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If you want to help keep this podcast going. Consider checking out our Web site for links and videos as well as hats, stickers and patches to fix to your head gear and bumpers. All right friends were back for part 2 of the Plumas back country Discovery Trail episode. If you haven’t heard Part 1 you should definitely stop here and go back and listen to that one. First.

In this episode we’ll hear about some points of interest on the north end of the trail including some good campsites a discussion of the best time of year to run the trail and places to go back too.


[00:01:03] So how was Rock creek campground. That’s that’s really close to Quincy was that the more populous popular populated.


[00:01:10] No. It was like it was a Monday night. So not really not really nothing’s going to be crowded in that time of year. Yeah we had the place to ourself.


[00:01:19] There was one other vehicle and then we had then we had the random dude at nine o’clock at night.


[00:01:25] So we Brett and I were still up and the kids and dogs and spouses had gone to sleep and we were sitting there and this random dude drove up in a truck and gets out of his truck and comes up to our campsite and asked if he could walk through our campsite so he could check his mining claim.


[00:01:44] Oh so I don’t know what you check at a mining claim at 9:00 at night but he did he.


[00:01:50] The trail goes out of the back of the campground and he went he was back there for it took him probably 30 minutes to get back there and come back through and at some point came back through and left. So just another weird thing that happened Don. It’s funny. The few people who ran into were definitely strange.


[00:02:12] That’s so it got cold that night.


[00:02:15] Yeah I saw the pictures you guys were in your Puffy’s.


[00:02:18] Oh yeah. Oh yeah. You know we each brought our dogs and the dogs bowl was frozen the next morning.


[00:02:24] Oh wow. Yeah. Yeah but he wasn’t super stoked on that.


[00:02:29] Yeah.


[00:02:29] Maggie the greyhound does not do cold well so she’s in a tent with us she has a bed that I put out and then I put a jacket on her and then she lays down and then I lay a blanket over her and she happens to get up at night and move her blanket she’ll wake me up to put her blanket back. And so then the next morning she didn’t want to get out of the tent. You know we had all got up made breakfast the kids were out and yelling only want still a tent was Maggie the Greyhound.


[00:02:56] It’s funny.


[00:02:59] OK so the next big exception is East Quincy to Spanish ranch.


[00:03:04] Well let’s let’s talk a little bit about meadow camp meadow camp. We didn’t stay there but we on the next leg drove through there and we admired it.


[00:03:16] And at that point metal camps not too far off of pavement and we thought at some point in the future may we bring the families back class.


[00:03:27] It’s just west of Quincy near Little Bay little Badir Park County park yes.


[00:03:36] So it’s it’s sort of a it’s a primitive type campground.


[00:03:42] No real facilities. So we just along the way we admired it and made a mental note of it and kept moving cool.


[00:03:53] So what next. So what does that mean what does the landscape like it that you’re going through at this point it’s creepy. Dense Forest.


[00:04:04] No desert. The dense stuff ended at Harrison flat. Things opened up then no issues.


[00:04:13] You know the typical alpine forest service roads you know in the you know pine trees and so it was just it was a lot of forest service road beauty of meadow camp was in a meadow and big a big clean room.


[00:04:32] You will rent. So yeah. Elevation wise it’s not that high there.


[00:04:39] Now I’m looking at the map.


[00:04:41] This map is not labeled with elevations but can’t be that high.


[00:04:48] So then at what point we actually kind of flipped things around because we have not doing the last leg well you know we left departed Rock Creek Pass through meadow camp popped into some pavement and then across the pavement to another leg.


[00:05:11] Which I guess is the next map the East Quincy to Spanish ranch.


[00:05:16] That’s right.


[00:05:17] So we drove to Spanish ranch and then ultimately our camping that was shown in that book was closed.


[00:05:28] Oh really. Was that where we had the. Well we again had sort of earmarked a campground where the trail ends at Highway 70 and you know I think we should tell him about the butterfly. Oh I forgot about that. Yeah.


[00:05:48] What section of trail was that.


