Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Small Wheel Society

Charter members of the SWS - Geno, Dennis, Herb, and Peter on their Bike Fridays and Moulton

The first outing of the Small Wheel Society (SWS) took place on a beautiful brisk fall day. The SWS did a excellent 45 mile loop through the delta riding along the Sacramento River, Babel Slough, and hay fields and vineyards surrounding the small town of Clarksburg.

Requisite stops included breakfast at Shorty's La Amistad Cafe, snacks at Holland Market in Clarskburg, a short visit to the Sugar Mill, concluding with ice cream at Vic's.

Big wheels interlopers joined in the fun and crashed the SWS outing.

Four interlopers on the right

The whole gang - L-R Herb Lee, Peter Saucerman, Dennis Renault (from Monterey), Dennis Engblom, Eric Saur, Mike Broderick, and Dick Fraschetti

Herb's Bike Friday

Peter's Moulton

Dennis's Bike Friday

Friday and Moulton trucking down Jefferson Road

Along bucolic Babel Slough

Babel Slough - feels like the bayou

More Babel Slough - watch out for alligator crossing!

Swinging left toward Jefferson

Hammering down Jefferson - the toy bikes can keep up with the big boys - the secret is in the amazing gears

Peter and Dennis

Big Dennis, former Sac Bee political cartoonist and long-time friend from Monterey, was the inspiration for me to buy my Friday. He came up and visited for several days.

Breakfast break at Shorty's, a wonderful Mexican eatery located out in the middle of nowhere

The bikes

The lads

Stopping at the renovated Clarksburg Sugar Mill - transformed from industrial use into retail complex

Tasting rooms from local wineries are located off the main hall

Bac in Sac - final stop at Vic's Ice Cream Parlor in Old Land Park

The brisk day turns warm and the lads seek shade

45 miles later - Eric earns a big scoop

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lake Kirkwood/Caples Creek Hike

Half-moon over Caples Creek Canyon

On Furlough Friday (Oct. 9th), Herb Lee, Mike Broderick, "Furlough Frank" Gerace and I headed up into the Sierra's for an exploratory hike of Caples Creek Canyon. Caples Creek flows out of Caples Lake into a hard scrabble canyon of vast granite slabs and giant boulders. A 15' high waterfall and a series of cascading falls hidden in the canyon was our destination for the day.

We started the hike from the Lake Kirkwood campground. A map we had indicated a trail to the falls but the trailhead was hard to find. We decided to head up and over a giant granite outcropping and work our way toward the falls down the canyon.

The way we went was the hard way and involved some tricky descents. On our way back from the falls we discovered the trail back to the campground. It was well hidden but a much easier way to go, if you can find it.

The following pics show highlights from a great little day hike.

Click on pic for enlarged view

A classic bonsai tree is deeply rooted in the crack of a granite slab

Looking at the waterfalls from Carson Spur off Hwy 88. This was the destination of our day hike. It was harder to find than it looks from the highway.

To get there, we had to cross vast slabs of granite and descend into the canyon

Mike and Frank going up and over the granite outcropping. This was the easy side.

The other side drops off quite precipitously into the canyon. We carefully work our way down the canyon wall and follow the creek downstream to the falls.

Eureka! We found it.

Herb and Mike stand above the 15' high waterfall

A group foto followed by lunch at the base of the falls

Mike discovers potholes on the granite slab. Were they created by nature or natives?

Further downstream

The creek cascades into the canyon


Furlough Frank diving in.

"Help me Herb!"

Lake Kirkwood, a small but beautiful lake where we started/ended the day hike

Several tidy cabins are spotted around the lake. We need to look into renting this one . . .

A cush way to fish

Herb taking in the views of Lake Kirkwood

It's October but too early for fall colors. The aspens in foreground are still green. Black Butte and Round-Top Mountain in background.