Weaver and Avocado on the PCT

When my daughter Hana Lyn, who is visiting from Maryland, found out that there is a lady in Burney who sells Mary Kay, she was so happy. She had run out of foundation. So Linda messaged Bobbi Frazier and we arranged to meet at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at the Word of Live Assembly of God (WOLA) for resupply.

When we arrived, the WOLA coffee shop and lobby were buzzing with activity. Bobbi was there and so also were two members of a 4K for Cancer Team running from San Francisco to New York. So while Hana Lyn transacted with Bobbik and got a latte, I spoke briefly with one of the team leaders for the 4K Run, Cheyenne Greenside. Kathy Newton who was organizing hospitality for the runners during their rest stop in Burney, told me that they would be having a barbecue at WOLA that evening and invited me to come take pictures for an article. (See 4K Runners Grateful for Burney Hospitality).

Bon preparing a drink for Weaver at the coffee shop

In the meantime, I noticed several PCT hikers in the coffee shop. Five more hikers were enjoying the hospitality of WOLA. Two of them were heading back to the trail that day and three of them were planning to rest, resupply, and stay for the night.

I managed to chat with the two who were planning to trek on that day.

Rebekah Archer is a charming, thoughtful young lady from Melbourne Australia who is flip-flopping (skip-hiking) the trail. Her trail name is Weaver. She began solo hiking in Campo on April 9. As she hiked through the Southern California desert she made several friends with whom she hiked. Rebekah said she saw a lot of rattlesnakes in the south.

When they reached Lone Pine (Mile 788.8), she chose to skip the Sierras and hike north from Chester. Hiking from Chester to Burney she has seen a lot of deer but no bear yet. I told her she may well see one in this area.

After she passes through the Northern Cascades to Canada she plans to return and hike south through the high Sierras after the snow has melted.

In the midst of her journey north, Rebekah will take two weeks off from the trail to spend time with friends from Australia who are coming for a two week visit in San Francisco. Then she will rejoin the hikers she met earlier in the desert and hike to Canada with them. Rebekah has planned her hike so she can enjoy, the “best of all worlds.”

Avocado from Frankfurt Germany

The second PCT hiker I talked with in the coffee shop was a young thru-hiker from Frankfurt Germany. His trail name is Avocado. He started from Campo on March 28. This is the first time that he has done such a long hike. He has hiked the mountains of Europe but never longer than two weeks.

Avocado said that what impresses him about the PCT is the “diversity of beauty full of extreme contrast” that he has experienced on his journey through the desert, the High Sierras, the Southern Cascades, Hat Creek Ridge, and then descending into the forests of Burney Basin. He is looking forward to seeing Burney Falls, and then passing through Mt. Shasta, into the forests of Oregon and the Northern Cascades in Washington.

Just before leaving Germany for his adventure, Avocado completed his undergraduate degree in sociology from Frankfurt University. As he is walking north through the wilderness, he is pondering whether he should continue his studies or begin his career.

From the point of view of a sociologist, Avocado said that the PCT culture is a “tiny special society.” It is international. There are people of all ages and backgrounds making the journey for varied reasons. There are day hikers, section hikers, through hikers, and hip hoppers. Trail angels support and encourage the hikers and businesses in small rural towns cater to their needs. Rugged outdoor adventure interfaces with hi-tech social media and special PCT apps to facilitate the journey. There is a fluid blending of individualism and group formation that enriches the PCT family. Avacado said that he may write a short paper on it in the future.

He said that he met only one person hiking through the snow in the Sierras without a cell phone. Avocado considers his phone to be not just a means of communication but a safety device insuring location and rescue in case of mishap in a treacherous area.

Weaver relaxes at Burney Falls Park

After talking with Avocado, Hana Lyn, my wife Linda, and I headed to Burney Falls to hike the Loop. While there, we ran into Weaver again, sitting at a picnic table writing in her journal. She was planning to have an ice cream before visiting the falls and heading north.

Hana Lyn, with her new Mary Kay foundation, had several opportunities to snap selfies by the falls and on the bridge over Burney Creek.


Hana Lyn by the lynn at Burney Falls

Selfie on the bridge over Burney Creek

Ah! The best of all worlds!


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Filed under Burney, Burney Falls, Pacific Crest Trail, Word of Life Assembly of God

4K Runners Grateful for Burney Hospitality

The 4K for Cancer Team NY 2018 ran into Burney on Tuesday June 19. They came for a two-day rest stop hosted by the Word of Life Assembly of God Church (WOLA). Twenty-two young adults ranging in age from 18-25 are running from San Francisco to New York City to increase awareness and raise funds in the battle against cancer.

