My attempts to find a partner to hike and climb failed once again. Having to get some exercise, I decided to do a local hike. I haven't been to this state park for 28 years.

So this Sunday, getting up early, I took Interstate 80 eastbound. Not getting enough sleep lately, it was a bit of an agony to have to drive. I went to Old Town Auburn to park and walk about, taking pictures in the early morning light. Having a hearty breakfast, I chatted with a friendly waitress. Making sure to leave a good tip, I headed northbound on CA 49.

Passing through Grass Valley, then Nevada City, CA, I then was coming to the South Yuba River State Park. Using the restroom, I strolled out onto the old bridge to take video and photos. Then it was about 9 miles north to the signed turnoff for the state park. Taking the narrow, paved road eastward, I shortly came to junctions that were signed to lead me to the park. Coming then to North Bloomfield, CA, I parked my car and started with pictures of some fall colors. I saw no one else there, but then the ranger came out to chat with me.

Finally getting to pay the $8 day use fee, I got my pack and started my hike. Heading south on the paved road past the historic buildings, I headed for the Diggins Trail. This would have the best sight of the eroded cliffs that were caused by the hydraulic mining in the 1880’s. Walking about a mile to the trail start, I did video of the falling leaves and pine needles.

Taking the south trail first, I soon was enjoying a nice, scenic hike, with the trail all to myself. Starting with photos of the rocky trail, meandering up-and-down for a bit, I took more pictures of the scenic cliffs. Doing a short side trip to see the Hiller Tunnel, I wondered if we had hiked through it in years long ago. There was a pond, and a boardwalk, and then I came to another trail junction.

The trail heading on the north side makes a loop back to the start. It runs directly under the eroded cliffs. I took lots of pictures, and the way was marked by posts with a yellow tip. The trail ran on and on, and a sign remarked that it was similar to Bryce Canyon in Utah. Finally, I had to cross a shallow creek, which was not to drink from, since this area is probably heavily polluted with mercury. The trail started to loop back to where I could see that I had started, as I kept my bearings.

Completing the loop, I headed back for my car, but then I came to a sign indicating, “town site and cemetery.” Game to explore, I took this side trail to an intersection with a dirt road. With no sign there, I turned left. Believing by my bearings that I was headed in about the right direction, I started to climb up a hill. It then began to seem that I was hiking too far, but I continued.

Finally coming to a deserted campground, I checked my tablet. Turning on the cellular, I got one bar, but my maps refused to load. I waited for a few minutes, but there was nothing to tell me where I was exactly. I decided to follow the paved road, knowing it would lead me somewhere. It came to a main paved road where I saw cars going by. Believing that I had to head north still, I turned left on this road and hiked up the hill. After a while, I passed a sign which seemed to indicate that I was headed in the wrong direction. I continued to a sign marking the park entrance, so then I turned around and headed back. Of course now, I knew where I was.

A car stopped as I stepped off the road to let it pass, and they wondered if I was in trouble. I replied no, and walked about a mile back southward to North Bloomfield where my car was parked. Still good on time for things that I wanted to do, I came back, and the ranger came out to chat a bit more.

Going to use the restroom, the fall colors had largely disappeared by fallen leaves of the bright reds. I now motored back south on the paved road to the cemetery where I wandered about to look for a particular grave marker. One long ago deceased had the same name as a hike leader in the old hiking club. There may have been some vandalism as I recall the grave marker was historic, and now it was a simple one.

Good on time, I motored back to Highway 49 and headed south to Nevada City. Putting in a quarter at the public parking lot, I spoke with some fellow coming out of a restaurant. He advised me about Sugarloaf, which was a hill with a view of the town. Giving me the site at Coyote Street and North Bloomfield Road, I looked at my tablet to get the directions. It wasn't too far away, so I motored over there in a flash.

I found the intersection, and looked for good parking. There was one space by a historic marker that wasn't blocking private driveways. Taking pictures, I found the road that leads to the top. Getting my pack out of my car, I went around a gate, and came to a sign marking the area as friendly to hikers. Excellent! I took more pictures as I hiked up this road which circled around the peak. The town wasn't much to be viewed from up here, but the sun was setting and I had a nice feeling. Coming to the top after about 10 to 15 minutes, I started with more pictures and enjoyed this little bump. It was pretty windy, but I did some video and a clump of cut branches seemed to be the highest point. I thought that I'd count this as a peak, since it is a worthy, short hike, that people should know about.

I shortly started hiking back down, and then came back to my car which had not been ticketed or towed. Two other hikers had parked at a shoulder further down Coyote Street, which seemed to be a better spot. I motored off, and went back to historic Nevada City. Paying another quarter to park again in the public lot, I went about Broad Street, taking pictures of the beautiful window fronts, during magic hour. Fall and Halloween motifs. Some of the most artistic displays that I have ever seen.

Making sure to give a big tip to the restaurant worker that informed me about the peak bump, I got a table at that highly rated eatery. Relaxing with a non-alcoholic beer and a gourmet salad, this was certainly nice. I told the waitress that I wanted $10 to go to the guy who had given me the hiking information. Finally finished with my meal, I wandered about the streets doing more photos of the window displays. It was getting to be late, but I knew the drive back home wasn't very long.

Taking 49 south, I was shortly to Interstate 80, and then stopped for a quick drink break and rest. I was pretty tired and sleepy, but thankfully made it safely back home.

Hiking then maybe 9 miles with 1,300 feet of gain, I had driven 188 miles. Spending about $72 in cash, I had captured 676 images and movie clips (644.6 MB, 720p HD, 14:46). I had used about a half tank of gas, maybe 5 gallons.

With some cool new software, I don't have to type up my notes, instead able now to use some incredibly fast dictation. I had given my contact information to the ranger as he said that he was interested in possibly teaming up. In a few days, I should have received a PLB, which I got online for a low price. Some new snow is due, but I will have a good time hiking this fall, wherever that may be. Still needing to have to shed some 20 pounds, I hope to get that done. Hopefully too, I'll have the best cellular phone to make my travels even better and more convenient. Tech wise, things are really looking up!