Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Weekly Pano: Cotopaxi!

We just got back from an amazing 10 day vacation in Ecuador for Kimbo's 40th!
Here's a pic on our last day in the country hiking up to 16K ft to the refugio on Cotopaxi.  More posts on Ecuador coming...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Malakoff Diggins SHP

Soapin' up after the ride to get the poison oak off...
After looking into the IMBA "Epics" I wanted to go ride one myself and see what they were all about. I looked into a few of the epic trails near by and started planning a trip.  Soon I saw the S. Yuba Trail, and figured it's in an area I need to check out more anyway.  That's the beauty of these trips that take you to places you'd never go to otherwise.

I looked into camping options and saw that Malakoff Diggins SHP has cabins for rent.  And no, these aren't rustic... these are primitive... as in old, and not renovated.  But they did the job quite nicely for our needs.

This place is awesome:
  • it's only 3 hours away
  • you pass the Yuba river on the way there (my new favorite river with amazing swimming holes)
  • decent single track options forever
Next time:
  • spend more time on the Yuba (go check out a different spot)
  • do more mtn biking
  • watch out for poison oak.  
On the way up we stopped at Hoyt's Crossing.  Whenever you are anywhere near the Yuba river, and it's a nice day.  Make a point to stop and take a dip in the water.  The water is warm, clear, and the swimming opportunities are endless.  
The boys were in love with the water.  They didn't want to leave.
Swimming hole after swimming hole... for miles in either direction...
back up to the car...
Malakoff Diggins was the site of the largest hydraulic mine... these water cannons destroyed the environment and flooded towns down river.   
Here's the smith cabin that we stayed in.  All very basic, but it worked out fine for us.  Those fire pits on the other hand?  Waay too tall.  Like... WTF?  
We went on a quick ride the next morning, stopping at the Hiller Tunnel that we scoped out for a later family excursion.
And the single track was fine.  Nothing too "epic" but that was about what I was expecting.  Definitely not crowded... I forget if we even ran into another person.  
meanwhile... back at the Smith Cabin...

on the way up, I got a slow flat.  So decided to fix her... 
while the kids played in mud... which hopefully isn't too contaminated...
near by, there's a small lake "Diggins Lake" which looks ok here, but it's pretty muddy and murky.  
but it was hot enough and it felt great!
After our quick dip, we went on the ranger led tour of the town.  Highly recommended.  

these two weren't listening...
Nikko like the bar.  No shirt = no service buddy!

After naptime, we took the kids down to the Hiller Tunnel... which was cool, but we questioned the water coming out of it as it's bright red...

gold panning

This ranger caught and relocated this rattlesnake for us..
sweet pair of skis!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Back to Red Rocks

The boys at the top of Red Rock.  Alexis was back in town for a quick conference, so we decided to meet up on an island in the bay.  He was staying with Adrien in Marin, so we figured it'd be a good place to meet up.  I went out to Red Rock with Durbs two years ago and had a great time scrambling around.  Durbs and Laina joined us for the early morning paddle as well.

The paddle is pretty easy, but just watch the tide.  There's a beach at Red Rock on the N. Side (facing the bridge), and a smaller one on the S. Side (probably gone at high tide)... but that's where the rope is to access the top.  

The rock is super crumbly, paints your hands, clothes all red... and is on sale now at 5 million.  It was listed at 10 million... so half off!  

Laina cruising under the Richmond bridge.