Monthly Archives: October 2015

Hope is Alive 4 Open Mic to be held at Rex Club Nov. 19

Hey! Here is something cool. When Linda got home she showed me a flyer that there will be an open mic night on Thursday, November 19 at Rex Club Open Mikethe Rex Club at 6 p.m. Poets, spoken word artists, singers, and performers are invited to come and share their talents. Those who wish to perform should come to sign up at 5:30.

The theme is Hope Is Alive! The flyer asks, “Has creating music, rhymes or poetry given you light in dark times or shed light on a hidden struggle? Then come celebrate how art heals and promotes understanding.”

This is a free event being held in honor of National Suicide Loss Survivor Day on Nov. 21. It is being sponsored by Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency in conjunction with the Community Education Committee along with community partners and advisory boards. Funding for the event is provided through the Mental Health Services Act.

This is a great opportunity for people to share their talent for a worthy cause. It’s also a wonderful occasion for people who don’t perform but enjoy listening to come together for a meaningful evening.  I love poetry and music. I believe it is good to promote hope and healing. I plan on signing up. How about you?

The event has a Facebook page.

There is also a page for Stand Against Stigma

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BLM hosts archaeology teach-in at Pit 1

On Saturday October 17, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) held a free public archaeology day at BLM campground at Pit 1 just off Hwy 299 between Fall River Mills and Burney. The event was sponsored as part of California Archaeology Month.

BLM archaeology event

BLM archaeology event

Archaeology month is a national program designed to increase the public’s knowledge of our country’s  past.  Each state chooses a month to provide educational materials and hold events in schools and for the public to increase awareness of our archaeological past. The Society for California Archaeology sponsors California Archaeology Month in October.

In Northeastern California, BLM field offices for the Redding, Eagle Lake, and

Applegate districts cooperate to hold a public archaeology day each year. The events are held in a different location rotating between the three offices.

More than a dozen archaeologists, archaeology technicians, and interns from BLM, the US Forest Service (USFS) and Conservation and Land Management (CLM) volunteered there time, knowledge and expertise at this year’s event.

Archaeologists David “Jack” Scott, Devin Snyder and Jennifer Rovenpera came from the Applegate Field Office, accompanied by archaeology technicians Aimee VanHavermaat-Snyder, Christine O’Neill, Jenna Matthews and Lowell Thomas.

Archaeologists Sharynn-Marie Blood and Marilla Martin came from the  Eagle Lake field office. Sharynn Blood is the Program Lead for Cultural Resources at Eagle Lake. The Redding BLM field office was represented by archaeologist Eric Ritter.

Blood explaining local flora

Blood explaining local flora

The USFS was represented by archaeologists Adam Guitierrez from the Almanor Ranger District, Alden Neel from the Hat Creek District, plus archaeology technician Jake Martin from Eagle Lake District.

Two CLM interns from the Alturas Office, Jaileem Merced, and Nate Collison also staffed the event.

The Pit River Tribe also supported the event and several members of the Payute tribe from Surprise Valley also came to participate.

VanHavermaat-Snyder from the Eagle Lake field office helped to organize this year’s event. She said, “This event was really important for us as we wanted to give the public the opportunity to experience archaeology hands-on.”

Vanhavermaat-Snyder explaining the event

VanHavermaat-Snyder explaining the event

The day began with a downpour of much needed rain, but the organizers were undaunted. They set to work building a willow-branch frame for a traditional Northern Payute no-bi and putting up canopies under which to host educational displays for seven stations of “hands-on” learning.

Payute elder observes building of willow frame for a no-bi

Payute elder observes building of willow frame for a no-bi

The stations were designed so the trained archaeologists and botanists could provide adults and children with a fun, informative experience of archaeological skills, Native American culture, and local flora.

Scott taught people to hurl use an atlatl

Scott teaching Lisa to hurl an atlatl

Shortly after 10 a.m., the rain stopped and visitors began to arrive. Activities included building a traditional Northern Payute no-bi, artifact excavation, atlatl-throwing, acorn-grinding, rock-art, tule-weaving, flint-knapping, working with bone tools and bone identification.

Acorn grinding

Acorn grinding

Excavation skills were focused on modern-made artifacts. Visitors were advised that if they found an old artifact they should not deface it or remove it from the site. Removing an artifact from a site destroys it’s provenience and thus decreases it’s archaeological value. In order to fully understand the significance of an object it is important to know its context and location.

