Tag Archives: Baum Lake

A wonderful Christmas meal at Grace Community Bible Church

The Winkelman family and their relatives and friends served a wonderful Christmas meal to more than 50 members of the Burney community at the Grace Community Bible Church from noon to 2 p.m. on Christmas Day.

More than 50 meals served at the church

Another two dozen meals were delivered to house-bound residents or provided for take-out. The meal consisted of roast turkey, baked ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes and greens. For dessert, guests had a choice of apple, pecan, or pumpkin pie. Each guest also received a Christmas present.

A scrumptious buffet

The dinner is an act of love performed by the entire Winkelman family. Reverend Henry Winkelman has been the pastor of Grace Bible Community Church for three decades. He and his wife Penny have nine children. One of their adult sons Jeremy, had the idea six years ago to host a dinner for people in the community that had no place to go for Christmas. The family and their in-laws have been performing this service since then.

Working hard in the kitchen

Diners were grateful for the opportunity to share a joyful Christmas meal in company with others.

One guest told Mrs. Winkelman, “I am so grateful. If you didn’t do this, we would be home alone.”

Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven..”

Amen! Praise God!

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Filed under Burney, Churches

Stuff the Ambulance Toy Drive donates toys to F Troop for delivery to kids

On the evening of December 12, members of F Troop rode to Meyers Memorial Hospital to pick up toys that they will deliver to low income children in Burney, Johnson Park, Fall River, and McArthur.

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F Troop members Leslie Horney, Dee Covert, Rex Horney, and Tim Covert pick up toys from Mayers Memorial Stuff the Ambulance – photo courtesy of Leslie Horney

The toys were donated as part of the Stuff the Ambulance Toy Drive sponsored by Meyers Memorial Hospital. Collection of toys, “stuffing the ambulance,” took place at seven locations throughout the Intermountain area. This is the third year that the program has been in place.

F Troop with toys from Stuff The Ambulance

In addition to the toys from Stuff the Ambulance, F Troop has purchased more than $2000 worth of toys. The money for the toys was raised at F Troop’s annual yard sale held in Burney during the summer. Yard sale items are donated by people in the community for the project. All together the project gives out quality new toys to more than 125 children of families living in low income housing in the Intermountain Area. The club also buys new batteries for all the battery operated toys.

F Troop is the Burney affiliate of United Bikers of Northern California. They began giving out toys for kids 17 years ago when Tom Tindel was president of the club. The first year they gave out 30 Christmas stockings stuffed with toys and goodies in the Safeway parking lot. The program has grown every year since. Tom Miller succeeded Tindel as President and helped organize the program for three years.

Three years ago, under the leadership of President Greg Trotter, they began the summer yard sale so the community could be more involved. Each year, on a Saturday before Christmas, they give out the toys on a Christmas Toy Run led by Santa on a motorcycle. This year’s run will be Saturday December 16. Some of the bikers dress up as elves to help Santa deliver the toys.

See also

F Troop Christmas Toy Run

F Troop hosts run for Northern California bikers

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Filed under Burney, Fall River Mills, Johnson Park, Mayers Memorial Hospital, McArthur, Motorcycles, 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

Intermountain Adventures – a new local business in Burney

A short video of Garett Costello and Kayla Trotter introducing their new business Intermountain Adventures at the Burney Chamber of Commerce Meeting on April 11. The video includes interesting and informative question and answer with Chamber members. You can also visit the Intermountain Adventures website.

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Filed under Burney, Hiking, Kayaking

White Christmas in Burney 2016

The night before the night before Christmas, it snowed. Linda and I took a drive.

