Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Overnighter on the South Yuba....

Well, just a bit of a change here. Wed. I finally had hand surgery on my left hand that will hopefully solve all the pain and related issues I've been having the past year and a half. This meant no bike riding for a bit, not like it was happening before the surgery, but hopefully this will solve that problem. No bike and a general lack of exercise meant I was itching to do something, so I dug out my decade old backpack, loaded up my bikepacking gear and the dog and I took off for an evening out.

I had a bit of work to do in the office so we got a bit of a late start on Sat. We didn't get on the trail till 2:30 and needed to get at least 5 miles in to the primitive camp for the first opportunity to set up camp. My goal was to get to Missouri Bar and camp on the beach there. We met a couple of guys I know out for the day on their bikes, looked to be a fun day and I longed to be back on my bike. We saw a total of 13 riders on Sat, pretty good for an out of the way, albeit absolutely stunning trail.

Fall on the South Yuba

South Yuba goodness

 We wandered along the trail in some pretty amazing light, the moss was really vibrant as it hadn't yet frozen and the leaves were pretty amazing as well.

Great moss colors today
Beautiful trees and a lovely ribbon of trail

 We briefly stopped at the Humbug Creek trail and I thought about hiking up towards Malakoff Diggings as this creek is really gorgeous. A couple of trees down across the trail and a portage through some old growth poison oak convinced me this was a bad idea. The history of this area is amazing, there was so much hydraulic mining going on in the hills above the South Yuba that the river bed rose sixty feet higher than it's original bed. This amazing destruction of the rivers was the initiative to ban hydraulic mining in California.
A little history

Humbug Creek today as it should be, imagine 60' of gravel covering this area!

 We made pretty good time to primitive camp, the mandatory stops for pulling stickers out of Sasha's "Made for Alaska" fur coat slowed us down a bit though. I decided to try and make it to Missouri Bar but only got a mile or so in when it became apparent that the stickers were getting worse and I didn't want to be pulling them off Sasha in the dark. We turned around and headed back for the primitive camp.

There were a couple of other souls in the primitive camp so we wandered off to the edge of the river and set up camp in a lovely yet damp spot. Sasha made it down to the river and in an unusual turn of events, waded all the way into the river. Lovely, a wet, sticker and likely tick covered white dog in the tent with me! Good thing she's cute.....It was really wet at the rivers edge, somehow I got a fire going, my fire making skills amaze me sometimes, Bear Grylls can kiss my ass!

Our camp site for the night
Night fell pretty quick and we were off to bed in the new Shires Tarp Tent, plenty of room for me and the white dog! A little reading, a little chocolate, a hit of Rum and I was off to sleep. It was likely pretty cold at the bottom of the canyon, I was pretty warm most of the night but by sunrise I was ready to get up and moving. My Big Agnes Air Core seems to have sprung a leak as well, 4 times during the night I had to get up to blow it up a bit, pissed the dog off as she had to move for me to do this......

Morning, and another miracle fire!

All packed up with a patiently awaiting Sasha!
We headed off about 8 or so for the 5 mile journey back to the car. This backpacking thing was kicking my ass, mostly my shoulders were hurting a bit as the pack I have was bought for me when I was 30 pounds heavier, I'm too skinny for this stuff!

Cool fungi on a downer tree!

The temps were really nice, I was in a long sleeve shirt and jeans and I was just perfect. We met up with a couple on their way out just as we were coming back to the car, they had a medium sized poodle which was scared to death of the white dog, I don't blame it! She's a bit of a spaz and only wants to run and play, but she can look a bit intimidating I guess.

Always looking for something to torment!
A great day and we were home by noon!

No comments:

Post a Comment