10-Oct-2004 -- Sometimes it’s quicker to go the long way. Unfortunately, you most often learn this bitter lesson the hard way.
I was hoping for a third confluence visit today. Proceeding north from 40n-120w, I was able to see several neat railroad bridges over Feather River and Indian Creek along the first part of my trip on CA-70/89. My approach from the southwest (CA-44 then northeasterly along Lassen and Modoc National Forest Roads) was prevented by a locked gate (Picture #6) across the road just south of Little Valley – 11 miles short of my objective. Prior to arriving at the locked gate, I passed two cars who had exited from the gate – the occupants and their vehicles were clearly out of place here. Let’s just say the place did not strike me as only being a game refuge.
Frustrated, I was forced to abort this plan, reset, and set up for an approach from the north or east. From my current position, this would require a lot of time and driving. I would not reach this confluence before dark.
From CA-139, I turned west onto the dirt Hayden Hill Road at N41 01.199 W120 51.147 This road is also known as forest service road 37N42 on National Geographic’s TOPO! California 1:24,000 maps with real time moving map on my laptop. I turned north on Forest Service Road 54. Driving on this road in the dark, I observed two skunks walking down the middle of the road. I followed them at a safe distance until they finally wandered off to side.
I parked at 41n, abeam the confluence and camped for the night. Just before sunrise, I prepared for the .3 mile hike west to the point. Halfway there, you’ll need to cross a barbed wire fence – most likely the state game refuge boundary. The trees were cut in rows diagonal to Road 54 with open spaces between them. This is visible on the TerraServer imagery.
The confluence is located in a small clearing. Picture #1 looks south. Picture #2 looks west. Picture #3 looks north. Picture #4 shows the circumstance of apparent sunrise. Picture #5 shows my GPS receivers in agreement – look at the zeroes!
Back at my vehicle, I continued north on Forest Service Road 54 until I intersected A-2 (Susanville Road) at N41 07.467 W121 00.535 to continue my trip.
Total hike of .62 miles in 37 minutes. Driving time to where I parked from CA-139 was 0:50 and 15 miles. Driving time from where I had parked to A-2 (Susanville Road) was only 0:34 and 12 miles.