Secret Cove

LAKE TAHOE

Activity: Day Hike, Sun Bathing, Swimming

Date: 6-26-20

Lake Tahoe is an incredibly beautiful place. I have skied many of the great Ski Resorts including a trip that my family, and one of my best friends, got snowed in during my college years and were trapped having to add even more days of skiing powder- poor things right? There was so much snow that we could ski right off the hill, down the streets to the Casino that we were staying at.

I raced a Hobie 14 National Championship, (small fast catamaran sailboats), on the waters of Lake Tahoe also during my college days. Then later I raced in US Sailing’s ‘Alter Cup’, a Championship of Champions as well as the Hobie 20 Miracle National Championship on the always beautiful, but sometimes tricky and fickle waters, of this gorgeous place.

Now fast forward to this particular outing. After a Summer Excursion along the West Coast I decided to include Lake Tahoe before heading back to SoCal.

After a fun hike at Picnic Rock just off Tahoe Rim Trail I decided a dip in the Lake would be great! I heard that parking for Secret Cove, certainly one of the most beautiful spots on the lake, is difficult. You can either try to get into a pay lot which is actually for another area and then hike over to this spot or park on the road above Secret Cove. I was there fairly early, so there were some spots left, but not many. You have to be careful about how and where you park or you risk being ticketed. As far as the trail goes it doesn’t seem like there is any main trail, but basically a free for all. I suppose all trails lead to Secret Cove? It is short, but steep hike so bring boots or at least sturdy shoes.

This spot is magnificent- the blues and greens of the clear water is breathtaking. The shore line has a couple small sandy areas, but mostly it is lined with boulders. The boulders are great for stretching out on and basking in the sun. The water in the Summer is a brisk 65 degrees, so to say it is refreshing is an understatement. Did I fail to mention that the beach is clothing optional? I suppose that is why it is a secret.

Thanks for joining me ‘Pursing Balance Through Adventure’ at one of the truly spectacular bodies of water, Lake Tahoe, for a dip in the lake. What an absolutely gorgeous setting evergreens, blue green water of the cove, deep blue water beyond all framed by wonderful mountains. Stick around for more adventures using the following means: LIKE, SHARE, FOLLOW, and COMMENT. I can hardly wait for another NoCal Adventure. In the mean time checkout the menu for other areas that PBTA ventures to. PBTA top quality gear can be found here: SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Tahoe Rim Trail to Picnic Rock

LAKE TAHOE

Activity: Day Hike, View Point

Distance 3 miles, elevation change 750’, >2 hours, rated Moderate

Date: June 26, 2020

It was a spur of the moment decision to head for Lake Tahoe as part of my Summer Expedition of the West. It certainly was on my radar, but everything was pretty much up in the air with the Covid-19 Pandemic. It wasn’t clear what trails were open, what type of permits were needed or how difficult they might be to ascertain at the last minute. I had just spent a few weeks in the Pacific North West and was working my way back to SoCal. I left the Mount Shasta area and researched a spot that I knew would be open to hiking. It sounded intriguing being labeled as the best bang for the buck basically. Tahoe Rim Trail to Picnic Rock Viewpoint is a quick and easy hike with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe.

During my drive my phone went off with an Emergency Alert regarding Severe Weather. The sky and the clouds looked peculiar, and the wind began to howl. A lot of dust and dirt was being thrown about, but there was no zero visibility dust storm that I was alerted to, at least right where I was.

It was after dusk, and there was lightning off in the distance when I arrived at the trailhead. When I read that a bear had been spotted at this location along with the possibility of a severe storm I decided why not sleep in the car? The answer to that question came soon enough, well came hour after hour of aggravation.

Trying to sleep in an Audi is an absolutely miserable experience. It would have been better to brave inclement weather, and claws and fangs then suffering through a night of torture scrunched up against an uncomfortable arm rest in the side, face plastered against the window, and rises in the back bench seat in all the wrong spots. At least fearing for one’s life with nothing to protect you other than a few yards of cloth would provide a better chance for slumber, even if it might be more of the permanent type. So, needless to say I got an earlier start to my hike the following morning.

It was a delightful hike up through the fragrant fir trees winding along a portion of the Tahoe Rim Trail. A bit of a scramble at the top, just after exiting on to the Spur Trail provided outstanding views of Lake Tahoe. 

I shared my breakfast on Picnic Rock with a black lizard, chipmunk type squirrel, Blue Jay, and heard a Blue Grouse sounding his mating call while taking in the deep blue Lake Tahoe framed by the Sierra Nevada.