Manlla Martin teaching excavation

Teaching excavation skills

The Martins helped to explain techniques of digging and sifting for artifacts.

sifting

Sifting

One fun event was rock painting. There are numerous sites in Northern California where rock pictographs are found. The  language of rock painting is not yet fully understood. Interpretation may involve elements of communication, artistic expression, story telling, and shamanic symbolism. Although some symbols may be universal, others are related to specific tribal nations, historical periods and geographical locations. Therefore, the insight and understanding of tribal elders and cultural officials is essential to penetrating the veil of the past.

Rock-painting

Rock painting

Another fun and challenging exhibit was flint-knapping. Using a heavy rock, one strikes a piece of obsidian at an angle to cause the obsidian to splinter into pieces which can then be further chipped with bone tools such as deer antler to produce arrowheads, knives and other tools.

Flint-knapping

Flint-knapping

Meanwhile construction of the no-bi continued as mats of tule reed were added to the willow frame.

BLM members proudly standing by an almost-done no-bi

BLM members proudly standing by an almost-done no-bi

One of the delights of the day was meeting such an interesting group of people hosting the event. To give a few examples, Rovanpera, who spent most of the day working on and explaining the no-bi, did her master’s thesis working at a site that was thousands of years old in Northern Minnesota. Ms. Martin worked for her thesis on a site in the Caribbean. Dr. Scott has worked on several excavations in Mexico. Thomas is a musician as well as an archeology technician and thus complements his scientific training with an artist’s intuition. Botanist Merced hails from Puerto Rico and was happy to help me improve my Spanish as we talked.

Jen Rovanpera with no-bi sign

Rovanpera with no-bi sign

Everyone who attended brought their own knowledge and experience. As the day passed, conversation buzzed at each of the booths stringing together pearls of wisdom with practical experience to create a friendly bond of understanding.

Speaking of stringing things together, every child who attended received a bead at each station. When they left they had a nice little bracelet symbolizing the fruit of their accomplishment.

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Filed under Archaeology, Pit River, Pit River Area History, Pit River Country Events, Pit River Tribe

Heritage Day shares the past

Heritage Day at McArthur-Burney Falls State Park was an amazing pageant of life, music and culture in the late 1800’s . The event, sponsored by the McArthur-Burney Falls Interpretive Association in partnership with CAL PARKS,  took place on October 11 in the woods between the new visitor’s center and the park store just a few minutes walk from beautiful Burney Falls

Burney Falls

Burney Falls

On Heritage Day, parking and admission are free. My wife Linda and I arrived shortly after noon and already the upper parking lots were filled.  We were directed down the road toward Lake Britton. Along the way we were greeted by friendly members of the Burney Lions who guided us into a maze of campgrounds and cabins where we located a parking spot.

Walking up toward the activity area, I stopped to talk with Walt Libal. He told me that the Lions were directing traffic for the first half of the program and The Rotary Club of Burney and Fall River were directing for the second half. Libal also told me that the Lionesses were catering the event and young Leos, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts were helping to staff the various historical displays. George Chapman was in charge of the Boy Scouts, and Bill Ford was overseeing the Cub Scouts. Melissa Madden, activities director at Burney High School, helped to coordinate the Leos.

Local Lion Walt Libal

Local Lion Walt Libal

One interesting  view place to get a view of the event was from inside the old pioneer log cabin built in the 1800’s.

View from pioneer log cabin

View from pioneer log cabin

As I walked into the gathering I was greeted by the tempting smell of barbecue and the pleasing sound of old-time music. Throughout the afternoon a series of groups played acoustic Americana. One that particularly caught my attention was the Meyer family from Manton. Matthew and Marlo Meyer and their talented daughters Grace and Maddy demonstrated the way families entertained in the past when every member of the family played an instrument. Particularly charming was their rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon.

atthew and Marlo Meyer and their delightful, talented daughters Grace and Maddy

Matthew and Marlo Meyer and their talented daughters Grace and Maddy

I heard a friendly greeting from Bob Jehn, President of the Rotary Club,  who was assisting one of the booths. He asked me why I wasn’t up there playing music.

“Because I’m writing an article,” I said.

“You’re always writing an article, ” he replied, laughing.

Off to the side I saw Bill Campbell from the Rotary Club, also busy taking pictures for an article.

Then it was time to experience the “hands-on” participation exhibits, which included candlemaking, branding, saw-bucking, blacksmithing, pine doll-making, bead-making, apple squeeze, spinning, rope-making, and tug-on-a-box.

Candle-making

Candle-making

Children pressing cider

Children pressing cider

Each booth provided a fun educational experience for the whole family. Everyone had an opportunity not only to watch skilled volunteers explain and show how an old fashioned craft or activity was done, but to do it themselves.

