Napa blends its history into a modern city

Napa blends its history into a modern city

The Napa River flows through the heart of the city. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

It’s amazing how many times you can go someplace, but not really know it. You know what you want to do, where you want to go. But what about its history? What about other aspects of this place that aren’t on your normal agenda?

I had the opportunity this spring to spend a few hours exploring the city of Napa with my friend, Joyce, while others in the tennis group went elsewhere.

We started with a stroll near the water, first walking by the old buildings of Historic Napa Mill. It’s also where we ended our adventure; specifically at The Fink. This bar that has been open less than two years, has a speakeasy vibe. Dark and moody, it was also tremendously inviting.

The Fink brings a feel of yester-year to bar patrons. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Along the river are multiple informational signs touting the city’s past and present.

One sign reads: “These buildings were constructed alongside the embarcadero de Napa by Captain Albert Hatt, a seafarer who came to California in 1864. The 1884 building was used as a warehouse and for the sale of merchandise. The second floor housed a roller-skating rink. The 1886 building was designated a U.S. government bonded warehouse for the storage of spirits and wines. The second floor contains Hatt Hall, a meeting place for secret societies and later used as a National Guard armory and for social events. In 1912, the Keig family converted the complex to The Napa Mill, a regional granary, mill and purveyor of agricultural supplies. Restoration began in 1995 for the Napa River Inn and Hatt Market.”

Public is a fixture throughout Napa. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. The brick came from the San Quentin brickyard.

The Napa River was a major part of commerce when the city was first established. Steam boats and ferries transported people and cargo to and from San Francisco and the Napa Valley.

The river’s headwaters are near Mount St. Helena; then empties into the San Francisco Bay.

The Goodman Building, home to the Napa County Historical Society, is sandwiched between more contemporary buildings. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

A sign on the promenade says, “Regional commerce relied on water transport to ship lumber, agricultural goods, livestock and textiles. Numerous wharves were constructed along the river providing docking for waterway commerce.”

Today, the river is more of a scenic byway, becoming a destination after the 2005 flood project that restored riparian habitat to the landscape, cleaned up contaminated sites, and removed dilapidated industrial buildings.

Before the project’s completion the city had suffered from more than 20 major floods.

This mosaic represents the local flora and fauna, as well as historical elements. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

In addition to the walking trail along the river, numerous commercial entities parallel the water.

While Napa is a modern city with nearly 80,000 residents, home to numerous wineries and restaurants, a stroll through downtown is an architectural tour of sorts. Some buildings date to the 1800s.

Placards on structures and monuments throughout town give a glimpse into Napa’s past.

I learned the city is the birthplace of the loudspeaker and the Magnavox Corp.

Tribute is paid to local military personnel who have died while in uniform.

On the wall of one building reads, “Built in 1905, this building was the first home of the Napa Register. The historic building survived the Great Earthquake of 1906 and the 2000 Yountville earthquake. Following the Napa earthquake of 2014, the building was purchased and restored by the grapegrower Beckstoffer family.”

Quickly ducking into the Archer Hotel it was as though we were in a fancy hotel in a much larger city.

Napa is definitely more than a wine destination. Simultaneously it embodies an upscale, laid back aura that appreciates its past and embrace its role in the 21st century.

Credit card law transformed women’s opportunities

Credit card law transformed women’s opportunities

I would be surprised if I didn’t use my credit card every week.

I like the convenience and building Southwest miles for free flights.

I pay it off every month. I owe that ritual to my parents. They taught me the importance of doing so, to not build debt. A few times in my life I carried a balance, but it quickly got paid off.

“Who cares?” you ask.

Women care.

It was 50 years ago that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 became law. Prior to that for a woman to obtain a credit card or loan either her husband, father or brother had to be a co-signer.

That’s in my lifetime.

Unbelievable.

Tanaka Chimbane, an accredited financial counselor and assistant professor of personal financial planning at Texas Tech University, told U.S. News and World Report, “It marked a monumental shift in how women could engage with the economy and opened new avenues for personal and professional growth. Access to credit meant that women could start businesses, buy homes, invest in education and manage financial emergencies independently.”

It just shows how long women have been treated as second-class citizens. That we had to be dependent on a man. That we could not be trusted with financial matters.

