppy Toby. This is a beautiful area. But few people use this campground. No one is here, there are no visible ground squirrels or chipmunks and the butterflies are bold. 
The California sister butterflies are very friendly. Landing on us and lapping at our skin with their tongues. We save campsites at the end overlooking the river.  There is a nice path down to the river. A bit steep for me since I forgot my hiking stick. By the afternoon all the family has shown up. Son and family, daughter and family and daughter-in-laws brother. Son heads on into Cecilville for a money round of disc golf which he wins. Others head to the river.
 Grandson swimming in a deep pool of the south fork.
 Daughter-in-law and her brother.
The view of the river from our campsite.
The next morning everyone except the two youngest, my daughter and I and the dog, take off to play disc golf. Bill has just has a skin cancer removed from his upper right shoulder area and he is not able to throw. But he wants to go anyway. So he acts as son, Jonathan's caddy. The stay at homes have fun playing in camp and in the river.

Everyone does quite well in the tournament and say they will be back next year. 
Sunday we all drive down to Sawyers Bar and park at the former school to use the community swimming hole. My daughter remembers where the path to the river is.
It's an easy walk down. We enjoy a picnic and swim. And meet a local who went to school with the children long ago. Ty Bundy is older than Jon and Valerie and has just recently come back to his family home in Sawyers Bar. No one had been living there for quite a while. He was down at the river with his girlfriend and her daughter and his daughters. Great to make some contact from long ago.
 Some have to head back home. Bill and I and Valerie and her family camp at Idlewild Campground not far from Finley Camp Sunday night. We head back home Monday morning after a very enjoyable weekend in the wild lands of far Northern California.

Monday, June 2, 2014

From LA to Home the Long Way

We headed toward 395 and the east side of the Sierras, our favorite way to drive home.  We had made reservations at Boulder Creek RV Resort. Good thing, as it was crowded with people from all over the world, well USA and Germany, celebrating Memorial Day.  Our usual spot, #12, was taken, but #10 was OK.  We joined the crowd at the pool and hot tub.  The staff is not much on crowd control. They just hope everyone behaves.
The 26th looks like it will be too hot for going to the Alabama Hills so we head out Lubken Canyon Road to Horseshoe Meadows Road and then up the mountainside. We are very high up at over 10,000 feet. There is a large nice parking area at the end of the road where we set up for the day.
 William goes off for a hike in search of Golden Trout. When have I heard that before? Probably 1976. Not enough oxygen up here for me to be hiking. Even William admits to having to sit and rest on his way back. But he went on a long hike and says he spotted the elusive trout.
While we are sitting in the RV with the door open and William is reading and telling me about his adventures a golden mantled ground squirrel jumped into the RV. William yelled and I screamed as it ran toward me. Luckily I had my legs up. It was running fast, but I could see the stripes on its back. It seemed huge. As I screamed GET IT OUT, GET IT OUT, it ran back out the door. 
On the way back we stop at a memorial spot in the road. Back in the 50's when they were building this road an equipment operator had a heart attack. Nothing could be done back then. Horseshoe Meadows.
Newspaper letter about Walt's Point.  Sierra Paragliding. You can float 60 miles from here to Bishop.
The view is pretty scary for me, so naturally William stops and goes climbing.

On the 27th it was cooler so we head to the Alabama Hills.  Amazing to think of the times we have come here and found the ground covered with flowers. Too late for flowers here. But it is still lovely.

We have seen some flowers on our desert travels the last few days. Mariposa lilies,
 indian paint, lupine, pussy paws,
sunflowers, princes plume,
globe mallow, and white poppies.
We had paid for a third night at the RV park, but they forgot to mark us down for the same spot. So we would have had to take #9. I noticed that #12 was empty, so we told them we would take that one.  Up to the pool and spa. But the spa is not hot. A couple there who had been at Mule days in Bishop said that the resort had turned off the heat when too many children were playing in it. No children now so we got them to turn the heat back on.
On the 28th we take off for the Bristlecone Pines. We had driven up here before, but the road was blocked by snow.  I wonder when the visitor center is open. Maybe only on the weekends?
Our campsite for the night is down in the pinion pines outside the area of the bristlecones at Grandview campground.

The 29th we head to Lake Tahoe to check out some campsites we have reserved at Fallen Leaf Lake for this summer. We thought we might spend a night at Tahoe. If it had been Nevada Beach, I would have said yes. But we decide to head on home.