Monthly Archives: June 2015

Mountain Jubilee was lots of fun

Article and photo by Alex Colvin 6/30/15 – Copy

Nathan Dougherty of Burney 4H explains about chickens

Nathan Dougherty of Burney 4H explains about chickens

Residents, businesses, and organizations of the Fall River Valley and surrounding areas joined together to create a wonderful Mountain Jubilee. The three-day display of Inter-Mountain culture and activities was organized by the Inter-Mountain Fair Heritage Foundation and took place at the fairgrounds in McArthur from Friday June 25th to Sunday June 27th.

Susan Hanson of Fall River displays her photos of the Intermountain Area

Susan Hanson of Fall River displays her photos of the Intermountain Area

Overall, the Jubilee offered everyone an opportunity to experience a broad range of intermountain life including trail rides, barrel racing, team roping, a small animal show and a horseshoe tournament. There was also a country craft show, an antique show, and a big ball tournament. Friday and Saturday both ended with a delicious barbecue in the evening and live music till midnight

Who will plop first

Who will plop first

A sense of country fun and humor enlivened many of the activities. Horses Assists Lives Organization had apony plop bingo. People could win a prize by guessing where one of two ponies would first drop its manure in a fenced area.

A highlight of Saturday afternoon was the mud races.

Getting down and dirty at the mud races

Getting down and dirty at the mud races

Contestants of all ages wore attire ranging from tutus to Hawaiian skirts. One man was dressed in a banana costume.  Racers slid into a pool of mud, climbed through muddy tractor tires and culvert pipes, and shimmied through muck under bannered ropes. They then ran a course through the entire fairgrounds before crossing the finish line back in the arena.

After the mud races the fun continued with a blow fish race and adults racing on tricycles. In the blow fish races, contestants competed by blowing bubbles to guide small fish down a narrow channel of water over the finish line.

This was the third annual Mountain Jubilee organized by the Inter-Mountain Heritage Foundation. The proceeds from the jubilee go towards maintaining and improving the fairgrounds and supporting the Inter-Mountain Fair that will be held from September 3rd to September 7th.

Alex Colvin is co-owner of The Lace Gallery in Burney, California. He previously wrote for non-profit corporations in the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Since returning to Burney, where he has deep family roots, Alex and his wife Linda have dedicated themselves to exploring and photographing the natural beauty of Northern California.

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Filed under Fall River Mills, Intermountain Fair, MacArthur, Pit River Country Events, Vintage Cars

Pit River Pow-Wow honors Native American Heritage

Sacred dancing in beautiful Burney

Sacred dancing in beautiful Burney

Article and photos by Alex Colvin 06/22/15 — Over two hundred and fifty tribal members representing      numerous Native American nations gathered in Burney on July 19th, 20th, and 21th to celebrate the 8th Annual Pit River Pow-Wow. The event was held on the grounds of the Pit River Casino surrounded by gorgeous ponderosa pines with a lovely view of Mt. Burney in the background.

Couples Dance

Couples Dance

The event was open to the public at no charge, so

hundreds of local area residents and visitors also attended. In addition to music and dancing, the program included introductions and talks by royalty, honored tribe members and past winners. The tribe also had a special ceremony honoring Native American veterans.

This year, for the first time, the Pit River Pow-Wow Committee prepared and served Pit River Indian Tacos. There were also several vendors selling Native American crafts, jewelry, and apparel.

About 100 dancers registered to participate and compete in the various dances. Dancers, singers, and

The Happy Dance

The Happy Dance

drummers came from as far away as South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Many California tribes were also represented by participants coming from Rowland Heights, Berkeley, Tule Lake, Oakland, and Fort Jones.

Joe Kanip, Northern Ute, was Head Man and Rena Horse, Pit River Tribe, was Head Woman. Myron Horse, Olglala Sioux from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, was the MC. The dancing began Friday evening from dusk till dark.

On Saturday, two groups drummed and sang as the dancers performed. The host drum was Lightning Creek from Lapwai, Idaho. The second group was an enthusiastic circle of junior Native American drummers named Sturgeon Bait, made up of young tribal members from Idaho, Montana, and Washington. One of the drummers from Lightning Creek said, “We want to thank the people of California and the Pit River Tribe for your hospitality. It is really beautiful here.”

Sturgeon Bait

Sturgeon Bait

After an afternoon featuring a variety of styles of dancing by children and adults, the Pit River Tribal Council provided a delicious complimentary barbecue for all who attended. Afterwards, the dancing resumed in the evening.

The Grand Entry

The Grand Entry

On Sunday, activities began with the Grand Entry. JR Fox, Dakota Sioux from Bismarck, North Dakota brought forward the eagle staff followed by a procession. This was followed by an invocation. Then there was an intertribal dance. Current royalty was introduced. A delightful performance was given by some of the youngest dancers, whom the MC introduced as the “tiny tots.”

