Maple Spring was a known watering hole for pack trains from the later 1800s through the early 1900s. A series of important pack trails crossed the rugged coastal mountains of Humboldt County to get from what is now Eureka area to Weaverville in Trinity County and beyond. There were a few important crossings on the Mad River near Pilot Creek, and this spring would have been the first stop to gather water before heading out of the canyon and up to Pilot Ridge.
The old pack trail is almost lost to entropy. There are still blazes that can found on some older trees, and occasionally you can see evidence of the trail, mostly in the form of “U” shaped depressions were millions of sheep once walked.
Here are the remnants of the very trees that gave this place its namesake over 150 years ago. Its neat that these old gnarly maple trees are still here. It even looks like they are doing a good job of re-sprouting into new trees as their previous trucks continue to break up from old age.
Here we are looking west(ish) down on the Mad River. To the very left Pilot Creek drains west into the mad. Slightly up river is Bear Creek, draining east. Now from left to right (or south to north) you can see several known points: Rattlesnake Rock, Amelia Butte, Soldiers Grove, Showers Head and Black Butte.
A few pictures from a trip to Patrick’s Point earlier this year. It was a typical coastal day for the north coast, completely overcast that is, so I dont have any good pics of the view. Excepting some pictures of total whiteout, I still like the colors of the forest and rocks when the sky is white. Its a accurate representation of what it looks like the majority of the time around here. Im going back today and if the sun comes out I may get better results…
About Ceremonial Rock, I could not find any history about it. I presume it was used by the Yurok People for – ahem – ceremonies, but I didnt find anything online as to any specific rites or rituals. The Sumeg village is a neat spot to visit, which is less than 1/4 from the rock. Its real fun for kids because you can actually go into most of the structures, something you have to appreciate in our fenced-off world of liabilities.
Here is a relic from another time. This massive incense cedar must have fallen decades ago. This tree is in an ‘old growth’ forest and the canopy gap it created from its fall now provides light to the understory and a new group of trees has eagerly sprung up along the edge. The tree itself will continue to breakdown over the next hundred years, gradually releasing its stored carbon, some to the atmosphere, some back into the soil.