Category Archives: Baum Lake

PCT Season Coming

In late May, a trickle of trekkers begins to flow through the Intermountain area. This is the beginning of a stream of hikers making their way on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

PCT sign in Burney Falls Park

The PCT is a 2,659 mile long trail from the U.S. border with Mexico just south of Campo, California to the Canada–US border on the edge of Manning Park in British Columbia. It passes through 25 national forests and 7 national parks.

The PCT was conceived by Clinton Churchill Clarke in 1932 and received official status as a National Scenic Trail in 1968 under the National Trails System Act of 1968. The trail was officially completed in 1993.

Thru hikers are those who make the journey all the way from Campo to the Canadian border. One of the first things that they do as they join the PCT community is choose colorful trail names by which they will be known throughout their journey.

Tapafla, 1 Gear, 6 Tacos, and Lo Flo at Burney Falls Park

The journey takes about five months. Hikers generally begin the first part of their journey through the desert of Southern California in April. In order to make it to Canada by late September, they need to establish a steady pace. The pace varies with each hiker but generally averages between 20 and 25 miles a day. A few energetic hikers hike up to 30 miles a day. Sometimes the hikers take a “zero” day to rest. On “nero” days, the hikers take it easy and don’t hike the full pace that they have set.

One of the sayings of the trail is “It’s not the miles, but the smiles.”

But it’s not all smiles. Even in the spring, the first part of the journey through the desert is hot. Many suffer from blisters. People develop strategies to beat the heat, often resting during the hottest part of the day and hiking at night.

The next leg of the trek is through the Sierras. Depending on the snow pack, each year is different. During the drought, the trail was passable early. Last year, there was more snow, which caused a log jam in the southern Sierras as people waited for the snow to melt. Streams were high and perilous to cross. The early hikers had to cross miles of snow and camp in the cold.

Some hikers, like the Brit Family Robinson, decided to “skip hike,” renting a car to drive north.

Brit Family Robinson at 299 crossing

The Brit Family Robinson had two of the youngest hikers on the trail last year, Pippy Longstocking, age 12 and Captain Obvious, age 10. Their father Christopher is an international trail guide who has hiked in the Himalayas, Mongolia, Alaska, and the Andes.

Other hikers, waiting for the snow to melt, congregated in towns and camps to rest and socialize. One 63 year-0ld hiker, Desert Steve from Henderson, Nevada, took the opportunity to go home and rest for two weeks before continuing on.

Desert Steve from Henderson, NV

Once the trail becomes passable, the backlogged flow of hikers streams through the Sierras. The highest altitude on the trail is 13,153 feet as it passes though Forester Pass.

After passing over the Sierras, the trail meets the Cascade Mountain range near Chester, California. This is the midpoint of the journey. Crossing over Mt. Lassen the hikers enter the Pit River Watershed area as they descend to Hat Creek at Old Station. Old Station Post Office is one of the places that hikers can pick up resupply packages sent to them from friends and family.

The Family – Farwalker, Thunderfoot, Widowmaker, and Spinner

The flow of hikers through the Intermountain area reaches its crest in July and early August. By that time the summer heat has hit our area. From Old Station, hikers transverse a thirty mile waterless stretch across Hat Creek Ridge to Cassel lake. This is one of the hottest driest stretches of the PCT.

Last year during the hot spell, a trail angel, Coppertone, set up his trailer on top of the ridge, where the trail crosses Bidwell Road to supply the hikers with water, fresh fruit, and ice cream floats. Coppertone is well known for his “trail magic.” He takes his trailer and sets up at locations all the way to Canada to minister to the hikers.

Dilly Dally and Coppertone on Hat Creek Ridge

Trail angels are important benefactors of the PCT. Angels provide food and water stashes, camping sites and lodging, rides to and from the trail and other help.  Another saying is “The trail provides.”

After crossing Hat Creek Ridge, the hikers come to Baum Lake. They can rest and get water at the Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery across the road.

Hikers rehydrating at Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery

Then the trail goes on to cross Hwy 299 where many hikers catch rides into Burney. Burney is a convenient place for hikers to rest, resupply, pick up packages, or even meet friends and relatives mid trail. Safeway, Dollar General, MacDonald’s, and Gepetto’s are some of the most popular stops. Some hikers like to take a day off to refresh and stay at local motels such as Burney Lodging.

Nancy Bobo with Sky Eyes at Burney Lodging

Burney has a lot of trail angels. People have learned to recognize the large packs that PCT hikers carry to differentiate them from other hitchhikers. From late July into early August not a day goes by that one doesn’t see hikers walking along the highway, frequenting the restaurants and stores, or sitting outside Burney lodging.

