May 22-27, 2013
We relaxed for the most part over the holiday weekend, didn't feel like fighting the holiday weekend Yosemite crowds. We went to the Peddlers Fair, an antique and collectable show in Coarsegold over the weekend, a good show but nothing to get too excited about. Coarsegold has another more interesting festival, a Tarantula Festival, in October to celebrate the Tarantula's coming out to mate.
We also went to the Chukchansi Gold Casino a few miles away for the Thursday dinner buffet. The Chukchansi tribe is the local Indian tribe here and they have a very impressive, huge Resort and Casino. Jay Leno will be perform there in a few weeks ! For me, Casino's are interesting, but mostly sad. First, the buffet is filled with very overweight people just gorging themselves with plate after plate of food. You then go into the Casino and you see all these people who look sort of down on their luck, feeding slot machines as fast as they can and usually losing. I was feeling a little down on my luck lately as well, so I joined right in and donated a few dollars to the tribe.
Saturday, I needed a solo day so I went to the Sugar Pine Railroad in the Sierra National Forest near Yosemite Park. It originally was the rail logging line for the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company. It operates a tourist ride on old trackage through the forest using an early 1900's Shay locomotive and real authentic logging cars. The lumber company had clear cut everything down in this area and now almost 100 years latter it was hard to tell, the forest has grown back. Nature finds a way ! Sugar Pine Railroad
I then stopped at the nearby Lewis Creek hiking trailhead and took a brief hike along the creek, but was a bit uneasy after seeing the warning sign about the Mountain Lions and not hiking alone. Twinkles and I went back to the Lewis Creek trail on Sunday to do the hikes to Corlieu Falls (80 feet) and Red Rock Falls (20) feet. They were great hikes totaling about 5 miles. Lots of wildflowers in bloom and nice views of Lewis Creek.
The Coarsegold Creek runs through the Sierra EKP Park, although it's mostly standing water at present. I was surprised to see the rocky, smoothly polished and eroded rocks along the creek, it must be a raging torrent in early spring. I looked for some of the coarse gold, but no such luck. The old stage line also went right through the campground and they have a old stage coach that residents restored on the property. This is one of the quietest campground we have stayed at, no one seems to walk around, very few dog walkers, the residents seem to stay out of sight.
We hitch up and pull tomorrow for Moccasin Point Recreation Area to the north west, between Chinese Camp and Groveland, California. This area is part of the Don Pedro Lake and is near a couple of interesting old gold mine towns, Groveland and Coulterville and is also about 20 some miles from the western entrance to Yosemite Park.
Keep watching, more to be revealed,
Twinkles and Slick
|Bridal Veil Falls in Yosemite Park, notice the mist blowing at the top|
|Noticed a group of hikers looking at a rocks on trail side, this is what |
drew the crowd, very colorful snake
|View of lower Yosemite Falls|
|Another view of Yosemite Falls|
|People climbing all over rocks in front of the Falls|
|Photo of the Upper Yosemite Falls in the distance through the trees|
|View in Yosemite Valley, those rock walls look so much larger|
when you are there and the meadow is so plush
|Coarsegold Peddlers Fair tables, I miss old tools !|
|I always wanted a Red Rider !|
|Lots of things I agree with here|
|The Coarsegold sign|
|Sugar Pine Railroad museum|
|This guy had to almost push tourists out of the way|
|Heading down the line under steam|
|A stop here for water|
|Lima Locomotive Works # 10|
|Bridge over the Lewis Creek built on top of a log|
|This trailhead sign got my attention|
|Cascading Lewis Creek waterfalls|
|Beautiful butterfly along the trail|
|A near perfect wildflower|
|I had to do some work hopping across boulders to get to this, was worth it|
|Sights like this are all along Lewis Creek, photos don't do them justice, |
need to breathe the pine air, feel the warm breeze, hear the gurgling water
and see the surrounding massive trees
|Another wildflower that I need to identify, so many ?|
|John Muir, The guru of Yosemite and the high Sierras|