Friday, October 16, 2015

Downieville: Celebratory Mountain

After coming back from the launch last week, we turned around and headed up to Downieville after work the next day.  Our goal: to celebrate Linda's birthday (early) by hiking here:

Mt. Lola is the highest peak in Nevada County.  We chose to approach it from the north, taking the gentler route, but didn't want the full 10.5-mile round trip from the standard trailhead.  Fortuately, our trusty truckster was up to the task of following the overgrown lumpy forest road up to a cheater entrance further up (and our trusty driver was up to wandering around a bit to find unmarked Forest Road 301-75 as it wound its way through the maze of logging roads...)

We eventually hit a bridge that looked iffy, so parked the truck and started hiking.  Fortunately the trail was right on the other side of it :)

The trail wound its way through a lovely meadow,

into the trees,

and up the mountain.  We stopped just past the (non-existent) waterfall for a snack -- the kiddo enjoyed her Pocky, even though the package had been to Utah and back, and was somewhat the worse for wear.

At some point, I realized that no one had grabbed the cheese and salami that we were going to eat at the top of the peak out of the fridge that morning.  Doh.  Fortunately, we did have other tidbits of food with us, and the celebratory chocolate was still in the pack.

Attractive tree snags.

The trail to Mt Lola from this side is one of those trails that starts out gently, and then gets exponentially steeper the further up you go.  Linda found a nice spot to rest before the final push to the summit

while the three of us kept going.  Happy kiddo at the top:

360-degree views from the top:

About 1/4 mile back down from the top, we met Linda carefully working her way towards us.  Chad headed back up to the summit with her while Nim and I stopped for a snack. I sent the celebratory chocolate with Chad and Linda.

Pre-birthday summit shot!

After the hike, we got to go back to the house and enjoy the forgotten salami and cheese for dinner.  Not such a bad fate after all!

Despite the fact that the weather was good, we didn't bring bikes this trip, as Chad wanted some time to go fishing.  I think the new tenkara rod he got for his birthday had something to do with that.  I took a book.

Nim fished a bit with one of Chad's old rods, but mostly goofed around.  The rivers up there are awfully nice spots, and I think everyone came back home refreshed after the previous crazy week.

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