The… OMG I Can’t Believe I Walked UP THAT Hike!

The Sierra Buttes lookout tower was originally perched on top of this rock at 9000ft back in 1915! Can you believe it?

Over the years the original wooden structure was replaced by concrete and metal. In 1964 the crazy STRAIGHT UP stairs were put in place.

How the workers got up to the lookout before the stairs is beyond me as I can’t find any information or pictures of this lookout tower back in the old days!

If anyone has info and pics, please share!!!

This tower has been decommissioned and again, I can’t find any information on when they stopped using it. I guess I could call the Forest Service!

Anyway, this is a MUST DO hike. However… if you are afraid of heights, or have vertigo, you might not want to go all the way up on the crazy stairs. They are steep and I really had to concentrate on my footing and not look behind me as I went up! Going down wasn’t as scary.

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Mt. Judah and Donner Peak! OMG!

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!

 

The Stuff I Carry in My Day Hiking Pack!

Even if I’m doing an easy 5 miler in the high country, I always carry the 10 essentials and MORE! After having to almost spend the night in the high country completely unprepared after a short little hike to a lookout tower, I learned a hard lesson! I know carry items to sustain me in the wilderness for a couple of nights until help arrives.
Disclaimer: This is what I carry. You may have different ideas! I’d love to hear them!

Here is the link to the fiasco I was involved in a couple of years ago where I almost had to spend the night in the freezing cold!

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Mount Harkness Story

Compass: https://amzn.to/2t2yoQ4

Emergency Bivvy Bag: https://amzn.to/2ykuwyS

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter: https://amzn.to/2tbtCyV

Small Gerber Knife: https://amzn.to/2t0wTlz

Light folding Saw: https://amzn.to/2HSFVWj

Tyvek Sheet: https://amzn.to/2HSVIo6

Personal Locator Beacon: https://amzn.to/2HRqIos

Bug Head Net: https://amzn.to/2lbOtyv

Anker Charging Station (20,000 mil Amp) https://amzn.to/2l9Nwa5

Butt pad: https://amzn.to/2t1aS5Y

Cooling towel: https://amzn.to/2LPw2Lt

GPS Navigation that I use with my phone:

Gaia:https: https//www.gaia.com
Guthook for PCT: http://www.guthookhikes.com/apps
Halfmile for PCT: https://www.pctmap.net/
Wikiloc: https://www.wikiloc.com
Peak Finder: https://www.peakfinder.org

Day Trippin’ at Loney Meadows

Loney Meadow and Bowman Mountain are located in the Northern Sierra in Nevada County California. This 8 mile look is abundant with spectacular views, wildflowers, old growth pine forests and is probably in my top 3 favorite places to hike!

Here is the link to where we hiked.
https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/rock-lake-via-loney-meadow-and-bowman-mountain-lake-25410670

Our Neighbors are Freakin’ COOL & Weird!

We live right next to Beale Air Force Base! Our property is just outside the back gate!  Living next to an Air Force base can be weird at times. We hear all types of strange announcements over the loud speaker, weird sirens, and see odd planes coming and going.  There is also a gigantic over-the-horizon radar structure that we immediately get asked about by friends who come over for the first time. The radar was built in the Cold War to give early warning of a nuclear attack.  I guess that’s a good thing? When we first moved in 18 years ago, we couldn’t use our VCR or analog answer machine without hearing pops and static over our movies and messages because of this radar!! Thank goodness we are all digital now! However, it still interferes with some of my recording equipment and camera microphone on certain days.

The military has its secret,s and when they are your immediate neighbor, it spurs your imagination and sometimes paranoia. I can’t just go walking up to their door and say “howdy neighbor what’s going on here” without a large – fully automatic rifle pointed at me!  I better have good reason to be there!

A few years back, there were 5 large planes from the base that circled our neighborhood at about 2000 feet for several hours every night!  These planes carried a crew of six and were outfitted with equipment to listen in on phone conversations.  We were told they were just training and not really listening to us..  hmmm…….

Our neighbor also has the U2 Spy plane that takes off like a rocket daily, flying to foreign lands to see what’s going on.  The U2 can go check out the happenings in the middle east and be home by dinner!  When it takes off, we can hear it climbing to its 70 thousand foot cruising altitude for a good 15 minutes!  The pilot has to wear a space suit! Oh and our neighbors have a really REALLY cool drone called the Global Hawk!

Today our mysterious neighbors invited the public to enter this secret-mysterious land and treated us to an airshow free of charge!

With the Sutter Buttes as a backdrop, the show was pretty spectacular! If you are into airplanes, you are gonna LOVE this video!

 

 

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A Couple of FLAKES in Yosemite!

Alex and I have been going to Yosemite for many years during the fall. The crowds are gone, the colors are amazing and we can camp right in the Valley  with pretty much last minute reservations!   We have NEVER been there in the Winter.

So this time, Alex (my hard working husband) treated us to a room at the Yosemite Falls Hotel for two nights in the Valley… a little pricey, but way worth it in the Winter.

Chains were required unless you have 4 wheel drive with snow tires.

And Yosemite didn’t disappoint!  We got a show of epic proportions!   I wish we could have stayed longer, but at 288.00 a night, well, yeah… you get the picture.

 

OH And make this video FULL SCREEN!  You need to see this BIG!

A Christmas Eve Flight and Watching for Santa!

On this episode of TwylaWorld, Alex and I jump in a 172 SP and take off out of UC Davis airport to make an hour flight up to Redding CA.  We met up with some long time friends and had a great lunch.

The air was smooth, there was hardly anyone flying so the radio chatter was pretty dead and we couldn’t have asked for better weather in December.

Many years ago, I worked at the little airport we flew into. (Benton) I booked the charter flights, rented airplanes and scheduled student flights. I was the Hertz Rental car agent, I arranged for the fueling of aircraft, and I did some bookkeeping. It was a crazy busy little airport during this time and I also gave runway advisories to incoming aircraft as the Unicom operator!

Fall is Falling on the Ranch!

I used to LOVE summer. But, as I get older, I can’t take the months of  100+ degree temps that we get in the Sacramento Valley. When fall finally shows her colors, I get extremely happy! I can go outside and my hair won’t immediately combust!

Last night, clouds started to roll in and with them our first real rain of the season. I thought I’d head out and capture some moments on my ranch in Northern California. Enjoy!

I just got this Panasonic Lumix g7 to ad to my camera collection. I’m just figuring things out with it and still dialing some things in. I hope to take this camera with me on the PCT next year for part 2 of “The Long Ride” which you can see here:  The Long Ride

Patsy and Twyla’s Awesome San Francisco Adventure!

Follow along as sisters, Patsy & Twyla have an adventure in San Francisco.
First we take the Ferry from Vallejo to Pier 41 then we head over and meet some very famous people at Madame Tussauds, then we had a mis-adventure at “The Dungeon” next door. After lunch we head over to the Exploratorium and try our hand at traversing the Tactile dome.

The Long Ride

On August 7th of this year, three women decided to take a trip on their horses from Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite to Donner Summit.  The trip was supposed to be 200 miles. However, after day 5, with equipment failures, terrain that is not horse friendly whatsoever, snow,  and the extensive time it takes to pack and unpack each day at camp, they fell behind and knew they would be ending the ride for this season sooner than they planned.

Did this discourage them?  Heck NO! They are going back next year armed with experience and lessons-learned to continue where they left off. I plan on hiking behind them filming each step of the way.

If you are debating weather to traverse this section of the pct on horseback, take a look at this film.