Friday, June 30, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Sept 29, 1917
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
WT Clements -- My Grandad
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
While it may indeed look romantic in the moonlight, the glare of the noonday sun reveals the canyon for what it really is: a mining pit that caused environmental devastation on such a large scale that even now, almost 15 decades after the first hillsides were blasted away, the scars are still raw and blazing.
While beautiful in its own way, the Malakoff mine pit is a testimony to the avarice that was part and parcel of the Gold Rush and to one of the nation's first environmental-protection measures.
At Malakoff, the easy-to-find surface gold played out during the first couple of years of the Gold Rush. But the deep, stratified sediments overlying bedrock in the region were found to be full of gold -- not in the form of nuggets or veins, but in fine particles that were difficult to extract by traditional methods.
"The gold in the sediments was almost dust, which didn't lend itself to hard rock or placer techniques," Clark explained. It didn't take long to devise a new method of extraction: In 1852, hydraulic mining was invented. The technique utilized cannon like nozzles, called monitors, to wash away the gold-bearing hills with high-pressure blasts of water. Elaborate systems of reservoirs, ditches and sluices were created to bring water to the site. Mud washed from the hillsides was channeled through sluice boxes that caught the particles of gold.
"They had to be careful -- sometimes whole hillsides would slide off and there'd be guys buried," Clark said.
The tailings -- muddy water, rock and whatever else washed down -- were discharged from the sluice boxes directly into area streams, which soon became clogged with silt and debris. Extensive downstream flooding resulted. In Marysville, silt from Malakoff Diggins actually raised the bed of the Yuba River higher than the level of the city.
The free-for-all at Malakoff continued until 1884, when Judge Lorenzo Sawyer in effect halted the practice of hydraulic mining with a permanent injunction against dumping tailings into the state's waterways. Today's visitors to the 3,000-acre state park can hike on miles of trails that lead through the colorful pit, where rusting monitors and cables litter the surreally sculpted landscape. Those who come prepared can venture, during the dry summer months, into the 556-foot-long Hiller Tunnel, through which water for the mining operation once flowed.
But there's lots more to see. For most visitors, the main focus is the ghostly remains of North Bloomfield, a once-lively town of 1,500 that served as a supply base for the Diggins. About a block of buildings, some dating to the 1850s, have been restored or re-created to give a feel for the Gold Rush days. White picket fences give the quiet street the air of a small Midwest town.
One of the buildings houses park headquarters and a museum whose artifacts include an oversized sewing machine used to make hoses for the mining operation, and model showing how hydraulics worked. In summer, park rangers lead tours through a general store stocked with 19th century merchandise, a furnished home from the Gold Rush days and a drugstore whose shelves are lined with bottles, boxes and vials of patent medicines.
"The druggist lived in a room in back of the store because then, as now, people would sometimes break in to steal the drugs," Clark pointed out as he showed a visitor around earlier this month. "Of course, anybody back then could call himself a druggist -- as long as he had the drugs."
A church, schoolhouse and other buildings complete the basic sightseeing rounds. Visitors who get a case of gold fever during their explorations can check out a gold pan (free) at park headquarters and try their luck in Humbug Creek -- humbug, Clark said, being a term for a place where the gold has played out.
Which, ironically, it hasn't: "We take people to a place downstream that's very popular, and usually they find something," said Clark. As for the Diggins themselves: "Well," said the ranger, "there's more gold still there than ever came out."
Moots Back Up to Its Old Tricks
Three hour drive up to the Sierra foothills to join Pete Castelli for an favored ride of his near Malakoff Diggins State Park. Mostly moderate to somewhat technical single track along a river bank with some good views (and drop-offs). Damned if that Moots (which Pete was riding) didn't start playing up again -- two broken chains, and then I switched bikes with him to take over the lame Moots, broke the chain once more and turned the bike into a single speed for the last 10 miles. Urgh. That bike is cursed. I've never seen chains get eaten that way. I'm going to have to swap the drive chain out on the bike or just plain well give up on it. Can't keep risk getting stranded. On this ride, we were lucky to get out before dark or we would have been on a real death march given the exposure on the ride.