Samples of delicious fresh cider produced by the apple squeeze were available to all for a donation.

Sally Privette from Shingletown, who was teaching youngsters how to design a brand, took time to tell me that an old homesteader named Sullaway had just been listed in the Burney Falls Cemetery. I didn’t even know there was a cemetery in the park. It has 41 interments. Sullaway’s homestead by the Pit now lies beneath Lake Britton.

Priviette from Shingletown teaching brand design

Privette from Shingletown teaching brand design

Blacksmith Ron Smith was hard at work show demonstrating his skills.

Blacksmithing

Blacksmithing

Lots of kids were enjoying beading.

Beading

Beading

Mary Elizondo, who raises the fish at Crustal Lake Hatchery, was busy demonstrating and explaining the art of making dolls out of pine needles.

Mary Elizondo demonstrates pine doll-making

Elizondo demonstrates pine doll-making

These two young men were having a lot of fun sawing this log.

Sawing a log

Sawing a log

The Pit River Pioneers came out to display their black powder muskets.

Pit River Pioneers

Pit River Pioneers

This Boy Scout spent a lot of time teaching young folk how to make rope out of twine. Each youngster walked away with a nice section of hand-made rope.

Scout demonstrating rope-making

Scout demonstrating rope-making

Some events were just-plain fun. There was a steady line of people waiting to compete to see who could pull one another off of a wood box.

Tug on a box

Tug on a box

The four-hour happening drew a steady stream of hundreds of people from near and far. People came from all over Northern California to participate. One of the men I met was Scoutmaster Dave Affleck from Mt. Shasta. Affleck had brought ten scouts from Scotts Valley Troop No. 97 to hike the Burney Falls loop and then attend Heritage Day. He told me that he had taken several groups of Scouts to do a week-long hike from the north rim to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. In some spots the temperatures hit 133 degrees. The hikers only hiked in the early morning and then rested during the hot part of the day in shaded campgrounds where water was available. He also had taken Scouts on trips to Alaska.

Dave Affleck Scout Master from Scotts Valley

Scoutmaster Affleck from Scotts Valley

In addition to people who came for the day, many campers enjoyed the event.  Robert Cox, his wife Lois and daughter Kari came from Bend, Oregon to camp at Burney Falls. They were delighted to discover that the festival was taking place during their stay.
Cox Family from Bend

Cox family from Bend

“It’s amazing that they’ve been doing this every year for 30 years!” said Cox.

It pretty much took most of the four hours to take in all of the activities. We did take a little time to walk over to enjoy the falls. However, in spite of all the activity, the day was not tiring. The community spirit and the music were relaxing and invigorating.

Linda and I wandered back down through the woods and found our car. As we drove home, I thought, “I just feel so peaceful.”

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Filed under Burney, Burney Falls, Lake Britton, Music, Pit River, Pit River Area History, Pit River Country Events, Waterfalls

Burney Fall Festival a fun affair

On October 10, hundreds of Burney residents and visitors celebrated the 2015 Fall Festival on the grassy grounds of Pit River Casino below Mt. Burney. Blue skies and colorful changing leaves provided a wonderful setting in which to enjoy food, fun, crafts, and entertainment.

Mt. Burney in the background

Mt. Burney in the background

The festival was co-sponsored by the Pit River Casino and the Burney Chamber of Commerce as a fundraiser for Burney High School Sports program. Festivities included a competitive rib-cook off and beer and wine tasting featuring brews from the Fall River Brewery and Feather River Casino.

Craft beer and ribs

Craft beer and ribs

Atsuge Grillers from Hat Creek won first prize for their delicious ribs cooked by Will and Amia George.

Atsuge Grillers

Atsuge Grillers

D&D Barbecue came from Redding to compete in the cook-off and came in second with some mouth-watering ribs.

Dan, Dan, and Roger from D&D Barbecue

Dan, Dan, and Roger from D&D Barbecue

Students from Burney High School contributed their time and talents. This was also Homecoming weekend for the high school. After a hard-fought football game the night before, members of the Burney High School football team helped to set up a pumpkin patch for children with hundreds of pumpkins. Team members also assisted vendors in setting up their canopies.

Cotton Candy and Pumpkins 2

Cotton Candy and Pumpkins

Melissa Madden, who teaches English and leadership and serves as activities director, organized members of student service organizations to do face-painting and pumpkin painting for children. Students also served popcorn and cotton candy for donations to the sports program.