I might inform you that upon my return to the trailhead at about 8:30 AM there were only a few spots left in this limited parking area, so plan accordingly. But a nice little hike indeed.

I was only at Lake Tahoe a short portion of my Summer Expedition of the West, but how I long to return. Shall we return together? You can you know with the following actions: LIKE, FOLLOW, COMMENT and SHARE. Look to the menu above for locations in the West providing inspiration to untangle- freeing yourself of the burdens of responsibility, taste nature’s breath, feel the warmth of sunshine, experience expansive vistas, stretch your legs, open your mind and shut down the noise of civilization- if only for awhile. It’s called ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. You can get the soon to be your favorite adventure wear at SHOP APPAREL, which of course helps to support the endeavor of sharing this message.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

McCloud WaterFalls Trail

SHASTA-TRINITY NATIONAL FOREST

NEAR MCCLOUD, CALIFORNIA

Activity: Day Hike, chasing waterfalls

Distance :4 miles, elevation gain: 350’, 90 minutes duration, rated Easy

Date: June 25, 2020

This out and back Easy hike has the extra bonus of not one, not just two, but listen to this, three beautiful waterfalls in the Mount Shasta area. The trails winds along the McCloud River at the southern base of Mount Shasta. That whole Siskiyou County is a very special place. The McCloud Waterfalls Trail is a beautiful trail through spectacular woods just off of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway (Hwy 89).

You could actually drive to a scenic overlook of each of the wonderful falls, but why in the heck would you do that if you can hike it, for goodness sake!?

Chasing Waterfalls in the Siskiyou in the shadow of magnificent Mount Shasta, that is ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. Waterfalls just tug at your heart strings like few things can. The music of the cascading water as it takes the plunge and crashes over the rocks below beckons throughout the forest, as you breath in the pine scent and drink in all the sights, sounds and the experience.

I started out at a parking area at the McCloud Lower Falls. This area is popular because it makes a great swimming and cliff jumping area. The next falls along the trail is the McCloud Middle Falls. The waterfall is 44’ high and has the distinction of being the widest in California at 120’ across.

There is a campground along the trail, Fowlers Campground and the folks there looked very content with the hiking, swimming, and just relaxing. This isn’t the first encampment there as a one time in the past there were cottages and a historic hotel. Besides that you can trace back to native peoples using the area for hunting and fishing for a couple thousand years.

The third falls is Upper McCloud Falls. There are other waterfalls in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest area, but to have three falls right together and with the amount of water tumbling over them from the McCloud River makes this a must see. I added a little to my hike as I wanted to see the view from above and climbed the trail each time to the observation area above. I also went a little past the trail along the river which was also quite nice.

Still pictures alone don’t cut. You have to have video of waterfalls.

Lower McCloud Falls is popular with swimmers and cliff jumpers.
McCloud Middle Falls
Upper McCloud Falls
McCloud Falls is on the southern base of Mt Shasta

If you like waterfalls, mountains, forests, and nature than LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and FOLLOW. Checkout the menu above as PBTA travels to many splendid places that will leave you with a feeling of restlessness that you too want to hit the trail, or I am more than happy to bring you along through my stories of adventure, pictures and video that don’t do the places justice, but I try. Each of the locations in the menu are a separate site and thus need to be FOLLOWED independently. Please go to SHOP APPAREL and pick out a hat or moisture wicking high performance shirt. They are top quality and it supports my efforts. Also just added are cool t-shirts.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Ney Springs and Faery falls

SHASTA-TRINITY NATIONAL FOREST

Activity: Day Hike, Scenic View

Distance: 1.5 miles, 250’ elevation change, > 1 hour duration, rated Easy

The whole area around Mount Shasta is teeming with splendid experiences. Mount Shasta itself has a spiritual vibe that is quite strong and has been drawing people to it since the early Native Americans, whom continue to regard this area as sacred.

I have to say that with whimsical names like Ney Springs and Faery Falls you fully expect it to be both charming and magical and it does not disappoint. What an enchanting little falls. Waterfalls are always special and this quiet place filled only with the rushing, cascading sound of a liquid symphony fills you senses. The warm summer air, the cool mist, the chilled water, the fresh earthy smell, the sublime vision, the music of the water flow is enough to leave you spellbound.

