Oh My Darling, Clementine! Thursday, 2/19/15
Emails do the arranging for us, which is usually easy and painless. All we have to do is figure out the when, where, who's going, eating before or after and where ... details like this. And so we arranged to meet and eat today and hike the Lake Clementine Trail out of Auburn, CA. Six intrepid hikers this time: Me and Jimmy, Laurie and Odel, Laurie's BiL, Frank, and her cousin, Rosanna. Frank and Rosanna are taking a naturalist's course, and their knowledge added to our hike's enjoyment ... along with a bit of good-natured ribbing!
After a superb early lunch at Katrina's Cafe in Auburn (so much good food!), we drove to the American River confluence, parked and set out.
The Foresthill Bridge is the star of this post and these pictures. This link to the Lake Clementine Trail, gives oodles of info on the bridge itself, as well as some of history of the area. Opened in 1973, the Foresthill Bridge over the North Fork of the American River is the highest bridge in California and the fourth highest in the US. It is very imposing when you're standing beneath it!
The hike to Lake Clementine Dam was 4.6 miles R/T. What's really amazing is that none of us knew or had ever heard of Lake Clementine. The lake was created when the North Fork Dam was completed in 1939 by the Army COE as a debris dam. How about that? Always room to learn another thing or two! (A couple of plein air artists sketching to the left of our group.)
Off we go, approaching the bridge, the river on our left.
Nice to see a plethora of wildflowers. This is Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma pulchellum).
What a showpiece!
"Naturalist, naturalist, what is this flower?" Western Rue Anemone.
Lake Clementine in the foothills.
Gosh, when we saw this waterfall, we scratched our heads and thought, "what about the drought?"
Foothill Shooting Stars.
A faint rainbow appeared where the falls met the river. Native Redbud trees in the foreground are beginning to bloom.
Naturalist, is this California Saxifrage?
A baby Gopher Snake on the path ... we shooed it into the grass lest it get trampled.
Another stellar day in NorCal for being outdoors. This particular trail had a bit of everything for the hiker or biker -- warm sun and cool shade. Ferns and woodsy wildflowers, interspersed with flowers happier in sunny spots. Much of it was relatively flat, till the last quarter mile down to the dam, which pushed us a bit on the way back. All-in-all, we give it a double thumbs up.