[00:05:52] It was you know it was partway through the next segment place called Butterfly Valley. And I guess it was springtime full of Butterflies butterflies.


[00:06:09] And they also have what you have is on section 6. They also have insect eating plants there. Really. Yeah. Yeah. So.


[00:06:18] So being that it was October you know it was a beautiful area.


[00:06:23] You know there was no Bloom.


[00:06:25] And I think the butterflies had moved on. Right. I think in springtime that be an interesting place to go back and visit.


[00:06:34] That was that was one of the prettier places that was not like the other places it wasn’t just a pine forest. When you get down into that butterfly area that’s where we had lunch there and there’s a good is a good hiking loop at least one good hiking loop there and just a little more damp there and a little more vegetated and some other stuff.


[00:07:00] You’re all cool yeah. That’s close to Highway 70 on the Feather River.


[00:07:03] Yeah. By the way that was a bypass trail leading to another four by four alternative route that we wanted to hit. That was our goal to hit all the four by four.


[00:07:15] Right it looks like that route splits it does it. So is the Butterfly Valley part of the four by four sections. Yes. OK cool.


[00:07:23] And we have to say. As far as being four by four we were were highly disappointed. It was right.


[00:07:28] We never found it. There was no spotting. There’s no rock stacking.


[00:07:34] I think I think again that was a section where somebody with a Subaru could probably get through it.


[00:07:40] I think before it still would have lifted a wheel right.


[00:07:44] I think it doesn’t take much extra a little trip out there for you.


[00:07:49] You know the only thing I mean it was it was beautiful that popped out along the bay.


[00:07:56] Does the river there the river canyon. And we were high up overlooking the River River Canyon.


[00:08:04] So the scenery was just awesome. Cool. Yeah that part of the drive from that matter where the butterflies are down are really really cool. We passed through an old bridge. I saw the pictures of them. Yeah Onil tunnel yeah. Basically a tunnel. A short time but we had fun there taking some pictures and videos. Just gorgeous.


[00:08:32] But after the bridge I mean we never found the four by four area. And and at the end of the route for the day on Highway 70 and a little town there was interest. You remember the name of that town.


[00:08:47] I don’t remember the name Twain Twain when they had a they had. It was.


[00:08:52] It was very they had a lot of tchotchke there.


[00:08:59] They had a fake town built up that you could take that there is normally a campground there but we had missed the season and all the campgrounds all the campgrounds were were shuttered so we couldn’t find a good place to dry camp that you know honestly that we felt we were we were not going to be bothered.


[00:09:19] So at that point we made a decision to kind of continue on that was the end of our official trail run.


[00:09:27] Right when we popped out on the highway you came out a Twain came out of Twain and the trail does go on to Lake almoner but we decided that I don’t know what did we decide it was thirty six miles to looks like.


[00:09:45] Bootlicker it was it was already starting to get late.


[00:09:49] So it was starting to get late and our whole goal the whole trip was you know we’re traveling with kids in space specifically.


[00:09:57] And it’s four years old and we wanted to have camp picked right and set up by dark.


[00:10:06] Yeah it’s really nice to do that.


[00:10:08] Yeah and we did that.


[00:10:09] So we popped out on a 70 was about like OK no kidding. It’s late in the afternoon what do we do from here.


[00:10:18] Because if we committed to going to continue to go towards Olman or we didn’t know where we were we’re going to be camping out. So then at that point we actually decided to go back to Metro camp.


[00:10:31] Oh really. It was day four of our journey.


[00:10:35] So you loop back around on the highway yeah.


[00:10:39] Ok yeah. So yeah. So we ended up looping around and going back to Meadow camp when we got there it was basically full buildup while we were gone on a Tuesday on a Tuesday.


[00:10:53] There’s only a couple of spots it’s not a big cat right. Yes. So I think total there was probably six or seven spots and we could have got a spot right next to somebody else.


[00:11:03] Right. We opted out of that. Right. And they were very friendly. They didn’t wave.


