Castle in the Sky Hike

I’ve hiked by the cut-off to Castle Peak a bunch of times while traversing the Pacific Crest Trail, but, I have never taken the trail that leads up to that majestic peak with it’s rocky points. I always continued on the PCT down to the Peter Grubb hut and Round Valley. Well, I finally did it! Little did I know, I would bag two peaks that day! We could have climbed back down the way we came, but we chose the longer route over a ridge-line to Basin peak and joined up with the PCT at the bottom. We made a big loop.
Castle Peak Elevation 9104 –

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/castle-peak

 

PS… I shot this in 4K for the first time. So, make this video FULL SCREEN and be AMAZED!   I used a Sony Action Cam with an external Mic

 

 

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The Long Ride

On August 7th of this year, three women decided to take a trip on their horses from Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite to Donner Summit.  The trip was supposed to be 200 miles. However, after day 5, with equipment failures, terrain that is not horse friendly whatsoever, snow,  and the extensive time it takes to pack and unpack each day at camp, they fell behind and knew they would be ending the ride for this season sooner than they planned.

Did this discourage them?  Heck NO! They are going back next year armed with experience and lessons-learned to continue where they left off. I plan on hiking behind them filming each step of the way.

If you are debating weather to traverse this section of the pct on horseback, take a look at this film.

A ROUGH RIDE ON THE PCT!

Three friends, four horses and a lot of guts! These women traversed 76 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite to Kennedy Meadows North. It was a HUGE snow year for the Sierra, and hikers had a difficult time in this very stretch. Some came close to death and one did lose her life.  This same stretch on horses is almost impossible.  As the PCT is said to be made for horses in mind, in reality it’s not as these women soon found out. The full documentary will be coming soon!  Here is the trailer!

 

PCT Re-Supply Shot- So, I Did This Instead!

I was supposed to meet up with some lady PCT horse riders in the Sierra for their re-supply but they are two days behind because of snow and down trees in mid August!  They are averaging about 7 miles a day. Getting over the passes is slow going for them. Hikers can get around these obstacles a lot easier than horses!  They started in Tuolonme Meadows (Yosemite National Park) Aug 7 and was supposed to be at Kennedy Meadows North on Aug 13 (today).  That’s not going to happen.   So, with my plans for a mountain weekend on hold, I did this instead!

his is a cover song called Barton Hollow by the duo The Civil Wars.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Just a Little Coo-Coo on the Loch Leven Trail!

In this episode of Twylaworld, we head up to almost 7000 feet to  some nice and refreshing alpine lakes for swimming and toe dipping.  It’s 107 degrees in the Sacramento Valley, so it’s time to head up into the Sierra for some cooler temps. The snow is FINALLY starting to disappear!

A six mile round trip hike didn’t sound like a big deal when I looked at the map, but you are going to climb 1633 feed in the three miles in and there are lots of  boulder steps to traverse.  You will really work for this swim, but its TOTALLY worth it!  There are three large lakes that are very close together with a fourth smaller lake that is tucked between the second and third large lake. The second lake is the largest and most popular for backpackers.  The water is clear and oh so refreshing!

Take your lunch, swimmin’ britches, sunscreen, bug spray and water. There is a place to filter water along the way if you run out.  The views are spectacular and the lakes are crystal clear!

I would consider this hike on the harder side.

I want to go back and camp next time!

A MONSTER Creek Hike

2017 is the year of record snow and raging waters in California. I’ve been hearing about hikers fording creeks and streams in the High Sierra and having near death experiences. Hiking in the mountains definitely has its challenges this summer!  Fordyce creek is in Northern California portion of the Sierra just North of I-80 off of Hwy 20. As you will see be this vid, this creek is a flowing monster!  Take a rainy walk with me as we hike from Lake Spaulding to  Fordyce Creek Falls.

Point Reyes National Seashore! Let’s GO!

On this episode of Twylaworld, my hiking buddy John and I backpack to Coast Camp at Point Reyes National Seashore. This magical gem of Northern California is a MUST SEE place even if you just go for the day. Our hike was a little over 6 miles each way, however, the particular route we took was little steep in places and the uphills went on for quite a while. We went up and over a few ridges.

Coast camp is right next to the beach, nestled between some hills which protected us from the wind. The surf was just a 2 minute walk from our camp.

Day one was AWESOME. It was foggy, but there was no rain. However, at 2 am, it started raining HARD! The next morning, we packed our gear and hiked out in the rain, skipping out on a good hot cup of coffee. It rained on us most of the way back, but it was actually a lot of fun!
***On a technical note, I had a weird issue with my Rode external mic on my Sony Action cam. You can hear a weird clicking noise in places. I found out through some YouTube searching that I needed to turn the wifi off of my camera! I’ll know next time! I also need to re-work my mount and windscreen. Sorry for some crappy sound in places. I’m working out the bugs in my DIY rig! 

 

I Almost Stepped on a Rattlesnake!

Today on this episode of Twyla World we take a nice hike from the American River Confluence to the town of Cool. It’s only 6.2 miles round trip, however there is a little of a climb to get out of the canyon. You can make this hike much longer if you do the trails in Cool that loop around back to the trail into the Canyon. AND we met a rather large rattle snake!

 

That thingy with the Arrow that Points North

A while back, I bought the cheapest Compass that was hanging on the rack at REI. It was this little thing that hung off the strap of my backpack that didn’t have dials or anything. It just gave you a direction. I figured I could at least use it to get myself north, south, east or west. Sounds easy enough!  If I keep walking West, I’d eventually hit the Pacific Ocean and then I’d know for SURE where I was. Of course I’d probably die before I got there and never see the Ocean. So I bought a map.  A large fold out piece of paper of shades of green and tan with a gazzillion squiggly lines and numbers.   I look at the map then at the compass, look at the map, then at the compass.  Hmmmmm..   Nothing made sense.

So, I did what every person thirsting for knowledge does… I go to YouTube. It’s there I learn from some fine compass reading YouTubers that I have to account for Declination in order to use the map with the compass. Something about the curvature of the Earth, True North, Magnetic North.. WHAT?  THERE ARE TWO NORTHS?  What the hell is going on here?

I needed to get to the bottom of this Two Norths thing (sounded hoaxy to me) and signed up for a class from REI.

Now, I can read a Topography map (sort of-need practice) and read my compass and I know the difference between the “Norths.”  Oh, and I learned something VERY IMPORTANT.  I had to keep “Fred in the Shed.”

A Water Wonderland! Feather Falls

HAPPY EARTH DAY EARTHLINGS!

WOW what a hike. This is what I said all day on Friday.  WOW, WOW, WOW!  The Feather Falls trail is about 26 miles east of Oroville CA.  This year it’s spectacular with the abundance of water coming out of the mountains (which are still deep in snow) and the wildflowers in every color of the rainbow!  I have feeling this water will be flowing for quite some time – well into early summer.

This trail is just a little over 9 miles up and back. It has a good hill to climb just before you get to the falls, but the trail is not that hard, just a little rocky and uneven footing in places.  If you are a beginner, just take it slow and you will be rewarded at the end with some serious Water Fall eye candy!  And the sound.. oh the sound!

Sit back and enjoy the hike!

 

 

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