Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend rambles

I've got a few other (potentially more substantive) posts in the works, but I hope you don't mind a short one about my weekend rambles in the meantime!

Saturday I got out for around a 20 mile run, all on trail, just about a 20 minute drive from the tent. I started from the Edwards Crossing of the Yuba River. I ran upriver along the South Yuba Trail, and took the Humbug Creek trail to Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, where I made a loop around the park using the Rim trail and Slaughterhouse trail, and then ran back the same way.  A lollipop route, if I may.  Malakoff is quite a marvel, a testament to the power man has to dramatically alter the landscape- it looks like a miniature Bryce Canyon.  It was formed by the use of hydraulic mining to extract gold, a method using pressurized water cannons to literally blast away soil and wash it down into sluices and channels.  As an added bonus, they dumped tons of mercury into the eroded soil to help extract more of the gold flakes.  Nothing like leaving a legacy for your children, eh?  "Hey kids, here's this unnatural, denuded landscape, but doesn't it look neato?!  Oh yeah, don't drink that water or eat those fish, that would mess up your life for sure.  What about all the money we made, you ask?  Well, I'm not sure where that went... no one lives here anymore, but isn't this ghost town neat to look at too?!"  Okay okay, enough with the sarcasm.  But I sure wish people would be a little less selfish and short-sighted, and that we would learn from past mistakes. The ones we've made 1,000 times, and that we continue to make over, and over, and over again.

ANYWAY, most of Sunday was devoted to pulling invasive scotch broom with some coworkers and high school age kids from the Sierra Native Alliance.  Talk about an endless battle!  It came out pretty easily from the moist soil though, so it was nice to clear out some areas and appreciate the difference it made, at least in the short term.  I still think that people who devote their lives to invasive species removal have a screw loose.

Sunday, I rode up with a friend to Alpine Meadows ski resort.  I don't have a season pass, nor was I planning to buy a day pass.  I instead opted to skin and ski a couple laps inbounds.  I got in three climbs and descents over a few hours, and man was it glorious!  So good to be in the mountains, on some snow, on a beautiful, sunny day.  I'm still not a great tele skier, but it feels pretty good to get some turns in regardless.  I do, however, like going up at least as much as I like going down. 

Picture time.

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