Friday, May 31, 2013

Big Creek Road Loop

Parallel creek

Lunch time view
bear grass and Lake Cushman
I dropped my daughter off at school and headed for Big Creek.  I was sick at the end of last week, I felt dizzy and light headed.   I took a few days off from hiking and decided to do something easier than Mount Rose today,  just in case I was still sick.

I tried to find a road that some hikers posted about using to start their hike, but I had no luck finding it.  I parked outside the gate at Big Creek camp since my forest pass is in my Jeep and I was unable to find the road.  I went up the loop in the counter clock wise direction and I found it to be a much more pleasant way up, with less hiking  logging roads. 

I made it to the look out by 11, I spent an hour having lunch and then I decided to go up and have a look at the lower Ellinor trail, just because I love the forest up there.  When I reached the junction I was startled by another hiker.  He turned out to be the same man that I saw on Mount Rose two weeks ago.  We had a nice conversation and he was relieved to find out that I am not always as grumpy as I was on Mount Rose Tuesday before last.  He was relived  because it seems like we might run into each other on the trail a lot.

On the hike down I decided to finally see where the old road or trail that leads to the right goes.  I knew it went to the road I tried to drive up.  As I veered off the trail onto the road the rain began to come down pretty hard, but I did not mind, since I had my raincoat on and I was pretty much done taking pictures.  I was surprised to find that the road/trail almost immediately dumped me out onto the road.  I felt ripped off.  I did not want my hike to end so soon.  Still, I walked down the road about ¼ of a mile back to my car.  I won’t be taking that route again unless I am in a big hurry to get to the summit or my leg is broken.

I was back to my car around 2pm.  Whatever sickness I had last week did not affect me at all today.

8 miles round trip with 1,800 feet elevation gain

Music to keep me going


Bear grass and Lake Cushman

One of the new benches on the loop trail

Rytidiopsus robusta 

Wild Rhododendron

This is next to the sign I posted a picture of last week.

No parking here without a valid ass

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Stone crop in bloom

I think I'm coming down with something, but I'm glad I got out today.  This hike has a lot of ups and downs and that kind of takes it out of me.    My nose is stuffed up and I'm sneezing.  We went to look for burn morels but did not find any.

8 miles with 1,700 feet total elevation gain (at least)


Fungi Daldinia concentrica "King Alfred's Cakes"


What a bunch of horny hikers!

Hookeria luscens

Overoaded hiker bailing out after camping in the rain for one night

Red moss

Friday, May 24, 2013

Big Creek Loop

A waterfall on Branch Creek Thursday

I forced myself to take it a bit easier for this hike; instead of Mount Rose I did the Big Creek loop.  It’s been years since I’ve done the entire loop.  I find the first half of the loop to be prettier and shorter.  But now with the re-routing of the bridge both halves of the loop from the Ellinor connector trail is pretty much the same distance.  I’m glad I did the whole loop as I found oyster mushrooms and got to see all the wonderful bridges.  The Mount Rose trail crew does such a great job here.  I noticed that few new benches have been installed and the bridge over the dry creek has been resurfaced. 

I took my tea at the look out and found lot’s of bear grass up there.  I wanted to wander up into the forest on the lower Ellinor trail but I forced myself to take it easy.    I started my hike at 9am and finished at about 2pm. 

The campground gate was open, but I did not have my forest pass with me, so I had to park outside the gate instead of at the trail head.  It’s not legal for the forest service to charge us just to park and hike, but I don’t feel like fighting a ticket.  I got a giggle out of what was done to one of the pass required signs.

8 miles with 1,700 feet elevation gain.

Trees are marked, maybe to be cut at Big Creek on Thursday

Bridge at Branch Creek on Thursday

This creek has been dry year round for several years now but the bridge
just got upgraded anyway and it needed it.

Allotropa virgata

Allotropa virgata

This property was given back the the tribe.  The tribe will now
charge for boat launching, but not for picnic parking.  Seems fair
boat owners have boatloads of money.

Stopped to tye my boot and noticed the moss Hylocomnium splendens

Lunch on Mount Ellinor

Bear grass ready to be hauled off by brush pickers

Marked tree at Big Creek camp might be cut down

Marked trees at Big Creek camp might be cut down for
added campsites

Oyster mushrooms


Allotropa virgata

Thank you Mount Rose trail crew
The bridges on this trail are amazing.

9th circuit court of appeals has ruled that it is not legal for the forest service
to charge people just to park and hike.  But the forest service still puts these signs up.

Wild Rhododendron
8 miles with 1,700 feet elevation gain
Bad track log today, this hike is really just 6.5 miles at most