Rain Again

Awoke at 3>04 AM to the sound of heavy rain outside, yay! This will fill the rain barrels again, which will provide another mid-week drenching to the water-stressed trees and plants.
Since removing the rocks from all around the base of both our redwood tree and the blue spruce, the additional water has been a boon. The blotchy brown spots on the Sequoia sempervirens “foliage” have reduced in size and quantity, while the green tips on the spruce have have flourished. It’s gotta help these major flora that have been drought-stressed for the past five years and on a water-deprivation cycle.big blue spruce

Drivin’ around

Gassed-up and we took a morning drive up to Swansboro, out Hwy 49 to the Georgetown Road fork, and up 193 through Kelsey up to Georgetown. Yeh, we missed the turn-off onto Rock Creek Road down by the South Fork and headed up too-far. Nice lady at the Stihl shop got us turned around instead of attempting the 4-hour drive down windy Rock Creek Road through the ass-end of the universe. T hat would have been a real missionary trip. Instead we went back down the road and then continued our drive. When we had passed through earlier, the turn-off had been obscured by a CalTrans road crew driving a couple of big trucks and gluing in-place reflector-dots, and escorted by two CHP cars. My eyes were on the cops and trucks and the on-coming traffic and I missed the cut-off.
Anyhow we found the bottom end of Rock Creek Drive where it intersects 193 and followed the basically one-lane road into the canyon along the ridge-side, suspended on the side-hill about halfway between the river and the canyon top, amid oaks and breathtaking vistas that I dared not watch since the drop-off was seriously precipitous. Sweet!!
Rock Creek and 193
Once in Swansboro we drove past the small air-park and around a bit, then out Mosquito Road. We had a vehicle ahead of us about a half-mile who’s brakes were on the whole way down to the one-lane bridge at the bottom and stank to high heaven, Unless it was my own brakes I was smelling. The switchbacks and hairpins along Mosquito Road (closed by a heavy steel gate during “weather events”) were also breathtaking, and I’m glad nobody was coming up at the same time because they would have had the right-of-way and my backing-up visibility was kinda really poor… Both were really neat roads, better on a motorcycle – but one with some good ground clearance and functioning suspension. I might even sell the Mighty KTM raw dirtbike and get a dual-sport with long-travel suspension for such jaunts, as I have not found anybody to go dirt-riding with. Another XR650L with The Button like I once had would just be about right, with the IMS tank and appropriate mods. Perhaps one day Honda will see fit to get EFI onto those things instead of a pumper-carb that needs re-jetting for altitude.

Walk in the rainy meadows

We drove up int he rain to Pilot Hill and met our friend at The Hindquarter restaurant for lunch. Nobody else was there and it never opened, so we drove a few miles up to Cool and the craft brewpub – talking with the pub-staff we discovered that her (the server’s) husband had just played a gig at The Hindquarter – on its last night. They shut down last Saturday. After lunch we went back down the hill for a hike at the Cronan Ranch Trails.
Gradually the sun came out and temps shot up from the mid 60’s to the low 80’s. The dry grasses were burnt blond and still wet, and a musty smelling steam cam up from the sheaves. This dilapidated shack was a movie-set for a 2000’s era made-for-TV movie, “Love Comes Softly”. There were a couple other movies in the series.
We got down to the South Fork of the American River and skipped stones. Normally a lot of kayak-ers and river-rafters pull in here and have lunch, but it was Thursday and the river was quiet. The sky cleared and we knew that the rain must have helped the firefighters.
Some of the smaller Oak trees down by the river were thickly festooned with moss and lichen.
The walk was about a 4-mile round-trip and we saw nobody, only hoof-prints of horses and dogs and deer – and a bicycle tread. Hunting is allowed (smoothbore shotgun for deer) and there’s all kinds of tendentious wildlife besides rattlesnakes, including mountain lions, so I carried.