August 11, 2008

The McCloud River

As we traveled south, we received some great news, Dick and Melinda…cross continental travelers extraordinaire, multi-hundred per day road warriors, off-the-grid magicians and our dear friends, are slowly…oh so very slowly…trying to work their way up north via Highway 5. Warranty work on their coach has been the culprit of their delay. It has been almost a year since we last saw them, so we are extremely excited about the chance for a possible reunion.

We chose not to stray too far from "river energy", so we made plans to travel south to Hornbrook and stay at the Blue Heron RV Resort. Nestled right on the banks of the Klamath River, our past experience reminded us that there would be no "bad" sites at this resort quality park. It was also a perfect opportunity to visit with resort owners, Bill and Cathy, still looking healthy, full of spunk, energy and dedicated to the dream of further developing their beautiful property. We enjoyed great meals at their riverfront restaurant, The Fishhook, and shared some interesting conversations with fellow guests. Although the weather was warm, the sound of rapids and hunting osprey, proved to be soothing, nourishing and relaxing...diminishing any discomfort the heat may have created. And as it turned out...we only needed to stay one night...a Rauscher rendezvous was set for the next two days in McCloud, CA.

The McCloud River is one of California's most aquatic jewels. Located near the top of California, north of the Sierra Nevada and at the southern end of the Cascade Range, the McCloud snakes its way down a scenic canyon beneath the rugged slopes of 14,000-foot Mount Shasta.

Well known to the river is a series of waterfalls which tumble over basaltic lava flows, known collectively as the Falls of the McCloud River.

These waters are also renowned for its legendary Shasta Rainbow Trout and exotic Brown trout. The river has been a fisherman's paradise ever since its original inhabitants, the Wintu Indians, speared and trapped salmon and steelhead as the fish made their seasonal journeys from the sea. And located nearby, in the town of McCloud, is Dance Country RV Resort...the site of our reunion.

Our visit with Dick and Melinda not only included months worth of catching up, but also a sampling of delightfully grilled meats & veggies and multiple glasses of tasty varietals. We did make sure though to schedule and devote some quality time to exploring this beautiful recreation area. But first we were honored to be invited to join our friends as they sadly bid a farewell to their longtime companion "Naz". No longer restrained to a leash attached to Melinda's hand during their daily walks...his romps are now painless...with infinite energy, freedom and joy...resting in his ethereal home as it stands guarded by Mt. Shasta, landscaped with beautiful trees and soothed by the sounds of a wild river...
We chose the Upper McCloud River Trail to provide us our daily dose of hiking. Considered a leisurely day hike along the upper McCloud River, this trail skirts three falls, Lower, Middle & Upper Falls. Fortunately there was plenty of shade and perfect river access to soak our feet in...for after a late evening of "tasting"...this round trip hike, with some steep climbs and long switchbacks emptied our tank at the 4.3 mile mark. It was time to get back to the rigs for some pupus and cold beers.

And as it is felt too often when in the company of such special souls...moments fly by and the time to say farewell arrives far to quickly...carrying some emptiness and sadness along with it. But memories always come to the rescue and we now look forward to seeing them after the New Year, when they again journey south to their winter "hunting" grounds...

Tomorrow we begin another leg home...
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