What BS.

I got my first credit card when I was 17. Yes, my parents were involved. I got it because I was on my way to college. It had a credit limit of $500. I remember this because after trying to charge my books I hit the limit.

My memory is that a friend of my parents worked for Bank of America and got me the Visa. He also got my limit raised.

This card was in my name. It was mine. I was responsible for paying it. (Yes, my parents paid for my books and four of my five years of college.)

But I was building credit in my name. I didn’t understand that at 17 or even at 22 when I graduated. I do now. Still, I can’t get over that it took an act of Congress to give the same rights to women that men had.

Educational outing in Oroville combines the past and the present

Educational outing in Oroville combines the past and the present

Once a bath house, this is now a nature center in Oroville. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Days gone by and current events were fused into one outing recently in Oroville.

The hiking group leader had us meet at the Oroville Nature Center, which I didn’t even know existed, before we began our trek to the spillway of the Oroville Dam.

The grounds at the Oroville nature center. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Oroville is full of history, which I am slowly discovering.

Long before the Oroville Dam was completed in 1967 the Feather River flowed unencumbered through this Butte County city.  This area was home to the Maidu Indians; they would fish for salmon and lived off native berries, acorns and grasses.

Then the white people more than disrupted their lives. They saw the river and turned the land into farms. When gold was discovered in the Feather River in 1949, well, there was definitely no going back.

The Feather River is not this tranquil in every location. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

“The miners soon overran the area, driving the native people into the hills,” according to information at the nature center. “The miners would float their ore and logs for lumber down the river to the beach near the ferry to be taken ashore. A few years later, a covered bridge was built where the old ‘Green Bridge’ is now.”

As part of the federal Works Projects Administration during the Depression a bath house for men and women was built steps from the river in 1935; this area became Oroville’s first public park.

“In December 1937, there was a very bad flood that did major damage to the surrounding area. The sandy beach was washed out, and an undertow current replaced it,” reads information from the nature center. “The flood waters went right through the bath house and also washed away the caretaker’s cottage. With the swimming hole and beach gone, the bath house, although undamaged, was abandoned.”

Hikers stroll past wildflowers like this dichelostemma along the trail. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

The stone structure crumbled through the decades to the point that by the 1980s not much of it was standing. The city was ready to tear it down completely. Locals said don’t you dare. Local Rex Burress is credited with the idea of turning the structure into a nature center by restoring the building, walkways and planters. Community cleanup began in 1996.

Now the center, which was restored with and by donations and volunteers, is open to the public. Inside it’s more like a museum. The outside is a peaceful oasis. It’s goal is “to bring people and nature together.”

From here we drove a short ways down the same road to begin the hike. We started on the Brad Freeman Trail, which wanders through grassy areas that had a few wildflowers blooming on the last Saturday of April.

Some of the time we were next to the river, other times a little ways away to the point you didn’t even know it was so close.

Water flows from the Oroville spillway in late April. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Soon glimpses of the spillway came into view. As we kept walking its thundering roar took over. Then it was right in front of us.

While I’ve seen the spillway in action the last two springs, this afforded the opportunity to be a bit closer because of being right on the river.

The dam was built primarily for flood control purposes. That flood that swept through the bath house (now nature center) wasn’t a fluke in the 1930s. It was the norm. That history, though, should never repeat itself based on modern engineering.

Book Review: ‘Hidden Life of Trees’ brings awareness

Book Review: ‘Hidden Life of Trees’ brings awareness

While I obviously know trees are living things, I have never given much thought about their feelings, how they communicate, or what makes some thrive and others shrivel.

I actually winced at trimming branches on a tree after reading The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from A Secret World (William Collins, 2017). What kind of pain did I inflict all in the name of shaping it for my own pleasure instead of allowing the tree to grow how it wants?

That’s what happens to trees—humans get involved. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, sometimes out of good, sometimes out of selfishness.

Author Peter Wholleben is a forester, so he understands his subject matter well. He manages a beech forest in Germany.

I found the topic of trees as living, breathing entities incredibly interesting. It got me thinking about how I take them for granted for the most part. That’s not to say I don’t understand they are an important part of the ecosystem and environment, it’s just that I never thought about them as something other than an object.

I certainly have a greater appreciation for trees after finishing this book.