A new princess from Klamath Falls dances with the tiny tots

The afternoon continued with competitions by dancers of various age groups demonstrating different styles. After the competitions were concluded, the eagle staff exited the grounds, concluding the pow-wow. Winners of the competitions were announced, prizes were awarded, and there was transfer of royalty from last year’s royalty to this year’s.

A new princess from Klamath Falls dances with the tiny tots

A new princess from Klamath Falls dances with the tiny tots

After the pow-wow concluded and most of the participants had left, MC Myron Horse shared this reflection, “This was a wonderful pow-wow. I hope the Pit River Pow-Wow continues. I want people to say something good to one another and to say encouraging things as we move forward on the pow-wow trail.”

Pictures posted with permission of the Pit River Tribe of Burney, California

Alex Colvin is co-owner of The Lace Gallery in Burney, California. He previously wrote for non-profit corporations in the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Since returning to Burney, where he has deep family roots, Alex and his wife Linda have dedicated themselves to exploring and photographing the natural beauty of Northern California.

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Filed under Burney, Music, Pit River Area History, Pit River Country Events, Pit River Tribe

Fort Crook Pioneer Day Reenacts History

Article and photos by Alex Colvin 6/10/15 — The Fort Crook Historical Society brought history to life at their annual Pioneer Day celebration in Fall River Mills on June 6. The event took place on the grounds of the Fort Crook Museum. Hundreds of visitors viewed pioneer and civil war enactments; demonstrations of blacksmithing, log rolling, and horse harnessing; and presentations of quilting and spinning. In addition, an antique tractor show featured scores of tractors and farm machinery dating back to the early 1900’s.Dutch Oven Competitors

People also had the opportunity to taste dishes prepared by contestants in the Dutch oven cook-off including a delicious buffalo stew prepared by Ben Scarberry of the Back Country Horsemen from Shasta Lake. Four teams competed in the cook-off, each preparing a roast or stew and a dessert. Jon and Dina Wideman came from Lewiston in Trinity County to participate in the event.

Rick Dougherty and his 12-year-old son Nathan, members of the Reenactors of the American Civil War, Civil War Renactors Rick Dougherty and his son Nathanportrayed two soldiers from the 8th Alabama Volunteers, an all Irish regiment. The younger Dougherty delighted onlookers with detailed stories of civil war battles and soldiers who had suffered imprisonment during the war.

Mike and Jeanette Rodriguez represented the Pit River Pioneers Black Powder Shooting Group. Dressed in period costume, their lean-to shelter presented a variety of antique bowls, tools, and weapons, including a der

Mike and Jeanette Rodriquez display the Republica Alta Libre Flag

Mike and Jeanette Rodriquez display the Republica Alta Libre Flag

ringer similar to the one used by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.

In front of his camp, Rodriguez proudly displayed a replica of a little known early California flag. This flag flew for a brief time in the 1830’s when Juan Bautista Alvarado helped to lead a revolt against Mexico. According to Rodriguez, the white flag with a single red star outlined in gold and the words Alta Libre Republica was the first flag proclaiming Alta California as an independent state.

In the blacksmithing demonstration, Ron Shannon and Logan Martin demonstrated their skill with forge and

Blacksmith Ron Shannon at Fort Crook Museum

Blacksmith Ron Shannon at Fort Crook Museum

anvil. Shannon teaches blacksmithing classes at the Fort Crook Museum from March to November.

Linda Colvin of Lace Gallery at Pioneer Day

Linda Colvin of Lace Gallery at Pioneer Day

Numerous booths lined the pathway into the Museum selling hand-crafted jewelry, photography, artwork, goat milk soap and lotion, hand-carved bird houses, and antique Native American baskets and art.

Old Time Music at Pioneer Day

Old Time Music at Pioneer Day

Adding to the festive atmosphere, music filled the air as musicians and singers from Fall River Mills, McArthur and the surrounding area shared a variety of old-time songs

Alex Colvin is co-owner of The Lace Gallery in Burney, California. He previously wrote for non-profit corporations in the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Since returning to Burney, where he has deep family roots, Alex and his wife Linda have dedicated themselves to exploring and photographing the natural beauty of Northern California.

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Filed under Fall River Mills, Intermountain Art, Music, Pit River Area History, Pit River Country Events

Flatwater Kayaking in Pit River Country

Article by Alex Colvin 05/27/15 — As the Pit River flows through eastern Shasta County, it is fed by the springs and streams of Fall River Valley and Hat Creek, creating numerous delightful locations for flatwater kayaking. Ahjumawi State Park, Baum Lake, Lake Britton, and selected areas of the Pit River around Hwy. 299 provide opportunities to experience natural beauty and wildlife while paddling serenely over the water.

