Upper Deadfall Lake
An absolutely beautiful morning inspired me to head up to Deadfall Lakes. Starting up the trail at 7:30 am, it was cool and calm, and I decided to keep going up to Mt. Eddy if it wasn't too windy. Finally in sunlight as I got to the middle lake, I slowed a bit on the steep section below the Upper Lake, then stopped briefly to shed layers and take in the scenery. Still no wind to speak of, but puffy clouds drifting across the peak said otherwise.
The only time I was hiking in anything that could be called a "wind" was on the switchbacks below the peak, but for some reason once I got to the top it was almost calm again. I spent about an hour sitting there watching clouds form, build, and drift away, followed shortly by others that did the same. Finally I collected the obligatory selection of interesting rocks and headed down. I couldn't remember a better day as far as the weather was concerned — an almost overly blue sky, shorts and t-shirt temps, and only a few other hikers along the trail. About 11 miles and a little over 5 hours spent in one of my favorite spots, only a ½ hour drive from my house.
watching clouds go by on Mt. Eddy
Mt. Eddy and Mt. Shasta (infrared)
Another beautiful day and I headed over to Bear Valley, the next drainage south of Deadfall Lakes. To access the "divide" between looking down on Interstate 5 and looking down on the Trinity River Canyon requires hiking about 2½ hours up to the ridge above the Upper Deadfall Lake, but using the Sisson-Callahan Trail through Bear Valley only takes about an hour, with the view [above] looking down on the upper reaches of the North Fork of the Sacramento River, where the trail continues down to Lake Siskiyou.
The big meadow was about as "moist" as I can remember — not the place to be if you don't want to get your boots wet. Still lots of wildflowers left, and zillions of tadpoles wiggling away as you plod along the shallow spring-fed channels.
Bear Creek along the Sisson-Callahan Trail
Wanting to visit another section of the Sisson-Callahan Trail, I followed it for awhile below Bear Valley, on its way down to the Trinity River. If there were ever sections of a trail that qualified for a description of being "indistinct" I was on a few of them — sometimes I made better time wading through the Alder thickets. Since the trail sometimes gets used by people on horseback (ugh!) you'd think that it would be easy to follow, but there are spots going through meadows with shoulder-high grass that show absolutely no sign of anything larger than a mouse having passed by.
Bear Creek is the summation of several springs coming together in Bear Valley, and I followed it down until it met up with Deadfall Creek, which drains the Deadfall Lakes. Again there were wildflowers everywhere, and everywhere an uncommonly blue sky as well.