Sunday, July 12, 2009
fat bear ranch tour
so now that the fat bear has inspired the skinny bear to use his computer again i will try to put some more interesting stuff up for all to see. how about a virtual tour of the ranch and the places nearby that fit into the "idea" of what this place is. i am unlikely to take much time in the summer for regular blogging as there is just so much work to do here, but posting a tour one place at a time just might work. i will leave the regular stuff to the missus.
lets start with the front gate......
the front gate gives us our best river view and the scene pretty well takes your breath away before you even cross the property line. we live far enough inland to have definite seasons but they are the most noticeable when looking at the river. the river can be as low as 5oo cubic feet per second (cfs) or as high as 50,000 cfs in the winter. in the summer and fall it is usually running about 600 cfs. we are blessed to own both banks of the trinity river as it flows through one corner of our property. the river frontage extends almost all the way to the bridge in the distance. this is a very quiet and wild section of river and the river creatures are less wary here than they are elsewhere.
this is how the river looks in the fall low flow on a year with no fires and no fall rains having yet raised the river level. this picture is taken at the time of the year when the salmon are returning and the eagles and bears are actively hunting for them.
this is a picture at the end of the summer on a fire year. the klamath mountains burn over very regularly and the summer air quality can leave something to desire. like oxygen..... in a totally natural environment every acre of the klamath mountains would burn on average once every eight years. last year over 100,000 acres burned and we have a 6000 acre fire going right now.
this is pretty much what the winter river looks like. clear but with a green cast to it. there is snow to the river level several times a year. when it snows the river drops and gets clear as the high alpine watershed freezes solid. when a warm storm comes in the river rises and gets muddy. when it snows for weeks and then a tropical storm comes in the river floods as the next photo shows. it can come up so fast one can sit there and watch the water rise.
this is what the river looked like on new years day of 2006. our first winter on the ranch. our beach is under about thirty feet of water as was my driftboat. p.s. never leave an open boat in a flooding river when a tropical storm is in the forecast. i did get the boat back...... the following spring!
this is how the river looks in the spring on a low water year as the water is dropping from the snowmelt flows.
this is a high water spring at a pretty high snowmelt and dam release flow. both pictures were taken in may.
as you proceed up the drive way a lovely falls cascades down from the left from a high crack in the cliff.
the falls comes from this little spring basin. it appears to be either an old lake bed or a mining pit. i'm still not sure which it really is but regardless i refer to this spot as the bear hole. a good place for wildlife sightings. not a good plce to camp.....
if you look to the right as you pass the falls more river can be seen through the trees
as you round the bend our barn and home stead comes into view. if the driveway looks like this then we have no power, hot water or water pressure. and you probably swam to get here. this shot was taken durning the flood of 05/06 when our road washed out and the power was off for about 10 days. life in the country can be rough once and awhile.
some winters are wet and some are snowy. it can be cold in the mountains, but its always warm inside!
we like to keep it warm and cozy in the winter. hot tea anyone?