4K Runners and WOLA volunteers

Team NY is one of three teams doing a 4000 mile run across the country beginning in San Francisco on June 17 and ending in Baltimore, Boston, and New York on Aug 4th. The run is sponsored by the Ulman Foundation. The focus is helping young people with cancer. They are building a nationwide network of support involving a wide range of charitable programs.

Kathy Newton from WOLA supervised the overall hospitality for the group during their stay, including two nights rest in the WOLA gym, a Tuesday night barbecue organized by Kaylynn Harper and prepared by the Encounter small group ministry, a visit to Burney Falls, breakfast with food provided by Anna’s Country Kitchen, and pizza dinner at Gepetto’s courtesy of owner Robert Moore.

Cooking up burgers by the gym

The runners came from more than a dozen states including New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Washington, Montana, and California.

Becca Eddy, Cheyenne Greenside, Kaylynn Harper, and Courntey Schatz

The program coordinator is Rebecca Eddy. Ms. Eddy, was raised in Eureka, Oregon and graduated from college in North Carolina, She currently lives in Baltimore where the Ulman Foundation has its headquarters.

Ms. Eddy said, “4K for Cancer hopes to unite communities in the battle against cancer making sure no one goes through this difficult time alone. Every participant has a ‘why for running.’ I wanted to run for my grandparents, uncle, great-aunt, and other family members and friends who have battled this terrible disease. I couldn’t control my family being impacted by cancer, but I could do something to make a difference and be there for others.”

Cheyenne Greenside and Courtney Schatz are team leaders. Courtney Schatz was raised in Roundup, Montana and now lives with her husband in Billings. She first learned about 4K when a team stayed at her church in Roundup.

She said, “I was inspired by the 4K bike teams that came through my hometown. I wanted to help. My parents have always taught me to help others in any way that I can so this experience is absolutely incredible.”

Montana Strummers sing “Running in the Mainstream of Love”

Mrs. Schatz is also a talented ukulele player. At the barbecue, she played and sang “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana with one of the children present. Then she teamed up with a local guitar player to form the Montana Strummers who performed “Running in the Mainstream of Love” featuring a wonderful ukulele solo.

Courtney’s younger sister, Carrie Cota, a talented landscape painter who just finished her second year at Rocky Mountain College in Billings is also participating in this year’s 4K run,

Ms. Greenside lives in Seattle and is engaged to a young man serving in the army in Georgia. She recently graduated from college in Alaska. She explained that on June 17 the team ran from San Francisco to Yuba City. On the 18th they ran from Yuba City to Red Bluff, where they spent the night before continuing to Burney. After their stay in Burney, they will be running to Vale, Oregon and then on across the country.

Several of the runners expressed their appreciation of the beauty of the Intermountain area and their gratitude to the people of Burney for their friendliness. They said they hoped to return in the future.

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WOLA welcoming PCT hikers

Kathy Newton, Office Manager at Word of Life Assembly of God, said that more than five PCT hikers a day have been stopping at the church, most of them within the last week. All together they have hosted between 35 and 40 hikers.

On Father’s Day June 17, there were five hikers. One from Australia, one from Switzerland, one from England, and two from the United States.

Sandra Withrich from Switzerland and Gordon Forrest from Australia

Sandra Withrich from Rotherbach Switzerland began her hike from the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail in Campo on April 2. Gordon Forrest from Brisbane Australia began his northern trek on April 4. The two met at Warner Springs, about 110 miles up trail and have been hiking together, averaging about 20+ miles a day, ever since.

They are thru-hikers. When Sandra met Gordon he was hiking with an Israeli hiker. The three of them hiked together until their Israeli friend left the trail. Gordon and Sandra hiked up 14,800 foot Mt. Whitney and over Forester Pass. Forester Pass is over 13,000 feet and one of the most difficult passes of the trail.

They were able to continue on through the Sierras without delay because the snowfall has not been as high as last year and the heavy snow melt that swells the rivers had not yet begun. They said that hiking through the snow had not been too difficult for them, although Sandra did have one incident when she fell into a post hole and it took hours to get out.

Gordon explained that he and Sandra both have 6 month visas so they want to keep a steady pace hiking the whole trail to Canada. Some of the American friends that they have made don’t have the same time constraints so they have been skipping north and then hiking south. As a result they have met some of them that they hiked with coming back the opposite direction.

Sandra said, “I love the PCT.”

Sean Harran from Boise Idaho, Oscar Chubb from UK, and Julian Casola from New Jersey

Three other young men who spent the night in the WOLA gym are Oscar Chubb (trail name “Statue”) from the United Kingdom, Julian Casola “Swede” from New Jersey, and Sean Harran “Caca” from Boise Idaho.

