Sunday, November 6, 2016

Pinnacles National Park, 11/6/16

I had the National Park pass, so we decided to get some use out of it.  Drove to Pinnacles, but only did a short hike.  It was short, but fun.  Entered the park from the East Entrance, and parked at the Bear Gulch parking area by the visitor center at around 9:20.  A little while after exiting the cave, C realized her sunglasses were missing, so after a break at the reservoir, we headed back down the cave looking for the sunglasses.  Then we headed back up to hit the rest of the Moses Spring Trail.  We never found the sunglasses.  By the time we were done hiking around noon, the lot was full.

2.1 miles.  Bear Gulch Trail, Moses Spring Trail, Bear Gulch Cave Trail, Bear Gulch Reservoir, Moses Spring Trail, Bear Gulch Trail.



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Crockett Hills Regional Park, 9/11/16

5.1 mile loop.
Started at the Crockett Ranch Staging Area.  Edwards Creek Trail, Edwards Loop Trail, Soaring Eagle Trail, Sky Trail, Edwards Loop Trail, Wood Rat Trail, Edwards Creek Trail.

Most of the trail before the tunnel that goes under the roadway is covered.  Soaring Eagle and Sky trails are exposed to the sun, and on this day it was pretty windy.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Rock Spring Trail Head, 9/3/16

5.1 miles out and back to Alpine Lake along the Cataract Trail.  Started at the Rock Spring parking lot.  Checked out the cloud overlook on the other side of the road before heading out along Cataract Trail.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lava Beds National Park, 8/5/16-8/7/16

Left for Lava Beds early afternoon.  Stopped in Weed for dinner at the Pizza Factory.  We had originally planned on cooking dinner at the campsite, but it would have been dark by the time we got there.  There were several flashes of lighting as we were driving to the Stateline, but luckily it looked like they were in Oregon, and not the park.  So we continued to Lava Beds, set up the tent, and went to bed.

Cooked the food intended for last nights dinner, so we enjoyed a hot meal for breakfast.  We took our time because the Visitor Center didn't open until 9:00, and we couldn't go into the caves until we got screened for White Nose Syndrome and got our permit.
Sunrise at the campsite
Golden Dome Entrance

Inside Golden Dome
Sentinel Upper Entrance

Skylight in Hercules' Leg
Cow Killer Velvet Ant, Dasymutilla occidentalis
Skylight in Hercules' Leg
Inside Hercules' Leg
Inside Sentinel

The main reason for our trip was to visit Fern Cave.  They only have tours during the summer, and only one tour per Saturday, with a maximum of 6 people.  No photos are allowed inside the cave, as this is a sacred Modoc place.  We burnt sage as a cleansing ritual before entering.  There was quite a bit of wildlife in the cave; two types of tree frogs (maybe three; a brown frog), a kangaroo rat, a lizard, and a skink.  There was also skeletal remains of some small animal, and a decomposing kangaroo rat.  It was a very beautiful and amazing sight to see such lush ferns in the cave.  We struggled with our desire to take photos!

After the Fern Cave tour we headed back down to spend the night in Anderson.

Did not do any hiking or exploring today.  Just headed home.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Redding, 5/28/16-5/30/16

5/28/16; Drove up to Redding for Memorial Day.  Went to Lassen National Park.  Highway 89 was closed, but we had already planned on hiking Chaos Crags, so the closure didn't affect us.  But the entrance fee was $20 for 7 days.  If time of day wasn't an issue, we should have gone to Whiskeytown first, because it's only $10.  Parking at the Chaos Crags trailhead was limited, so we parked at the Manzanita Lake parking lot at 12:00, ate a quick lunch and started hiking at 12:30.
5 miles; Manzanita Lake Parking, Chaos Crags trail, Crag Crags Lake, Loomis Museum, Manzanita Lake Parking.
Nymphalis antiopa, mourning cloak
Sarcodes sanguinea, snow plant

We stayed in Anderson at the Motel 6 for the weekend.  This was our second time staying here.  We watched our first episode of Naked and Afraid on our previous visit.  This time there was a marathon!  This hotel does not provide shampoo.

5//29/16; Boulder Creek Falls, Whiskeytown National Park.  5.5 miles.
We finally did it!  First time attempting this hike, we got lost.  Second time, there was a fire in Weaverville and the air was filled with smoke.  Third time, success!  There were mosquitos.  Wear bug repellent!
Crossing #1
Crossing #2
Crossing #3
Boulder Creek Falls
Rubbing plaque for the waterfall passport.
Adelpha bredowii, California sister
This one really liked C.
Baby mantid!  It was only about 1 cm long.
5/30/16; Colusa National Wildlife Refuge.  We decided to check out the refuge on the way home.  We drove the auto tour.  It was pretty dry and empty.  We saw two pheasants (we think) fighting, but then they ran off when our car approached.  Best time to visit is the winter.  We didn't see too much.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mendocino, 5/14/16-5/15/16

5/14/15, Hendy Woods State Park
Drove up to Mendocino on Saturday.  We stopped at Hendy Woods State Park along the way.  Weather was sunny and cloudy, and it sprinkled for a little bit.  It was an easy-going level hike.
Hermit Hut #1
Hermit Hut #2

We stayed the night at the Andiron in Little River.  We seized the opportunity to use their outdoor hot tub and their dvd library (checked out The Neverending Story).

5/15/16, Less than 1 mile.  Little River Blowhole.  This is located right by a tiny cemetery.  There was a rope tied to some fencing for people who dared go down into the hole.  Tempted as we were, we didn't want to risk it.
Would you trust this rope?

After visiting the blowhole, we headed back for breakfast at the Andiron.  We packed up, and visited
Russian Gulch State Park.  Like last year's trip to Van Damme State Park, Russian Gulch provide lots of greenery.