Category Archives: Bieber

Fort Crook Lodge 250 give backpacks to second graders

Over the past week, Masons Jim Crockett and George Whitfield from Fort Crook Lodge 250 F&AM  delivered more than 100 backpacks to second graders in the Intermountain area.

George Whitfield and Jim Crockett passing out backpacks at Burney Elementary as teacher Michael von Schalscha and school psychologist Brent Beyer look on

On Friday, August 18 they delivered 12 backpacks to students in Montgomery Creek.

Montgomery Creek (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)

On Tuesday August 22, they gave out about 40 backpacks at Fall River Elementary School

and another 40 at Burney Elementary School.

Burney Elementary (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)

Then on Thursday August 24, they drove to Big Valley to deliver another 17 back packs to grateful children.

Big Valley (Photo courtesy of Jim Crockett)

This is the 16th year that Fort Crook Lodge 250 has done this program. Each backpack contained a ruler, a composition book, pencils, crayons, and erasers.

At each school, Crockett and Whitfield gave a short presentation before presenting the backpacks.

Crockett and Whitfield explain about the Masons

For instance, at Burney Elementary, the children listened attentively as Master Mason Jim Crockett spoke about the history of the Masons. He told them that this year is the 300th anniversary of Freemasonry.

George Whitfield asked if any of the children had heard of George Washington and explained that George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were both Masons.

To help the children understand the Masons in their own terms, second grade teacher Joy Ford told the children that “the Masons are a club like the Boy Scouts, only for adults.”

Joy Ford helped the students to understand the Masons

The children appreciated the explanation and nodded and smiled.

The three core principles of Freemasonry are brotherly love, relief, and truth.

Mason George Whitfield shakes hands with a young student as he hands him a backpack

After hearing that the Masons were 300 years old, one young boy raised his hand and asked Mr. Crockett, “How old are you.”

“Older than George,” he replied.

“And I’m too old to be asked that question,” Mr. Whitfield quipped as the children laughed.

When questions were finished, all the children lined up in two orderly rows and advanced to share a friendly handshake and receive their pack.

Master Mason Crockett said, “We truly enjoy the kids and their expressions and gratitude in receiving the backpacks with the school supplies inside.”

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Filed under Bieber, Big Valley, Burney, Fall River, Fall River Mills, Montgomery Creek, Schools, youth

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

Peddler’s Fair in Bieber Oct 29

peddlers-fair-bieber-ca-sm

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October 12, 2016 · 3:35 am

Harvest Festival at the Bieber Youth Center

harvest-festival-2016

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October 12, 2016 · 3:22 am

Comfort Keepers hiring in-home caregivers for Intermountain Area

Comfort Keepers, a Northern California company that provides in-home care, is now hiring caregivers to assist seniors in their homes in the Intermountain area .

Responsibilities include

  • Assistance with personal care (bathing, dressing, toilet, grooming, oral hygiene, ambulation/transfers, etc.)
  • assistance with light housekeeping, meal planning and preparation, and transportation
  • week-end work on a rotational basis
  • other assigned duties

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age. Requirements include

  • a Certified Nursing Assistant certification or documentable experience
  • possession of or qualification for a CA license, Home Care Aide Registration, bonding, TB test, and a DMV report
  • a valid drivers license and auto insurance

The company offers

  • competitive pay
  • flexible schedules
  • weekly pay
  • paid training and ongoing support
  • employment stability

To learn more call 530-223-6060 or visit http://redding-680.comfortkeepers.com/

You can apply online at http://redding-680.comfortkeepers.com/home/careers/employment-application

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Filed under Bieber, Big Bend, Big Valley, Burney, Fall River, health, McArthur

Night hikers make it to Burney

While down in Old Station on July 30, I met a group of hikers resting on the porch of the building next to JJ’s restaurant. Several of them were asleep, but I had a nice chat with three of them.

Too hot to hike

Too hot to hike

One was Hawkeye from England. Next to him was Animal Styles from Israel, and the third was a very friendly American whose trail name I did not get.

The temperature was near 100 degrees. Rather than hike the trail in the heat, they were planning on leaving in the late afternoon or early evening and hiking to Burney through the night. I gave them my card and told them to call me if they needed a ride into town.

I also told them that in addition to the McDonald’s there is a very nice fifties style burger place in Burney named the Alpine that has great fresh fruit blackberry shakes.

About the time that Linda and I were packing up, I saw some of them making their way to the trail head. I wondered how they would do because we were approaching a moonless new moon and the trail could be pretty rocky.

The next day, after attending WOLA and hearing a very rich sermon from Pastor Ken Frazer, I got a call from the 299 trail head. It was Hawkeye, the English Hiker.

Boom, Maverick, and Hawkeye

Boom, Maverick, and Hawkeye

Hawkeye said that he and four other hikers needed a ride. He very politely asked me if I could come and get them. I told them that I wasn’t sure if I could fit five into the jeep but I would be there.

When I got there were only three: Hawkeye, Boom, and Maverick. Bob the Plumber from Bieber had stopped at the trailhead in his blue pickup with a flatbed trailer attached and taken Animal Styles and Jet Pack with him.

On the way into town I asked how the night hike went. They actually only hiked to cache 22 which is where Bidwell Road intersects with the PCT. They arrived there about 1 a.m., then slept till dawn and resumed their journey at dawn.

They said the night was dark and the trail was rough in places but the stars were beautiful.

When I asked them if they had seen any rattlesnakes, one of them said they had seen three. I wasn’t sure if rattlesnakes were still active at night and they assured me that they were.

Maverick asked if we had any green rattlesnakes (Crotalus Lepidus) around here. They said that they had seen a big green snake that evening. I told them that I didn’t think so. I thought that we had diamondbacks (Crotalus atrox). It got me curious, so later I looked them up on Wikipedia. Now I think that what we have is Western rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) I’ll have to ask the Forest Service. I actually didn’t know that there are so many different kinds of rattlesnakes. And there seem to be quite a few this year up on Hat Creek Rim.

When I asked them where they wanted to go, they told me that Bob the Plumber from Bieber had taken them to the Alpine and they would be waiting for us there.

Jet Pack and Animal Style at the Alpine

Jet Pack and Animal Style at the Alpine

When we got there, I said hello again to Animal Style and Jet Pack and told everyone to call if they needed further assistance or wanted to jump in my pool.

 

 

 

 

At the Alpine

Jet Pack and Animal Style at the Alpine

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Filed under Bieber, Burney, Pacific Crest Trail