Nineteen-year-old Oscar Chubb recently graduated from Denstone, a public school in England. After hiking the PCT he plans to attend Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and serve in the British military.

“Caca” is also 19. “Swede” is 24. He began the hike from Campo on March 20. Oscar began on March 21. They said that hiking the deep snow through the Sierras was challenging. “Swede” said that sometimes you  fall through the crusted snow and find that you are waste deep in water running under the snow. They also said that you need to be careful not to fall into post holes.

Several of the hikers attended the Father’s Day Sunday Service at the church. Pastor Ken Frazier welcomed them followed by applause from the entire congregation. Rev. Frazier said that he is glad that WOLA can provide a place in the gym for them to sleep, a hot shower, a hot cup of coffee, and some supplies.

He encouraged people who would like to provide “trail magic” for PCT hikers at the church. “Trail magic” is supplies or treats that might be helpful for hikers. If you would like to provide “trail magic” contact Kathy Newton at 334-4419.

Kathy Newton said, “We love the connection we make with the wonderful hikers from all over the world, and they have been asking what they can do for us!”

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2018 Honorary Mayor’s Race Platforms

On Tuesday June 12, candidates for 2018 Honorary Mayor of Burney got together at the Chamber of Commerce meeting at Gepetto’s Pizza to introduce themselves and the organization for which they are raising funds.

Katie Small, Jen Luck, Sandy McCullar, J.P. Wheeler and Ralph Freitas

Chamber President Sandy McCullar gave each candidate an opportunity to make a brief statement.

Jen Luck is raising funds for Burney Beautification. She would like to put up signs and renew the mural between the Burney Dry Cleaners and the Alpine to make Burney more beautiful for residents and visitors. She also said that she would like to see a Parks and Recreation Department that would beautify the parks and increase their creative use for people of all ages including both youth sports activities and outdoor senior programs such as painting or quilting. Jen closed by saying, “Don’t be a schmuck, give Luck a buck!”

Katie Small is raising funds for Burney Athletics. Katie said, “Help Katie Small bring back the beauty of all and help the kids play ball!” Money raised will go to help youth sports in Burney meet whatever needs they may have.

Ralph Freitas is raising funds for the Burney Fire District. Chief Keady has told him that they need new pagers for the volunteers. Ralph also recounted how grateful he was for his experience running for mayor last year after which he was able to present a sizable donation to the Make A Wish Foundation for Shasta County on radio at Mount Shasta Mall in Redding and testify to the generosity of people in the Burney community. Ralph loves raising money for good causes.

Destiny Tavares was represented by the J.P. Wheeler, Commander of VFW Post 5689. Destiny is raising funds for the VFW and The American Legion. She wants to support past, present, and future veterans. Wheeler said the veterans want to become more community minded. Destiny wants to do things to support those young people who are choosing to go into the military to support our country, thus honoring past, present and future veterans.

After statements, McCullar asked each candidate several jovial questions on topics ranging from elephants to penguins, favorite little known places, when summer really begins, advice on mowing lawns, battling giant ducks and small horses, funny things that have happened in one’s life, and how to spend a million dollars from Bill Gates on your best idea for Burney. Amidst a chorus of laughter each candidate quick-wittedly displayed their worthiness for Mayor.

The annual race for Honorary Mayor of Burney is an election in which any one can vote for as many candidates as they want as many times as they want. Each dollar donated counts as one vote. Generous donors are encouraged to try to buy the election!

See also

2018 Candidates for Honorary Mayor of Burney California (includes video)

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John and Deanna Ospital Honored Guests for Burney Basin Days

This year’s Honored Guests for the Burney Basin Days Parade are John and Deanna Ospital.

2018 Honored Guests Johnny and Deanna Ospital

John “Johnny” Ospital was born in Stockton. In 1950, his father John Sr. moved to Round Mountain to work in the lumber business. The Ospitals are of Basque heritage and the rest of John’s father’s family were involved in sheep herding. John’s mother was full-blooded Italian.

In 1957, when Pete Norbaitz relocated his business to Burney, the Ospital family moved to Burney.

John met Deanna Lee in 1958 at Fall River Joint Unified High School. Deeana, from McArthur, is the granddaughter of William Lee, one of the settlers of McArthur who owned and operated the Lee Ranch.

John and Deanna were married at St. Francis Church in Burney in 1962. They raised two daughters who graduated from Burney High School.

John enjoyed playing music, so after graduating he went to college to study music. He found that the emphasis was on training to be a music teacher. He was more interested in playing live music.

