Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bear On A Wire

What is that line made of ?
Only in Canada will you see a sign like this ... This is an actual sign ...  Funnee----Be sure to read the whole sign ...Click to enlarge...
This post was sent to Smokeys Mountain by  Ed Birsan ...  Local candidate for Concord City Council

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Homeless Folk

I am re-posting this story as it is easy to become hardened to the homeless of Concord by the sights we all see around the Claycord area..I am referring to the 13 Drunkards of Claycord of course ...Those guys have been harassing and loitering for years and years but they do not represent the homeless population in Concord...Though they do not have homes most of them,,,they are something else entirely...No, here is the face of Concord's homeless ...Just a guy trying to stay out of sight as he pushes and drags everything he has in the world up and down a local street here in Concord.   I don't know his story,but I do know that it is important not to forget the less fortunate as we head into the Holiday Season this year..So let's all not  let the 13 Drunkards and their rude behavior cloud the Issue ... Homeless people exist here in our city and I do not have a solution to this problem at all...However Kindness and Generosity to those who actually are genuinely in need goes a long way... Remember , its getting colder at night.....Smokey...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Big Bug Season


This is the time of year when we start to see the bigger bugs come out to eat the other bugs. Have you seen any of these huge Predator Bugs in your garden yet this year? These guys are really interesting to see each year... Ive always been fascinated by the way that the Praying Mantis appears to have such alien intelligence ...I actually found one of these guys inside my house last week. I was opening the blinds on the backdoor and he was on the blinds. He flew into my face and startled me pretty good. Though these guys are quite large thankfully they are harmless to us...when they fly , a large 1 is like a softball size. very startling at 6 am. lol..

Monday, August 30, 2010

Herringtons Sierra Pines Resort

Last week I stayed at Herringtons Sierra Pines in Sierra City... This place is a great mountain getaway spot for families and also couples ... We actually spent part of our honeymoon here ... The restaurant there serves  one of the best Filet Mignon plates that I have ever had ...  This year we stayed in the Pond level cabin which is across the Lawn from the Trout Pond which also has two fountains flowing in the middle of it ... This room is unique because of its views ... The front door looks out across the trout pond and right up from the base of the the Sierra Buttes ...Here is a shot of the view out the front door...
The back patio deck looks out over the Yuba River which is very pretty and there is a big waterfall that flows down the mountainside  into the river right across the ravine ...Here are a couple of shots showing the river out back of the resort ...
There are many many trout in the pond out front at Herringtons ... This pond is a pay pond and you pay by the size of the fish you catch ... No fish exceeds $20  but that is for a Salmon sized one ...If you have a kid or kids that have never caught a fish then this place is for you ! They will not leave this experience empty handed ...Or Even if you are an adult who has never experienced the feeling of fighting a nice big fresh Rainbow Trout on the end of your line  you will definitely enjoy this place ...
Some of the fish in this pond are huge ! All of the fish in this pond are Rainbows and they are beautiful fresh mountain trout !
I myself do not fish in this pond but if the kids haven't caught anything in the lakes and streams by the time we leave we always let em fish here for that guaranteed lunker ...Here is a quick video showing me getting some fish food from the dispenser there and feeding the trout... video
  This year at Herringtons was special for us in many ways but one thing that we will always remember was that this year our little girl caught her first fishy and she is only two... She pulled and pulled and reeled and reeled saying fishy fishy the whole time ! It was a fifteen inch Rainbow Trout that we ate the next night ... What a great memory !  Herringtons Sierra Pines Resort and Trout Pond is not open in the Winter so if this looks like fun you better get yourself up there soon !  Here is their link Herringtons Sierra Pines

Thursday, August 26, 2010

4 Wheelin Tamarack Lakes

 Tamarack Lakes are located up above Packer Lake on the north side of the Sierra Buttes... These lakes can only be visited by 4wd or hiking up ... The trailhead from Packer Lake Lodge Road heads up the mountain  about 3 miles into the wilderness... This is Lower Tamarack Lake ...
What a beautifully serene alpine lake ... The 4wd trail leading up to these lakes is full of large rocks and it is a really fun ride up ... Here is a video clip of the road conditions and some of the surrounding terrain ...
video
 Not the best video because I was holding the camera and driving over big rocks... These next shots are of Upper Tamarack Lake...
 Though they look similar  but the upper lake is even more clear than the lower ...  It seems as if the lower lake acts as a kidney or filter for the upper lake, having more of a reddish color on the bottom... .Upper Tamarack Lake was a bit more pristine as well being about a mile further up the mountain ...
There were these large patches of wild flowers growing all along the northern shoreline thriving just outside the water grass on the marsh like  banks ...
I have been coming up to these mountains nearly all of my life and never made it up to Tamarack Lakes until now ... I had always heard it was an awesome experience to be that high up on the Buttes at these totally secluded alpine lakes , but being there is another thing entirely...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sunset On The Trail @ Frazier Falls

