Even After the Carr Fire, There is Beauty in the Sacramento River Trail

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I’m sharing with you photos I’ve taken along the Sacramento River Trail.  I’m talking about the trail on the north side of the river, from Diestelhorst Bridge to Keswick Dam.

The south end has been closed following the Carr Fire due to a couple of foot bridges being out.  But the trail can be accessed to the 1-mile marker.  The trail is fenced off from there.  The north side is completely open.  The north side trail is the portion I most often walk with my dog, Bodie, and my last dog, Toby.

The Sacramento River trail, before the Carr Fire. A favorite spot for Steve DuBois and his canine friends.

I’ve taken photos showing how that trail looks now, but have chosen to not dwell on the devastation and the Carr Fire’s destruction.  It’s awkward to say, but I find that there is beauty in the burned landscape, depending on how you look at it.  It also depends on the time of day and how the sunlight hits the area.

I’ve arranged some of the photos I’ve taken since the fire, and put them together with some of my photos from the past.  I’ve also added a few before-and-after shots.  But my point is to illustrate that there is beauty in the past, present and future.  Mother Nature is making sure of that.  Even though it’s as dry out there as it is, in many places you’ll see new growth cropping up.  Patches of green are sprouting and spreading with new life coming back into view.  And the Rotary Club has planted California Poppy seeds throughout the hillside.

I encourage those who use the trail, to acknowledge the look of desolation, but also to look for the beauty.  This may prove a difficult task for some people at first. On the trail the other day, a biker passed me near the Ribbon Bridge.  As he rode past me he said, “Hope you enjoy your walk in the wasteland.”

That comment hit me like a whip!  I don’t want to see a wasteland when beauty’s still there.  It’s OK to hurt.  Yes, much has been ravaged.  But I’m keeping an open mind, and when I do, patterns and colors come together in shapes that surprise and inspire me.

For those who do venture out to this portion of the river trail, I hope you will celebrate all that gorgeous new life.

Fall is here, winter will follow, and spring will be on its way, and with it will come new growth.

The link here has a map of all trails.  It shows which trails are open and which are still closed.

Click here for more fire stories.  
Steve DuBois
For many years Steve DuBois has enjoyed taking photos of his dogs in interesting and unusual places. He created a photo book of his dogs especially for the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he donated several copies. He loves that the kids enjoy seeing his dogs photographed in unusual ways. Steve says his dogs have been his photographic inspiration and motivation, but sometimes he tries his hand at nature shots, such as the photos he captured of the north state’s 2017 flooding, published here on A News Cafe.com. Steve DuBois lives in Redding.
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5 Responses

  1. Despite delay and seemingly endless bureaucratic rangling, City Parks is working feverishly to restore the South Sacramento River Trail. FEMA has declared that if recovery occurs before their help, then City will be responsible for cost. State Office of Emergency Services and City have said the South Trail is an emergency route for health, safety, crime prevention, continued fire danger abatement and recreation is only a small piece of the puzzle.

    Anyway, people should use what is available and as mentioned glory in what remains, what is coming daily, what has been uncovered and the unique opportunity to make this most prized asset even better in the future. Many of the unwanted, dangerous and fire contributory non native plants were hurt as well as crowded native manzanita and ceanothus. Yerba santa, various oaks, Oregon ash, willow and others are quickly making recovery. Now is the time make a better tomorrow where big trees and grass regain the territory denied them since the Smoke Wars which began in 1896. Carr Fire Monster provided a chance purchased at great expense and one we would be foolish to let slip away.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      FEMA is saying that if we get out ahead of their funding with the remediation efforts, they’ll cancel their pending contribution?


      Thanks, Obama.

  2. Avatar erin friedman says:

    An excellent reminder – thanks. Sometimes the only thing we can change is our attitude. I’ve still not worked up the courage to visit Whiskeytown, but maybe a trip with a mission — In Search of Beauty — is in order.

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      I visited Whiskeytown shortly after it reopened. My initial impression (through the still-thick smoke): The south side looked surprisingly good—like a huge mosaic burn, just as you’d hope to accomplish with a series of controlled burns over many years. It’s going to bounce back nicely next Spring.

      As for the north side of the lake, it looked like a Hellscape, but that’s because it had burnt about 10 years ago and had recovered as nothing but chaparral. It looks bad now, but most of that burnt chaparral will stump-sprout nicely and look similar to the pre-Carr condition in few years.

  3. Avatar sue says:

    I appreciate you for your positive attitude.
    And, Whiskeytown Lake is still beautiful – in my seeing.