A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Monday, May 29, 2006

Family Camp

For several of the past years, DH's family has held a family reunion over Memorial Day weekend, and this is the third year that it has taken place at our house. As you can imagine, things have been pretty hectic around Slate Range Camp, especially since we had a house guest for the week prior to family reunion, and those guests started arriving Wednesday and don't depart until tomorrow.

We have plenty of room around the old Camp, and Mom and Dad, as well as sis Erika and her husband Dave, and daughter Karlee, brought their own shells with them. Our barn is in the background, my raised bed garden in the foreground and the parents' fifth wheel to the side, with an impromptu camp circle to gather us together.

Four of the five children Glenn and I have managed to put in appearances at one point or another, with Cody and Nikki spending Friday night with Grandma, Grandpa and us... then departing for work commitments, while Jesse and Rex came by for Saturday's adventures. Glenn's brother Dave zoomed through, from Salt Lake City, by way of Oakland airport and Walnut Creek, where his girlfriend Angie and son Tyler reside. She provided the transport as they ended up in Reno Saturday night, but not before Tyler was able to take driving lessons on Glenn's lawn tractor... he was one happy 12-year old! Dave called while trying to find Beckwourth Pass, to tell me it was snowing on them Saturday afternoon, and to describe landmarks ("Dave, tell me what was on that sign you last drove past?"), but I got him safely to Portola and back on a major highway.

On Sunday, we were down to just seven and drove up the North Yuba River to see the Sierra Buttes. Most of the family had not been to Sardine Lake before and they were awestruck. People around here refer to this view as the "mini-Alps".

Sierra Buttes from shore of Sardine Lake

It was probably almost as cold, with lots of clouds, so we only stayed for the morning, taking a short hike:

This view is from the interpretive trail in an area flooded by beavers constructing a dam a few decades ago; the flooding killed most of the trees, and the beavers ate much of the willow, opening up a marshy meadow environment. Now, the beavers have been gone for five years, and it is a great example of ecological succession, with plant species beginning to shift.

We have eaten and feasted and eaten some more: leg of lamb on Saturday afternoon, followed by brownie sundaes at our town's little restaurant; sourdough pancakes and fresh berries for breakfast, a bratwurst feast tonight, and a few picnics. We had a large bonfire last night, and sat around telling stories about Glenn's younger brother, Steve, who died in a plane crash while serving in the Air Force 14 years ago, as our own family Memorial Day tribute.

Today, we traveled to the next ridge over, to visit Malakoff Diggins State Historical Park , celebrating the Gold Rush and hydraulic mining.

Tent cabins in a meadow

Old general store and post office

Grandma Diana and Karlee decided to borrow gold pans from the park office and give panning for gold a try.

Grandma panning for gold in Humbug Creek, so named because very little gold was found here, and they didn't either.

We also hiked around Blair Lake, a small lake with lots of fish....and came home tired and a little sunburned. It has been cooler than usual, but very pleasant, and even the rain showers Friday and Saturday were refreshing.

I did manage to get my yarn dyed for my Dye-O-Rama recipient, and it will be heading off by mail later this week (yarn is drying as I type), but very little real knitting done... CeCe is started, though!


Anonymous SpiderWomanKnits said...

Wow! It looks like you guys had a picture perfect holiday weekend :-) Literally, those photos are just beautiful. And on top of all the festivities you got your yarn dyed too? Oh my!

Love the gold panning! One of my husbands ex-coworkers is a very eccentric guy and is STILL trying to make a living panning for gold! Gotta love a free spirit :-)

9:03 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

Sounds like a perfect weekend!

7:12 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

What a glorious weekend you must have had - those photos are breathtaking!

9:40 AM  
Blogger margene said...

There is nothing quite so wonderful as holidays with good people whether they are family or friend. Can't wait to see the yarn you dyed.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Carrie K said...

That Sardine Lake looks glorious. I can't believe I've never heard of it! I see a visit to my cousin Tony in Graeagle this summer.

Nice camp circle! Nice crowd.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Ruinwen said...

I'm glad you had such a lovely weekend!


4:43 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...


The photos were wonderful. My knit buddy Lynn is thinking of CeCe for her long cartrip to FLA from chicago. LEt us know if you have any issues with it, please. A heads up is so appreciated.

2:01 PM  

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