 
   This trip up to Sierra City we decided to explore some areas and do some things  that we don't usually do ... Frazier is something we haven't done in a few years so it was 1st on our list ... Frazier Falls is located in the Plumas National Forest at an elevation of six thousand feet ... The turn off for Farzier Falls is on Gold Lake Road which is between Hi-way 49 and 89 connecting Bassetts Station and Graeagle ... The road that leads to the Frazier Falls trail head is a 3 mile gravel/dirt road that takes you way back into the thick forest woods until you finally reach the parking lot for the trail ...From the  trail head to the falls is only about a mile ...  We decided to go and hike this trail at sunset this trip thinking of how beautiful the sunset up at the falls must be ...
Wow were we right ! This place is incredibly beautiful at anytime of the day on any day of the year in any kind of weather but Sunset here on a warm night in late August is awesome
! What a treat to be on that trail at that hour ... This trail is really well maintained and it is fully paved with large benches placed along the way ...
. Hiking this trail at that hour was also cool for my dogs because there was no one else out there at all and they really enjoyed being off leash with access to the entire trail ... They ran up and down the trail like it was a race track ... The section of trail around the bridge that crosses over Frazier Creek  provides some great views of the surrounding mountains and valleys ...

. Arriving at the falls vista point which is across the canyon from the falls I stood at the railing on the cliffs and enjoyed the view ...
This time of year however even after the heavier snow melt this year  the August waterfall is just a trickle ...
 
The sunset hours on this trail were really something special turning  this hike into a very memorable one... Being out there at sunset also meant that we would be returning to our cabin in Sierra City after dark ... Which also meant that there was a good chance that we may see a big ole bear sniffin around at the Yuba river inn if we drove through the parking lot on the way home ; )     Sure enough we found this fella sittn at the back door of the Inn beggin lookin just like my dog does when he does that ...
I actually got pretty close to him and got this picture of him for you ...
The Inn keeper came out and told me he was a regular there and they call him the Terminator ...  We stayed there in July and I heard what must have been him crashing through the brush behind the cabin but never saw him then ... Wow he was big ! We saw 2 more bears the next night as well , a mama and her yearling ... What a great trip !

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Who's That Knocking At My Door ?

video
I am enjoying some vacation time with my family up here in Sierra City once more before my son goes  back to school this coming Wednesday  ... This evening we went for a nice hike up to Frazier Falls and got some great shots of that trail and its beautiful views which I will be posting for you soon , However This post is about what we found at the back door when we returned from our hike ... Wow was he big ! This place is awesome ! We really enjoy it up here and when ever a big ole critter like this shows itself around the cabin it is always a treat ...Never ever disrespect a creature in the wild ... Especially a big ole bear at your back door that the locals call the Terminator ...
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Swimming @ Castle Rock

 The Pool is OPEN ! Castle Rock Park is a great place to get away for the afternoon ... One of the things that  I love about this park is that  it feels like you have gone much  further into the woods than you actually have ...For those of you who aren't familiar with where it is the park is located at the end of oak grove road ... Literally at the end of the road  past Northgate High School all the way out to the end of the road which is the East Bay Parks  parking lot for Castle Rock ... This parking lot is a short walk from the Swimming pool however the path is nicely paved and it is a beautiful walk under giant oaks along the now dry creek bed with wonderful views of the very dry Summertime landscape that now surrounds the peaks of  Castle Rock...
We often enjoy ourselves on a Sunday afternoon in the Summer swim season there and the kids love to enjoy their Summer in the huge swimming pool nestled under the giant oak trees...
The pool complex features a 30 feet by 70 feet swimming pool and deck areas. In addition, the complex is fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, including the bathhouse and an accessible lift into the pool. Swimming is allowed only when lifeguards are on duty...
Lifeguards are on duty when the pool is open between 11 am and 6 pm Thursday through Sunday ... The barbecue areas are very well placed by the pool area and throughout the park...There are also some very clean restrooms equipped with hot showers right by the pool ... My kids love picnicking at Castle Rock and as I said I love how it feels like you are out in the woods while you swim a bit ...The trail head that actually does go way back into the woods however is just past the pool and I have enjoyed  hiking it many times but I myself prefer to hike it in the Winter and Spring  months when everything is so green and the now dry waters of Pine Creek flow like a  small river ...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Backyard Chickens ?