Pumpkin Painting

Pumpkin Painting

Students from the school Leadership Club, Soroptomist Club, Leo’s, California Scholarship Program, Yearbook, Football Program, and cheerleaders all participated. 2015 Homecoming Queen Jessica Thompson and 2015 Burney Basin Days Princess Gabriella Chacon were busy helping with activities.

Burney High Leadership volunteers

Burney High Leadership volunteers

In addition to the pumpkin patch, face-painting and pumpkin painting, children and adults also enjoyed a hay ride and fun play areas provided by the casino. Local craft vendors also set up to sell jewelry, crafts, artwork and photography. Pit River Tribe also served Pit River Indian tacos.

Face painting

Face painting

Ramon Alvarez from the Pit River Tribe KWAHN Corporation was the main organizer for the event. As the festival began, he made sure that everything was set up properly. Then, as the day progressed he brought out a grill and barbecued tri-tips, hotdogs, and other goodies to supplement the barbecued ribs.

Alvarez preparing the pumpkins

Alvarez preparing the pumpkins

Jill Barnett from High Country Real Estate was another major organizer. Jill is the president of the Chamber of Commerce. Pat Thompson and Nancy Bobo from the chamber volunteered to serve patrons at the Fall River Brewery booth. Kathy Lehman, past Honorary Mayor of Burney and Chamber volunteer, came to support the event.

Jill Barnet

Jill Barnett

Alvarez said he hopes that the Fall Festival will grow to be a cooperative event in which restaurants, businesses, organizations, local musicians, and creative people from Fall River Valley, Burney, Hat Creek, Montgomery Creek and Round Mountain work together to give people a taste of Intermountain food, music, and culture.

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Filed under Burney, Pit River Country Events, Pit River Tribe

Rancheria RV Park hosts Motorcycle Fundraiser for Vets

October 4, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, 84 riders from the Redding area stopped for lunch at the Rancheria RV Park as part of a fundraiser for Homeward Bound Military. The Rancheria is located just off Volcanic Scenic Byway Hwy 89 between Hat Creek and Lassen Park.

Bikers at the Rancheria

Bikers at the Rancheria

The event was organized by Steve and Paula McCarley, owners of Redding Yamaha Seadoo. Each motorcyclist paid $30 to participate in the ride. In return they received a shirt and lunch.

In addition to the entry fees, several businesses also donated to the cause. One of the major sponsors was Paul Emmett of Paul’s Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning in Redding. Emmett also participated in the ride.

Steve McCarley with sponsor Paul Emmett

Steve McCarley with sponsor Paul Emmett

The riders gathered at Redding Yamaha in the morning to begin the ride. Most of the riders came up Hwy 299, but some came up Hwy 44. John Donaldson, whose son works at Redding Yamaha was the first to arrive. He said it was a chilly ride as he went through the high area by Lassen Park.

Donaldson first to arrive

Donaldson first to arrive

By noon the parking area was full of bikes and everyone enjoyed mixing and mingling over a delicious hamburger lunch. In addition to the 84 registered riders, some sponsors and other supporters also came. In total about 100 people attended and 96 lunches were served.

 

Lunch

Lunch

This is the third year the bikers have held the event. The first year they raised $1000. The second year, the event raised $4200. This year the ride is expected to raise about $8000. McCarley said that Homeward Bound Military was selected to receive the proceeds because they have no paid employees and 100% of money donated goes to returning veterans and their families.

Before getting on the road for the ride back to Redding everyone gathered for a group photo.

Group Shot of all riders

Group Shot of all riders

Afterwards all of the veterans who participated were recognized and honored.

Veterans at the fundraiser

Veterans at the fundraiser

McCarley said, “Our goal is to have fun doing what we love and supporting those who make it possible to do so.”

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Filed under Hat Creek, Motorcycles, Rancheria RV Park

Friends Family and Fall Fishing

Autumn has arrived. The days are shorter and the temperatures are cooler. This is prime time for fishing the waters of the Pit River Basin including Hat Creek, Baum Lake, Burney Creek, and the Pit River.

2 Fishermen on Hat Creek

The temperature of the water in upper Hat Creek remains cool year round. The water in Lake Britton, Fall River, Ahjumawi State Park, and Baum Lake, however, rises in the hot months of the summer. During the warm season the bass in Lake Britton and the waters of the Ahjumawi stay in the deep cooler water or swim in the shady areas by the shore protected by logs where they are more difficult to catch. Now, as the water cools, the fish are rising in the open cooler waters.

In the streams, the trout being planted by Crystal Lake Hatchery are more mature and larger and the fishing areas have fewer fishermen because the hunting season has begun.

