Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Park Creek and Reno Creek photo points

I've been having a little trouble making blog updates lately. I've been distracted by an irresistibly cute 2-year-old. If she wants to play, I can't say no.

I knocked off two sets of photo points on Sunday. It's the ones that I didn't do a few weeks ago because I had forgotten to take the notebook with me. Park Creek was very easy. Just two photo points, not very far apart, and it didn't take me long to find them. I had looked at the location of the Reno Creek photo points in Google Earth and based on that and the reference photos, I thought it would be even easier than Park Creek. Silly me. I should know better than to think that.

It was easy to find the general area of the Reno Creek photo points, and they are all pretty close together. Two things threw me off, though. First, the reference photos had been taken after a fire that had cleared out a lot of vegetation. The plants have made a roaring comeback and visibility was severely shortened since 2006. Second, the hand-drawn map of the area doesn't quite match what is there. Maybe there are minor errors, or maybe the fence has been moved around a little. Anyway, I couldn't get to where I thought the first photo point should be. I finally decided to see if my phone had a signal and I had a 3G signal, so I opened up Google Earth and went to my location. I wasn't where I thought I was. No big surprise. I walked to where I thought I should be and then I was further from where I was supposed to be. Wow, it sure was handy having Google Earth with me as I wandered around. I decided to walk the perimeter of the fenced area and try to match the track on my PN-40 to the drawing in the notebook. The shape I got was sort of a mirror image of what was drawn. I think that was what caused a lot of my confusion. Now I was able to go directly to the first photo point. Well, almost. There are several very large sycamore trees out there. One of them had fallen on the first photo point. I got as close as I could to the correct spot. A tree in the reference photo that convinced me I was in the right spot is almost hidden now because of all the new growth out there.

After getting myself oriented and getting the first picture, I relaxed and sat down to have a snack. Remember when I was at another photo point location a few weeks ago and there were lots of birds and I knew there were some woodpeckers but all I saw of them was quick streaks as they flitted back and forth? Well, anyway, they were at Reno Creek, too. While I was eating, one landed on a narrow branch almost directly overhead and stayed there long enough for me to get a picture.

A Gilded Flicker, directly overhead. I'm glad there weren't any clouds up there or I wouldn't have gotten a decent exposure before it flew off.

The rest of the photo points went smoothly (except for the occasional fallen tree blocking a view). When I had been looking at maps before I went out there, I had seen that there was something called "Camp Reno" near there. Turns out there's a sign marking the general area. I decided to see if there were any ruins.

Camp Reno, occupied from 1868 to 1870.

As I was walking to the truck to leave the notebook there, I came across a couple of guys that asked me if I knew where Camp Reno was. I explained that I was just going to look for it. One of them shook his head and said, "Good luck". I guess they had been looking for it for a while themselves. Anyway, I was heading into the woods (it was kind of woodsy) when they drove by on their way out. They asked if I needed some water or a snack before they left. That was very kind of them. I told them thanks, but I have plenty. Afterwards, I got to thinking that their offer was just a little odd. If somebody was hungry or thirsty, they wouldn't be wandering off into the desert in search of a long-abandoned camp, would they? I thought a little more and realized that isn't the first time something like that has happened. On a couple of occasions, I've come across other people who looked concerned and asked if I was OK and if I needed anything. I wonder if it's the grey hair or if I just look much worse than I feel when I'm hiking. I'll have to try to get some pictures.

I didn't see any structures, or anyplace that looked like there used to be structures. There is an "Old Fort Reno" marker on the PN-40, so I stood in that exact spot and took a 360 degree panorama. Maybe you can find something in the picture. I couldn't.

Old Fort Reno. Well, its location.

Most of the 300 or so pictures I took that day went into the photo point pictures. Click below to see the rest.


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