Every year a group of friends gather their fuzzy 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!
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!
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!
With the morning temperature in the low 30s, it was a beautiful day to hike to the top of Mt. Lola located just down the road from Truckee CA.
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!
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!
I also have another channel where I give vocal lessons!
During all of my hikes over the Sierra the past few years, I’ve had soooo many questions about how and why things are the way there are, geologically speaking. I’d see a huge lava outcropping and I’d wonder when that got there and how? Was it blown to it’s current resting place from a distant volcano? Did it pop out of the ground from an ancient fissure? Just how old are the Sierra anyway?
I’m finally taking some time to seriously study Geology. I have some answers and my hikes are that much more interesting! This Earth has been evolving for 4.6 billion years and we’ve only been here 200,000 years of it. Heating up, cooling down, over and over again with many variations of life forms that have come and gone over the millions of years. Continents moving around, and still on the move. The Hawaiian Islands are moving in a Northwest direction about 4 inches a year! Eventually they will join up with Japan! Australia is moving Northward about 2.7 inches a year. All the plates are moving, some faster than others. Don’t believe me? Study Geology! I would love to drive to Australia.. Mountains pushing up and STILL getting higher. Think Everest is high now? Just you wait! What will be here a million years from now? Us? Something else? Nothing? Hmmm….. things I think about when I hike! Geology is COOL!
Today, we take a short hike up to an ancient lava flow plateau that was formed during the creation of the Sierra Nevada when the entire range was bubbling with volcanoes and molten lava being pushed up everywhere!! Here is some interesting reading about the Sierra.
With winter around the corner, the trees are singing their songs and a warning that a big change is soon to come.
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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!
It’s been a horrible summer for a lot of people in California. Many homes lost, firefighters killed, thousands evacuated for days on end. My big PCT adventure is on hold as the smoke has choked out the Sierra and the Valley and my ranch! I’m so over summer….
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!
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!
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: