Deer Creek Tribute Trail -- Sunday, Jan 3rd, 2016
The last couple of days, Jimmy has been helping our farmer friend, Cliff. They're digging a ditch to lay water pipe, which will ultimately become water troughs for the farm animals -- muddy work! It's been pretty chilly and mainly overcast so far this winter ... depressing weather. At our house, we still have globs of snow left scattered on the ground from our Christmas Eve snow. Rain will make it go away. I don't think snow is forecast in the upcoming week, but ... ya never know! Below are Jimmy and Moses -- Jimmy's on the Bobcat and Moses is chewing a log.
On/off rain is predicted for the next couple of weeks, and we surmised that if we wanted to get in a nice hike, it had better be now ... today will be partly cloudy, no rain till tomorrow. We wanted to try out another trail that has eluded our feet since moving to Nevada City -- Deer Creek Tribute Trail -- so that's where we went today.
It's easy to see winter has arrived just by the no-colors: grays and browns all around, with only a dash of evergreen and moss green thrown onto the palette. Oh, plus an occasional splash of orange/red color. I'm standing in front of a large mossy boulder which looks like it's being consumed by tree roots, smaller rocks and downed limbs! Again, we are hiking in an area covered with boulders, no doubt the result of mining.
This particular section is the only level place on the entire route ... there is nothing level in the foothills! Since we parked at the Miner's Foundry and walked almost a mile to the trailhead, I don't exactly know how far we hiked, four miles or so, maybe more. I'm not even sure how long the trail is as it wraps around both sides of the creek. It was nice to be in sunlight right here.
Downed log? Nope. Artistic water culvert? Yup.
The trail's highlight is the new "Angkula Seo" Suspension Bridge, which spans Deer Creek downstream of Nevada City and connects two branches of the tribute trail. We hiked the entire trail, quite muddy in spots, and when we got home, we took off our shoes in the garage -- those shoes will need a serious washing to get the trail muck off. Never mind that, it was a great hike!
This being gold mining territory, it came as no surprise seeing left-over flumes and dry, overgrown ditches on our hike ... we always discover or uncover cool aspects relating to mining. Of course, this statement applies to today. In yesteryear, the miners all but destroyed every single thing in sight. The collapsed pipe above once connected to a ditch or flume on the other side. Maybe 25 ft in the air?
1916 is when the cement edging was put in to hold water for the now-filled ditch.
Look how strong I've become! Holding up this tree trunk with one hand!
Haha, I hurt my shoulder doing this stunt.
A shameful part related to mining, miners, and the 1800's in this area was the treatment of Native Americans. It's wonderful to have signboards along the trail. This one reads: "From 1848 to 1852, California's non-Indian population increased from 14,000 to over 224,000. This rapid increase in population especially impacted the [local] Nisenan and other indigenous peoples who lived on or near the gold bearing streams. Many were slaughtered and many more died of disease.
The gold seekers cut down the forests, poisoned the streams, and took over the land. The surviving Nisenan tried to adapt, learning to find gold and trade it for goods to support their families. But laws were passed banning them from mining, making their survival even more precarious."
"Angkula Seo (Deer Creek) Bridge and its surroundings honor the Nisenan people, the original people of this area." It's a beautiful suspension bridge, 149 ft long, swinging high over the creek. Thanks to the recent rains, Deer Creek had a lively flow. Further downstream is another section of trail following a canal, which we'll save for a different day.
Bridge work, well done!
Don't misread this picture! The large boulder in rear-center is the size of a dump truck!
The water is crystal clear.
After our hike, Jimmy went back to the farm to play on the tractor! I told him that if times ever get real tough for us, and with a little more practice, he could hire himself out as a ditch-digger! He said he didn't think so! What's more, Cliff's wife, Marlene, has been feeling "under the weather," so I made dinner for the four of us and took it out to the farm. It's always nice to help your friends and neighbors.