Cross-post from my Getting Around Sacramento blog: Getting around… with a knee scooter.
Last week I walked the American Discovery Trail from the Truckee River most of the way to Auburn, which is segments 2, 3, and part of 4 of the ADT.
My trip started in Reno where I picked up a new rain jacket from Patagonia, but did not find the lightweight hiking shirt I was hoping for, and then camped a ways up Hunter Creek, a nice walk from Patagonia. In the morning I went into Reno, ate breakfast, hung at the coffee shop, and enjoyed the river, then caught the Amtrak Zephyr to Truckee. The TART bus to Squaw Valley, and then on the trail.
Picayune Creek waterfall
Segment 1 of the ADT, which I’ve walked many times but not this trip, starts at the state line and follows the Tahoe Rim Trail down to Tahoe City and then north along the bike path. Segment 2 starts at the Hwy 89 bridge over the river just south of Squaw Valley. I’ve previously tried to find the ADT and Western States Trail (WS) through Squaw Valley, and been frustrated. I still am. The ADT waypoints follow an old pre-1999 route with confusing directions, and in fact partly follow something that I am sure has never been the WS. Since 1999, the WS now stays high on the south side of the valley. Passing Watson Monument, the route diverges from the current WS/Tevis Trail, heading south through Whiskey Creek Camp and then up over the saddle and into Picayune Valley. Picayune was the WS route some time in the past, but I have no idea how long it has been. Picayune is one of my favorite spots, and I’m always happy to hike here again. The route leaves the wilderness at Talbot Campground, followed by a boring walk along a gravel road to Lewis Campground at the head of French Meadows Reservoir, ending segment 2, 27 miles.
Though I’ve seen Into the Woods many times, and also saw Conner’s showcase of Sondheim titled Marry Me a Little, the breadth of my Sondheim exposure was limited, so I was pleased to finally see another, A Little Night Music, at A.C.T. in San Francisco. It was my favorite of the season, though Trouble Cometh at San Francisco Playhouse and Rapture, Blister, Burn at CapStage were close seconds. Twelve plays for the season.
- 2015-05-30 ACT: A Little Night Music (Stephen Sondheim)
- 2015-05-29 Green Valley: VerteFe Cabaret
- 2015-05-28 Big Idea: Coriolanus (William Shakespeare)
- 2015-05-16 SF Playhouse: Trouble Cometh (Richard Dresser)
- 2015-05-15 Green Valley: Dogfight (Benj Pasek & Justin Paul)
- 2015-05-14 CapStage: The Homecoming (Harold Pinter)
- 2015-04-30 Celebration Arts: Best of Enemies (Mark St. Germain)
- 2015-04-19 New Helvetia Theatre: Opening Doors
- 2015-04-16 B Street B3: Buyer and Cellar (Jonathan Tolins)
- 2015-04-11 SF Playhouse: Stupid Fucking Bird (Aaron Posner)
- 2015-04-10 Big Idea: 33 Variations (Moises Kaufmann)
- 2015-03-26 CapStage: Rapture, Blister, Burn (Gina Gionfriddo)
This evening I attended New Helvetia Theatre’s Opening Doors, which is somewhat ironically named, as it is the closing show for the venue on R Street. Founder Connor Mickiewicz and several friends performed numbers from musicals, a revue of favorites and shows never done. The evening was remarkable, silly, sad. With the passion that Connor and friends have, I am sure Connor will find a new home for his vision. Every seat was full, and a second show was added, so there is a lot of support for Connor and the type of theatre and musical theatre he is so committed to. I don’t necessarily think this is a loss for the arts community in Sacramento – Connor is is still here, and his productions will be back.
But it is a huge loss for R Street. R Street is presented as the happening arts and social district of Sacramento. Two years from now, five years from now, everyone will be saying R Street is great, but what it really lacks, to make it click, is theatre. And it won’t be easy to recreate it. Successful theatre is generated by a mix of driving passion by one person or a small group of people, and a large portion of magic that may or may not happen. Will any theatre actors, directors, producers feel welcome on R Street, when they were driven out? I realize that the loss of lease for New Helvetia was the act of a single developer, not the work of the developer community, but I am very, very surprised that the developer community did not recognize the potential loss and come to the rescue. Nor CADA, the agency which has led redevelopment of R Street with the city. Nor the city.
Our community is poorer today than it was yesterday.
pool in Kane Gulch
This spring break I spent several days in southeastern Utah with my friend Jeff. Jeff wanted to explore native American ruins and see new areas, and I wanted to see new areas and just be on the Colorado Plateau again. Though I’ve been to a lot of places in southern Utah, hiking, backpacking, and river running, I’d never done more than drive across Cedar Mesa and had not been in Butler Wash. The native Americans of the area are sometimes called Anasazi, but that name calls up the discredited idea that they disappears, so Ancestral Puebloans is better since is recognizes that they migrated many times and are now in the Rio Grande Valley and Hopi Mesas.
We started at Goosenecks State Park outside Mexican Hat, but discarded it as a camping place – great view but no water, no shelter, and a fee. We headed up the Moki Dugway on UT 261 to Kane Gulch Ranger Station where we got information about day hikes and permits. We then hiked upper Owl Canyon, a precipitous downhill into the beautiful canyon, with a few ruins. Next we hiked the top several miles of Kane Gulch, down to the Grand Gulch Primitive Area boundary, where the canyon really starts to deepen. Most unusually, aspens are scattered out through the upper canyon, something usually found at a higher elevation. Kane Gulch is the primary entry point into the primitive area. We camped the night off Deer Flat Rd east of Natural Bridges, in the wash of upper White Canyon.
unnamed creek below Foresthill
This spring I re-hiked the American Discover Trail section 4, Foresthill to Auburn, and part of section 5, Auburn to Folsom. My purpose was to create a GPS track for ADT-4, which I had already tried twice and failed to do. I used my new iPhone 5C to create the track, but I hadn’t yet figured out how to maximize battery life, so it ran out about 2/3 of the way through. So I returned yet again to finish off the last 1/3 to Auburn. I’ve glued the GPS tracks back together using Adze on my Macintosh. Of course any time out on the trail is time well spent, and in re-doing this section, it has come to seem quite familiar and is now a favorite.
The ADT splits from the Western States trail just downstream of Ruck-A-Chucky campground, and then rejoins at the Mountain Quarries Railroad bridge. The ADT goes up on Foresthill ridge and then gradually descends back to the confluence of the Middle Fork and North Fork American River. Part of the route is along (new) Foresthill Road, part along (old) Foresthill Road, and the trail itself is partly on (old, old) Foresthill Road. The walk along Foresthill Road is quite unpleasant, with traffic whizzing along at 65 mph or more, and even the less trafficked (old) Foresthill Road is not pleasant. I looked for an alternative route to (old) Foresthill Road, but unfortunately there is not one. Several possible trails start off but then veer away. I will explore more in the future to see if there is a bypass for Foresthill Road. If you want a more natural experience, stick with the Western States trail, which descends and crosses the river, possible only at moderate to low water, of course.
I had been calling the river between the confluence and Folsom reservoir the American River, but apparently it is traditional to call this section the North Fork American River, all the way to the junction with the South Fork American River, now under Folsom reservoir.