Having just purchased a GoPro Hero 4 Silver, I wanted to test the video camera underwater, so off I went to my favorite spot on the North Fork American River, just a short distance upstream of Euchre Bar.
I departed Iron Point at 8:49 AM, while a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) helicopter flew over Green Valley. More on those folks later. Down Euchre Bar Trail I went.
|Starting point, atop Iron Point, with a view to Giant Gap,|
the most magnificent view in all of Placer County
I reached the footbridge over the North Fork at 9:49, and the turnoff to my destination at 10:09. At the river's edge I removed my hiking boots and put on my reef walkers. Normally this time of the year the river here is so high from the Sierra snow melt that getting caught in the current means certain death. But with the drought I could enter the water today. It was still too high to cross to the other side, but I could wade about safely.
A tree trunk some three feet in diameter rested on a rock ledge about fifteen feet above this day's river level. I think the trunk was put there during the heavy rains this past December. I've never seen the river that high, and I never will, for hiking here in a winter rainstorm is stupidity itself.
I finished taking my video shots. I left the river at 11:49 and crossed the bridge at 12:10. Then commenced the grueling 1800 foot climb to my truck, which I reached at 1:33.
I had seen only a few others on the trail. When I started my hike, a couple was pulling in to Iron Point. On my return hike, I passed three people headed to the river, and I caught a glimpse of two others ahead of me going uphill. Two Subarus were parked at Iron Point when I reached my truck.
There was CAL FIRE activity down river in Green Valley all day. In the morning I passed seven or eight CAL FIRE vehicles on Moody Ridge, the crew members assembling to depart into the canyon. A few vehicles had Department of Corrections signage, meaning some fire fighters were prisoners. On my return drive I talked with a crew member taking a break by the spring. He was in his early twenties. I don't know if he was a CAL FIRE employee or a prisoner. He said CAL FIRE was here today in an exercise to prepare for the upcoming fire season. The drought will make this fire season especially dangerous. He said the crew members had put out a real-world fire today down in Green Valley. I asked him what had caused the fire. He said he didn't know. "Probably a hiker," I said. Then I added, "Or more likely a pot grower." We both smiled and I drove off.