Bald Eagle = Great Year

Every year a group of friends gather their fuzzy and fat horses for a ride on New Years Day in the Spenceville Wildlife area. And we see a bald eagle! Does that mean good luck for 2019?? I sure hope so! Take a ride with us!

 

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Working out My Brain – 2018 is Gone Baby!

Hello friends and Happy New Year!  When I look back on this past year, I think of what I accomplished and what I wish to accomplish next year.  I think the biggest thing for me in 2018 was climbing all those Sierra Peaks!  I made 12 trips to mountains as high as 11 thousand feet!  Yep, next year I hope to make it at least 15 if not 20!  I also plan on doing a back packing trip in the High Sierra in 2019.

I also decided to learn new things in 2018.  I started studying Geology, Astrology and a little Sciences of the Cosmos thrown in.  Hefty subjects, I KNOW!  But as my mind ages, I figure I better do some heavy lifting to keep it in shape. Rocks and stars have always intrigued me as I hike mountains and see ancient lava flows and look up at to the vastness of space on my ranch where there isn’t much light to obstruct the view of our galaxy.  Just what else us up there?  What the heck is going on down below?  I have so many questions!

And in the very end of this year, I am re-learning how to pencil draw. I’ve been painting in acrylics since 2012, but this year I thought I’d go back to where it all began as a high school student.  Pencil. I was so good back then, but for some reason, I stopped.

 

So, in the video below is a timelapse video of me drawing Legendary Actor, James Dean and the story of my re-learning something with something special thrown in at the end.

Have a Happy New Year, and I hope you do something you’ve NEVER done, or Re-learn something you used to do!

 

Swinging from a Pine Tree over the Royal Gorge in the Sierra…Now that’s a Hike!

It’s November 1, and the snow still hasn’t arrived in the Sierra. Join the Foothill Hilers as we take a nice 8.5 mile hike on the series of trails owned by the Tahoe Donner Land Trust. These trails are spectacular and have just enough ups and downs to give you a good workout. The views are incredible! Don’t miss the swing at Point Mariah!

It’s thrilling to soar over the Royal Gorge on a little board tied to a pine tree!

Tahoe Donner Land Trust Site and maps: http://tdlandtrust.org/royal-gorge The track of our hike: https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails…

FIRE on the Mountain! Mt. Lola

We spot a fire, see some weird structure remains at the top, and get some awesome views!

This summer I probably did about 20 Sierra hikes with eight separate peaks hikes thrown in. I hiked some of those eight peaks multiple times with a total of 12 peak hikes!  At over 11K feet, Mt. Rose was the hardest for me.. but being stubborn, I did that one twice!
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Mt. LOLA

Named after local Gold Rush celebrity, Lola Montez, the peak formed by ancient volcanic mud flows 4 to 12 million years ago was used as a platform to survey the west by triangulation in 1878. The first time this was done in the world!
Using telescopes and mirrors aligned from the top of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lola and Mt. Helena the Coast and Geodetic Survey observed the longest triangulation line ever used on Aug. 1, 1878.

Rock structures and brick pillars remain at the top from that summer long ago when George Davidson stationed atop it sending a flash of light to the station on the top of Mt. Shasta.

More on Lola Montez here 

More on the the survey here

Thank you for watching my videos.. my labors of love!

The Disappearing Fire Lookout Towers!

Many moon ago, I had the opportunity to be a fire lookout in Northern California. You can read all about it in my book Fire Girl.  It was awesome to wake up to a 360 degree view from the top of a mountain.  Back in the day, it was a lonely man or woman with a pair of binoculars perched high on a mountain top that spotted forest fires.   There aren’t many working fire lookout towers any longer because of modern technology in spotting fires.   The Service has made many lookout towers available to rent for a weekend, which I think is pretty cool.  Unfortunately a lot of the towers are crumbling or have been completely torn down.

The design of this tower is pretty cool. I hadn’t seen one quite like this.

So let’s take a 4 wheelin’ and hiking trip to Pilot Peak in Plumas County in Northern California!

Mt. Judah & Donner Peak! WOW!!!!

This wonderful trail in the Northern California Sierra, with abundant spectacular views is a must-do if you traverse around Donner Summit. The trail starts on the PCT just down the road from Donner Ski Ranch. You then take the Mount Judah loop trail from the PCT. Don’t forget to hike up to the summit of Donner Peak while on your way around and look out the “window” onto Donner Lake! WOW!

 

Let’s take a Walk Back in Time!

Bridgeport in Nevada County California is a hidden gem of Northern California!  If you are into gold rush history, you are gonna LOVE this place! Just up Hwy 20 near Penn Valley, you can make a day of meandering the hills on the various hiking trails, looking at the cool historical exhibits, swim in the river and have a nice family outing!

It just costs $5.00 to park! What a deal!

And the best part is the awesome covered bridge that is the largest standing covered bridge in the world!