When I woke up this morning

When I woke up this morning

Burney through the trees covered in snow

Burney through the trees covered in snow

Mt Burney from the vista site

Mt Burney from the vista site

Not too much snow at Hat Creek

Not too much snow at Hat Creek

Blue-eyed snowhopper

Blue-eyed snowhopper

Bug in the winter woods

Bug in the winter woods

Linda by the rocks as giant dachshund approaches

Linda by the rocks as giant dachshund approaches

Looks like the Star of Bethlehem over the metal dinosaur

Looks like the Star of Bethlehem over the metal dinosaur

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Met some skiiers

Met some skiers

Snowy giraffe in the woods

Snowy giraffe in the woods

No picnic today

No picnic today

Reflections on Baum Lake

Reflections on Baum Lake

Cassel forebay

Cassel forebay

Cassel bridge

Cassel bridge

Our friend the horse

Our friend the horse

I love this horse

I love this horse

Thank you for the very nice profile shot.jpg

Thank you for the very nice profile shot

This cow was watching us very closely

This cow was watching us very closely

Back to Burney

Back to Burney

 

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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

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

Burney is friendly to PCT Hikers

On Tuesday, August 4, I was sitting at the computer checking my Email when I got a call from Nancy Bobo. Nancy manages several motels for Burney Falls Lodging. She also has been assisting hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for more than five years.

Nancy has a list of “angel’s” to call if hikers need a ride to or from the trail. If they need a place to camp or stay in town, she helps to arrange that. She also provides a drop box for hikers who want to leave something for others hikers to pick up later. Numerous volunteers in Burney enjoy meeting the people who hike the trail and assisting them.

Nancy Bobo with Sky Eyes

Nancy Bobo with Sky Eyes

I’m on Nancy’s angel list.  She was calling to ask if I could give a hiker a ride. I told her I would be happy to and went over to the motel where Sky Eyes from Ashland, Oregon was waiting for a ride to Burney Falls State Park. The trail passes through the park right near Burney Falls.

Sky Eyes is his trail name. When hikers hike the trail they adopt a trail name that they use for the duration of the hike. When I showed one hiker a pictures of others I had met at Baum Lake, he said he recognized them, but he didn’t recognize their names because they had given me the names that they used in their normal life.

Pacific Crest Trail Sign in Burney Falls State Park

Pacific Crest Trail Sign in Burney Falls State Park

Over the last month, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk with a dozen or so hikers and have given a number of them rides to parts of the trail and directions to various places. The ones I’ve met have come from Arizona, New York, Oregon, Washington, San Diego and New York.

The picture that emerges from my conversations is different than the idea I had of a long solitary trek through the woods. One hiker told me that there are an estimated 14,000 hikers on the PCT this year, three times more than normal. He had met people not only from the United States but from all over the world, particularly Europe.

Rock Creek Falls

PCT bridge at Rock Creek Falls

“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.”

A lot of hikers also enjoy visiting the small rural towns along the trail. Many of the towns have “angels.” People post messages on the trail with helpful information. Burney is a particularly convenient place because it has a Safeway store, a Laundromat, a health food store, and a well-stocked sporting goods store. Two of the hikers I gave a ride to I met at the McDonald’s. Several others were happy to hear that there was a pizza parlor.

Most hikers set a daily pace of 22 to 25 miles a day and plan on five months to hike the entire trail. A “zero” is a day that a person adds no miles. A “nero” is a day that a person logs half or less miles than his normal pace. There are designated camping areas, but one hiker told me that “all you really need is a flat space near the trail.”

Egret over Baum Lake near PCT

Egret over Baum Lake near PCT

Hikers also encounter a lot of wildlife on their 2650 mile trek through the wilderness. One hiker told me his encounters were primarily with deer, but he had met several hikers who came across a bear on the trail.

One of the reasons more people are hiking the trail this year is the December 2014 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.

Strayed was a section hiker in 1995. She hiked 1,100 miles from the Mojave desert to the Bridge of the Gods crossing into Washington. Most of the hikers I’ve met this year are hiking the whole trail Mexico to Canada. The trail begins at the wall that divides Mexico from the United States.

As I gave Sky Eyes a ride to Burney Falls, he told me that he hadn’t actually been able to touch the wall. He said that to do so you have to hop a fence about thirty feet from the wall. When he began his journey on May 25, there was a border patrolman guarding the wall.

Sky Eyes in Burney Falls Park

Sky Eyes in Burney Falls Park

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Filed under Burney, Hiking, Pacific Crest Trail, Wildlife