Hiking in November

November? It was in the high-70’s where we went hiking today. Dan chose the hike from his northern CA hiking trail book and said that we would go 6.3 miles. When we got to the trail head behind the Fire Station in Cool, south of Auburn, we found out that there was a mountain bike race in progress. So we chose another trail leaving from the same place but our 6 mile hike ended up being 10 miles. For Rusty’s version of the day (and more dog photos) see his blog.DSC_0005 This was very pleasant weather for hiking but it is NOT what we should be seeing in November. There was green grass that germinated with the rain that came over a week ago, and is growing well with the warm weather, but it’s all going to die if we don’t get more rain. That is what happened last year and the hills remained brown and gray with no feed for livestock or wildlife. DSC_0008 Although the situation is dismal if it stays dry, the country is still pretty and the day of hiking was invigorating.DSC_0013 DSC_0023 There was no water until we got to the river and the dogs were certainly glad of that. This is the North Fork of the American River.DSC_0034 DSC_0046 We ended up at the river at the site of the proposed Auburn Dam. I didn’t remember any details about that, but looked up the information after we got home. Construction began on this dam site in the late 1960’s. In 1975 there was an earthquake that was determined to be the result of the weight of the water behind the Oroville dam that is 50 miles north of the Auburn site and was completed in 1968. This caused a delay in the dam construction while the plans were redesigned. Ultimately, cost, potential seismic risks, and relative benefit of the dam site caused it to be abandoned although there were several attempts to resurrect it. I read one report that said that this dam would have been three times as wide as the Hoover Dam but the reservoir that would have filled the North and Middle Fork canyons would hold only 8% of the water behind Hoover Dam. DSC_0048 I didn’t take many photos of the remnants of the dam construction site, but the massive undertaking is obvious. This photo is a detail of the one above, looking across the river. I assume that those white spots are bolts of some kind. The whole wall is covered with cyclone fence as is the wall to the right in the photo above. DSC_0049 DSC_0051 This is a view up river of the dam site.toyon berries Toyon berries. DSC_0068It was a good day of hiking. The dogs are tired tonight.

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