Early in May I had the good fortune to take a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course on the Klamath River. For 10 days we enjoyed the landscape of northern California / souther Oregon – near Siskiyou and Marble Mountains. Over those days there were ground-cones and a bear, rock cairn building, camping on the beach, swimming in the klamath, stars, fires, and many many rocks . . .
Getting there we took Grayback Mountain Road and stayed in an old campground. It was a pleasant evening so I lay my things out on a tarp on the ground, nestled between strange pine cone like things popping up. Turns out Bears like to eat the starchy potato like tubers of the Boschniakia hookeri – a broomrape better known in the area as ground-cone. I woke up to a bear nuzzling under the tarp at my side trying to get to one. I sat up quickly with a start, and the bear lumbered off before I could really take it in.
We then continued on to the Klamath River and Paradise Point where the WFR training took place. The friendly people of Adventure Whitewater rafting keep a lovely facility, prepared decent meals and even had warm showers for us! I set up camp on a sandy stretch of the rocky beach, and surrounded myself with wonderful rocks. The weather stayed nice and spring / summer like, but not too hot; and changed to refreshing scattered showers at the end of the week. The NOLS led course was steady learning, with nice practical portions. I spent lunch time swimming in the river and playing on the rocks, evenings I would play some more and do the readings. As night fell I spent some time with the fires, but often felt like sleep was near so enjoyed lying on the sandy beach and star gazing. The moon rose late each night, after a few meteors were seen. The river was home many animals: to dear, elk, and many birds – osprey, golden and bald eagles, turkey vultures, some awesome red mohawked duck family, and dragon flies coming out of their shells. I think that names a good chunk of the wildlife we saw, oh and Doug’s friendly dog Rocco!. I was with sweet people who shared frisbee and soccer and laughs by the fire. mid week we had a great day floating the river (water was very low for this early in the season), jumping from high cliffs, and scrambling up a creek to an amazing waterfall. Twas grand and relaxing and fun and a challenge.
. . . well . . . Thats most of it in a nutshell!