Deer, raccoons, coyote, otters, muskrat, and beaver thrive in the area. Bald eagles, osprey, and a variety of hawks soar above. American pelicans, egrets, great blue heron, grebes, geese, and ducks frequent the waters. The area offers incredible views of the Cascades, including Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen.

Ahjumawi is a word from the language of the Pit River Native Americans who inhabit the area. It means “Where the waters come together.” Water from the snowmelt of Medicine Lake Volcano forms one of the largest systems of underground springs in the country. These springs feed over a billion gallons of water a day into Eastman Lake, Big Lake, Tule River, Ja-She Creek, Lava Creek, and Fall River.

Donna Sylvester's grandaughter Lexi on Baum Lake - Photo by Donna Sylvester

Donna Sylvester’s grandaughter, Lexie, on Baum Lake, photo by Donna Sylvester

According to Donna Sylvester, certified Kayak instructor and owner of Eagle Eyes Kayak, “Spring and early summer is the best time to Kayak, especially on Lake Britton and Ahjumawi State Park. Baum Lake is great anytime!” Sylvester instructs and guides kayakers on waterways in the Pit River area. She has 21 kayaks, so she can provide a kayak tailored to the skill, safety, and comfort of each person. For visitors to the area who want to kayak but don’t need a guide, she provides rentals.

The Jiminez Family Kayaking - Photo by Donna Sylvester

The Jimenez Family kayaking, photo by Donna Sylvester

Recently, on May 24, Sylvester guided Paul Jimenez, his wife Lily, and his two cousins Paz and Anna Ruth on a kayak trip in Ahjumawi State Park. Jimenez said he was very pleased at how patiently Sylvester instructed them. The group paddled through Horr Pond up the Tule River to Ja-She Creek. Along the way, Jimenez saw deer, ducks including a cinnamon teal, a white egret, a blue heron, pelicans, geese, a muskrat, and a sunbathing snake. He was also very impressed by the beautiful views of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen. After returning to his home in San Mateo and reflecting on the experience, Jimenez says, “Mejor seria imposible.” (Better would have been impossible!)

To learn more about Eagle Eyes Kayak click here.

Alex Colvin is co-owner of The Lace Gallery in Burney, California. He previously wrote for non-profit corporations in the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Since returning to Burney, where he has deep family roots, Alex and his wife Linda have dedicated themselves to exploring and photographing the natural beauty of Northern California.

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Filed under Ajumawi State Park, Baum Lake, Crystal Lake, Fall River, Hat Creek, Kayaking, Pit River Area History, Pit River Tribe

Fine Art and Craft Fair held in Burney

Article and photo by Alex Colvin 5/25/15 — Saturday, May 23rd, on a grassy knoll surrounded by towering ponderosa pines behind the U.S. Bank on Main Street in downtown Burney, the Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River Mills hosted its 3rd annual Memorial Day Weekend Fine Arts and Crafts Show.

A shopper examines pens made from natural products.A shopper examines pens made from natural products at the show in Burney

The show was organized by Andrew Urlie, a fine art potter. The show featured art pottery, photography, painting and hand-crafted items.

Two artisan brothers, Keith and Kevin McKay from Cassel, displayed a fascinating array of items fashioned from natural sources such as oak and manzanita bowls; a hand-wrought fly fishing coat rack; pine cone ornaments and fan-pulls; and ink pens made from ten varieties of wood, rope, pinecones, and even horse manure!

The event was well attended and vendors reported satisfying sales.

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Filed under Art, Burney, Pit River Country Events, Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River

1928 Ford wins at Burney car show

Article and photo by Alex Colvin 5/24/15 — Best of Show Trophy for the Rex Club Days car show hosted by Mountain Cruisers car club of Burney on Saturday, May 23 was awarded to John Abacherli from Round Mountain for his 1928 Ford truck. Abacherli said the truck was the dream of his friend Tom Bush, who bought the truck from a winery in San Jose in 1983, but died in 2007 before he could finish the work. Abacherli bought the truck from Bush’s wife and finished the project.
Tom and Jana Abacheri stand by thier best of show 1928 Ford
Tom and Jana Abarcherli stand by their best of show 1928 Ford

This was the 23rd annual celebration of the Rex Club Days car show. Car clubs and individuals from across Northern California, including the Intermountain Area, Susanville, Redding, and Sonoma and Napa counties, participated. Many Intermountain businesses served as sponsors, and 70 classic vehicles were entered. The Early Ford Club of America from Napa and Sonoma had 20 cars in the show. Hundreds of local residents and tourists came to view the show.

Ron Conley, President of the Mountain Cruisers car club said that proceeds from the event go into a fund to support local charities including the Fall River Hospital, scholarships, Toys for Tots, the Burney library, and the community swimming pool.

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Filed under Burney, Vintage Cars