We have Autumn Fever! Wednesday, 10/05/16
Autumn days like these are simply too good to waste. It's much too nice to be indoors for people like me and Jimmy. There'll be plenty of chilly, wet winter days to stay inside by the fireplace, with a fascinating read and maybe a cuppa coffee to warm our innards. Right now, we want to feast our senses with images like you see below.
This morning started out cool, around 50 degrees. We debated about where we wanted to go ... high country? Yuba River or American River? Then I recalled a hike we made with Laurie and Odel a couple of years ago to Hidden Falls Regional Park near Auburn, CA. This park is roughly 25 miles downhill from our house. I packed a lunch and we took off under an unlimited blue sky.
The beautiful California golden hills.
Our hike began here.
From the parking lot, the trail started descending, switchbacking into the canyon through a mixture of pines, oaks and open spaces, and arriving after about a mile at Deadman Creek. We found this bench and sat for a bit. I'm not sure of the water's source, but I was (again) amazed to see water flowing. The volume may not amount to much, but it's nice to walk along listening to a gurgling stream.
Above, I was checking for berries (none), but later on, I did find some delicious tiny wild grapes, which I ate. I offered some to Jimmy, but he declined. He said he needed to be able to drive the car in case I needed to go to the hospital. I don't think he quite trusts my foraging.
The hillsides of this regional park were covered in native California Buckeye, Aesculus californica. aka California Horse Chestnut. It's a small tree that enters dormancy in the dry summer months, hence the dry, brown and shriveled leaves. The Buckeye seeds out of their husks do remind me of chestnuts.
Part of Hidden Falls cascade.
Near the confluence of Deadman and Coon Creeks, is the bridge that connects the many canyon trails on either side of the creeks. I don't know how many miles of trails are in the park (lots). Bicycles and horses are allowed on some of the trails, and we saw a few horses (and their calling cards) and bicyclists. Otherwise, we trod along peacefully without disruption. We don't hurry and we stop as often as we feel like it, to take in a viewpoint or something that catches our fancy, or to focus the camera on scenes like these. Hiking up and down hills gives us aerobic exercise! Only a few things would make me want to hurry -- lightning (like this time) or a bear hot on my heels, or a rabid dog chasing me.
We opted for the Canyon View Trail (the curvy one below the gravel road) for part of our five-mile R/T hike. The dark tree color you see are the Buckeyes.
On the opposite side of the creek, a viewing tower overlooking Coon Creek Gorge, with benches and an overhang, makes a great rest stop. We'd already eaten our lunch. Again, Buckeyes are in the foreground. The jagged rock is another feature in this park. Those tall, light-colored trees are Gray Pines, sometimes called Digger Pines.
Along Coon Creek the walking is easy. Picturesque, too. (above and below)
I'm using a new-to-me Canon G16 camera (from my brother), which is heavier than my usual point-n-shoot, but I like it. The lens is clean (hallelujah) and I believe it takes better pics. I wanted to give it a try on this hike. So far, it's a keeper.
I'm not sure. It vines.
On our climb back to the parking lot, we crossed this dry creek bed.
This track led us to the parking lot. The temp when we got to the car read 75 degrees, an absolutely perfect day to be Out and About. The light northwest breeze was a bonus. It was January when we visited Hidden Falls with Laurie and Odel, and we like to have froze to death. Mucho better today! We were home by 3:30 and ready to hit the shower and be off our feet. We so enjoyed our day!