The only negative I have about the book is that I listened to it. The person who read it has a voice that was not engaging—I could tune it out. That was not a good thing.

It’s definitely a book that can be a bit much at times because of the subject matter. Still, I wish I would have read it instead of listened to it.

Cost of Caldor Fire in the billions as recovery continues

Cost of Caldor Fire in the billions as recovery continues

Trails near South Lake Tahoe less than a year after the 2021 Caldor Fire. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

While no entity has put an exact dollar figure on the financial toll of the Caldor Fire, it is in the billions of dollars. That number keeps growing as restoration efforts continue.

El Dorado County reports its costs to date are $16.3 million. This was for employees responding to the fire and recovery afterward, mutual aid, equipment and supplies. It has been reimbursed about $12.6 million by the state and FEMA.

It’s been reported the structural damage amounted to $1.2 billion, which includes the total loss of 1,005 homes or other buildings, with another 81 damaged. The town of Grizzly Flats was incinerated, and Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort incurred significant damage.

Gov. Gavin Newsom in his request to President Biden for financial aid in September 2021 wrote, “The projected economic loss in South Lake Tahoe is estimated to reach nearly $40 million due to the Caldor Fire.”

The U.S. Forest Service says suppression costs came in at $271.1 million for the fire that started Aug. 14, 2021, and was contained Oct. 20.

There are other losses without a price tag—like the animals who died and the air that was polluted. And how does one quantify the death of Harminder Singh Grewal, the Galt police officer who died in a head-on collision on his way to the Caldor Fire? Then there were the 21 people who were injured.

Some losses were likely never reported with people and businesses being under insured or lacking insurance.

Putting a price tag on a wildfire can never quantify the emotional toll. Heart beats still skip at the sound of sirens and the smell of smoke.

Analyzing the numbers

Tahoe Prosperity Center wanted to do an economic study about the Caldor Fire, but didn’t have the money to do so. Tom Harris, an economist at University of Nevada, Reno, put together a short memo for TPC.

His analysis from figures provided by TPC showed the projected revenue decline for the entire South Shore for hotels-motels was $21 million, while the loss in revenues for retail-restaurants was $19.4 million for a four-week period between August and September that accounted for the mandatory evacuation.

The document said El Dorado County sustained an employment loss of 522 workers. This amounted to “total labor income loss of $18.2 million, lost total value added of $29.20 million, and lost total economic activity of $50.3 million.”

For Stateline, Harris, wrote the hotel-casino sector in Stateline for that same four-week timespan saw revenue declines of $32.5 million, with a loss of 343 jobs, $15.3 million in labor income and $42.9 million in economic activity loss.

Stateline casinos reported a 77 percent drop in revenues to $5.6 million for September 2021 when the area was evacuated and no one was traveling on Highway 50 into the South Shore.

This had a ripple effect because casinos pay property taxes on revenues and not the actual value of the premises. Third quarter property taxes in 2021 for the Stateline casinos were down more than 9 percent, according to the Nevada Department of Taxation.

According to the California Natural Resources Agency, the state doesn’t track or estimate the cost of wildfires in a way that accounts for public health costs or ecological damage.

Crews work to fix the dozer lines along Power Line trail on the South Shore. (Image: Leona Allen)

Businesses rebound

Every business on the South Shore was affected by the fire. Spoilage of food was a biggie for restaurants and grocery stores.

Getaway Café in Meyers had to toss nearly $18,000 worth of food. Smoke mediation was about another $12,000.

Insurance covered the losses. Owner Diane Guth praised and criticized Nationwide in the same sentence because the company later dropped Getaway Café as a client.

The restaurant was closed for 23 days that summer.

“I made the call about two days before we were actually evacuated because you couldn’t breathe anymore. People were getting headaches and were nauseous,” Guth said. “Our hoods at the restaurant had been running every single day until we were evacuated. The hoods had been pulling those particles in. That was toxic stuff.”

Siobhan Fajayan, director of marketing for Edgewood Tahoe Resort, would not reveal the economic impact on the Stateline property.

She said while the hotel and restaurants were closed until Sept. 17, Edgewood “remained steadfast in supporting first responders, providing essential resources such as accommodations and food/water to the firefighters….”