This is an short, easy hike which almost puts it more in the category of sight seeing rather than hiking. However, the area is fantastic, and the woods are very nice. There are some road signs directing you to the falls which is near Lake Siskiyou, but once you get close it is a bit tricky because there is nothing to tell what you should do once you find the little pull out on the dirt road, which by the way would not fit too many cars if it was busy. I was thrown off and ended up walking around for a bit and finally had to ask someone. I had mistakenly thought that I should follow the sound of the rushing stream, which was to the left, but the trail you want is going up to the right. Once you are on the trail there will be a path going down to Ney Springs which isn’t much, but it is interesting. It leaves you pondering what exactly is the story behind it. Then not much farther up the trail you will first hear the falls, and then start to get teasing glimpses of the tumbling water. There is a little path heading down to this place of wonder. A nice little adventure to recharge the batteries when pursuing balance from a perplexing and complicated world.

Click Video

All that is left, which the forest hasn’t reclaimed, from the Ney Springs Resort of the late 1800’s are a few steps, a fountain on a wall and a cistern where the Ney Spring water was channeled. The Ney Springs Resort was a health and wellness destination valuing the highest silica content in it’s mineral water known to occur in natural ground water.

“There is no better place to find yourself then sitting by a waterfall and listening to it’s music

Places like Ney Springs and Faery Falls in the great Siskiyou are filled with enchantment and wonder. Thanks for joining me on this quick jaunt into this bewitching location. Got Adventure? Tell me about some of your favorite hikes. In exchange for this value I offer up the Pursuing Balance Through Adventure Menu above for spots all over the West, (each is an independent site and thus needs to be FOLLOWED separately), and stay tuned because there just might be some more fascinating falls in this blog‘s near future along with a Lake so amazing I can hardly wait to get back there. So FOLLOW, LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE. See the cap in the drawing? Go to SHOP APPAREL and you can not only have a cool, top quality PBTA logo hat, but help support this blog, which believe me needs supporting, lol.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Burney Falls

MCARTHUR-BURNEY FALLS MEMORIAL STATE PARK

Activity: Scenic Views, Nature Walk

Date: June 2, 2020

Distance 1 1/4 mile, 157’ elevation change, 1 hour duration, rated Easy

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by not only this falls, but the Nature Walk. I was traveling from backpacking Lassen National Park, 40 miles away, and I had just spent time at the Subway Cave. I had a lot of miles to drive on my way to adventures in Oregon, so I was a little put off that it was going to cost $10 when I really just wanted to take a quick look at the falls and then hit the road.

But… I was really taken aback by the beauty of Burney Falls, a magical place indeed, worth every penny, and I throughly enjoyed my time there. Once I laid eyes on the falls I could see why many say this is the most exquisite falls in California. Burney Falls is really different then other falls. It has two main streams with shards of water falling 129’ through space, but what sets it apart is the surround curtain of water cascading to the limpid pool below. Teddy Roosevelt dubbed Burney Falls the 8th Wonder of the World when he first saw it. What is unique is that curtain of water. The additional water is permeating through the porous rock and trickling down out of the cliff walls about a third of the way down and not from over the top like the two heavy streams.

Instead of the few minutes glance over the side that I had planned, I immersed myself in the Burney Falls Loop Trail, which is really more of a Nature Walk, but it is a pleasant stroll along the rushing stream with a heavy growth of firs, deciduous trees, wild flowers and pee-a-boo views of the falls along the way. I would recommend taking the trail clockwise for the best views as you get closer to the falls. When I was there they were doing maintenance on the bridge above the falls, so I was turned back, and I basically had to do the whole trail twice, but no complains here as it is quite enjoyable.

Make sure you checkout the video water falling is mesmerizing.

“Come away, o human child, to the waters, and the wild with a fairy hand in hand, for the world is more full of weeping than you can understand” – William Butler Yates

You never know when you might find yourself “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure“, I thought I was going to take a quick glance and instead found myself seeking that balance that we are all striving for. What better place to enjoy a moment, take a breath, and just drink it all in. What in nature is more wondrous then a gorgeous waterfall? You just become transfixed watching the water tumbling, and falling through space that you lose track of time. Thanks for joining me at Burney Falls, more to come for “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure“ – NoCal Hiking so give a quick COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW, and SHARE. While you are at it go to the menu above and checkout where I went after I left NoCal, (which was the Pacific Northwest) each of the locations is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. Need a high performance, moisture wicking shirt for your adventure? Checkout SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

Subway Cave

LASSEN NATIONAL FOREST

Activity: Spelunking (sorta), Hiking

Date: June 2, 2020

Distance: .7 mile, 19 feet elevation change, 30 minutes duration, rated Easy

After a few days of exploring the beautiful Lassen Volcanic National Park I made a stop at Subway Cave, which is outside of the park, but still in the Lassen National Forest, in Shasta County.

