Saturday, February 25, 2017

Partially-Frozen Falls

Is it too early for my buddies to be out?
It was 23F when Becca and I went out this morning, and only a few degrees warmer when, with Dr. K, we set out for a trek on the Bridal Veil Falls Trail.  We shouldn't have been surprised considering the temperature, but we were astonished to find the falls frozen in many places, with icicles hanging from the cliff edges.  Some of the ice formations at the base of the falls were gorgeous, and I took a lot of photos there while Dr. K and Becca waited for me in the nearby ramada.  Altogether we spent two-and-a-half hours hiking in pleasantly sunny weather here in the Sacramento Mountains.
Old railroad trestle across the creek

Headed down for a crossing

Footbridge across the creek

Creek water

Manzanita growing alongside the creek

Trail marker :)

Becca headed down the Bridal Veil Falls Trail

I'm going with "Gray Vireo"

Gray Vireo

Pine with cone

Further down the trail

We're headed down to that gorge

Juniper country

About to make a steep descent

Softball-sized rock with a breccia-like crust

Getting close to the falls

We were surprised to find icicles at the falls

Frozen falls

Icy water

Small falls beneath the main falls

Quite a bit of ice in the water

A good portion of the falls was frozen

A step back to see how much was ice

Dripping water kept the center part unfrozen

The pool of water at the base of the falls

Ice stalagmites

More of the frozen icicles

Natural ice cubes in the water beneath the falls

Old homestead near the creek

Riparian woodland along the creek

White Sands

Commander waits at the side of Fresnal Canyon Road

Friday, February 24, 2017

Salado Canyon Trek

Salado Canyon Trestle
Dr. K, Becca and I set off this morning fully intending to hike the Bridal Veil Falls Trail, but when we got to the parking area it was already completely filled with vehicles.  So we continued down Fresnal Canyon Road to the Salado Canyon trailhead where there were no other cars.  We hiked the trail back along the creek into the canyon where we encountered a group of hikers at Bridal Veil Falls (undoubtedly the same ones whose cars were parked at the upper trailhead).  Becca had a playful meet-and-greet with one of the trekkers' dogs (either Tass or Tazz), a young Lab/English Pointer cross who was very energetic.  On our return leg we decided to extend the hike down to the restored train trestle.  As we crossed it we were pleased to see they had repaired some of the dangerously rotted planks with sturdy new ones.  We probably logged about 3.5 miles on our outing today.
Becca and the 39 Steps

Midway pause

Topping out

Dr. K ascending steps

Look back at the canyon

Another look back

Slight rise on the way in

300 million years ago this was the bottom of a deep sea

Much deeper in the canyon now

Local weed

Getting close to the falls

Perennial creek

Soaptree Yucca in the high desert

Victim of a long-ago flood

Getting close

Creek just below Bridal Veil Falls

Dr. K with Becca far in the lead

Approaching the gate

Who's this watching from the forest?

Riparian area in Salado Canyon

Heading back

Some steep drop-offs here

Why bother with switchbacks when you can climb a stairway to heaven?

Shall we cross the trestle?

The creek that runs from the falls

Crossing back

A look at the creek from below the trestle

You can almost hear the burble from this small falls

Rippled creek water

Not sure which sparrow this is

Pool of creek water

Where we parked the Jeep