Sunday, June 27, 2010

NOW HIRING !!! East Bay Parks Has Jobs

#1     Regular Jobs                 #2   Risk and Safety Manager       #3  Heavy Equipment Operator                  Here are three different job opportunities available at East Bay Parks ... Just click on 1,2,or 3 to get to each job description and requirements ... The job application can be downloaded there as well... Good luck !

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Donner Canyon Back in March

 This is one of my favorites ... What a contrast from then to now hiking out on the trails of Donner Canyon ...

The Oregon Creek Covered Bridge 1860

This old bridge is a cool ... I discovered it about five years ago on my way home from Sierra City on hi-way 49 ... We were looking for a place to cool off and found Oregon Creek ... Oregon Creek runs into the Yuba River which is displayed beautifully to travelers along Hi-way 49 ...
This place is one of the warmest mountain river swimming holes that I have ever found ... Seriously , The water is like 75 or 80 degrees in August ...
We have been stopping there on our way home from vacation ever since we found it !  The Oregon Bridge was built in 1860 and was originally built in a different position than the one it is currently in today ...
You see this bridge was once washed far down stream in a massive surge of the river and was actually brought back up stream by Oxen and block and tackle to its original position ... However , when they placed it back they set it with the ends reversed ...

Exclusive ; Picture of Smokey !

GOTCHA !   This cinnamon colored  little yearling is much better looking than me ... It was photographed on the wild side of the  North Fork of the Yuba River earlier this month by Mike at

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some Sierra Lakes Are Still Frozen

   Last week my mom and dad took my teenage son up to Salmon Lake for the week ... We have been going up in June or July for 40 years and it has been a very long time since the snow and the ice have hung around this long ...  When my parents arrived at Salmon Lake it was still half frozen and the barge that usually comes to take your stuff across the lake to your cabin  was not even operating ... Luckily they brought their own boat and managed to get across through an open channel of thawed ice ...The snow was areal treat for my brothers new black lab puppy Shelby ... She loved it !
The trail to Deer Lake was under six feet of snow and the lake was I am sure completely frozen ... Here is a shot of the Trail conditions this Summer  in late June in the mountains of the Gold Lakes Basin ...
  Fishing was pretty good at the cabin and they caught many native Brook Trout for the fish fry ...
Here is a link to a previous story on Salmon Lake that shows the contrast in weather conditions from last year to this one ...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Turn That Closet Full Of Old Tee-Shirts Into Cool Accessories!

Kristina Parkison, Naturalist -Turn those shirts into yarn and knit or crochet them into accessories you’ll be proud to use or give as gifts! 14+yrs
For information call (510) 544-3220.
Registration Required: (1-888-327-2757, Option 2, 3)
Fee: $10 (Non-res. $12)
8000 Patterson Ranch Road, Fremont, CA 94555
Phone: 1-510-544-3220   

20,000 Visits

Hello everyone it's me Smokey ... I have been writing Smokey's Mountain all of 2010 and I have enjoyed my hikes and this venue where I can share them with my readers ... Yesterday on Smokey's Mountain we reached the 20,000 visitor mark on our counter ... I just wanted to say Thank You to all of my readers and to say that I will continue attempting to post great footage for you of our local wild animals and the trails and open spaces where they live here on and around our beautiful mountain !  Thank You to Everyone who enjoys Smokey's Mountain and have a Great Day !

Friday, June 18, 2010


One day, while hiking in the woods behind my house, I came across a small lake.  This lake was the most beautiful lake I had ever seen.  The sun was beginning to set so the reflection on the lake was an almost lavender color.  The fish were beginning to jump and there were sparkles all over the water.  It was magical.
I started to hike around this beautiful lake.  I had never been this far into the woods and didn't even know this place existed.  As I made my way around, jumping from one slippery rock to another, the sounds of wildlife were getting louder by the minute.  It was so loud and musical.  I had never heard anything like it before.  The further I went, everything started to look different.  The trees were unreal.  Their trunks were so thick and their leaves were like large pelts of velvet.  The squirrels were the size of dogs and the birds were like raptors silently making their way through this magical forest.
I had finally reached the other side of the lake.  A large salmon peaked his head out of the water and told me to beware of the beasts that protect this enchanted forest, for they do not take kindly to strangers.  Especially a creature like me.

