Monday July 23, Mounty Eddy, Trinity Co., CA
Left the house at 5:15 for the 5.5 hour drive to Mount Eddy. There was one other car at the trailhead when I arrived. The walk to the summit was a leisurely one and I saw no one along the way. As I arrived at the summit I saw a young lady and her dog at the west side so I headed over to see if she would take a picture for me. As I neared, her pooch didn’t want me near, so I retreated to the east side where I signed the summit register and had a snack. Clouds started to gather so I didn’t spend much time on top. There were nice view of Shasta, with clouds swirling all round the mountain. Castle Crags and the Trinities could easily be seen. As I made my way back to the car I passed two other couples along the trail. When I arrived back at the trailhead, the one car was gone and there were 5 others there. Where was everybody. The trip took me less time than I thought so I stopped at the little drive through across the freeway from the Weed airport and treated myself to a tasty snack and then headed on to Oregon.
I drove through Medford and on to Four Mile Lake near Mount McLoughlin in the Rouge River National Forest. The campground here is a nice place and there is probably some good fishing. I chatted with one of the other folks there before having dinner and retiring for the night.
Tuesday July 24, Mount McLoughlin, Jackson Co., OR:
Woke to overcast skies. In fact some of the low hill tops across the lake were obscured I listened to the radio as I ate breakfast and the forecast was for fair and warm in Medford and no mention of clouds, so off I went. The trailhead for McLoughlin is is a couple of miles from the campground. When I parked, there were no other cars there. I started my hike through the forest at 7:30. Due to reports I had read, I was fearing hordes of mosquitoes, but there were none. After awhile I climbed up through the stratus layer to beautiful sunshine and a blanket of clouds below me. The clouds eventually burned off too, except for some swirling cumulus. The walk through the forest is long with occasional breaks in the tress for some nice vistas. Even though I was continually going up, I do enjoy seeing the summit and my objective. While on top, I heard a tremendous crashing to the north and looked to see a large rock slide moving down the slope and several big boulders bouncing across a snow field..Two other folks reached the summit shortly after I did, another was just below the summit as the three of us headed off and we met another couple lower down an their way up. What a busy mountain for mid week. And as I got back to the trailhead, there was a bus there with dozens of high school aged kids.
I hopped into my car for the drive to the Warner Mountains south of Alturas, CA. I wanted to get to Alturas in time to stop at the NFS office in order to purchase a map. I spied an office just south of Tule Lake, CA and was able to purchase my map. I then asked about the weather forecast since I saw clouds building. The lady looked it up for me on the computer and even printed out the next two days forecasts! I moved on to the Mill Creek campground in the Modoc National Forest. It is a nicely wooded place and not busy at all. I talked to a few of the others who were there. Most are at this place to fish a lake nearby. There are some pretty falls close by that I took a quick walk to see.
Wednesday July 25, Eagle Peak, Modoc Co., CA:
I got a 6:30 a.m. start for this 16 mile round trip. I was worried about thunderstorms, but all I had were nice small puffy cumulus later in the day. Along the trail I passed a horse and 2 mules tethered to trees and near a large canvas tent, but no others signs of life. Ther est of the trip to the summit was uneventful and I was just enjoying the beautiful surroundings. I noticed several familiar names in the sumit register, although the last person to sign the register was 5 days before me. On the way back down from the summit I passed a guy on the horse, followed by the packed up mules and another guy walking with 5 dogs. As soon as they saw me they pulled off to the side of the trail to let me pass. They did not speak english, but with my basic spanish, I was able to communicate with them. Apparently they were up there tending sheep. I saw no sheep, but did see their droppings. I also heard many cows and saw several in the meadow. Altogether an uneventful day with perfect weather up high, but a bit warm as I neared camp. I passed a couple of teens making their way back to the trailhead from the lake. They asked if I had been to the lake. I said I had been to the top of Eagle Peak. This was met by silence like I was nuts, which maybe I am.
After resting for a bit and enjoying a cold beverage I headed south to the Patterson campground. There was one other couple there. While I was running around to tick off county high points, they travel around with a tick list of trees, other plants and animals to see.
Thursday July 26, Hat Mountain, Lassen Co, CA and Ingalls Peak, Plumas Co. CA:
The 5 mile drive to the trailhead was made longer by cows on the road at two different places that took forever to to get out of the way. I found out that my odometer and the mileages in Suttle’s book do not match up well. Where I parked did not match up with the book’s description, but I could see the peak and headed towards it. through the sage brush flats. The hill soon started to drop away to a steeper slope and I made my way over to a creek about halfway down the slope and found someone has marked this part with surveyors tape. This made the return trip much easier. I reached Lost Lake and was surprised to see a 4WD Jeep and campers at the southwest end of the lake. I made my way to the south side and opted for the route up through the trees. When I finally reached the gentler slope and what I believed would be an easy walk on up to the high point I instead found a slope with thick sage and many rocks. As I hopped and stepped from rock to rock that seemed to be just below the plant tops it must have looked I was walking along the top of the sage. I hit each of the bumps along the east edge to make sure I hit the county high point. I had read there was a register at both the north and south rock piles. I could only find the north one. For my trip off the mountain I decided to come down through the boulder field. In hind sight, I should have headed up the through the boulders too. It had been 5 days since anyone signed the summit register. In fact this peak seems like it doesn’t see much traffic as the register is the original placed by Gary Suttle in 1991 and there is still room.
After a long drive with a great deal of construction along US 395 and lunch in Susanville, CA, I reached what I thought was the road to hike up for Ingalls Peak which is the high point for Plumas County in California. I thought I had followed the directions in Gary Suttle's book correctly. It was 5:45 p.m., but this should be a quick trip up a road to the summit. I headed up the road and it soon ended with a bunch of logging slash. I didn’t feel I had the time to go back to my car and start looking for the correct trailhead, so I headed straight up the steep hillside following logging skids. Apparently some others have done this as I saw a few cairns and footprints. Soon enough I came out on the north ridge and followed it up to the summit. I looked around and could not find the cairn or summit register. I took a few pictures for posterity. I saw the road and realized I must have made a wrong turn on the drive in. Oh well, I headed back down the way I came and instead of a 50 minute round trip as Suttle suggests, I had a 1 hour 15 minute trip.
Now for the drive home. I stopped in Truckee, CA for gas and a quick bite. I also hit more road construction. The rural areas work on the roads during the day and urban (Sacramento) areas do their work at night. I managed to time it just right to hit it all.