Date: April 4, 2018
Place: Kelsey National Recreation Trail, Scott Bar, California
Coordinates: 41.644710, -123.119923
Length: 5 miles
Our last night at the Klamath area, after our hikes at Happy Camp's town trail and Seiad Valley's Grinder Creek, was quiet and restful. We woke up to an overcast skies, and I recalled seeing rain in the forecast for the later part of our spring break trip. We broke camp slowly and were on our way to the trail-du-jour which was the kelsey National Recreation Trail.
|Our hike as captured by Pappa Quail's GPS|
|At the trailhead|
|Moose Horn Violet, Viola lobata|
I was looking down for wildflowers but Pappa Quail was listening for birds. He saw some, too.
While the herbaceous wildflowers were still at heir first bloom wave, some shrubs were already done and seeding.
We continued ascending. The trail distanced from the creek somewhat, taking us into the woods. Nearly all the trees were bearing the scars of fire. Many were dead. It was a sad sight.
Every now and then we crossed little brooks that were trickling down to join the Kelsey. We stopped for a breather near one of them. The chikas started wondering aloud how far will we go so I redirected them to a much better activity - I sent them looking for gold specks in the brook.
After a short snack break we continued on. The trail kept going higher and higher. The grade wasn't steep but the incline was almost continuous. I paused briefly here and there to look at flowers but didn't stoop down for them. The glum grayness must have affected me, too.
|Monkeyflowers. Mimulus sp.|
|Scars of the forest fire along the Kelsey Creek|
|Mushrooms in the forest|
|Clark's Day Sphinx Moth|
On one such narrow spot we came face to face with a small pack of mules returning from an outing of their own. We flattened ourselves the best we could against the hill to allow the mules to pass. We also had a small chat with the riders who confirmed that the waterfall ahead was indeed no longer there.
I kept looking up as the sky grew darker and darker. I expected the the clouds to open up at any moment, but all I could feel were occasional droplets every now and then.
Time was slipping by. We started looking for a place to stop for a break before starting back, and after some time we found a spot where we could get down to the water without risk, and we sat down to rest and eat. That spot was nice and secluded and had been used in the past as a campsite.
|The rapids of Kelsey Creek|
|Gooseberry, Ribes sp.|
|Oaks Toothwort, Cardamine nuttallii|
|Scarlet Fritillary, Fritillaria recurva|
|Slender Phlox, Microsteris gracilis|
Many thanks to members of the California Native Plants Society for their help in identifying plants!