April 14th, 2010. Waiting for the 7:05 AM Mendocino Coast Transit Bus. For the first time I am not taking my vehicle to a trailhead!
$2.35 for seniors!! A sixty mile ride from Fort Bragg to Ukiah, CA. Turned out I was seated next to another backpacker so we had stories to share and the time flew bye.
Ah! Ukiah.. Haiku spelled backwards. What's not to like?
The plan is to spend the night with my friends who own Earthenware Potters in Ukiah and catch a ride to Sacramento with Doug the following morning. Just some of the pots awaiting decoration at: http://www.hoymanbrowestudio.com/
April 15th. My driver Juan Fangio, no wait, I think that is Doug. He just drives like Juan Fangio!!
And suddenly I was there. The Judge-Davis trail-head beside HWY 20. No more zoom-zoom of the car and interesting conversation. Suddenly total silence except for a few bird calls.
A cursory glance at the signage and up the hill I go.
Oh boy Tule Elk!! I "herd" they might be in the area. :-)
My first view of the Rumsey canyon, that notch in the distant range.
Cow shit and clay. The livestock has really torn up the trail.
The ground is mostly red clay. The spring rains softened it and the cows churned it up. It is going to dry very lumpy!
I happened upon what I figured out to be a fresh water collector. There was an underground tank that it drains into but it looked to be broken and out of use.
Time for my noon time snackage.
The trails are sparingly marked.
My first blossoming bush. Not me. The bush!
I'm not sure what they are.
Digger Pine, Gray Pine, Foothill Pine. I just know they really make a lot of nice white noise in a breeze.
I happened upon these two day hikers from the City of Davis. I sat and talked with them when they broke for lunch and then we went our separate ways.
I had pretty much used up my two liters of water I started out with and decided to visit this pond I could see on my GPS. It is one of many collection ponds made for the livestock. My Katadyn filter took care of the filtering issue.
I decided to call it a day and set up camp.
My new red Ray-Way quilt can be seen in my "The One" tent by Gossamer Gear.
And here they come.
These young guys probably never saw anyone camp by their pond before.
Mom came to check me out also.
Evening dinner of dehydrated Stir Fry. I'm using my tomato can wood stove with a handful of dry twigs from neighboring bushes.
Red Bud!! Yep! It's happening!
And then there was this stump. It inspired me to greatness!
Me and thee. Evening coming on.
The dwindling sunlight on Glasscock Peak.
A strange cloud pattern as evening falls.
April 16th. Up, breakfasted, packed and off I go... that a way.
I stopped by the cow pond to top up my water supply. Not the most palatable looking stuff but after filtering it wasn't bad.
Pond and pines. Good bye.
And good bye to you too, mom. I like your doo!
More and more flowers on the south facing slopes.
The cows have kept the place trimmed to a park like setting.
I do believe this is a black bear print. Front paw. There were several prints in this area but this was the best one for photography. Never saw the actual bear though.
Some parts of the trail are fire-breaks through the chaparral. And a good thing to. Other wise there is no way to get through this dense brush.
Recent work on the trail by a small bulldozer. It turned out that I was actually walking the Cache Creek Crest trail, not the Judge-Davis trail!!
BLM has fenced off various areas to "intensively" graze the cows as a means to remove invasive plants so, every now and then, a gate to let myself through.
An amazing blue these flowers have. Meadow Larkspur?
Getting closer to the Rumsey cut. The Rumsey cut or canyon is very similar to the John Day cut but on a smaller scale. A river passage cut through the hills.
I happened upon a Geocache at the high point of the Cache Creek Ridge trail. The log book was water soaked. It was placed here January 2nd, 2005.
One of the solar power fence chargers to keep the wire hot for the cows!
First view of Cache Creek on the west side of the ridge I am hiking.
A fire has swept through this area some time ago and Indian Paintbrush seems to be one of the first plants to return.
The green of the new grass is unbelievable.
Trying to capture both the red and the green in one shot.
Pretty country this time of year. It won't be long until it is all dried out and full of stickers and way too hot.
Observing Microsoft clouds.
More clusters of flowers are happening the lower on the south slopes I go.
A defunct bulldozer.
Nearby a cannibalized loader.
Steep slopes. Another view of Cache Creek to the southwest.
I don't know. I don't have a book for flowers is this area.
I happened upon this grave for a dog named "Ol' Blue. The sign said the dog was killed by a buck in August 1992.
Cache Creek and Bush Lupine?
My first Sunflower. All by itself.
Camp for the second evening.
Rumsey Canyon closer in view.
A quick collection of sticks and it is tea time.
Home Sweet Home.
On tonight's menu; Re-hydrated Stir Fry.
NeoAir "Medium Length" air mattress. PacerPoles. Nike Zoom Elite running shoes.
Wool stocking cap for sleeping and early mornings.
Cobweb weaver spider? There were many of these in the short grass. Easy to spot in the morning dew.
Morning sketch session of the Rumsey Canyon Cut
I had hung up my sleeping quilt to air and got inspired to try a watercolor!
Oh well. :-)
I noticed to the north north east some snow covered peaks. The whiter peak to the right I think is Mount Sanhedrin.
Almost succulent like.