Many locals enjoy meeting the hikers and giving them rides. PCT season provides an opportunity to meet and talk with people from across the country and all around the world.

Jet Pack and Animal Style at the Alpine

One hiker from Israel named Animal Style left his Brooks Cascadia 11 Trail-Running shoes in a man named Bob’s truck when he got a ride into Burney. Animal Style was desperate. Good shoes are a necessity on a 2500 mile hike through rough terrain. After hours of searching, he was able to locate Bob and call him on the phone. Bob had returned home to Bieber but he drove all the way back to Burney to make sure that Animal Style had his shoes.

Ages of the hikers last year ranged from 9 years old to senior citizens. Most of the hikers are young college educated adventurers. Many have just finished school and are taking the opportunity to take the hike before beginning their careers or going on to graduate school.

One older hiker who came through last year was Donaju from Holywood, Northern Ireland. Donaju said he was a Royal Irish Ranger who had done eleven tours in Afghanistan. He had also served in a number of other hot spots. He was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for the Wounded Warriors.

Irish Ranger Donaju

Several families hiked the trail together last year. Some seniors are taking a break to reflect on their life. Some hike for the challenge. Some hike to experience the diverse natural beauty and wildlife. In addition to thru hikers there are also local hikers and section hikers.

Section hikers hike only one section of the hike in a year. Then another year they may hike another section until they have hiked the entire trail.

One hiker named Sky Eyes said, ““When you hike the trail, you become a part of the Pacific Crest Trail family,” he said. “You meet different people from all over the world. You hike together with some of them. You camp together. You share food. Relationships are deeper than in normal life because you’re free from all of the business of the world. Everybody has the same needs.”

Some couples have met on the trail and later gotten married.

Since 2014 traffic on the trail has grown tremendously. Sky Eyes said that over 14,000 people hiked the trail last year.  One of the reasons more people are hiking is the release of the movie Wild starring Reese Witherspoon in December 2014. The movie is based on the 2012 memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed that reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

We are fortunate to have the world pass through Pit River country on the PCT. After crossing Hwy 299, the trail progresses though the woods to Lake Britton and Burney Falls Park. The park has a campground frequented by many hikers.

Leaving the Park, the trail goes for a ways down Pit River Canyon and up to Rock Creek Falls. Then the trail heads northwest to Dunsmuir and then north for many more adventures in the Oregon and Washington Cascades.

Get ready, PCT season is coming.

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Filed under Baum Lake, Bieber, Burney, Burney Falls, Cassell, Crystal Lake, Hiking, Lake Britton, Old Station, Pacific Crest Trail, Pit River

Going to the Birds of Baum Lake

We are lucky to live in such a beautiful area. Why do I spend so much time inside on the computer?

Pelicans and ducks on Baum Lake

Pelicans and ducks on Baum Lake

Early this afternoon, I tweeted:

“So many to-do things…I am trying to get off into the woods but I am glued to cyberspace…”

I grabbed my camera, jumped in the jeep, and headed out of town.

Metal giraffe in the woods

Metal giraffe in the woods

I wanted to see how many pelicans were out on Baum Lake waiting to have their picture taken. On the way, I decided to stop at PacWay.

“This is an awesome sculpture garden,” I thought. “I should put some pictures of it up on the Internet so people around the world can see it.”

Giant bug in the woods

Giant bug in the woods

When I got there I was surprised to see so many people there browsing around. About twenty visitors to the area. The metal sculptures are becoming one of our most attractive tourist spots.

Metal and stone sculptures at PacWay on Baum Lake Road

Metal and stone sculptures at PacWay on Baum Lake Road

There was a lovely group of people from Happy Valley and Fort Bragg…

Amy and Jimmy Lee and family from Grass Valley

Amy and Jimmy Lee and family from Grass Valley

and another group from Sacramento. They all got excited when a doe danced through the nearby pasture.

The Long and Aston family visiting from Sacramento

The Long and Aston family visiting from Sacramento

It’s a lot of fun to get out and meet friendly people from out of town. In this case they had questions.

“Are you a local?”

“Where can I buy a RV battery?”

“When was the first metal sculpture put up here?”

I did my best to answer, explain some of the history, and suggest places. This family was on their way to Burney Falls so I also suggested they stop in the visitor center for more info.

Then I headed to Baum Lake. What a motley crew of pelicans awaited me.

An interesting fellow

An interesting fellow

Puffy-winged Pelican

Puffy-winged Pelican

He's going to fly away

He’s going to fly away

Told ya so

Told ya so

Wait for me!

Wait for me!

Then I saw a bird I didn’t know standing on a stick.