.  I couldn't believe what was happening.  Was I dreaming?  Fish don't talk!
I started further into the forest.  I walked what must have been miles.  I began to feel like I was being followed.  The footsteps behind me were getting closer and it seemed like there were several.  All of the sudden a creature jumped right in front of me stopping me in my tracks.  This creature looked like a cross between a monkey and an armadillo.  I had never seen anything like this before.
  "Stop! Do not go any further!  The beasts of this forest will have you for dinner!" said the creature.  I was surrounded by several of these creatures.  The one in front of me must have been their leader.  I explained to him that I am lost and could not find my way home and that I found this beautiful lake and decided to explore the forest behind it.  It was getting dark and I had no idea where I was at. "Turn around and go back the way you came!  The beasts will eat you and they will kill my family if they find out I had anything to do with you!" said the creature.  I told him I was Smokey of Smokey's Mountain and I have to get home before my family has the ranger out looking for me.
After explaining my whole situation to this creature, he soon told me his name was Crock and he was an Arterian and that I was no longer on Smokey's Mountain and am now in the middle of Arteria. "There are no rangers here!"  I don't know how I got so lost.  I told Crock about my family back home and how I miss them very much.  I asked him to help me get home.  "Well, what's in it for us to risk helping you?" he asked.  Well, I didn't have any money, however, I remembered I brought a bag of Hershey's Kisses with me in case I needed some energy.

When I showed him these little pieces wrapped in silver foil, him and the other Arterians were amazed.  They had never seen anything like this before.  I started to unwrap one of these delicious kisses and told Crock to eat it.  Well, he hesitated but did eat the chocolate.  His eyes lit up and the hairs on his body stood straight up.  "I have never tasted anything so brilliant before!" he said.  He then started to say something in Arterian to the others and they began to ooh and aww!
"Okay, I am willing to help you out Smokey, but you must give me all of the shiny delicious treats that you have and come back and bring us more."  I told him that I definitely would.
All of the sudden, there was a loud growl in the bushes.  It was one of the beasts.  The others ran off and soon it was just Crock and I left when the beast jumped out the bushes.  "You are not allowed here in MY forest!!" exclaimed the beast.  He was large like a bear but his face was almost human.
.He stood about 8 feet tall and smelled horrible.  I told him we were just leaving and would he please spare us.  The beast then swung his hand and knocked Crock down.  Crock was hurt.  I had to help him.  It was my fault that he was caught by this beast.  "Now you will die creature!" the beast roared.  He swung at me to knock me down, but as luck would have it, I still had the pepper spray I bought at Orchard Supply the week before.  I closed my eyes and reached up and sprayed my pepper spray, hoping for a miracle.  It worked!
The beast fell down and I threw Crock over my shoulder and ran into the forest.  We found his people and they were very grateful.  I was ready to go home.
"Okay now." Crock said.  "You may go home now, but please know that you will always be a friend to the Arterian people."  I thanked them for all of their help.  "Okay, close your eyes and count to 10 and you will be home."  I counted 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 crack!!!  I felt such pain on my head, but when I opened my eyes I was at home in bed.  My dog was asleep on the foot of my bed and everything was in its place.  It was just a dream but everything felt so real.  I will never forget my hike in Arteria.                 Written by; Mrs.Smokey

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rockin at Live Oak

 Rock City up on Mt. Diablo is a great place to get out and do some Rockin ! The Live Oak Campground is a great place to get out  and spend the night on the mountain and climb some Rocks !

This entire region of the mountain is sporadically filled with rocky crags and huge spires that shoot up way above the canopy of trees towering out over their valleys and ravines ...

Entire ridges rising up from deep canyons ribbed with massive diagonal limestone slabs... Live Oak Campground is home to many many ancient oak trees ... Some dating back over 400 years ... Here is a shot of a rare Limestone  Snail Oak  ...

