LAKE CLEMENTINE TRAIL 2X May 18, 2003
After a 21.5 mile walk on the Parkway Saturday, I was still in need of something to do. I sought to make only a shorter drive, and get my daily exercise. Thinking first of the Oregon Bar Trail, I headed up Interstate 80. I took the Newcastle Exit and headed south along what later turns to Indian Hill Road. This comes to the Auburn-Folsom Road, on which I turned left. Shortly, one comes to the side, residential street, Maidu Lane, and take it right. Going through a stop, one quickly comes to the former roadside parking, right, at a bend of the road to the left.
I was chagrined to find there are now "no parking" signs. The gate is locked, but hikers without cars to park can still use the trail. There is only room for three cars, anyway. Disappointed, I snapped a few photos as record, and motored on my merry way. This is the closest trail from the Middle Central Valley, eastbound on the Interstate, to get a continuous thousand feet of gain as exercise.
I knew there are other trails, so took Highway 49 south to come to the parking for the Lake Clementine Trail. I first hiked down to the North Fork of the American River to shoot movies of the rapids. Many people were enjoying the nice day, relaxing. I saw no rafters or boaters, but I'm sure they are there somewhere along this river.
Crossing the old Foresthill Bridge, I sauntered along up stream on wide dirt road. The flowers were still making a pretty sight. Poppies, lupine, wind poppies, vetch, and fairy lanterns are seen on the side of the trail. With only a few things in my pack, I stopped to see and record the natural sights. Some of the river bank is so thick with greenery, one could imagine being in somewhat of a rain forest!
The road turns to narrow trail, although plenty of mountain bikers made their way along. I looked for things to photograph. A squirrel ran up a tree trunk that lay above the trail. Too fast for a picture! Something was rustling in the brush. Probably lizards.
I came to the end of the trail at about 2 p.m. So I will have done maybe 3 miles of hiking, round trip. You are maybe 400 feet above the river there, so there is some gain. I noted my time, then headed back downstream along this river trail.
Speaking with another hiking, digital photographer, we talked shop. It seems he knew some of the same local Sierra Club people as me, although my experiences are less fortunate. I urged some caution as he lit up a cigarette. He walked on, as I stopped for another photo, and I was to pick up a cigarette butt to dispose of in the trash cans at the start of this trail.
Back to the bridge and the cars at 3 p.m., I thought to stroll about the Town of Auburn, now claiming to be the "Gateway to the Sierra." There was an ongoing, antique street fair, but I avoid crowds, normally, for those events. Not spending a penny, then, I motored home on the Interstate.
I shot 39 digital images, and walked maybe 3 miles. I saw no ticks, and the sunny afternoon was pleasant, with a cool breeze. In years past, there might be a thousand users on the river. No such numbers today!
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