What is the bird on the stick

What is the bird on the stick

Some pelicans wanted to get in on the picture.

Mystery bird and Pelicans

Mystery bird and Pelicans

Overhead, this guy flew into my zoom.

Is this a bald eagle?

Is this a bald eagle?

Then I met a nice couple up for the weekend.

Mr. and Mrs. Burdock from Sacramento

Mr. and Mrs. Burdock from Sacramento

They asked about Hat Creek I told them about Frank Baum, Crystal Lake, the fish hatchery, Pacific Crest Trail, the short-cut through PGE campground to Cassel Forebay, etc… They got really excited when I told them where the Rising River and Clint Eastwood’s ranch were.

Pelicans on Baum Lake with Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery in the background

Pelicans on Baum Lake with Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery in the background

Speaking of the Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery, the last I heard they were still closed because of construction on their intake. I decided to drive over and have a look-see.

Hurray! They are open to the public again. I met an enthusiastic young Fish and Wildlife seasonal aide named Brad. He told me that in the early plantings the fish were a little smaller than normal this year. The reason is that they fed the fish less while the water levels were fluctuating due to the construction on the intakes. Now they’re back to feeding them more and the fish are up to normal size.

Also Brad told me that water levels were good, not only in Hat Creek, Burney Creek, the Fall River area etc., but also farther east over to Alturas. A lot of the ponds that were dry last year have been replenished by this year’s El Nino.

Just yesterday alone the fish hatchery had an inch of rainfall and Brad said he’d heard that there may be intermittent showers through the summer. We’ll see. I’m expecting 1oo+ degrees by Burney Basin Days.

Well, that’s all my little brain and shutter-eye could hold and behold. I headed back to the computer.

Refreshed! it sure is nice to have so much beauty within 15 or 20 minutes of Burney!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Baum Lake, Big Valley

Fishing season open in Pit River Country

April 30, opening day for the fishing season,  was a beautiful crisp Spring day. I heard that a lot of people attended the fisherman’s breakfast and that Jeff McNeil was there to play guitar and sing for the fishermen.

Linda and I decided to take a drive out to enjoy the lovely day, take pictures, and welcome the visitors to our area. On our short tour we met people from Redding, Shingletown, Santa Rosa, and Happy Valley. So many people from all over the North State love to come here to enjoy some of the best trout fishing in the country.

Fishing from a small boat on Baum Lake

Fishing from a small boat on Baum Lake

We headed to Baum Lake. The parking lot was packed. Everyone we met was super friendly, whether they had caught any fish or not. The beauty was just relaxing and intoxicating. I met a nice blonde lady from Redding who had come up with her family. Her children were down on the boat launch hoping to catch a fish.

Youngun's from Redding getting ready to throw a line in

Youngun’s from Redding getting ready to throw a line in

Pelicans and osprey were busy fishing too.

American pelicans were there

American pelicans were there

 

More pelicans coming in for a landing

More pelicans coming in for a landing

Out on the pier, Jenni Riddle and Dan Thomas from Shingletown were enjoying the view as their poles rested against the railing. Dan said they were just happy to enjoy a day together out of the house.

Jenni Riddle and Dan Thomas from Shingletown enjoying a day out

Jenni Riddle and Dan Thomas from Shingletown enjoying a day out

One lady paddled by fishing out of a kayak.

Fishing while kayaking

Fishing while kayaking

More people were relaxing as they fished by the picnic table.

Relaxing and fishing from the picnic table

Relaxing and fishing from the picnic table

Linda and I headed up the dirt road across from Baum Lake toward Cassel. Midway we detoured to the high end of Cassel Forebay to check it out. Lots of people were lined up to fish.

Cassel Forebay between Cassel and Baum Lake

Cassel Forebay between Cassel and Baum Lake

We chatted for awhile with a woman from Santa Rosa who had come up to fish and camp at the PG&E campground further up the road. As we talked, Glenn and Angie Riley from Happy Valley up the trail with a nice string of native fish. Four rainbow trout and one nice big brown, all ranging from 14 to 16 inches

Glenn and Angie Reilly from Happy Valley with five nice native trout

Glenn and Angie Reilly from Happy Valley with five nice native trout

They said they were going to smoke them.

Fishermen are happy to be out in nature catching fish. Linda and I enjoy being in the beauty catching our photographs.

We headed on through the campground to the bridge by Cassel. More fishermen lined both sides of the bridge.

Cassel Forebay down by the bridge

Cassel Forebay down by the bridge

Well, that was a fun little drive. Time to head back to Burney.

Mt. Burney from Cassel Road

Mt. Burney from Cassel Road

Isn’t it wonderful to live in a place so blessed with natural resources and awesome beauty?