Coyote print. I had an enjoyable Coyote Sing during the night. They were more yippers than howlers.
Here is the rear end of a mouse! A swarm of ants working on it. Why the rear part was dropped by a hawk or left by a Coyote, I'll never know.
More firebreak through the chaparral.
Ceanothus in bloom.
And finally, starting down towards the confluence of Cache Creek and Bear Creek.
I happened upon a nice little stream and filled up.
Highway 16 comes into view. Red Bud in bloom.
The confluence. Cache Creek very silty Bear Creek running clear.
Two kayakers appeared, bringing their kayaks down from the car parked by HWY 16.
I thought they were going to set off down Cache Creek.
But evidently the red boat was the instructor and the yellow boat was just practicing "screw rolls".
Back to the flowers!
I was taking a break from the steep climb back up to the Cache Creek Ridge trail when two RV's flew overhead! My son is building a RV-7/A. I will be helping him paint it when it is ready for paint later this summer.
Back to the up and more up.
Gathering sticks for my evening's tea and meal.
Camp #3 set up at the same place I camped the night before.
And in the morning I am packed and ready to "press on".
Sunflowers are sparce but spectacular.
To the west of Cache Creek Ridge I see large areas that were burned possibly when we had all those lightning strike fires several years ago.
Another man made stock pond.
With happy inhabitants. Early on I figured out not to camp too close to these ponds if I wanted a good night's sleep. These buggers are loud!!
Okay. Here you go.
All of these are very small and close to the ground.
Lizard. California Whip Tail?
While I was writing down everything I had seen a mosquito decided to join me. Unfortunately he came to a bad end and landed on my moleskin book!!
It seems BLM had been out checking the condition of the trail or maybe where their cows were and kept track of thing by hanging ribbons along the trail.
I happened upon this well built stone shed. The years and yahoos had been unkind but it had been heroic once upon a time. Why it was built and what for... no idea but sure a lot of work.
Someone had left an old horseshoe on the remains of one wall.
This stream and waterfall nearby. A beautiful secluded location.
This fire ring nearby, obviously a favorite camping area for folks who build fire rings and leave burnt beer cans in them.
I happened upon several fenced in areas like this that are "test" plots to see what grows where cows can't graze.
One of many trails laced through this area.
Someone had left a couple gallons of water for future travelers.
I'm following a different ridge that has swung east and then south towards the Rumsey cut.
Can't step without stepping on flowers.
Massive digger pine
Such a subtle but sweet aroma wafting off these wee flowers!
Southern slopes, lower elevations and warmer days really bring out the flowers.
I definitely hit it right!
Camp #4. Perfect view but far enough away from the frogs!
A change in the weather.
Me and a tree!
30 percent rain was promised. For once they were right!
A spring loaded pass through gate. Designed so folks don't have to get off their horse.
Some sort of Columbine?
Coming down towards "Cowboy Camp" access along HWY 16.
Bigger and more variety.
A non-automatic gate.
Big meadow near Cowboy Camp.
And back up into the hills on another trail.
I happened upon a decent stream so gave my tootsies a treat.
Along with the rest of me.
Now we're talking!
I noticed some orange color up by the dead tree different than the rest of the flowers I had been seeing.
Went up to take a look.
Just California Poppies. But spectacular California Poppies! and only in this area!!
Just above the poppies was the remains of a building.
And the resident lizard.
In the process of poking around the fallen down building I stepped on a nail! Right through my left shoe and into the bottom of my arch!!
I hobble back down the slope to my backpack, pulled off my shoe and sock and could not find a mark! Weird! Am I lucky or what!!
Cracked bedrock underfoot. Very lacy.
And then, the steep part! Up, up into the woods.
Different environment, different flowers.
Digger cone. During my hike I heard three of these fall. Do not camp or rest under one of these trees!!
This oak has grown since the barbed wire was wrapped around it.
Bureau of Land Management.
Referred to as the Roadkill Cafe.
Starting to sprinkle. Camp #5. Just in the lee Cache Creek Ridge and the wind and rain coming in from the south west.
Wet wood. Time to use my alcohol stove.
Top of the morning to ya! It was a wet and windy night.
Hiking the interconnecting trail between the Cache Creek Ridge trail and the Judge-Davis trail.
Very different environment where the cows have not been grazing.
The first Japanese Iris I have seen the whole trip.
It was a long down up down and down some more walk to get down to Cache Creek where the crossing is to the Red Bud trail.
The high water was receding but it was still to strong to cross. I didn't intend to anyway.
Making tea in the vestibule of my tent while the rain came down.
Camp #6 beside Cache Creek.
Hiking back up the Judge-Davis trail in light drizzle.
I kept my mind off my troubles while hiking up and up by looking for heart shaped rocks. They are there but they are far and few between!
Almost to the top of Judge-Davis. Weather improving.
On the north, damper, side of the hill the trail was still wet and sticky!!
Back to HWY 20 and a short walk west to my final camping spot for the night.
And my friend.
A tepid soda spring nearby and the smell of sulfur now and then.
2:30 PM. At the trail head waiting for my ride. Spring Break 2010 in the bag!
Here is the complete list of what I saw.
And here is where I went!