While Grocery Outlet in South Lake Tahoe did not put a dollar value on the food it donated, what was distributed filled two pickup trucks.

“It was all of the perishable products—eggs, meat, produce,” explained Ryan Schouten who works for his parents, Kim and Mike, who own the store.

The grocery store was closed for seven days.

The donations were used by South Tahoe Refuse which had set up a barbecue in its parking lot in South Lake Tahoe first for its employees who were called back to work during the evacuation because of bears creating messes. Then word spread to first responders in the basin, and they, too, were fed by the STR crew.

“It was fun to see all these police and firefighters from all these areas come in,” STR President Jeff Tillman said. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and to-go boxes were provided. “They were protecting our streets. The least we could do was feed them.”

Tillman would not talk about the economic impact to the garbage company, only saying people had been through enough so they shouldn’t have to worry about getting rid of their waste.

“Once people were able to come back in town we were already on a normal schedule,” Tillman explained. “We set up trucks parked in four different areas in the community so they could bring spoiled food to us. We did that for a week or two. We had the transfer station open if anyone wanted to get rid of spoiled food or anything else they wanted to get rid of.”

Kim Aitken, store manager for Sports Ltd. near Stateline, said the company’s insurance company fully compensated them, but she would not say what the figure was.

Summer sales are a huge part of the sporting goods’ business. With few people in town when smoke inundated the basin, then the evacuation, and the reopening not happening until after Labor Day, well, it was almost like losing an entire season of sales.

Doors were taped to try to keep the smoke out and fans were running to cleanse the air.

“We bought huge air purifiers that most people would use for, honestly, cannabis operations,” Aitken said.

While some people were arrested on looting charges, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office did not provide the numbers of arrests or names of people to be able to track what happened to them. Nor could the economic losses be ascertained.

Barton Health prepares to evacuate patients in August 2021 with school buses and ambulances. (Image: Barton Health)

Barton battles

Medical care is a whole different animal during crises. It entails moving people and equipment, and still being able to provide care.

Barton Health was notified evacuations were imminent before the general public was. This was in order to safely move patients and staff. On Aug. 29, the medical conglomerate used buses from Lake Tahoe Unified School District and local ambulances to move 36 skilled nursing patients to Carson City, and 16 acute patients, seven of whom had Covid, to various partner facilities in the region.

“Equipment related to medical imaging, laboratory, pharmaceuticals, general medical and surgical supplies, and critical care and trauma supplies were evacuated in order to ensure our staff and partner medical facilities can continue to provide care to patients,” Thea Schwartz, communications specialist for Barton Health, said.

Emergency room personnel were the last to leave, which was Aug. 30. Barton used its ski clinic trailer at the Heavenly Mountain Resort’s California Lodge as a triage clinic. This is where firefighters were headquartered.

Barton Memorial Hospital reopened Sept. 6 with ER and acute care services. By Sept. 13 the facility was fully operational.

“During the evacuation there were direct costs to transport patients, medical supplies, equipment, etc. In total, Barton’s estimated overall losses/expenses—direct and indirect—throughout the entire Caldor Fire event was close to $12 million. Barton was reimbursed from our insurance company for losses specific to the evacuation period at approximately $4 million,” Schwartz said.

Those figures are for the entire Barton health care system, not just the hospital.

“Lost revenue and lost patient visits occurred not only during the evacuation, but also in the weeks leading up to the evacuation due to the smoke/air quality impact on the community. Barton incurred costs to implement smoke mitigation processes including air filters and building maintenance work to improve air quality,” Schwartz explained.

Since then, insurance premiums and deductibles have “increased significantly,” according to Schwartz.

Trees felled after the Caldor Fire in the forest on the South Shore in June 2023. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Legal ramifications

When someone is convicted or pleads guilty to starting a fire, restitution is usually part of the sentence. Because a judge said the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office didn’t have enough evidence to take the case against the two men charged with starting the Caldor Fire to trial, restitution isn’t going to happen.

The DA’s office was uncooperative with answering questions about what, if anything, happens next.

Eldorado National Forest and DA investigators determined the probable cause of the Caldor Fire was from a bullet from people target shooting.

Eldorado Forest officials said the case rests solely with the DA’s office now.