I am assuming that because of the Covid-19 the parking area was closed. The Cave seemed to be open, regardless if it was actually open or not I had the place to myself, which when you are alone in the pitch dark can be a bit unsettling. It can be down right spooky when you are entering the Under World through Devil’s Kitchen, taking a right at Lucifers Cul-de-Sac, to enter the Sanctum.

The Subway Cave is a unique and interesting hike that is not long, so as far as a hike it is pretty simple, but as far as being different it was pretty cool. The actual cave itself is a lava tube, remember this whole area is a very volcanic area. The length of this lave tube is about a third of a mile in length. As far as lava tubes, and I have been in a couple others- one being in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii, the other being the Lava Tube in Mojave National Preserve, Subway Cave is one of the more prominent and available such features in the world. The Subway Cave is accessible due to partial collapses in the roof. Once inside it is so dark that you will not be able to see the nose on your face, so be sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp. It would be advisable to wear sturdy shoes as the floor is uneven. There are some places where you will need to watch your head, but other spots where the ceiling is probably 15 feet tall and the room is relatively expansive. Above ground the temperatures were in the 70s, but inside the cave you could see your breath so you might want to bring a sweater or jacket. I read that the temperature is a pretty constant 46 degrees. At the end of the tube is a short hike through the undergrowth of this beautiful part of the country.

So I would recommend this as a fun and different experience which certainly is worth the stop.

Devil’s Doorway
“Adventure awaits, go find it.”

Thanks for joining me on this unique and unusual exploration into the Under World as I was “Pursuing Balance Through Adventure“ alone, underground, in a pitch black hole. There is more balance to be found as we let go of our mundane, everyday existence… at least for a little while. Don’t miss a single exciting adventure by doing this before you get busy with everything else that takes up our precious time: FOLLOW, SHARE, LIKE, and COMMENT. The menu above has a vast selection, by area, of places throughout the West that PBTA ventures to. Each is a separate site and thus must be followed independently. There is a place to get outfitted SHOP APPAREL, which has the best stuff.

Happy Trails,

Roger Jenkins, Pursing Balance Through Adventure

Boucher trail

Near San Simeon, California

Activity: Day Hike, Scenic View, Wildlife Viewing

Date: 9-5-19

4 miles, 82’ elevation change, enjoyment time 2 hours, rated Easy

If you are driving from Northern California to Southern California I would say this is a must do. This is a beautiful spot, and there is a cool lighthouse, and lighthouses are alway good, but the reason this is a must do is this is one of the best spots for wildlife viewing of the Northern Elephant Seal. Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve and Marine Conservation Area is operated by the California Department of Fish and Game. They have done a great job of setting up an viewing area with a parking lot and extended wooden decking along with informational signage. There are volunteers, Friends of the Elephant Seal, clad in recognizable blue logo jackets that are on hand to answer questions regarding these wonderful creatures. The Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery is located 7 miles north of San Simeon on Cabrillo Highway 1, and about the same amount of mileage south of Ragged Point, the Gate Way to Big Sur. Big Sur is where I had spent the couple nights before backpacking.

This is one of the most robust rookeries of the Northern Elephant Seal in the world. The male Northern Elephant Seal can weigh up to as much as 5000 lbs and received his name from the rather pronounced schozolla, for lack of a more scientific term. You will see one large male making his way up the beach towards my camera in a video clip I nicknamed Darth Vader.

My hot ticket suggestion is this, certainly dive into all of this tourism excitement and have fun, but if you are interested in stretching your legs, experiencing this wonderful seaside locale a little more in depth, catching a closer view of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, seeing some elephant seals without standing shoulder to shoulder in a crowd with camera shutters going off in your ear, and would like to get down on the beach, then take the Boucher Trail hike.

Boucher Trail hike winds along the sea shore and has some additional uncrowded view points to catch the elephant seals doing their thing, horsing around with their friends on the beach and in the shallow water. More of the sun bathing goes on at the tourist spot. The shoreline then protrudes out to a rocky point which is Piedras Blanca and that is where the lighthouse is. Boucher Trail continues on straight and not toward the lighthouse, which is operated by the Bureau of Land Management and tours are available on selected days and times. Reservations need to be made in advance for lighthouse tours. The trail travels through a grassy area and ends up at another smaller parking lot roughly 2 miles from where you began. This is where you will find access to a broad beach. Being enchanted by the lighthouse, I headed along the beach to get a better view. It is possible that I may have went further along the beach than I was allowed to go, but what can I say I wanted to see the lighthouse.

The Piedras Blancas Lighthouse was built in 1875 and the tower was 100’ tall before an earthquake damaged part of it. With it’s special lens, the light could be seen by ships 25 miles out to sea. It is one of the oldest working lighthouses in California.

