SALMON MOUNTAIN (6,956') AND MORE September 26-28, 1994

With this particular peak gaining some importance being high in prominence, I met Fred somewhere to carpool for this climb and another peak hike. We motored up north on Interstate 5, then west on Highway CA 299. Passing along the Trinity River, I managed a photo stop to record the sights.

Headed north on CA 96, we stopped in the tiny town of Orleans, CA, and I liked being here, taking plenty of photos. It is a different way of life out here, with the Klamath River and the National Forest. We enjoyed a meal somewhere and carcamped for the climb the next day.

Motoring up into the mountains in Fred's luxury wagon, we soon came to the trailhead and hiked the footpath that goes right by the peak. This is an easy hike, right for me at that time in my life. This peak is within the Trinity Alps Wilderness, so the scenery promised to be spectacular. The views became good, and soon we arrived at the point to head up cross-country for the summit.

Having lots of time to take pictures, we shortly topped out, and I snapped away at the views. Being somewhat register happy, I placed one, and we both relaxed at being up here.

Then, we started back down the same way, and eventually came back to the highway. An obscure side road led to our next peak, Bear Mountain, the highpoint of Del Norte County. Having a guidebook, I discerned some of the directions weren't so good, but having a forest map, figured out the way. We camped high near the trailhead, and woke to some rain.

Motoring the short distance to the hike start, I saw the weather was no good. Fred hikes in cottons, so would get quite soaked and chilled with his garments. There's no use advising to adopt modern outdoor wear, as some hikers are quite set in their ways. My high-tech gear is thusly rendered useless, as I couldn't use it. Fred would be the weak link in the chain, as far as hiking. I shuttered a few photos, and then we left for home.

I enjoyed a short stop in the Oregon town of O'Brien, with photos to snap. We came back to Interstate 5, then re-entered California with this spectacular sight of Mt. Shasta in clouds.

Fred states to have a rigid schedule, so could only do this as he plans far in advance. The weather, when his time for the trip comes around, can be forecast to be bad, but with a game heart, we'd head out anyway. The forecasts aren't always right, and peak climbing requires an adventurous spirit.

I always offer to pay for gas, but these particular trips are Fred's ideas, and he sometimes refuses to accept anything. He knows I am living in near poverty, and to fund his gas guzzlings for what he wants to do is past his generous tolerances. Also, I can read maps and discern the way, and he has some problems with that.

No one else in Northern California is up for these things, as we both have the time midweek. Being that mountains and high wilderness are what we both enjoy, this makes for a fine teaming up, at least back then. He says that now, he has done all of the California County Highpoints, a peak goal sought by many. This is a list I consider unattainable for myself, since I don't trespass on private land, required by the situation on some of the points. However, it's nice to hike where one has never been, and travel as a game plan was always good for me, at least until global warming and other conservation concerns overrode that all.