A Hike in Fern Canyon

We spent the week of September 12 in Mendocino with members of our kayaking club. On Wednesday the 14th we took a break from paddling to go for a hike in Fern Canyon.

This is a lovely hike that follows the Little River. The trail winds along the river, crossing the stream a number of times on bridges and meandering through tall redwoods and the fern-lined canyon. Once we had hiked up the canyon, we opted to continue on the trail up to the Pygmy Forest. Here the tall redwoods give way to pines and cypresses stunted by extremely acidic, low-nutrient soil that sits on top of a layer of low-drainage iron hardpan.

We were happy to have some overcast since it can be quite warm in the Pygmy Forest. The soft light from the overcast also made for excellent photography. I prefer the soft light to the harsh shadows and highlights that can happen with direct sun. I also found that the railings on the bridges were a perfect place to park my Gorilla Pod and my trusty Sony RX100 camera in lieu of my tripod. Walking through the dwarf trees feels like walking through an enchanted forest.

We returned to Fern Canyon by an alternate trail, making a loop. When we returned to camp we had logged 11 miles. You can view more photos of our hike here and you can view more details of our track here.

Family Outing to Historic Columbia

The Memorial Day weekend provided us with an opportunity to go explore the historic town of Columbia in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. About 140 miles east of San Francisco. This is gold country, or at least it was gold country after James W. Marshall discovered gold on January 24, 1848. The news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California. The gold rush was rather short lived, though, and by 1855, the rush was essentially over. Columbia was one of the boom towns that arose from the gold rush and the historic park can give you a sense of the history of the region.

 

We were in town for a family get together, a shower to celebrate the anticipated birth of our first grand child.  The old part of town is now a State Historic Park, with shops that sell everything from candy to leather goods and boots. You can also ride a stage coach or pan for gold.

 

 

There were about a dozen of us that explored the town, touring the old school, built in 1860, and exploring the shops and curiosities of the state historic park.

Columbia State Historic Park