[00:11:08] They weren’t they weren’t. It didn’t look like a group you got to drive it all over their stuff. No crash there but just we just weren’t feeling warm and fuzzy about it.


[00:11:22] And we would have been squeezing in amongst them. So we decided to bail on that and go find our own spot. Right. Ultimately we did.


[00:11:31] We found a great spot again another open open area you know some area close to Meadow camp.


[00:11:42] I mean just yeah. Oh yeah it was a block away.


[00:11:44] But this national forest area where you can open camps just about anywhere you want. Yeah because you have fires at that point do you have fires at this.


[00:11:53] Up until then we had fires every night.


[00:11:57] But at this but we opted not to.


[00:12:01] It was basically a sort of a sort of a grassy flat area and it would have been really easy to ignite the grass even though there is a really old fire ring. It was that dry cheek crash right after the rain.


[00:12:16] So you got a permit when you guys pull a permit from the Ranger stationer or just overlook that.


[00:12:22] I think we I think we can overlook that we overlooked it.


[00:12:25] We wanted to you know we’re going to get it. But it was Saturday and the Plumas calling for all right Plumas for service as Craigmore station was closed on Saturday which that’s a big bummer.


[00:12:37] Yeah well you know I know that there were fire restrictions most of the summer out there. So at least they were lifted for that which is nice.


[00:12:46] We played it safe there and opted not to. Ultimately when it got cold just go into bed and now it’s the coldest night.


[00:12:54] Yeah I was that was def at the coldest night and I remember waking up the next morning. Again all the dog was your friends. Yeah. In fact your coffee your coffee pot was frozen right.


[00:13:05] I would. No I have one of those percolator and I’d fill it with water the night before and put the coffee in that way I can just wake up and fire up right. Coleman stove and it was frozen.


[00:13:17] You think that this is a good time of year to do it or would you do it spring sometime. Little a little warmer it was a nice turn a day at least.


[00:13:26] Oh yeah it was absolutely gorgeous blue skies never saw a cloud.


[00:13:31] Would probably do it a little earlier in the fall. I think there would be some sections that be really wet spring. Yeah I think you’d be there too. Probably yes. I think some of the higher stuff you’d be dealing with some mud. Not today. You know not fun and doable but you’re deaf. I think a week or two. Or they’re just better luck with the lows that night would have been really nice right.


[00:13:56] We actually lucked out I mean the week prior it stormed in snowed and actually Sean was up in that area and got snowed on. So probably me not super dusty so we were in that window after the storm and it was it was gorgeous beautiful during the day and it just cold overnight.


[00:14:17] Cool well. So if you were to go back to back sections of this trail would be the top three for you.


[00:14:27] Sean go back and we’ll definitely definitely from Danica Laporte don’t have a look that’s that’s a must.


[00:14:35] And then you get the part in the east Quincy going through the tunnel that was really pretty.


[00:14:47] We didn’t talk about we went up to a big burn on the way home after we after we left meadow camp on the way home we decided to hit that section that we could yeah we did. We backtracked. We backtracked. The section that we decided not to do because of the jeep Konkan and we figured we had the Klunk fixed and we actually did go up to what was at peak.


[00:15:08] You guys get the map from from Meadow meadow camp back to Quincy no meadow camp.


[00:15:17] It would be between rock creek campground.


[00:15:24] There’s a big peak that overlooks Quincy that we on the four by four alternate route that we that we bypassed earlier.


[00:15:33] We went up and did that and went back down it wasn’t Claremont Claremont. That’s it yeah. So that was that was always need. They had it had just burned.


[00:15:43] So summer fall. And so the trail is a little more technical then and everything but the but the Poker Flat.


[00:15:55] I think that was one sex. No it was worried because I was worried about this. It’s described as like a steep loose climb.


[00:16:03] I think Shawn did it and two wheel drive I did it right. So it wasn’t you know a force that’s a power wagon you know interesting thing. You know like I said we were following the map and the signs. Really well marked. But when the trail burns all the signs go with it. So we had some trouble navigating the burn area.


[00:16:27] So you say well well-marked meaning the road numbers are marked or is it marked as a route.


