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Spring around the corner?

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Spring around the corner?

Postby dave54 » Sat Feb 25, 2006 4:51 pm

Just got back from Chico. I don't head down the mountain very often this time of year, so I did not know what to expect.

The poppies were blooming, the redbud is blossoming. The fields are more green than brown.

ahhhhh........

It was a refreshing change. Got me all fired up and anxious for Spring. :D
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Postby hikerduane » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:31 pm

I heard Greenville hit 60 on Friday. Nice in Meadow Valley today, I got down to my heavy shirt working on pulling stumps today. I noticed some of my bulbs are up a little also today. Not much snow left from last weekends storm.

Are you up for a trip into Butte Lake next weekend? I could stop by and pick you up on my way. You would need a permit from the park though. A bunch from another forum I belong to are headed into Butte Lake next Friday and the rest on Saturday. Six miles in, I'm thinking there could be mud part way in or further which would be nice and shorten the walk over snow. I'm thinking of going. Also, this is some of the bunch who I went with where we got 2' of snow overnight on a trip in Dec. into Lake Winnemucca off the Carson Pass. Last week they went into Woods Lake in the same area, didn't receive as much snow but it did get to around zero.
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Postby SSSdave » Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:39 am

Friday drove across the valley and linked up with a bro for some resort skiing under calm blue skies. Later spent the night on a backroads BLM area down in the foothills. Got up this morning and explored a bunch of backroads in Amador and Sacto counties. Lots of green hills now. Some of the blue oak are starting to bud. A few wildflowers are poking up in the usual spots and water is pooled up in all the vernal ponds. I was on a hunt to find some nice blue oak savana grassland scenery with green grasses and aesthetic bare canopies. Absolutely disgusting cancer all the home development in those hills. Everywhere barbed wire fences and NO TRESSPASSING signs. Not at all like the more open and relaxed California of a few decades ago. Yeah beautiful green grassy oak woodlands but no way to access much of it. Just when I thought it was hopeless, I went down a long rutted dirt road and found an absolutely huge reserve of blue oaks and grassland savana apparently being managed by one of the land conservation groups. I really love our Great Central Valley green foothill country in spring and will be doing a few trips into those areas the next couple months.

...David
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Postby dave54 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:45 am

hikerduane wrote:... Are you up for a trip into Butte Lake next weekend?...


Thanks for the offer, but I must pass. The reason I was in Chico was some pre-surgical testing for a series of minor procedures over the next few weeks. Nothing serious, but it will curtail my outdoor activity for a while... :crybaby:
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Postby dave54 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:58 am

SSSdave wrote:... I really love our Great Central Valley green foothill country in spring and will be doing a few trips into those areas the next couple months.

...David


I like the Sacramento River Conservation Area just outside Red Bluff. Administered by BLM. Rolling hills of blue oak woodlands along the Sacramento River. A network of trails and 4wd roads through the area and most of the area is open to disbursed camping. This section of river all Class 1 with a few short stretches of marginal Class 2 (1.5?). Good for paddlers who want an easy overnight trip through an undeveloped stretch of river.

Last Spring the wildflowers were really incredible. We'll see about this Spring...
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Postby SSSdave » Sun Feb 26, 2006 4:17 pm

dave54 wrote:...I like the Sacramento River Conservation Area just outside Red Bluff. Administered by BLM. Rolling hills of blue oak woodlands along the Sacramento River. A network of trails and 4wd roads through the area and most of the area is open to disbursed camping. This section of river all Class 1 with a few short stretches of marginal Class 2 (1.5?). Good for paddlers who want an easy overnight trip through an undeveloped stretch of river.

Last Spring the wildflowers were really incredible. We'll see about this Spring...


Yup the BLM lands near Bend on Paynes Creek. Drove by there a few years ago and plan to drive up there in a few weeks when the wildflowers get a bit further along. Printed out a bunch of the topos back then so will be reviewing them this next week to prepare for that trip.

...David
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Postby giantbrookie » Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:07 pm

hikerduane wrote:I heard Greenville hit 60 on Friday. Nice in Meadow Valley today, I got down to my heavy shirt working on pulling stumps today. I noticed some of my bulbs are up a little also today. Not much snow left from last weekends storm.