The sea, the elephant seals, the lighthouse, you just gotta’ luv’ this wonderful little hike, Boucher Trail.

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Darth Vader might not rule the Galaxy, but he certainly rules the Elephant Seal Rookery as he charges up the beach at my camera.
You will only see this type of Tom Foolery from the Boucher Trail.
Piedras Blancas Lighthouse
A different sort of sunbather at the Elephant Seal Viewing Area.
“I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought.” – Helen Keller

’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ along the Northern California/Central Coast is a special treat and I thank you for joining me. For more adventures checkout the menu above for a host of different locales around the West. Stay Balanced by leaving a COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE, and please FOLLOW. Please note each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED individually. If you so desire you can support PBTA and yourself by purchasing top quality adventure, workout, casual wear at SHOP APPAREL.

Happy Days, Happy Trails

Roger Jenkins, ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’

Kirk creek campground to Vicente flats trail

BIG SUR

VENTANA WILDERNESS

Activity: Backpacking

Date: 9/3-5/19

11 miles, 2600’ elevation change, approximately 6 hours of hiking time, rated Hard

I arrived at Big Sur after leaving Monterey in the evening. If I had it to do over I would have skipped Monterey, because I had been there before and by trying to jam that in as well I feel I missed out on a large part of the Big Sur experience. By the time I hit Big Sur it was dark and one of the most wonderful things in that area is the drive right along the coast and the incredible views. Besides that I had no Ranger to talk to once I arrived in Big Sur to gain expertise from. All I could do is read the boards at the campgrounds, and outside the visitor center.

Once I decided on ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ on the Kirk Creek Campground to Vicente Flats Trail it was pretty late, so I slept in my little car, never a pleasant experience. But I noticed at the lookout I pulled into I was not the only one with that same idea as there was a truck doing the same thing.

At first light I was up and adam excited to begin my journey, and the coastal views from the lookout were spectacular, along with the taste and smell of the salt air, and the sound of the waves far below.

The trailhead is across the road from the Kirk Creek Campground, which is pretty close to being on the beach. There are a limited amount of head in parking spaces for the hike so that could be pretty tricky. The other reason to get there early is most of the hike is exposed with plenty of sunshine, so it can get hot hauling a big pack up the hill. There are some majestic oaks, and even a stand of red woods for a periodic reprieve from the sun.

The hike has the most excellent coastal views, as you wind your way up the trail. Put on your repellent because it is one of the buggiest place I have been. Thank goodness they don’t bite, but the little black flies are most annoying. I suggest a head net. I certainly put mine to good use. The trail is long, narrow and winding. Careful of your footing as there are big drop offs in places, and keep an eye out for poison oak, I suggest long pants.

I set up camp at the first small camp Espinosa, which is one of two areas designated for backpacking on this trail. I was there midweek, just after Labor Day, so I really didn’t see that many people, which generally isn’t the case. There is a water source on the trail just beyond the camping area. I went on to the end of the hike which was Vicente Flats, the other larger campground. That was a pretty cool place with big trees, but no ocean view for that one, and even more bugs, ugh!

Speaking of bugs a couple college freshman went by my camp during the day and were planning on camping at Vicente Flats, but changed their minds with the bugs. After I was out enjoying the wonderful views of the Pacific I returned to my camp to find the boys starting to set up their tent near mine at Espinosa and complaining that they heard nothing about the bugs in what they had read, so I gave them my website info so they could be better informed in the future. They finally couldn’t deal with the bugs, packed up and zoomed down the trail trying to beat the sun before it set.

The next day I headed back down the hill from my journey. There was marine layer, fog down below which gave an interesting mystic feel to Big Sur. It really is a beautiful place. The bugs were irritating, but with the head net I could manage, and other than that it was a fantastic time.

Daybreak at Big Sur
Twilight at Espinosa Camp
Heavy Marine Layer early the next morning over Big Sur before the fog burned off later in the day.
“Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and to reconnect to that inner place of peace.” – Janice Anderson
Little black flies were a real nuisance thus the head net.

Kirk Creek Campground to Vicente Flats Trail is a fine place to be ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. Stay with me for other adventure, on this journey to find this inner peace, I refer to here as Balance. Balance between Civilization and Nature, Balance between our very busy existence in a world always in a hurry, and the tranquility of soul. More to come, some epic, some just exercise in nature. Please COMMENT, FOLLOW, LIKE, and SHARE. Check the menu above for other locations and I would appreciate it if you would support PBTA by outfitting yourself with top quality adventure, workout, casual ware check it out at SHOP APPAREL.

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure

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