[00:16:30] Actually we didn’t even talk about this the route the Plumas back country Discovery Trail has its own arms that you can follow along.


[00:16:40] They seem just for the little placards.


[00:16:41] So it’s not super challenging to find the right random little road.


[00:16:46] Well yeah once you get that. Because officially it starts at Laporte So you don’t get with markers to get the support. OK.


[00:16:51] And then you add all the junctions they had the little back country Discovery Trail placards usually with an arrow interest so that part was pretty easy to find other than the burn everything was burned man. But


[00:17:06] yeah you could. It was really easy to navigate. Well we had issues were was where we decided to change things up a bit. And


[00:17:17] I mean ultimately I know Brent wants to go back and do that last section just say what we can say we did the whole thing right.


[00:17:23] And I would go with him then. But


[00:17:26] we are going to be Psyduck but you know I’m glad you know we kind by doing something different and they begin the trip.


[00:17:37] It kind of made the rest of trip. We always felt like we were trying to play catch up. So maybe some of the high points can go. You know the little Spurs we didn’t go look at as we were trying to make up time.


[00:17:52] There’s a lot of extra things that you can do on the trail and you did the extra things those trails would take you much longer. What they’re describing right now.


[00:18:00] We always seem to we weren’t going slow but we always seemed to be challenged by the sense and maybe that maybe that is one issue of doing it so late in years is you’re trying to get to camp before dark on short days.


[00:18:14] Made us feel a little rushed on the trail even a month earlier the weather would still be decent right now. That would be a great hour and a half more.


[00:18:23] I think September would be the optimal time.


[00:18:26] The problem is that you know like what we had we picked him for a break because it’s not a weekend trip it’s not a three day weekend trip and there are no holidays from the start of school until until the end. So it’s challenging and you know spring break is like that too. It’s not the perfect time here to be doing stuff up north.


[00:18:44] Yeah. So I mean it worked out we lucked out there weren’t any active storms while we were going.


[00:18:50] That could have made it a little more challenging if we had some rain.


[00:18:57] There were places on there are some places on trail that had some pretty good washouts.


[00:19:03] They would you’d be honest really easy. You know forest service road and then you’d hit a ravine that got washed out. So if that and if that was an active storm that would have made it really challenged because it’s that kind of clay dirt right.


[00:19:22] Israel Snoddy Leggett’s wet and loose and it’s that dirt that breaks away.


[00:19:28] I was more concerned with the camping in the rain. Yeah yeah. We were renting it you know.


[00:19:39] We didn’t really have any other shelter along with us didn’t know.


[00:19:44] No we were in tents. It was it was and it hadn’t been tent camp in tents since he was two.


[00:19:52] And you guys hadn’t been tent camp in a long time. That was fun though. I mean it was fun.


[00:20:01] I think the good thing for me though is the I I like trips better that where you stay at a camp site whether you’re in a tent or whatever a day or two to kind of soak in the whole area rather than you know breaking down and then resetting camp every day that you know after the third and fourth day back got a little old that’s overlending bro.


[00:20:28] Yeah I know it’s a lot of work. I know this is obviously this is where the rooftop tents come in.


[00:20:35] But that’s the one specific use I could see from the rooftop tents is setting up and breaking down every day.


[00:20:44] I think it’d be pretty ideal for that situation because it was just a stop open go to as far as packing up my jeep each day.


[00:20:54] It was it was a science. Yeah I had everything tied down and so nothing was going to move. And so it was a science getting it all in there right.


[00:21:04] It looked like it looked like a giant Tetris game. Every day was packed. You know at the end of the trip I loved it. It was a lot of fun.


[00:21:12] I would do it again. It was a blast and it turned out really really well for my family. Cool good.


[00:21:20] And they’re excited to go again. Good. My wife Rachel she’s asking when we’re going to go overland on us. Wow.


[00:21:26] It’s cool that you have to swap out you ought to put a RTT on your on your new rack.


[00:21:35] It’s not out of the question but no plans to go there.