I stopped by Burney Sporting Goods and talked with Pat Taylor. He said that trout fishing in Hat Creek was good. Several people had caught six and seven pound trout on Hat Creek. Taylor said that the fishing in Lake Britton was fair to good. He also said that people had been catching crappie.

On Saturday, October 3, I drove to the West Fork of Hat Creek in Cassel. Crystal Lake Hatchery had planted the creek on Friday. Upstream from the bridge I met Bob Lee, and avid fisherman who had come up with two friends from Susanville.

Bob Lee From Susanville

Bob Lee from Susanville

Lee said that this is his favorite spot to fish. Usually, he comes up every year on the first weekend in October with his younger cousin. This year his cousin couldn’t come so he brought two friends.

Lee loves the outdoors and hunting and fishing. He has five children. Though his 13-month old has not yet been able to fish, he has already bought her a fishing rod. His three year old son already fishes. Next week he hopes to go to Colorado with his 15-year old daughter to hunt. His daughter got an elk tag and a deer tag and is looking forward to the opportunity to hunt with her great grandfather who lives in Colorado and hopefully get her first elk.

Lee was really excited to be out because he hadn’t been able to fish since June 19 due to a heart attack.  His enthusiasm was rewarded. Almost every time he threw his line out he got a bite. The first few took the bait. He loaded the hook with PowerBait and tossed it in. As we talked, he suddenly shouted, “I got one!”

Reeling it in

Reeling it in

He gently brought the fish in and removed the hook from the lip and held it up for me to catch a photo.

Lee with fish

Lee with fish

That was only the first. A few minutes later he landed another. Lee had arrived only a few minutes before I came and in the short time I had been there had caught two nice rainbow trout.

Meanwhile down toward the bridge another family had arrived.  I walked down and met Ben and Raquel Searcy from San Jose. They had brought their two six-year-old twins Manuel and Samuel, and their eight-year old daughter Annmarie up for the weekend to fish. Manuel and Annemarie were very happy to show me the fish they had just caught.

Manuel and Annemarie Searcy

Manuel and Annemarie Searcy

I could see that the fish were plentiful. I was also infected by the pride and joy the children felt showing their catch as well as the happiness that their parents experienced. The sky was a clear deep blue. The air was crisp and fresh. The landscape was intoxicating. Everyone was happy. It was a taste of heaven.

I decided to drive farther up Hat Creek to see how things were. I stopped in at the Rancheria RV Park and talked with the owner, Busy Ryman. She said she hadn’t heard about any six or seven pounders but that some fishermen had caught five pounders recently. At Rim Rock Ranch in Old Station I received a similar report.

I stopped in at Bridge Park and met Dan Calestini from Dixon, California. Calestini works in the Vacaville area and has some family in Fall River Mills. Whenever he can get off early Friday evening, he grabs his fishing pole and comes up to Pit River country to visit and fish. Bridge Park on Hat Creek is one of his favorite spots. On this weekend he had brought his granddaughter Clara. They had come fishing with his nephew and his grandson, William Klatt, from Fall River Mills.

I asked how the fishing was and he called out, “William! Show the man your fish.”

William raced and proudly displayed two fish. One he had caught using salmon eggs and nightcrawlers. The other his uncle had caught. Once again I felt the glee.

Dan Calestini with his grandchildren William and Clara

Dan Calestini with his grandchildren and fish

Beaming as he talked about his family and fishing Calestini said,  “There’s nothing like this, being with family outdoors in such a beautiful place. There is something spiritual about it.”

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Filed under Baum Lake, Burney, Fishing, Hat Creek, Lake Britton, Old Station, Pit River, Rancheria RV Park

Dennis Shiplet gets big Bull Elk

Dennis Shiplet from Cassel shot a nice 9×8 Rocky Mountain Bull Elk on September 19 in the Pondosa area of Eastern Shasta County.

Dennis Shiplet and friend with Rocky Mountain Bull Elk head Photo Courtesy of Dennis Shiplet

Dennis Shiplet and friend with Bull Elk head Photo Courtesy of Dennis Shiplet

The 12-day season for Rocky Mountain Elk began September 16 and lasted until September 27. During August, Shiplet and friends scouted for elk herds and watering sites in the Pondosa, Day, Devil’s Garden, and Burney areas. Because of the drought, a lot of the area is dry.

They headed out on Wednesday, September 16th and hunted Thursday and Friday. If they didn’t succeed in getting an elk in the Pondosa area by Sunday, they planned to try other areas. Saturday Shiplet got lucky.

Asked about his success, Shiplet said, “I’m an old fat guy and I was lucky to lots of good help.”

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Filed under Burney, hunting, Pondosa