However, the DA’s office would not answer whether the case regarding the fire is closed, or if more evidence is being sought to bring new charges against the father-son duo who have been the only suspects named to date, or if someone else may be held accountable.

Restitution for individuals, businesses and public agencies isn’t possible without a conviction.

In 2016, Wayne Allen Huntsman pleaded guilty to starting the 2014 King Fire in El Dorado County. In addition to a 20-year prison sentence, he was ordered to pay $60 million in restitution.

“We are uncertain if any restitution has been paid while he has been in prison as that is not information we generally receive,” Assistant District Attorney Lisette Suder said. “As for general restitution rules and guidelines, if someone had money before they went to prison, they would be ordered to pay restitution from what money they had. While a defendant may not be able to earn much money while in prison, a percentage of whatever small amount they may make while working jobs in prison can be set aside to pay a portion of a restitution order. Some victims feel they would rather get something rather than nothing.”

Suder explained one reason prosecutors seek restitution even though in the moment the perpetrator may not have money is if “the defendant (were) to ever get money in the future from later jobs or inheritance or otherwise.”

This would also include proceeds from book deals or the like.

Helping the forest

Can a price be put on a dead tree? Maybe. El Dorado County Resource Conservation District, which has played a pivotal role in forest restoration post-Caldor, received $3.5 million from the Forest Service and a $1.2 million grant from CalFire.

To date, the Caldor is the largest fire in El Dorado County’s history and the first to be declared a federal disaster.

Work continues to help the charred forest come back to life. In all, 221,835 acres were blackened in El Dorado, Alpine and Amador counties. Most of the fire burned on the Eldorado, with 9,885 acres burning in the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

Each national forest has separate work plans to restore their lands.

Facts to date provided by the Eldorado:

  • Helicopter and ground based operations felled approximately 280 acres of hazard trees within Sierra-at-Tahoe’s ski area boundary. More than 18 million board feet of sawlogs have been removed to Tahoe Forest Products. An additional 1,000 tons of cull and biomass material has been processed on site and removed.
  • Hazard tree phase 1 when completed will include 1,849 acres across approximately 24 miles of road. A total of 24 million board feet of timber products are planned to be removed from the project area.
  • 2,058 acres of machine pile burning on the Grizzly Flat Fuel Break.
  • 39 acres of machine pile burning at Grizzly Flat Fire Station.
  • 29 acres of under burning on the Marshall Mine RX.

Last May the Eldorado conducted meetings to gather public input about its restoration project. More comments could be sought this spring, with a decision possible this summer.

The proposal’s overriding goals are to: “1) restore and manage ecosystem health and resilience, 2) reduce the threat of future uncharacteristic and catastrophic wildfires and associated risks, and 3) provide socioeconomic benefits to surrounding communities and the public in areas adversely impacted by the fire.”

LTBMU finalized a plan in 2022 for 1,528 acres of national forest lands that were burned and approximately 50 acres that were damaged during fire suppression. But work is not done. The agency this year could start on more restoration that focuses on managing the watershed, vegetation, special uses and fuels. Public comment will be sought on those proposals.

Note: A version of this story first appeared in the Tahoe Mountain News.

Mumm Napa proves California excels at bubbly

Mumm Napa proves California excels at bubbly

Vineyards at Mumm Napa sparkle like the wine. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

All bubbles are not the same.

While I could not write the tasting notes for Mumm Napa (or any winery), I could tell the difference between the sparkling wines in front of me. I just didn’t taste strawberry jam or anything else that the glasses were said to possess.

As part of our annual tennis camp, we took time for a tasting in the Napa Valley thanks to Joyce’s membership.

Even the non-drinker in the group joined in the festivities. Apparently, Donna has good taste because her favorite was the most expensive bottle.

While Rosés are one of my least favorite wines, I have been liking them more and more as a sparkling wine. I left with a bottle of the brut reserve Rosé and the sparkling Pinot Meunier.

A variety of tastings are available at Mumm Napa. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Mumm Napa traces its heritage to France. The Champagne house of G.H. Mumm was established in 1827. Guy Devaux was tapped in the 1970s to find a location in the United States that would be ideal to grow grapes for sparkling wine.

Domaine Mumm, as the Rutherford winery was first known, released its inaugural vintage in 1983 using the French méthode traditionnelle.