 

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Filed under Baum Lake, Burney, Fishing, Hat Creek

Thanksgiving Eve drive to Baum Lake

Thanksgiving is upon us and this year we can give thanks that more snow has been added in the higher elevations around Burney. Snow began just after 11 a.m. on Tuesday and continued on and off into Wednesday morning. Burney got 1-2 inches, enough that when I woke up, we had a beautiful wintry landscape.

Metal skiers enjoying the snow

Metal skiers enjoying the snow

Linda and I decided to take a drive out to Baum Lake. As we headed away from Burney past 4 corners there was a little bit less snow, but turning on to Cassel Road the ponderosas were still laden with snow.

Giraffe in the woods

Giraffe in the woods

The first place we stopped was at Packway. I always love to bring friends who visit Burney to see the collection of metal sculptures displayed beside the road. People are usually amazed to see such creatures out in the middle of the woods.

What is this?

What is this?

After shooting some pictures, we continued on to Baum Lake.

View of Crystal Lake Hatchery across Baum Lake

View of Crystal Lake Hatchery across Baum Lake

On Monday, I stopped into Burney Sporting Goods to see what was going on in outdoor activity. Not much. Waterfall season is still open, but there wasn’t a lot to report. Turkey and quail season are open. Shawn Lewis said that one person had gotten a hen, but that others had reported that they hadn’t seen many wild turkeys. There are pheasants in the Fall River area, but mostly on private ranches where they can’t be hunted.

Picnic Table at Baum Lake

Picnic Table at Baum Lake

As for fishing, most of the areas are closed. Lake Britton is pretty dead. Baum Lake is one area still open. Crystal Lake Hatchery usually stocks it around Thanksgiving but Lewis doesn’t think that they have done so yet this year. The Hatchery is closed to the public for improvements to the water supply.

Road to PGE campground in Cassel

Road to PGE campground in Cassel

Outdoor activities in Burney thrive from the beginning of fishing season into early November. As the weather gets colder the area teams with craft shows and bake sales.

But, as Robert Frost said, when the snow falls, the “woods are lovely, dark and deep.” Lovely for snowshoes, cross-country skiers, hikers, and just plain day-trippers like Linda and me.

We decided to take the road from Baum Lake over the hill to the PGE campground by Cassel. There were some beautiful views of the newly fallen snow across the countryside.

View from campground road

View from campground road

I got out to take a few shots of West Hat Creek by Cassel. There was still a lot of orange autumn foliage mixed in with the snow-laced evergreen.

Cassel forebay

Cassel forebay

When we left Cassel to follow Cassel Road back around to Highway 89, I said a little prayer that we might get a good picture of a deer. But our first encounter was with some friendly horses.

Friendly horses

Friendly horses

Linda had fun taking pictures of the horses. Look for some of her shots on her photocards.

Metal skiers enjoying the snow

Linda having fun

Then as we passed Rising River Ranch, I caught a glimpse of my deer out of the corner of my eye. My little prayer was answered. A nice buck in the woods.

Deer on Rising River Ranch

Deer on Rising River Ranch

Satisfied, we crossed rising river and headed home.

Ranch on rising river

Ranch on rising river

We need more snow. We can be grateful that this year we have already had as much snow as we got all of last year. More is expected next week and we still haven’t really begun winter yet so we can be hopeful that we get a good snowpack this year.

In any case, it is wonderful to be in a place where so much natural beauty surrounds us. Each time I go out to shoot photos with Linda is another day in paradise.

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Filed under Baum Lake, Burney, Cassell, Wildlife

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

A delightful day along Hat Creek

On Monday August 25, my wife Linda and I needed to go to the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds in McArthur to submit our photography, poetry, and art exhibits for the upcoming fair. My daughter HanaLyn and her friend Jamie Barrows are visiting from Maryland, so they came along to see some of the beautiful Pit River Country.

After taking care of the business with the helpful Inter-Mountain fair staff, we stopped at the Frosty in Fall River to pick up some sandwiches and drinks. We then headed to Hat Creek Park on Hwy 299 for a picnic on our way home.

As we were walking to the picnic table, I spied a heron standing in the middle of the creek. HanaLyn headed down to the bank. Linda hastily pulled out her camera.  I raced back to my car to get mine, hoping that the heron wouldn’t fly away before I could get a picture.

Hana Lyn and the Heron

HanaLyn and the Heron

The heron wasn’t even phased by us. He simply dipped his beak into the water and came up with a frog.

Catching the frog

Catching the frog

He got a good grip and then down the gullet it went. Then he strutted a bit in satisfaction.