Are you up for a trip into Butte Lake next weekend? I could stop by and pick you up on my way. You would need a permit from the park though. A bunch from another forum I belong to are headed into Butte Lake next Friday and the rest on Saturday. Six miles in, I'm thinking there could be mud part way in or further which would be nice and shorten the walk over snow. I'm thinking of going. Also, this is some of the bunch who I went with where we got 2' of snow overnight on a trip in Dec. into Lake Winnemucca off the Carson Pass. Last week they went into Woods Lake in the same area, didn't receive as much snow but it did get to around zero.


By the way, I've been meaning to say hello, given that I once spent many a week up in your part of the Sierra, based mainly in Quincy and/or Greenville working on geologic projects in the area from about 1991 to 1996. Quincy to this day is one of my favorite spots to stay (some eating spots there I really like, among other things). There's this steak house in Meadow Valley I never ate at but I used to hear good things about. I also like some of the hiking areas around there such as Bucks Lake wilderness and the little known group of lakes on Keddie Ridge. I would also drive to Crystal Lake to fish rather often (most of the hiking and fishing in this area began for me after I stopped working up there--never had much time when I was working there). Anyhow, just seeing the place name Meadow Valley on the board brings back fond memories.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby hikerduane » Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:22 pm

giantbrookie, the "steakhouse" in MV is closed and for sale. Gail keeps the new store next to it open year round and it is part of the deal. I live on adjoining property between Jack's ditch and Meadow Valley Creek. Small world. I have to work out of town now, so I'm gone during the week.:( As I age more I seem to not hit some of the places close to home as much. I used to go for dayhikes in the snow on holidays, pack my bp stove, bring a can of soup, load Pooch up and go out for a few hours or whatever it took to do a loop.

Have you ever been to the Butterfly Valley Botanical area to see the Pitcher plants? I have been there a couple times now.
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Postby dave54 » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:02 pm

giantbrookie wrote:...and the little known group of lakes on Keddie Ridge...


HEY!! Don't talk about Homer, Hidden, and Deerheart Lakes. The locals want to keep them a secret. :mad: :lol:

I mtn bike up there from my house.
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Postby hikerduane » Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:41 pm

A friend and I tried heading up there a few years ago after spending the night on the west side of Round Valley reservoir. Too much snow on the east side of the ridge still, we were trying for Deer Heart.

I should also mention, 4Wheel Bob from Backpacker.com spent part of his youth in the Greenville area and goes up to Round Valley a few times during the year. I met him last summer up there. I'm surprised how many folks I have met from both of these forums who have connections of sorts to Plumas County. jimj is another from Backpacker.com, I've never met him and since I don't visit Backpacker.com anymore, I may never meet him.
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Postby giantbrookie » Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:04 am

hikerduane wrote:giantbrookie, the "steakhouse" in MV is closed and for sale. Have you ever been to the Butterfly Valley Botanical area to see the Pitcher plants? I have been there a couple times now.

Too bad about the steakhouse. I have in fact been to Butterfly Valley but did not see the pitcher plants. Butterfly Valley is geologically very interesting because it is a closed depression--not a situation that persists long in environments such as that. Butterfly Valley is basically formed as a result of geologically young faulting in the area--this is the reason I was studying the geology of this area. In any case, cheers to both you and Dave54. I miss the northernmost Sierra, and now that I'm further away (Fresno vs Bay Area) I probably won't make it up there quite as often for pleasure trips, although I will continue to lead geology class field trips to some of the fabulous geology in the Feather River Canyon and the areas east of the crest (Almanor-Blairsden corridor).
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Postby dave54 » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:14 pm

[quote="giantbrookie]... In any case, cheers to both you and Dave54. I miss the northernmost Sierra...[/quote]

I claim domicility to the Cascades, even though it is by virtue of only a few miles. The range boundary is just below Almanor, really right at Canyon Dam. Although you can find granitics along the Bizz Johnson Trail interspersed with columnar basalt -- really quite stunning with Fall colors mixed in.
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