On the eve of ... Monday, May 8th, 2017
We wanted today to be a special sort of day, including a satisfying hike at South Yuba River State Park. It was perfect, weather-wise, sunny and warm, mid-70's ... a lovely day altogether. Jimmy picked our route -- the 3-4 mile Point Defiance loop trail. I was open to either this one or Buttermilk Bend, my hope being to see lots of wildflowers. Buttermilk Bend is an easy out-and-back, basically flat trail running alongside the South Yuba. The Point Defiance trail is more challenging with lots of obstacles on the river side, and you're either slogging uphill or easing downhill. But, it is a beautiful loop trail with views of both the surrounding mountains and the river/lake on the back side of the hill.
Yes, I saw lots of wildflowers!
Including lots of Pretty Faces.
What you see above, as in tall green grasses, is what we saw as we began our zig-zag up the hill. But what a sight -- healthy, graceful and green, thanks to tons of rain this year. Jimmy took the lead at this point, so I could hang back with my camera. Seeing him heading up the trail made me happy, and I know it made him happy to be Out and About. Today is Monday. Tomorrow we'll be busy with lots of last-minute "stuff." Early Wednesday morning, I'll drive Jimmy down to Sutter Hospital in Sacramento where he'll have his Right Knee Totally Replaced. Two years ago he had Total Left Knee Replacement, for which he's been grateful every moment since. His right knee has been plaguing him since our Australian trip, and he's ready to be able to walk without pain.
That's why we are stepping out and enjoying the sunshine today. It'll be a long time before Jimmy can again hit the trails. Please keep your fingers crossed, maybe offer up a prayer, that his new knee surgery is as successful as the last one. I'll be updating ....
We walked alone on this trail, except for a Cal-fire training crew that we encountered further, all of them dressed in heavy orange suits and weighed down with full backpacks. They were on their second loop go-round and on the third one, they'd also be hauling firefighting equipment like you see below. We wished each guy the best, and said we hoped we wouldn't need their wildfire services this summer! They agreed and wished us a good day. We really like this meadow. Along here, we heard, but didn't see, Acorn Woodpeckers.
Did I mention wildflowers? I won't name each one (because I can't name some!), but our hike was filled with glorious spring color. Lucky me!
This is our first sighting of the main Yuba River, before it joins with the South Yuba.
A spring bonanza of color.
This photo shows how high the river water still is, though it's receded enough that picnic tables at Point Defiance campground are no longer under water. The water was much higher here during all those "atmospheric rivers" of moisture we received in January and February.
Here, at the confluence of the Yuba and the South Yuba (the beginning of Englebright Lake), we parked ourselves on a bench to eat lunch. Three pair of Canada geese heard us unwrap our granola bars, and began to swim our way. 😃 You can't really see it, but the water toward the distant shore is ripping along at a manic pace toward the dam.
Oh, we saw lots of these pretty flowering shrubs on the river side!
Bush Monkey Flower, a California native.
Continuing down toward trails end, clambering over boulders.
There's the covered bridge in the distance -- still not open (unsafe). Who knows when it will be fixed and open for foot traffic? With all the snow melt in the high country, the South Yuba River will continue to flow at a cfs rate not seen in years.
It's now Tuesday evening and we've finished all the business we needed to take care of. In fact, the past couple of weeks we've been staying pretty danged busy with chores, now that those monster rains have quit. And, especially since Jimmy will be OCC [out of commission] for a month or so. Windows needed washing, blinds repaired, yard cleaned and weed-eated (is that a word?), garden prepped and planted, all things people can't do in mud and/or might put off, and many of them I wouldn't be able to do by myself.
Tomorrow, we're off to Sutter Hospital. I'll stay with Matt's in-laws in Roseville while Jimmy is hospitalized. We hope to be home on Friday!