In between storms .... Tuesday afternoon, 1/11/16
We've endured another rainy week in Nevada City, which is a wonderful way to begin a new year ... that is, filling California's water-starved reservoirs and bringing new life to its rivers. For outdoor folks like us, however, looking out our windows doesn't quite cut it. This time of year, when an opportunity comes to do some walking (a no-rain day), we are ready. We got our chance on Tuesday afternoon when the temp had risen to a balmy 50+ degrees. When I retrieved our newspaper early that morning, I looked east to see bands of deep rose-colored clouds coloring the sunrise, harbingers of the next storm due Tuesday evening. Go now, they seemed to say.
Though the afternoon could only muster up a weak, watery sun, providing no warmth, we enjoyed being Out and About. We've suffered an irreplaceable loss in our family recently, and being active is the best anecdote for us.
A week ago, Jimmy and I hiked Nevada City's Deer Creek Tribute Trail East, putting in a few miles and crossing the suspension bridge. Opting to hike a different section of that trail today, we trod along the "Newtown Ditch" as far as we could go, including a 150' dogleg down to Deer Creek to cross the Chinese Tribute Bridge. Why do people cross a bridge? (To get to the other side!) There's a .6-mile loop trail through the forest on that side. This is called the West part of the trail.
After following the meandering Newtown canal (a former hydraulic mining ditch) through dry chaparral for a while, we came to a split: Canal straight ahead, Deer Creek to the right. Via switchback, we descended to Stocking Flat (an historic name from gold rush days) where the narrow creek canyon suddenly opened up, widening to a broad floodplain. Before us was a Chinese wooden arch and a perfectly balanced footbridge, as well as a couple of benches and picnic tables and native plant beds ... all very tranquil.
California was called "Gold Mountain" by the Chinese. Singularly apt.
Up and around the .6 mile loop trail brought us to the shady side of Deer Creek, where little sun reaches. Just as joy balances sorrow, so, too, will sunny and dry be offset by moist and green. Mosses grew thick on this side; fallen damp leaves made our footing a little hazardous in places. We skirted one or two mud puddles. Soon we could no longer hear the creek, and the silence was good.
Great green mounds of moss. Thick and so soft to touch.
Back on the dry side, Manzanita trunks sported new, beautiful rust-colored bark.
This is all so nicely done. Kudos to the parties that brought the whole Deer Creek Tribute Trail together. We met only a few people out here today, but it looked well traveled. We probably did 5+ miles, most of it easy. Just what we needed. Just what we wanted. Let the next storm lash NorCal.
Aw, heck. Phooey!