Saturday, 30 July 2016

California's Six Rivers National Forest

Panther Flats was a gorgeous campground located in Six Rivers National Forest. 
For this campsite we rigged up our hammocks and spent two nights under the stars, listening to howling of wolves in the distance and falling asleep to the glow of the last burning embers in the fire.
There was a river that flowed swiftly through the forest just below our campsite, and it was a short walk down the road to get there.

One thing that struck me about this place was that it looked just like the kind of location where Native Americans would have lived several hundred years ago. You could feel the history resonating off each rocky cliffside. My mom, who is a very good tracker (having been raised in the African bush) pointed out smoky marking on the cliffside, where a former cave had been eroded away by time. A very distinct rocky path led from the opposite riverbank up to the "cave". The entire scene strongly resembled the remains of a settlement. Miners-or perhaps Native Americans- had lived there many years ago. The river flowing down at the foot of the cliff would have provided a good food source, and the cliff itself would have been advantageous in troubled times. 
Waterfall flowing into the river

We went swimming in here

Climbing Trees

We swam across the fast flowing river and explored the waterfall on the other side. I wanted to climb up the cliff near it but the waterfall and erosion had worn the rocks down to loose shale. Instead I climbed the trees on the other side of the river, many of the fresh green branches had been broken off by an animal larger than a human. Later, a friend suggested that it could have been elk.
On the walk back to the campsite we discovered some suspicious looking claw marks on a tree 
Fresh claw marks
I had completely forgotten that America also has big cats, but this was a good reminder.