I am finally well. No lingering sickness. And the ride was fun, despite the ordeal. The new Trek Fuel is sweet -- even if I only got to ride it for half the ride. I'll be back.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Emily & Pete & Zoe
The big landscaping efforts are now starting at the Barrel. Andra is tenting it out there so that she can make use of all the daylight on the long days. Trying to get our deer netting up while there's still a few leaves that have not yet been nibbled.
On the Bike
At long last, I am on the bike -- and the new Trek Fuel at that. Alas, only a 45 minute pathetic roll half-way up Tunnel Rd. But its a start!
Best Wishes Before the Honeymoon
Laura and Jack's Wedding
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Dinner Party for Laura and Jack's Wedding
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Trek Fuel 110 Has Arrived
Bought this baby on eBay from someone who had purchased way more bike than they needed. This is what Christen and Frank were riding in the Cape Epic and recommended as the top bike that they liked to sell in their shop in Germany.
This will be my first time with a true dual suspension bike. Nice though that it has full dual lockout from the handlebars....and still weighs in under 23lbs. No excuses now.
Here's the stats from the seller:
2005 Trek Top Fuel 110 !!! Full Carbon Frame, Full XTR !!!
Just bought the bike a few months ago, I don't race so it's too much bike for me. I rode it about five times, never crashed, never wrecked. Awesome Cross-Country race bike that weighs in at 22.3 pounds!!!
Practically new condition! Get your hands on this one!!!
Components are as follows:
Frame: 2005 Trek Top Fuel 110 17.5 (Full OCLV110 Carbon Fiber w/ carbon swing arm!) 3" travel
Fork: Rock Shox SID World Cup 80mm (Dual Air, Rebound, Remote Lockout, Carbon Fiber Crown, Lightest Suspension for made!!!)
Rear Shock: Rock Shox MC 3.R (Air Adjustable, Rebound, Remote Lockout)
Wheelset: Bontrager Race X Lite (Tubeless, 1410g, ZR9000 rims, Swiss hubs)
Crank/BB: Shimano XTR (22-32-44t, 175mm, Integrated BB)
Shifters: Shimano XTR Dual Control (V-Brake)
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XTR (Rapid Rise, Long Cage)
Front Derailleur: Shimano XTR (Dual Pull, Bottom Swing)
Cassette: Shimano XTR (11-34)
Chain: Shimano XTR
Brakes: Avid SL V-Brake
Brake Levers: Shimano XTR Dual Control
Seatpost: Bontrager Race XXX Lite (OCLV Carbon Fiber, 31.6mm, 5mm Setback)
Saddle: Bontrager Race X Lite (Carbon, Hollow Ti Rails)
Stem: Bontrager XXX Lite (Carbon Fiber, 1-1/8", 31.8mm Clamp, 100mm, 12 degree)
Handlebar: Bontrager XXX Lite (OCLV120 Carbon Fiber, 31.8mm Clamp, 23.5" Flat Bar)
Headset: Cane Creek S6 (Chris King pictured, will change back to stock when sold)
Tires: Bontrager Revolt Super X (Tubeless)
New Location For the 2006 Veggie Garden
Early Plums at Colby Street
Andra Sorted Out The Roses
Succulents at Colby St
Off the Drugs
Finally, I've stopped taking the anti-biotics....and almost immediately, I feel better!
Monday, June 12, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Still Going Backwards
Dern, I can't tell if I'm sick from the infection or from the meds -- but my temperature is creeping up again -- back to 101. I hate anti-biotic routines!
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Last Days of Anti-Biotics
Still on anti-biotics and am working out at a pretty lame level. Even a one hour ride knocked me back pretty good. Had my first gym session with Carrie. She is one strong lady! Gosh, I've got a lot of work to do on my core body strength. Right now though, the motivation is still lacking....
Monday is the last day on the anti-biotics. Hooray!