CA – Trinity Alps, Stoney Ridge Trailhead (June 2021)

I can’t think of one trail in the Trinity Alps graded easy, so during my knee rehab it’s an area I’ve avoided. In general trails are rocky with plenty of climbing. The rewards are worthwhile but you work for the prize. However my botany friend invited me for a short wander along one of my favorite sections. She knows my limitations and is happy to share a few hours.

The yellow lupine were the stars of the day with an occasional iris to share the limelight.

I discovered the phantom orchids last year, I believe along this very trail, after being introduced to this species by my botany friend.

I was also introduced to the coralroot orchids last year. They were just beginning to bloom on this day.

Another favorite is the California Pitcher Plant aka Cobra Lily.

Rush Lily

Dr Suess-ish sunflower

Blue-eyed grass


I love the variegated leaves on the not-yet-blooming Pyrola crypta, Cryptic wintergreen.

These Green-Gentian were just starting to bloom.

This bee was gobbling up the pollen. It was so loaded I don’t think it could have flown off this Pennyroyal. Look at those wings, so much detail. It gave us plenty of time to photograph.

While yellow was the predominate color of the day, we found a few lavender-colored lupine as well.

It was a great day to celebrate yellow! From my journal notes, “A big milestone day as I celebrated my 8-month rehab anniversary. Not only did I take a hike in my beloved Trinity Alps but I also climbed 1,500 feet over 4 miles while enjoying many of my favorite blooms.”

Other jaunts in the area:

6 thoughts on “CA – Trinity Alps, Stoney Ridge Trailhead (June 2021)

  1. I have a feeling that a couple of years from now, you are going to reflect on all this with such pride and happiness. The pain gone, or almost gone, and the photos, your words, and your memories will be of the “opportunity” you had to more closely explore your closer-in surroundings. Or maybe I am completely wrong, but that is what I am feeling from the enforced restrictions due to COVID-19 that have kept us much closer to home than usual, but allowed us to hike in places near to us that we had never seen before.

    • I’ve mostly decided to embrace this forced pause as a preview of how I might enjoy my wild places as I continue to age. There’s no doubt that my body will fail again and what once was moderately challenging will become too much. I’m grateful I’ve found places to go where I can just sit and admire nature’s beauty without having to hike into higher country, although that will always be where my heart sings loudest.

      Maybe it’ll be the motivator to find a more suitable place to make my home base. It has reaffirmed the pluses of having the security blanket of a home where I was able to escape COVID and rehab from my surgery. It’s nice to have a home gym and a trail system within 5 minutes of my door where I can ride or walk. Convenience is worth a lot like having a community pool in my backyard or a lake just 15 minutes away where I can swim or take my paddleboard.

      I know you and many others are also going through personal challenges. We may not have decades and decades of adventure remaining as those much younger but hopefully it’ll help everyone reset priorities and try to live with fewer regrets and more purpose.

  2. And to say it another way, ““Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” (a saying that has been attributed to several people including the Buddha). Jan, you have a remarkable way of making the best of your circumstances. Time and again, I have observed that the determination? faith? confidence? life experiences? (or perhaps some combination of those and other traits/habits) that have carried you along challenging trails also carry you along, through, and past many other things that life throws at you.

    • When you don’t like Option B, C, or D, you indeed have to dig deep to stay the course. I’ve likened this rehab process to suffering through some sucky sections of trails to get to the WOW again. After the year of COVID restrictions I’ve been reminded multiple times of finding little joys every day. So step by step, mile by mile, we make it along this path called life. Thanks again for your support. It helps!!!!

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