CA – March 2021 Jaunts . . . starring Shasta County (Part 1)

I continued marching my way toward freedom from knee surgery rehab (link) during the month. My first big accomplishment was on the Sacramento River Trail in Redding when I was able to walk the hilly side to Ribbon Bridge. My gait was still awkward on inclines/declines. I continued working on hip/quad strengthening.

There’s nothing like stairs to help me gain fitness, and in this case it’s a bonus rehab workout. This 42-step staircase provides a great detour on my walking route.

After a friend recently hiked the Oak Bottom Ditch Trail at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, I was encouraged to do the same. It’s one I’d previously bypassed due to it’s proximity to the highway, plus being relatively short at 2.5 miles and nearly zero elevation gain. But for rehab purposes it was perfect. That’s Shasta Bally in the background.

There were large patches of Indian Warrior aka Warrior’s Plume.

Most exciting was finding first-of-the-season Pussy or Kitten Ears.

When you get spring fever, what do you do? That’s right, pull the paddleboard out of storage and on this 75-degree, no wind day, make a 2021 maiden voyage. If the photo looks familiar it might be because my walk previously was along the right shoreline.

The Churn Creek Greenway Trails provide an option to the paved Lema Ranch Trails on McConnell Foundation land. They include wide gravel paths as well as single track along the creek. Buttercups were showy as they welcomed spring.

It was a milestone day as I reached 8 miles on the mostly flat Upper Sacramento River Ditch Trail, part of the BLM Keswick Trails system. I walked between the Walker Mine trailhead and the Flanagan Trail junction enjoying the rare treat of being outside a burned canopy.

There were a few Indian Warriors blooming but the Toyon Berries were really putting on a show.

This trail offers views down to paved Sacramento River Rail Trail I’d walked several times in February, and where I’d set my previous milestone of 6.5 miles.

When a friend shared photos of a couple wildflowers I’d been anxious to photograph, it was time to revisit Princess Ditch Trail, part of the BLM Mule Ridge trail system. Rain was in the forecast but I knew overcast skies lent themselves to better photography. I started from the Stoney Gulch Trailhead walking south toward the down tree that turned me around on my last visit. The Buttercups spread their cheer along the trail.

First on my search list were these white shooting stars.

I struck out on finding Scarlett Fritillary but I was happy to find these Checker Lily (Fritillaria affinis).

The trail was loaded with Henderson’s Shooting Stars.

I found my first Mariposa Lily bloom of the year.

The Blue Dicks were just coming into bloom.

The most recent WordPress update makes it nearly impossible for me to edit posts, so I’ll attempt to use their new formatting on my next post. If it’s too much work, this may be the end of my blogging for now. Google is also making changes starting in June where I’ll no longer have free photo storage so that’s already had me researching options. Argh CHANGE! sometimes good, sometimes bad, but usually requires adaptation or failure. Wish me luck!

9 thoughts on “CA – March 2021 Jaunts . . . starring Shasta County (Part 1)

  1. You are such a trooper. Isn’t this a beautiful time to be regaining your strength and balanced gait! (On my screen, I am missing the first several images — picks up at Churn Creek. Indeed these changes the provider do make sending newsletters really difficult. My Google Groups one has given me nothing but grief since the beginning!)

  2. It just makes you realize that the digital world is pretty ephemeral – not like vellum and iron gall ink readable after 900+ years. I guess I’m lucky in that I can afford to keep ads off my blog posts and my photos (just the ones that get posted – the rest are on hard drives) on SmugMug. I have a lot on Google Photos but won’t pay Google to not delete them in 2022. WordPress’ shift to block editing was hard at first but now I find it relatively easy to use (they’ve also done some fixes since it was first rolled-out). So please adapt so I can keep following your great adventures! 🙂

    • I’ve always said there’s no such thing as a free lunch so I figured eventually things would have to change. I have loved the evolution of photography as digital is easier to access and store than those boxes or albums of fading photos and negatives. Thanks for the feedback and following along. Yours too is one of my favorite blogs and is very helpful as a resource.

  3. Jaunting Jan, you met our family last summer at Landers Lake, off of the Swift Creek Trail. We had lots of kids and a couple barking dogs. We talked about Weaverville (where I am from) and your trip to Chiricahua National Monument. I was just there two days ago with my sister and daughter. Still a bit of snow. We thought of you. :). It was beautiful!!
    Great to see get up and go! Good luck with continued recovery.

    • I remember you and your family. It’s going to be hard to resist going to the Trinities early this spring but I must say no to snow hiking, off trailing and water crossings for a few more months. Great tho hear from you!

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