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.

No comments: