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.

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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!

 

Kentucky Kin Folk

My dad was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky. As a matter of fact, my Kentucky roots go back several generations of Cornetts who came from England and settled in the Appalachian mountains. My dad was able to leave the hollers and a life of  working in the coalmines by joining the Army in 1941. Many lived their entire lives in the hollers, and working in the mines.

I’ll be kicking off my 2017 Summer Concert on the Couch Series this June. I’ll be inviting musical guests (hopefully the show up!) and of course there will be poodles!

 

Day Hike Gone Wrong!

This story took place last year (2016) on Labor Day Weekend in Lassen National Park

Lesson #1.  Never-EVER take essentials out of your day pack even if you think that you are going on a simple day hike in the woods, on a very established trail, and your plans are all laid out.

Lesson #2.  Make sure that the plans for your ride home is well established and known by everyone involved. Make sure everyone repeats back in unison said plans  and there are no misunderstandings. Draw a map if necessary.

The Hike and “Plan”

At noon, three of us set out to hike to the top of Mt. Harkness where there is a lookout tower. This is a 4 mile UP hike with a 3000 ft elevation gain. It kicked my butt pretty good, but the view at the top was spectacular and I highly recommend this hike!  Our plan was to hike to the top (4 miles) then hike down to the other side of the mountain (2 miles) to Lake Juniper where our friends  were kayaking. They would then drive us the 25 miles back to the cabin in which we were all staying.

This is where Lesson #2 comes into play. I don’t want to get into specifics, but there was a huge miscommunication about the plans and we didn’t have a ride when we reached the lake at 5:30pm. We were stuck 25 miles away from the cabin in the woods with NO cell service.

It’s starting to get dark and we are only wearing our thin day hiking clothes and this is where Lesson #1 comes into play.  NEVER TAKE YOUR EXTRA CLOTHES AND OTHER STUFF THAT CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE OUT OF YOUR DAY PACK!  EVER!!!

The Wait in the Cold

We waited by the side of the only road that came into the lake area near some campgrounds. There was a ranger station at the entrance but it was CLOSED!  Labor Day Weekend and nobody at the station? Seriously?  What if someone at the campground needed medical help? It’s getting dark and the temp is rapidly falling.  Now its pitch dark and we are freezing! Do we start hiking the 25 miles?  Well, we gave it a good thought but, not knowing if our ride was coming we could have been out there all night walking and freezing in the pitch dark forest.  So, we decided to ask for help from one of the campers.

Trail Angels! – MULE PEOPLE ARE THE BEST!

Near the ranger station, we spot a corral with a two mules eating hay. Next to the corral was a couple enjoying a beautiful and WARM campfire. We walked over and asked if we could stand by their fire while we waited for our friends who surely would be coming to look for us at the lake!  Well, Dan and Abigail were more than accommodating. They got out extra lawn chairs and served us Coronas!  Trail Angels!!  They were so nice and as it turns out, Dan is friends with someone in my family!  SMALL WORLD!!  It’s now 9:30 pm and nobody is coming to our rescue. We hear a helicopter over head! Is that for us?  Nope. It just kept flying!  Abigail said that if our friends didn’t come for us by 9:30 they would break down camp and drive us back.  9:30 rolls around and no body came. It had been dark for quite some time now. Our trail angels broke down camp, which required them to secure their camper and put away all sorts of stuff for the long bumpy 25 mile ride in the dark. It’s now about 10:00 pm. Still no rescue party from our cabin!  About half-way back to civilization, we spot the folks from our cabin rambling up the dirt road in search of us, completely freaked out and moments from calling the sheriffs office to  initiate a search and rescue operation.

Moral of the Story

There are wonderful people in the world like Dan Sehnert and Abigail Madden. They live by the Cowboy code for sure!  You can’t go wrong with folks who ride mules!!!  On a side note, Abigail finished the 2016 Tevis on her mule “Nan”!   THAT is an amazing feat!

My HUGE  lesson in all of this is to be prepared to spend the night out in the cold (it was 39 degrees and I’m sure it got even colder as the night progressed) even if you are going on a day hike in the wilderness.

What I carry ALL THE TIME when hiking (even for the day) 

  • Compass (and know how to use it!) (I took the REI class!)
  • Bivy Bag (emergency blanket to keep warm)
  • 2 extra emergency “space” blankets
  • Map (for your area to work with your compass)
  • Fire Starting Stuff. (I have a lighter, also a flint starter, and cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly to get a fire going fast)
  • Water – extra food
  • Layers of clothes and rain gear (pants and jacket that I stupidly took out of my pack)
  • Hydration tabs
  • Water filter (Sawyer Squeeze)
  • Water Treatment tabs
  • Extra Cell Phone charging packs (2) with cables (just make sure they are also charged and ready to go) mostly used for GPS signal
  • Duct tape (wrapped to my hiking poles)
  • para cord (50 feet)
  • knife
  • Emergency Locator Beacon
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tyvek (can be used as a tarp, ground cover, footprint for shelter,etc) It’s very light and water resistant
  • Headlamp
  • Signal Mirror (with spotting hole)
  • Hand warmerIMG_2287.JPG

And it doesn’t hurt to watch a couple of YouTube vids on how to survive a night or two in the wilderness.

A video of our hike!  Enjoy a walk in the woods!

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.”

Epic Rains = Wildflowers on the Ranch

After very big rainy winter, the wildflowers have gone NUTS on our ranch. We get to enjoy them for a short while before they die. Unfortunately, we have to mow a lot of them before they dry in preparation of fire season which will start in just a few weeks! Then our ranch will turn into a hot, brown dust bowl for 6 months with not one green blade of grass to be seen until winter!

 

Oh and Rebel the ranch dog goes swimming for the very first time EVER in his life!  It took him a while, but he just couldn’t stand not having his ball any longer and finally jumped in!

 

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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Sesame Street in the Woods? What?

In this episode of Twylalword, we go on an 11 mile hike in the beautiful foothills of Northern California near the town of Foresthill. This is a GREAT hike and has very nice ups and downs and is the perfect interval workout. This trail is shared with mountain bikes and horses. Beautiful in the Spring!   The trailhead is 3.7 miles from the center of the Foresthill Bridge on the Auburn/Foresthill Road. (Gate 118)  You will need to display your state park poppy pass, or pay 10.00 for the day to park.

We come across a weird ode to Sesame Street, a GIANT tire in the middle of the woods, and we get to hear the story about a guy dubbed “sticky pants”!

Sit back and enjoy the scenery!

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When Dead Sharks Attack

Sooo…. we were just strolling along the Crabby Joe’s pier in Daytona Beach Florida, after having a fabulous fish sandwich (great restaurant by the way), when we ran across a guy that just caught a Blacktip Shark in about 2-3 feet of water.  From what I have read, the Blacktip shark is typically shy and leave the swimmers alone. However, there ARE instances of swimmers getting bit. These sharks can get pretty big, up to 9 feet!

From Wikipedia

Blacktip sharks showing curiosity towards divers has been reported, but they remain at a safe distance. Under most circumstances, these timid sharks are not regarded as highly dangerous to humans. However, they may become aggressive in the presence of food, and their size and speed invite respect.[1] As of 2008, the International Shark Attack File lists 28 unprovoked attacks (one fatal) and 13 provoked attacks by this species.[31] Blacktip sharks are responsible annually for 16% of the shark attacks around Florida. Most attacks by this species result in only minor wounds.[2]

What I DIDN’T know, and wouldn’t have believed if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyeballs is that a dead shark with its guts completely removed can still bite you!  It’s nerve reflexes are still quite active!

WARNING GRAPHIC AND BLOODY 

And if you’re like me, this warning will make you click the watch button even faster!

 

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The food at Crabby Joe’s is FANTASTIC and I highly recommend a visit!