Splish/Splash! Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
Another round of Pacific storms is making its way inland today. The weather service made dire predictions of flooding and the usual mud slides because the ground is already saturated. Rain to continue thru next week, with possible snow showers Monday and Tuesday morning. I understand all this wet stuff works to alleviate the ongoing drought, but ... this could get tiresome. Though the rain is melting our snow piles, there's still plenty of snow patches up where we live.
This morning (since we had no other agenda), I suggested to Jimmy that we drive down to the Hwy 49 bridge over the South Yuba River to see how high the water is. This is another section of So Yuba River State Park, and it's only about 11 miles away. With overcast, drizzling skies, we weren't optimistic about doing any hiking, but we wore our hikers anyway. I wore my rain jacket, too. The temp when we left our house was 46 degrees, but it would skyrocket to 50. That'll help melt snow.
This overview shot shows the old bridge in the foreground, now used only for foot traffic; parking is to the left of the old bridge. The bridge in the background is the new Hwy 49 bridge, and below both is the raging South Yuba River. Patchy fog hung over the hills, and since the drizzle had nearly stopped, we decided to step onto the Hoyt Trail. On the opposite bank is the Independence Trail East.
From the bridge, looking east, the roar is deafening.
Hoyt Trail is another one we hadn't done yet, and, while it was up and down, it was very scenic.
Wet Manzanita bark looks exotic, almost tropical with its deep, wine-red color.
This part of the So Yuba River St Park is well-used in summer, so there's lots of side trails leading down to the river. Many of them were steep and not user-friendly-looking due to being water-logged. We did navigate down two of them and got up-close to this wild and crazy river. I needed no warning about getting too near the water's edge!
Only one colorful bloomer amid ferns and mossy greens, the pretty Indian Pink, (Silene californicac). Dreaded poison oak leaves were just emerging and looked so innocent, uh-huh, but I knew them for what they are. I can't stray off any path hereabouts, and even so, when I got home, I washed with Technu.
"I'm dreaming of GOLD!"
Well, well, here we are at Hoyt's Crossing! Last November, when my sister visited, we were at Hoyt's Crossing on the other side of the river! If you can, compare the two posts; the difference in water levels is dramatic. Look how this sign been altered. Needless to say, we saw no naked bodies Out and About today! Maybe we should return in summer ...?! (Actually, we didn't see anybody at this spot today, and only a few people using the trail, since it drizzled off/on.)
How? Why? Imagine the noise if the top boulder toppled. It's as big as a boxcar.
Jimmy sat on this large boulder in the water a few years ago. The river was shallow and placid that day. Today he wouldn't be able to reach that big ol' rock! Click here to see what it looked like then.
Waterfalls, whirlpools, rapids, water cascading from its 7,000' source, corkscrewing down, down to the sea.
Last November we walked into this cave (tunnel) without getting our feet wet! Today it roars!
After our two-mile R/T hike, we returned to the bridge. I spotted this car in the parking lot, and thought, "No way." Two young men were getting gear out when we approached the car. I asked them. "Are you really going to kayak in this maelstrom?" Yup, came their reply -- from the Hwy 49 bridge to the Covered bridge (see my "On Your Feet" post), maybe an hour-and-a-half tempestuous "ride." When Jimmy and I were peering down into the river earlier, I looked at him and said, "In a word -- violent." He replied, "Powerful." More power to the young people braving water like that which you see below. Personally, I think they're nuts.