Trinity River

Mature Forest

Mature Douglas-fir/tanoak forests located above Willow Creek, CA.

Mature Douglas-fir/tanoak forests located above Willow Creek, CA.

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Willow Creek Radio Tower

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I came across this place exploring off of Waterman Ridge above Willow Creek. If you ever marvel at your 3G reception in Willow Creek, you can thank this tower… It also apparently is a outpost for the fire department.

OK, so I got this wrong. What I meant to say was: “Ever wonder how emergency services transmit information in rural areas? Well, here is one of their remote antennas…”. Or something like that.

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Grays Falls

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I was recently driving on 299 after a sort of “day killer”, meaning I had to go way out somewhere to work for 2 hours and found my self at 1 PM with nothing to do. Then I passed by Grays Falls and remembered a fellow blogger had recently mentioned that spot (Thanks Ross!). So I doubled back and walked down to the falls.

More like rapids than a true waterfall, but a neat spot just the same. The steep cliffs on either side of the Trinity are really impressive. The trail is a easy enough walk, although it is a little slippery in spots. It was raining lightly when I was there, and think the river was up from melting snow in the highlands. You can also take a short trail down to the banks of the river, which goes though a pretty Douglas-fir forests. If you want to go there, just look for the sign on the 299 near Burnt Ranch.

Nooks and Crannies

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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?

http://www.norcalbats.org/aboutbats.shtml#batsCom

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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.