Alright! The second backpack trip of the season! My knees behaved themselves, all my gear was rock solid, and with 10 other enthusiasts it was a nonstop gear chat riverside rolling party.
Feather Falls is east of Oroville, CA.
Here's a view the other way from the overlook
Although most sites and guidebooks say it is 640 feet high, it is actually around 410, according to Leon Turnbull.
Whatever! It was a spectacular sight. I'd heard of falls "booming" and finally heard it for myself. There was a beautiful permanent rainbow at the base of the falls. Feather Falls is a very popular day hike, but there are camping spots a little way up the trail past the falls.
My carload of people got to the trailhead around 10 am Saturday. We got the last parking spot on asphalt. Did I say it is a very popular hike?
Some of the group.
The weather was sunny and mild - temps in the 70s and lows above 40 Fahrenheit. There were 11 people and 3 dogs in our party. Most were traditional tenters, but there was one couple in a Lunar Duo.
There are two ways into the falls, 3.3 miles with a lot of continuous steep downhill and 4.5 miles of more rolling terrain. We went in the short way and out the long. My thighs are utterly trashed from all that downhill and I am very glad we came out the long way.
Most of the time I get passed by everybody since I am more a tortoise than a hare. However, folks with uncooperative dogs and flower-hikers are slower than I am!
One of the folks in our group had a large young dog that was not quite ready for backpacking. But you never know until you try. It was quite a sight to see them going down that 2 miles of steep downhill: he was walking backwards up the hill and the dog was pulling down the hill with the net result of very slow downward progress.
I spent a 1/4 mile or so passing through a group of hikers out for the wildflowers and got a refresher on our native flowers. But not this one.
I also caught a nice pic of a salamander by the river near our camp.
We camped right along the Fall River, upstream from the falls.
Here's the view of river from my hammock
As often happens with 11 people, there were a variety of backpacking styles there and an equal variety of food. I tried another Mary Jane's Farm dinner and one couple was trying a couple of Packit Gourmet meals. I used my Caldera cone and was pleased to see another one there as well. One guy brought a nifty little grill that started out as a simple looking silver tube and ended up as this!
Yes, that is a steak and a baked potato on the grill.
There were a variety of libations for campfire time: schnapps and tequila. I considered bringing some whiskey, but begrudged the weight due to bringing my 4 1/3 pound camera setup: a Nikon F and 24mm and 105mm lenses. Even with the excessive camera weight, my weight before water was only 23.5 pounds.
I was, as usual, the only hammocker on the trip so I got to explain hammocks to the gang. I'm very glad for this forum, since I've learned a lot and was able to pass on some of that to the group.
My setup was some old and some new, since I've recently gotten a Crowsnest from Stormcrow and a Warbonnet Blackbird from Warbonnetguy. Detailed comments on specific gear items are in their own fora:
Molly Mac Pack here.
Warbonnet Blackbird here.
and Crowsnest here.
It took a bit of looking to find a good spot, since there was Poison Oak everywhere! These trees were a little close to the trail, but the spacing was right, there were no dead limbs overhead, and there was only one little sprig of poison oak upon which I dropped a rock - so I would not step on it or brush it accidentally. I'll know in 3 days if I managed to avoid the dread plant.
I did have my HammockForum flag flying, but it is behind the tree in this photo. From right to left: Molly Mack Pack hanging from the suspension 'biner, my Sunday Afternoon Adventure hat with my cook kit stuffed into it; a bright blue drysack that I use as an improvised camera support that carried my totally unneeded rain chaps and skirt; the Grizz beak flapping in the wind (gave me privacy from passersby); a 2QZQ peak bag dangling down next to my DIY pillow; and my Crowsnest under my WBBB under my MacCat Deluxe. Whew!
I had a great time! If it were not for all-you-alls hammockers, I would not be backpacking at all.
Go Hammock Forums, go!