Last Easter I decided to put four chickens in my backyard ... I went over to Rhodies Feed Store out in Clayton on marsh creek road  and bought some chicks ... Two of them were Leghorns which are the little cute yellow chicks that grow up to be the  white chickens ...
The other two little chicks were the Rhode Island Reds which are a cinnamon/brown color with black tail feathers  and are also a much larger bird than the Leghorns...
They are said to start laying me an egg each every day at about six months old ... Well , that is about four weeks from now and I am looking forward to having me some fresh eggs soon ... One of my Leghorns however was killed about a month ago after she "flew the coop" when we were gone one evening and my little Fox Terrier along with his big bird dog  Black Lab brother   made short work of her ... Sooo , After that accident I have their area secured much better and so far so good ...Click on the chicken coop picture
 for some great ideas ...  I have never had chickens before and as of yet  they are not much trouble ... I guess I will know if it was all worth it or not   after  I start enjoying omelets made from  freshly laid eggs ... For more information about Backyard Chickens click HERE

Saturday, July 31, 2010

4 Wheelin above Sardine Lake


Last Monday I took a ride up a 4wheel drive trail that I have been driving various off road vehicles on for many years now ... This trail is pretty hairy ... There are plenty of large rocks to slowly climb over along the way up the steep almost cliff like mountainside that leads  to upper Sardine Lake ... video
The aerial views of Lower Sardine Lake are spectacular from this trail and only from this trail can you see the lake this way ... 
This year I never actually made it to Upper Sardine Lake ... There was an area that I just could not travel across with out all terrain tires on my SUV ... This section was not like this last year  ... Obviously a result of the heavy snows that buried this mountain last winter ...
However , Here is a shot of upper Sardine from the past for you ...
There are a family of River Otters that live at Lower Sardine and I had hoped to get some footage of them however I never did locate them while we were there so here are a couple of pics of them from Sierra City.Com that  I found for you ...
The Sardine Lake Vantage of the Buttes is the "traditional" view of the mountain that is most often seen in post cards and media ...
The post right under this one has another vantage point for seeing the Buttes that shows the mountain from a completely different angle giving it a totally different look than the Sardine Lake views... Truly a majestic place ....

Friday, July 30, 2010

On The Trail @ Packer Lake


High above Sierra City nestled in on the opposite side of the Buttes is the very beautiful Packer Lake ... This beautiful little alpine lake hosts some of the most incredible exclusive vantage points  of the Sierra Buttes that you can ever see up there ... The trail around the lake is very pretty as well ,

leading you through large pines in the dense forest that creeps right up to the edge of the water along much of the shoreline ...
This lake is great for an afternoon of kayaking adventures which my wife really enjoyed quite a bit ...She was out on the water paddling around for quite a while ...
All the while that she was paddling around the lake there was a very large Osprey hunting trout from above ... What a really cool experience that was for her to be out kayaking on the crystal clear waters of  Packer Lake watching an Osprey dive down from the sky and gracefully snatch a nice trout from the water flying off with it in his talons ... Which he did several times ... Apparently he had other mouths to feed ...
Unfortunately I never managed to get footage of the fish grabbing because after following him on camera for what seemed like for ever  of course I would set the camera down and that would be the moment when my wife would say "ooh wow did you see that , were you still filming" ?  Dohhh !... But here is a short clip of him hunting  above the lake just moments before he dove down and snagged a fish ... video
High above Packer Lake there is a very cool four wheel drive  trail that leads to the lookout at the top of the Buttes ...
The road that leads  up to the trail is a heck of a climb with some very steep grades and cliffside views looking out across the sierra that are some of the most beautiful sites in the world ...
I always enjoy a nice off road adventure up above the lake when ever we are in this area ... The Sierra Buttes Trail is one of my favorite places to be ...
It winds up the back side of the Buttes to an elevation over 8000 feet and goes all the way to the top ... It always amazes me how even in the middle of the hot Summer there are still many patches of lush foliage and beautiful sierra mountain wildflowers thriving under the alpine canopy ... One area in particular that I like along the Sierra Buttes Trail is a small underground mountain spring about half way up ...
It  flows out of the side of the rocks and crosses the  trail ... This area is always surrounded by various beautiful ferns and many different wildflowers that splash color all around the trail ...
Although our trip was a short one we enjoyed every moment of it and we plan to get up there once more before school starts ... What a beautiful place to be !