Another shot looking up the mad river. I just cant get enough of this place!
My favorite perch over the East Branch South Fork Eel. We have been monitoring a Spotted Owl and a Peregrine Falcon here for over 10 years. The spotty lives in a fat, hard to reach (even by my standards) forest in a gulch above Tom Long Creek and the peregrine lives upstairs in the face of a 500′ cliff.
The picture above is looking north towards Hoopa. Im standing on a very cool rock formation. Where the Klamath Mountains meet the Franciscan geology of the coast range you might come across a limestone rock outcrop like this. Whenever I come across limestone (which is extremely rare in Humboldt) the first thing I think of is caves.
You never know what you might find in some of the nooks and crannies around these rock out crops. Good thing my phone has a flashlight, otherwise I would have never been able to take these pictures.
Yes, that is a bat. Funny thing is, I didn’t realize it was there until later when I was home looking at the pictures. Its even funnier because I was specifically looking for bats! lol In my defense, there are allot of shadows being cast with my light – the cave walls are by no means uniform and smooth – so one bat is easy to miss. After reading up on bats, I think I am calling this little dude Myotis californicus AKA California Myotis. Or possibly a Silver Hair, but caves where not listed in their habitat type – which isn’t always exactly true… Any bat experts out there?
Continuing to explore I see this spot up the hill. Looks pretty dark behind that live oak…
A closer look…
Part of me is scared that there is a ferocious lion or bear in the cave, but so far, I haven’t encountered those animals in these places.
So now Im about 40 feet into the rock. Its hard with pictures to get the perspective, but this tunnel is trending down into the earth. Im more or less crouched down bracing myself as I shine the light down the cave which continues on for as far as I can see. I can also see many little opening through the fractured rocks which reminds me – these aren’t the limestone caves of the sierras. Earthquakes where a major force in the creation of these features and the likely destroyer of them. With a sudden and intense rush of claustrophobic anxiety, I am compelled to leave the tunnel as fast as possible! Which I do.
This is a huge crack in Blue Rock that fractures the bluff right through the center. Looking in, I could see down at least 50 feet or more into the darkness. It could go down easily a 100 feet into the rock.
I got a nice hike in in the Six Rivers off of Route 1 in the Pilot Creek area. On my map I saw this peak, simply 4042. A long time cowboy in the area told me they called it Blue Rock.
I approached it from the bottom, so through the old growth I started to make out a huge bluff. Seriously, the larger trees you see next to the cliff are fully mature Douglas-fir standing at 150-200 feet tall.
The rock face was loaded with cracks and fissures and many dark places extend in the rock. At the base, I noticed this one crack, which as I grew closer I could hear roaring water echoing from out of a crack… Taking a closer look the crack, or hole, was covered in deep green mosses and a cold air was gushing out of the rock like a industrial fan. And somewhere down there in the darkness, perhaps 50 or more feet, a subterranean stream was raging under the rock. Did the flash from my camera reflect off the water down there?
Some views from the top. Old growth forests as far as you can see.
This is a picture looking southeast, into the upper Mad River.