We serious journalists would never write a story simply as an excuse to run a photograph. Except that’s what I’m doing right now, and here’s why.
Just about anyone who has ever scaled Kanaka Peak on the seat of a mountain bike, in the saddle of a horse or on their own two feet feels pretty darned “finished” by the time they reached the top. The peak on the southern border of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is “only” 2,616 feet. But if you start the climb at Peltier Bridge across Clear Creek, you gain approximately 2,000 feet of elevation by the time you reach the summit.
So the photo of those who rebuilt the grueling Kanaka Peak Loop Trail standing under a finish line seems appropriate to me.
Last week, about a dozen volunteers joined the National Park Service crew and Whiskeytown’s student conservation association summer interns in pushing the rerouted trail to the top of Kanaka Peak. The entire pathway is now complete, although crews are finishing up some erosion control measures and creek crossings this week. The trail should officially open any day now. Gary Bischof, J.D. Odom and Bob Boecking of the park service trail crew designed the new route.
The Kanaka Peak Loop Trail has been closed for three years because of damage from the Moon Fire and heavy equipment used to control the blaze. Even before the fire, park officials were planning on rebuilding stretches of the trail that were exposed and eroding quickly. I’m eager to return to Kanaka Peak and enjoy the 360-degree view.
Next up at Whiskeytown is a rerouting of the Guardian Rock Trail, which runs above Clear Creek from NEED Camp to Horse Camp.
On today’s A La Carte menu:
Shooting stars … If you pick up the phone right away, you might still get in on Shasta Land Trust’s annual family camping trip this weekend at Hathaway Ranch, located on the Swede Creek Plains near Oak Run. The remote and very dark location offers great viewing of Perseid meteor showers streaking across the night sky. The camping trip, which also features large helpings of camp food, is this Friday and Saturday, August 12 and 13. Contact the land trust at (530) 241-7886.
That’s what friends are for … Nicole Chamberlain is organizing a fundraising dinner and dance this Saturday, August 13, for her friend Chelsea Schepps, who suffered severe head, leg and arm injuries in a car crash near Klamath Falls about six weeks ago. The two graduated together from Anderson Union High School in 2009, and Chelsea was a bridesmaid in Nicole’s recent wedding to Eric Chamberlain. The fundraiser is scheduled for 4 to 10:30 p.m. in Shasta Hall on the Shasta District Fairgrounds in Anderson. A spaghetti dinner will be served until 8 p.m., with music and dancing to follow. Tickets are $5 in advance, or $9 at the door, although you’re encouraged to donate more. For tickets or additional details, contact Nicole Chamberlain at email@example.com.
Parents with opinions … The Shasta County Public Health Department needs volunteers between the ages of 20 and 40 who have children living at home to serve on a focus group for the department’s media campaign. The group will meet in the evening this Tuesday or Wednesday (August 16 or 17), and participants earn a $30 gift card to Sports Ltd. for their help. Call (530) 229-8488 for details.
Branded Men … Redding’s Cascade Theatre has added a show to its 2011-12 season featuring two of the finest American songwriters of the last half century – Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson. They’ll be playing together acoustically in a show promoted as “pickin’, singin’, storytellin’” on September 29. Tickets are already on sale for Cascade members. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 11 a.m. on August 16.
Paul Shigley is a freelance journalist based in Western Shasta County, CA, and won’t ever swim Kern River. He may be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
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