Satisfied after a meal

Satisfied after a meal

After watching Mr. Heron enjoy his lunch, we decided to sit down and enjoy ours. However, before we could even open the bag, we were swarmed by yellow jackets. Jamie is allergic to bee stings, so we hastily retreated back to the car and headed over to Baum Lake and the Crystal Lake hatchery to enjoy our lunch at the picnic table there.

We met a friendly couple from Redding at the picnic table. They were enjoying a cool ride on their motorcycle through the beautiful country making a loop up 299 through Burney, heading down Baum Lake Road to Cassel, then continuing  down Hwy 89 to Lassen Park, and finally riding back down through Shingletown to Redding.

After lunch, HanaLyn and Jamie had fun photographing some of the albino Eagle Lake Rainbow Trout. Each year, out of the millions of eggs hatched at Crystal Lake Hatchery a few albino mutations occur. The hatchery does their best to nurture and raise these albinos. Some of them are now also on display at the Turtle Bay Museum in Redding.

Pointing out the albinos

Pointing out the albinos

Linda had some photos to give to the staff at the fish hatchery so we stopped in for a brief visit to drop them off and then crossed over to Baum Lake. White pelicans were swimming in the lake. Ospreys were flying overhead.

American Pelicans on Baum Lake

American Pelicans on Baum Lake

Also, a fisherman, Michael Hurdle from Richmond, Texas had just arrived. Hurdle was traveling from Sacramento to Likely, California, a town of 99 people south of Alturas to visit his sister. He saw a sign for a fishing lake on the highway so he detoured to enjoy a brief respite fishing.

“Well, you’ve just come to one of the best fishing lakes in the country.” I said. The pelicans patiently feeding from the lake and the ospreys overhead testified to the veracity of my statement.

Michael Hurdle from Houston

Michael Hurdle from Texas

While in Sacramento, Hurdle had spent some time fishing the American River. He said that the water was low and mentioned that a portion of the Merced River had been closed due to the drought.

I told him that the waters here were fairly normal because Hat Creek and Fall River were fed from a giant aquifer, a honeycomb of underground lava tubes that gave rise to many springs in the area. I also told him that the hatchery across the road regularly stocked the lake, though I wasn’t sure when they had stocked it last.

Hurdle did another cast with his fly rod, taking measure of the wind and current in the lake. He smiled and said he wasn’t overly concerned whether he caught a fish or not.

“What better way is there to enjoy an hour break before I continue on my way?” he asked with a blissful smile.

I wished him luck and went down to the boat launch area to rejoin Linda and our guests. I heard a truck pull up and looked to see Kristen Idema, a friend of Linda and mine from Redding. We hadn’t seen her for several months and hooped with joy at our surprise meeting.

After hugs, I introduced her to my daughter and Jamie and she introduce us to her friend from Michigan, Deborah, that she had known since she was in the fourth grade. Deborah and her husband had come for a week of camping at one of the campgrounds on Hat Creek. Kristen had driven up from Redding to spend the day with them. They had just visited Burney Falls.

Relaxing by the lake

Rendezvous by the lake

Deborah let her two beautiful labs out of the truck to enjoy a swim, while Kristen and I caught up on the past few months.

 Labs going for the ball

Deborah and her dogs

Finally, we drove back to Burney via Cassel Road so we could show Hana Lyn and Jamie the Rising River. As we sat around the pool enjoying salsa and guacamole and discussing the pros and cons of cilantro, I thought,

“There are so many delightful things to see and do in this area. It just blows my mind!”

 

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Filed under Baum Lake, Burney, Crystal Lake, Fall River Mills, Fishing, Hat Creek, Intermountain Fair, MacArthur, Wildlife

Steve Knoch recounts Knoch family and Fall River history

The Knoch family has been living in Pit River Country for four generations. Steve Knoch lives in Glenburn. His great-grandfather, Friedrich came to New York in 1867, then went to Panama, crossed the isthmus to the Pacific Ocean and sailed up to San Francisco.

After spending some time looking for gold in Feather River country, he came to Fall River and began working for Captain William H. Winter, the “founder of Fall City.” Friedrich and his brother-in-law Dietrich made improvement to and ran the toll road and bridge that led to Burney Valley.  They had a stage station and small hotel in Carbon. Knoch received the land which became the Knoch Ranch from Winter in payment for money owed for working on the toll road.

Here Steve recounts some of the story as it has come down the family and also comments on various other topics of historical interest.

Part 1

Part 2:

Part 3

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Filed under Baum Lake, Fall River, Fall River Mills, Kayaking, Pacific Crest Trail, PG&E, Pit River Area History