[00:21:38] We actually bought a nice four season tent for that trip but one of the things I like about the boxes that I use is that you don’t have to strap everything down you know throw things in it and close it and then you’re done with it. And you can open and close and you don’t have to strap and Reggie and tie. Right.


[00:21:59] So I think you know one thing that may have for me personally is if if my wife had come along I probably would have been a little easier because I was taking care of Emmett and cooking and breaking down and setting up. I think if it was I think definitely the tandem tag team set up probably makes it a little easier for sure you know and then that’s what makes it tolerable when we when we do our trips.


[00:22:28] You know we have we have our our system and our each. You know I do my thing to and her things and you know the kids can go off and play in the dirt together you know whereas you know it might have been playing in the dirt by himself. You don’t necessarily want to have that too far out of sight by himself. So yeah having a having a group and a team makes it a little easier. And you know honestly it’s you know our set up is like that we’re breaking it down it takes like a half an hour to get it or more to get it done. But it’s kind of an enjoyable little ritual sometimes you know if you’ve got it down.


[00:23:02] I would agree. The set up and takedown turned out to be a ritual.


[00:23:08] Yeah I wanted to add that Emmett was a rock star Yeah on this trip. I mean he’s a trooper for sure. He was an awesome four years old. He just rolled with the ranch’s.


[00:23:21] He was awesome.


[00:23:22] He loves to be in the dirt. Yeah getting messy. Did he enjoy sleeping in a tent and all that.


[00:23:28] Oh he loves that part. Yeah that. Yeah. Well both the kids are big fans of Captain and Emmit loved the tent.


[00:23:35] We had a we actually had a home. My wife and I have a double bag. Well I took a double bag. So I just slept in the same bag as me. I was worried about it being cold. And so it was a great experience for Emma and I. Because usually you know he’s always he’s always kind of gravitated towards his mom. So was the first time that he and I had spent that much time with just the two of us. So it was an amazing trip to bond with Emmett.


[00:24:06] And and you know sleeping together in the double bag and yeah we had a we had a great time and he loved every bit of it. He had to come up with some I had to come up with some games while we were driving.


[00:24:20] I think towards the end of the trip his patience for being in his car seat was getting thin. But once I distracted him a little bit with making up songs and goofy animals. He was fine cool.


[00:24:33] I want to say that you know it was nice to be away from the technology stuff be off grid right. You know I have a teenager now and you know teenagers are so focused on their mature phones and to be away everybody was nobody was distracted.


[00:24:51] Everybody was focused on the trip focused on following the map cool thoroughly enjoyed that.


[00:25:01] Yeah yeah. Well we were talking earlier about doing a death valley trip in the spring so that would be the place where you can connect anything there. Yeah.


[00:25:12] Cool well anything else we we in our mind consider that that the tail of the trail brewing layer. So that was a mandatory stop yeah off of Highway 70 on the way back to Reno.


[00:25:28] Is in Blair’s den near Kriegel on highway and on Highway 70. This weird little brewery with a nice grass area and some nice picnic tables and really good beer and we seem to make our way there fairly often. Yeah there’s any way you can work that in your trip if you’re coming from out of the area and you can.


[00:25:51] Make it down to Gray Eagle somewhere and that trip definitely hit the brewing labor.


[00:25:59] All right guys thanks for coming in. This is interesting and I will I’ll make sure I’ll make the trip next time.


[00:26:06] Thanks for planning my son. All right guys we’re missed you missed.


[00:26:25] Let us know what you think about this show with a comment wherever you feel like commenting. YouTube show notes at altering podcasts dot com or Instagram Facebook or you know drive to the top of a hill and honk your comments out in Morse code. The All Terrain podcast is created by me Mike Henderson at Reno collective a coworking space in Reno Nevada. If you have something to say look into a podcast membership where you’ll get access to this studio with mics and a mixer. We also have podcasting classes and workshops taught by Chris Webster producer of the archeology podcast network. If that’s not enough check out the northern Nevada podcasters group on Facebook. Thanks for listing.

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