The winery opened to the public in 1990 under the name Mumm Napa.

A view of the vineyards made for an incredibly relaxing atmosphere.

Our server was knowledgeable, fun, and unpretentious. While he shared what we would be tasting in each glass, he said ultimately what matters is what each person likes. That’s always a sure way to be inclusive.

It’s also my approach to wine because everyone’s palette is different. Mine is far from sophisticated. I just know what I like and what I don’t.

Unfortunately, the fine art gallery that opened in 1993 was closed the afternoon of our visit. The winery’s website says it features an Ansel Adams collection along with rotating exhibits. It is open to the public.

 

Civil disobedience has history of spawning substantive changes

Civil disobedience has history of spawning substantive changes

“… young people have an obligation, mission and mandate to push and pull, and not be satisfied.”

Those are the words of the late John Lewis, who was a civil rights activist and congressman.

John Lewis in 2014 being interviewed for Aspen Ideas.

Aspen Ideas in recognition of its 20th anniversary this spring released the interview conducted by then (and now late) PBS co-anchor Gwen Ifill. Their discussion came 10 years ago on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

“You have to have the ability to speak up, speak out and get in the way. Get in trouble—good trouble, necessary trouble,” Lewis said. “That is what I have been doing for more than 50 years. And I will continue to do it.”

Systemic change seems to come from younger people galvanizing around a shared cause or belief. They can be the catalyst for lawmakers to change policy. We need them more than ever–for change in the U.S. and our policies abroad.

Lewis, in his quest for civil rights when he was in his 20s, was arrested multiple times, beaten and harassed. He understood the change young, determined people could foster.

As I listened to Lewis speak it made me think about the unrest today on college campuses.

Blindly supporting Israel is not the answer. The United States needs to do better—and soon. Israel and its powers that be need to be held accountable for the slaughter of Palestinians, for the destruction of Gaza as well as the continued turmoil in the West Bank.

Washington Post Associate Editor Jonathan Capehart on the May 3 edition of the PBS News Hour said how it’s possible to be against what the Israeli government is doing in Gaza without being anti-Semitic. I agree wholeheartedly.

Lewis’ talk didn’t touch on Mideast issues, but he did say a comprehensive immigration plan is needed in this country. A decade later and it’s still true. Too bad a candidate for president was able to sway his party in Congress to not sign one of the most comprehensive immigration bills in generations.

As Lewis said, “There is no such thing as an illegal human being. We all come from some place.”

At the time of the Lewis-Ifill interview, he was frustrated young people didn’t “want to get their hands dirty.” That they walked away from conflict, from fighting for what is right.

I think he would be proud of what is going on today—or at least most of it. I know I am.

Napa Valley ideal destination for mountain biking

Napa Valley ideal destination for mountain biking

Mostly dirt and only a few rocks on the trails in Angwin in the Napa Valley. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Wildflowers fluttering in meadows full of wispy grass, an obstacle course of sorts, miles of single track, mostly shaded trails with no other riders sharing our route.

It was ideal.

Five us spent our last day in the Napa Valley exploring the mountain bike trails in Angwin, which is near Howell Mountain.

Donna, Joyce, Barb, Becky and Kae along a meadow at Angwin. (Image: Donna Rockwood)

Signage is atrocious. We had no idea which trails we were on. But it didn’t matter. We didn’t mind making a couple U-turns.

We did loops, which are lot of fun … up one way, down another. This could make for seemingly endless options. Going up one section is never the same as descending it.

It would be easy to go back and not be bored. Plus, there is more to this area than what we pedaled on.

Green grasses sway in the breeze alongside the mountain bike trail. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

We came across a race course of sorts with features to go over. I opted to be the photographer and not a participant.

On this last Friday of April the weather was ideal. My guess with the cold spring much of Northern California has experienced the flowers were not at their peak. Short, deep purple irises dotted the trail at different times. But the cooler temps also meant the grasses were a lush green, which won’t last much longer.

While we saw poison oak, none of us got it this trip.

We parked at Angwin-Parrett Field, aka the airport parking area, which sits at an elevation of 1,848 feet.

We put in 9.3 miles, with 938 feet of elevation. It was a lot of up and down, as opposed to steady climbing.

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