Category Archives: Burney Falls

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

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

McArthur-Burney Falls State Park 2018 season opens May 11

From Catherine Camp:

FRIENDS OF BURNEY FALLS
Volume 4

McArthur Burney Falls State Park opens the 2018 season  on May 11!  Of course, the Park is open year round, and welcomes visitors at any time.  But the full staffing, including Visitor Center and the Store open typically this time of year.

We hope your plans include a visit this year!

The remarkably wet spring we have had ensures that the falls are roaring and beautiful.  The spring flowers are blooming and the birds are beginning to be heard.  The black swifts haven’t yet returned, but they will be flitting in and around the falls soon.  This pre-Memorial Day period is an especially lovely time to come, as the crowds are less!

All the trails are open, except for the Lake Trail and the PSEA Trail. Both closures begin at the Rainbow Footbridge and continue north to Lake Britton.  The very wet 2016-17 winter destabilized the land supporting the trail, and extensive rerouting is planned but not yet completed.  The Falls Loop Trail, the Headwaters Trail and the Cemetery Trail are all open and inviting.

The Friends of Burney Falls and Castle Crags State Parks has completed our 2017 Annual Report.  We include specifics about  interpretative activities in both parks.  We also report on how we spent the revenue we receive from recycling, the sale of firewood and from sales in the Visitor Center, as well as donations.  If you would like a copy, reply to this e-mail and we’ll send it to you by mail or on line.

The California State Park system is transitioning to a new reservation system for camp sites.  It is now ReserveCalifornia, and the transition has been a little bumpy for some.  If you have difficulty making a reservation, call their number at 1-800-444-7275.  The on site camp staff do not make reservations after the start of the season.

Friends of Burney Falls is not a political organization.  However, we have endorsed Proposition 68 on the June ballot in California.  Proposition 68 would authorize $4.1 billion in bonds for park and water projects.  Notably for us, it would provide desperately needed funds for deferred maintenance in parks like ours.  We encourage those of you in California to look carefully at this proposition.

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Shooting Stars at Heritage Day 2017

Many talented groups played at Heritage Day throughout the afternoon of October 8 at McArthur-Burney Falls State Park. One group that delighted listeners was a talented quartet of young ladies from Shingletown named Shooting Stars.

The following is a playlist of seven of the songs performed by Shooting Stars. The first song was recorded at a picnic table before they went on stage.

The next six, performed on stage, are accompanied by Nicki Carlisle and backed up by members of the North State Fiddlers (California Old Time Fiddler’s Association District 6) who organized the music for the afternoon.

The four Shooting Stars are named Natalie, Katie, Tahlia, and Helaina. They have been playing together for one year. The two fiddlers are 12 years old and the guitarists are 10 years old. They all have beautiful voices.

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Filed under Burney Falls, Music, Pit River Country Events, youth

Pictures of Heritage Day 2017

Heritage Day 2017 on Sunday October 8 was wonderful. The weather was beautiful. Great music! Cider and dutch oven goodies! Wagon rides! Folks dressed up in period costumes. Lots of fun activities from the 1800’s. I’ll let some pictures speak for themselves.

Nicki Carlisle, the Zuilleger family and the Shooting Stars

 

The Shooting Stars – Natalie, Katie, Tahlia, and Helaina

Here’s a link to music by the Shooting Stars at Heritage Day 2017.

North State Fiddlers

 

Meg with Jack and Jill

 

Nina Kammener, Diana Sophia Green, and Kayla Oilar

 

Beading

 

Candle making

 

Candle making

Making a pine doll

 

These girls made some fine pine dolls

 

Craig Harrington at Heritage Days

 

Manning the cider press

 

Veronica Sloan and Dutch Oven Cooking

 

Pit River Pioneer Thom Sloger with Linda Colvin at an 1840’s tent site

 

Pit River Pioneers

 

Walt Libal displaying old guns

 

Sawbucking

 

Tug O War

 

Cub Scouts from Pack 38

 

Leos at Heritage Day

For more on Heritage Days see:

Heritage Day At Burney Falls Park 2016
Heritage Day shares the past

 

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Filed under Burney, Burney Falls, Burney Lions Club, Fall River Mills, Music, Pit River Country Events, Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River, youth

Heritage Day coming October 8

The 28th Annual Heritage Day will be Sunday October 8 from noon until 4 p.m. at McArthur-Burney Falls State Park. The event, which offers a personal journey into frontier life in the 1800’s, is one of the premiere events of the year for the Intermountain area. Entrance to the park and parking are free for this event.

There will be fifteen different hands-on stations with activities such as  pine bough doll-making, candle-making, bread-working, rope-making, blacksmithing, bead-working, ax-throwing, tug-of war. There will also historical displays of vintage guns and tools and other aspects of pioneer life. This year will also feature wagon rides pulled by draft horses.

Sawbucking

Photo of sawbucking from Heritage Day 2016

Local bluegrass and country musicians will provide old-time music throughout the afternoon.

Shingletown Bound performing in 2016

In addition to cider, fresh-pressed on site, and goodies from a Dutch oven, the Lions Club will be serving food.

And of course, it is also a chance to spend a beautiful afternoon outdoors in the woods and enjoy the beauty of Burney Falls.

Burney Falls

Burney Falls

Heritage Day is sponsored by The event is sponsored by the McArthur-Burney Falls Interpretive Association in Partnership with CAL PARKS. Lots of local volunteers pitch in each year to make it a success. Some of the organizations that assist are the Burney Lions Club, Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River, Boy Scouts, Leos, and Pit River Pioneers.

For more see:

Heritage Day At Burney Falls Park 2016
Four Local Volunteers Honored at Heritage Day
Heritage Day shares the past

 

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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