He also realized that what he wanted was a job and a nice little house with a white picket fence where he and Deanna could settle down to raise a family. John went to work for Scott Lumber Company helping to produce and market Fertimulch, an innovative product created by the Scott Lumber Company in Burney.

In 1963, his father bought a garage in Burney and John worked together with him running Ospital Service. Next, John worked as a sales representative for AAA insurance .Then he worked for 29 years for Citizens Phone Company that became Frontier. During his varied career, John continued to pursue his love for music by performing as a drummer throughout the Intermountain area.

Deanna got a job at Lorenz Lumber. After her children were born, she stayed home to care for them until they reached the age at which they had full school days. Then she returned to work, still doubling as a mom after school.  She worked for Louisiana Pacific, Fiberboard, Big Valley Lumber, and finally, Dicalite

While working and raising a lovely family, John and Deanna served the community in numerous ways over the decades.

They have been involved in Burney Basin Days and community activities since the early 1960’s through the Jaycees and the Jaceettes.

Deanna has been a member of the Soroptimists for more that 25 years. She has helped with the Christmas tree lighting ceremony since its inception.

John was a charter member of Burney Rotary. He has been an active participant in the Burney Chamber of Commerce since 2000 and was very involved in the Burney Beautification Project.

Both John and Deanna have helped organize the Burney Basin Days Parade for the past  13 years. In recent years, they have also helped to facilitate the Chamber of Commerce Ham Run.

Throughout their years of service to the Burney Community they have always maintained a “can do” spirit and radiated an atmosphere of good cheer.

Expressing their optimism and love for Burney, John and Deanna said, “We look forward to seeing energetic people continue the traditions of Burney Basin Days bringing fresh ideas to the celebration and the community.”

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Filed under Burney, Burney Basin Days, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River

Kid Fit Inaugural at Washburn-Bue Park

It was a beautiful day at Washburn Bue Park as scores of children, parents, and volunteers turned out for the inaugural event of KID FIT Summer 2018 on Tuesday evening June 12.

Kid Fit is a program that began in 2006 to address the obesity epidemic that was threatening the health of children in our country. The purpose of the program is to promote healthy lifestyle choices for children and families in the Intermountain area.

Kid Fit is organized locally by Shaylene Herndon from Bright Futures, Dana Haugue from Full Fitness Spectrum, and Tri Counties Community Network. Burney High School Senior Hailey Shaver is assisting Shaylene Herndon in the program for her Senior Project.

Organizers prep the kids

Pit River Casino donated $5000 to fund this years Kid Fit events. Additional funds were also provided by Mountain Cruisers and PG&E Employees Funds.

Tough Competition

Activities for the kids included Hula Hoop, tug-a-war, soccer, whiffle ball, jump rope, and lacrosse. Children from toddlers to teens participated.

Having a ball

This little tiger is running a race all his own

Tuesday evening’s kick-off festival at the park was the first of a series of\ events that will take place each week until July 12.

Upcoming events will be:

Tuesday June 19: Burney Falls night hike with free admission to the park.

Tuesday June 26: Family sports night at Bailey Park

Thursday July 5: Family track and field night at Burney High School Football field as one of the opening events for Burney Basin Days

Thursday July 12: Mud race and obstacle source on Bailey Avenue and family swim night at the Raymond Berry Community Pool.

All events begin at 6 p.m. For more information call Shaylene Herndon at 530-335-4600.

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Filed under Burney, Burney Basin Days, Burney Falls, Pit River Casino, Tri-Counties Community Center, youth

SEMSA expands Ambulance Ground Membership Program

SEMSA, Sierra Medical Services Alliance, a not-for-profit ground and Air Medical service, is expanding its Ambulance Ground Membership program, effective immediately.

SEMSA has been in operation in the Lassen County area for 14 years in partnership with Banner Lassen Hospital providing ground and critical care ambulance services.

March 1, 2017 was a milestone day when SEMSA operations expanded to include Shasta and Modoc counties. This expansion came about through a partnership with Mayer’s Memorial Hospital and Southern Cascades Emergency Services.

Newly expanded Ambulance Ground Membership now covers members in the Lassen, Shasta and Modoc SEMSA operating areas. Ambulance Ground Membership covers up to five people who permanently reside in the same home, (subject to Membership agreement). Current Lassen County members automatically have the new expanded coverage.

SEMSA is excited to be able to offer this expanded ground membership to better serve our communities. Caring for you and your loved ones when it matters most, SEMSA, in partnership with Air Methods also offers an Air Membership program.

SEMSA will be officially launching the new expanded Ambulance Ground Membership program at the Fall River Air Show on 6/17/2018. Staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide membership enrollment information.

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Filed under health, Mayers Memorial Hospital