This tree has been growing for quite a few years to have swallowed a big  boulder like that ...Below here is a shot of the old fire cave ... This was a popular party spot in the 80's ...
Here are some more shots taken from the rocks above the canyon at Live Oak ...

The sunset up on Diablo was spectacular last night  ... I tried to capture it for you but fell short of its actual beauty by far ...  I did manage to get a few shots of it for you though and here they are ...


Just a tiny glimpse  of the goings on of the morning in the Live Oak Campground up on Mt. Diablo today ... I was up there all night camped right at the summit trail  ... Beautiful !

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The California Sunset From The Sierra Buttes

Below here is an article that is currently in Sunset Magazine about this hidden wilderness wonderland ,,,Enjoy !

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day Trip- Sierra City -Sunset Magazine

 Ever since I can remember one of my favorite places in all of California has been Sierra City  ...If you love the mountains and  you've never checked this place out then you gotta read this !  Sierra city is located on Hi-way 49 above Downieville on the back side of the Sierra Buttes ... I have posted numerous times on this area in the past however this post is to direct you to the "Recent Article in Sunset Magazine" which I think you will enjoy ... Especially written for those who enjoy California's  Sierra Mountains, Lakes, Rivers and Streams !   Photo by Smokey   ; )

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fruit Is Falling !

I would just like to remind all of us here in the Diablo Valley that there are many families with children right here in our community who simply cant afford fresh fruit and veggies and they rely on the food banks to get by from week to week !  Look I know that most of us here that are on a computer reading and writing blogs do not have this problem ... But maybe some of us here still don't know how easy it is to help... This is the time of year when much fruit just falls to the ground unused and rotting ... My good friend Anna Chan " The Lemon Lady" brought this to my attention by her own idea which is the one that I present to you now ... Do you have Apricots,Plums ,cherries or any other fruits and veggies this year that are more than you will use ? If so Contact  The Lemmon Lady by clicking Here...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Red Headed Step Birds

  Every year throughout the valley here there is a certain smallish bird species that returns faithfully to nest over the front steps of my house and many many other houses throughout the entire central valley ... The male has bright red coloring  on his head and the female  is  a brownish color ... I am sure that many of you may have  or had these cute little house guests  over your steps as well ... Most times they build up on top of  the porch beams which is what they have done again at my home this year ... Here are some shots of the nest this year and the tiny baby birdies that were born in it yesterday ...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK: Ascending the Steep John Muir Trail to Vernal Fall for a Teasing Glimpse into the World Famous Back Country Wilderness

This title comes from yet another very cool hiking blog that Smokey reads written by an anonymous writer called Gambolin' Man ... This guy has written an incredible post on his recent journey through Yosemite filled with unbelievable footage of the falls ,mountains and valleys of the Yosemite ... Click HERE for the story ...

East Bay Hills Through-Hike

I found this on another cool hiking blog that I follow written by Jane Huber called Bay Area Hiker   ...        This September, the third annual "5 Day Thru Hike" offers the opportunity to hike and camp over 35 miles through East Bay parks. Organized by the Bay Area Ridge Trail, the event will guide hikers through a series of parks, starting in Fernandez Ranch in Martinez and ending at Lake Chabot. In between they'll hike through Sobrante Ridge, Kennedy Grove, Wildcat, Sibley, Huckleberry, and Redwood.

Campsites (you provide your tent and sleeping bag), gear shuttling, and meals are included in the $50 a day fee (with a discount if you sign up for all 5 days). This is a bargain for the rare chance to camp at Joaquin Miller and Tilden parks while having someone cook your food, carry your stuff, set-up and take down camp, all for a good cause. Read more here.

I hope other management agencies will consider similar fundraising events. Imagine a 5 day camp and hike trek through the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District lands, Point Reyes, Henry Coe....

The Sooty Grouse

Pedro Point

The Mighty Yuba River

This river is really powerful right now ... The late spring snowfall has definitely kept and most likely will keep the Yuba River flowing very full for quite some time ... Fishing in July should be great ! Pics from